What concerns should we have when planning a company-sponsored event ?

Every company has events like picnics, parties and get-togethers in its yearly calendar. These events play a great role in celebrating a sense of oneness and in developing team spirit. However, a day meant for fun and enjoyment can often turn up unpleasant issues such as accidents, disorderly conduct, unwanted romantic overtures between employees etc. which may dampen the festive atmosphere and create problems.

Following these few tips may be helpful in planning a memorable party event:

- Company events should never be compulsory. Employees should be encouraged to attend and should be told that attendance is purely a matter of choice.

- It is good to plan a party that does not involve alcohol. Emphasize that the focus of the party is on having fun and in developing bonds rather than on alcohol. You can also spend the money that you would have spent on alcohol on prizes, games or in high quality food.

- If you decide to have a party which involves the consumption of alcohol, you need to ensure that there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of food. It would be ideal to serve foods that are rich in protein and in starch as they reduce the speed of alcohol absorption in the system.

- Have a separate entertainment scheme for children of the employees. This ensures that the children are not bored while ensuring that the parents are free to participate in the activities.

- Ensure that the area chosen for the children’s entertainment is child proof and that an adequate number of adults are available to have a watchful eye over the children.

- A fully equipped first aid box should be kept ready to attend to any emergency.

- It would also be good to have a ticket system for the bar rather than an open bar. This tends to limit alcohol consumption.

- Always keep information regarding the nearest medical facilities to be contacted in case of an emergency.

- Ensure that the service of food is both timely and convenient. A buffet system would be ideal and would enable people to take what they want and avoid wastage.

- Ensure that adequate transport arrangements are made to move the employees to and from the venue.

Managers should be asked to keep an eye over their employees. They should also be aware of the harassment and substance abuse policies of their organization so that they are able to enforce them, should the need arise. This is essential as the employers can, sometimes, be held liable in case of untoward incidents involving alcohol