Written by Joe Gilliver, Founder of Chameleon Agency 

Employee events followed by family events and supplier events may all seem an extravagance  when the word recession is being dropped in news articles with regular intensity. So why would a business want to spend money on events for people outside the organisation?

Recently we have created a number of supplier events for our clients. Here suppliers were offered the opportunity to demonstrate their products and new innovations. This enables a better understanding throughout our client’s business of who they are working with and what the capabilities of that relationship might be. By bringing a business together with their suppliers, offers an educational opportunity for employees to find out more about the product and services that the supplier offers. The event also built a mutual working understanding that creates a cohesive working relationship. I have seen at first hand friendships being made between suppliers and employees start at events  that stand to be commercially and culturally beneficial. The suppliers feel they are valued and a positive commercial relationship is nurtured throughout both organisations.

This summer our clients have also embraced family events wholeheartedly, for example telecoms giant Three held a Hawaiian Luau party for employees on Thursday evening and then on Saturday held a beach party for employees’ families.

This is a cost effective way of using the same theme and props twice while being appropriate for both audiences. The beach party for the family audience involved beach arts and crafts, beach photo opportunities and beach games. Strong friendships at events can start at young age, at one event the kids found the comperes microphone and started an impromptu karaoke session, prompting people to ask why they hadn’t known about the karaoke – there wasn’t one, the kids were just having a great time!

We recommend two family events a year, once at Christmas where you can incorporate a winter wonderland, a visit to the North Pole and Father Christmas and one in the summer where you can get everyone outside to compete in sports and summer activities.

Here are the four main reasons to extend business events to families

  1. Regular events build a community, with the same purpose. Families and kids are introduced and friendships wider than the office are made. This supportive mutual respect trickles throughout the culture of the business and families understand more about what happens at work and why.
  2. Your business is seen to practise what it preaches! Work Life balance is respected and acted on. Three are huge advocates of creating a healthy work and life balance for their team. By creating family orientated events the business is proving their commitment to this value and recognising their employees lives beyond their working environment.
  3. Staff retention is raised as employees feel seen and valued. Events that incorporate employees’ families create a feeling of real belonging throughout the team and therefore people are more likely to feel committed to the organisation. Resignation by employees will be considered much more seriously as there is more at stake than a salary, there is the loss of a supportive community.
  4. By introducing family events businesses will also see commercial benefits. As staff enjoy the inclusive community at work they will remain in their role, becoming valuable skilled employees. This saves money on recruitment, onboarding and staff training of new candidates new to the organisation.


So as negative news continues to surround the economy, reassure your team with positive family events that will ensure they feel secure.