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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Company Outing Tips

In my last post I wrote about preparing for Christmas parties (That was a long time ago!). This time I’d like to talk about something more timely considering that summer in the Philippines is just around the corner. And you know what comes with summer … prickly heat!...No! Company outing.

If you are a managing a company in the Philippines, this is one of the few events that you should prepare and allocate budget for. Company outings are great opportunities to show appreciation for employee cooperation, bond the team and take a welcome break from the daily grinds. In my experience as HR Manager in the past made realize the power of this exercise to reenergize the team. On the other hand, a poorly planned, poorly executed company outing can cause disappointment and frustration thereby defeating the purpose of going offsite. What I’m sharing with you now are some of the lessons I learned both the easy and hard way about delivering a good company outing. Here they are:

For a successful company outing, planning is everything. This means getting budget approval at the start of the year. This also means conceptualizing and canvassing way ahead of time. A company outing is such a big investment in money for you to not plan it properly.

Where are you going?
A day in the beach? Perhaps an overnighter? How about going to Baguio? A private resort? A day at Enchanted Kingdom? How about an entirely new thing to do? I’ve seen companies expand their options from a traditional day in the beach to other activities not only because of people’s growing concern for getting their skin sunburned but also to maximize the return on their investment. I’m a little biased towards going to the beach but I would say that it doesn’t matter where you plan to go for summer, what matters is what you are going to do when you get there.

So, what are you going to do?
Some companies make the mistake of making their company outing itinerary very hectic. They normally include teambuilding or games and meetings that last the entire day to maximize the “benefits” of the event. Do not fall in to that same trap. People will want to have some free time to do what they want to do and bond with people they want to bond with. These things should not be forced. I do agree however that there should be some activities that are deliberately intended to bond the group. A one to two-hour fun games in late afternoon would do the trick. A karaoke night or sitting around a bonfire could also be fun for as long there are people in charge of ensuring that the fun is spread among team members. Beware of the microphone hogs!

If you decide to go the beach…
As I said, I’m biased to it. If you are like me who prefer going to the beach, here are some of the things you need to do. Assemble a small committee and go on a resort hopping ocular inspection (this should be fun!). Before you do this of course, you need to shortlist your resorts. Contact as many of them as possible and ask them to send proposals. Go to the resorts that fit your budget. To me, a good resort offers good food, great customer service, decent accommodation, enough open space for some bonding activities and of course… karaoke!!!
Decisions, Decisions
Where to go and what to do. Those are the decisions you need to make as early as possible. Going to an expensive resort has instant impact that gratify employees. The impact however is only before they get there. What you do when you get there is what really matters. Not all of us can afford to go on an expensive company outing. Plus the excess money you spend on these can be used for other things like training. I think it is important for HR to look at this from a business management point of view as well. There is also that need to be creative. Making the experience more fun should be the bigger challenge than selecting the venue for your company outing.
Organizing it
You know what really, really helps? Organizing a committee that will ensure management of the entire event. Delegate it to the employees. If you are the HR Manager, your job is to make sure that they are not making those inexperienced decisions that can compromise the event. My mandate to the committee is always to find a way to make it really, really fun. Just telling them to do that can work a lot of wonders!

If you are in the Philippines, have a lot of money to spare, nothing beats going to Boracay, Palawan or Bohol. If you cannot afford to fly your employees to those places, there are a lot of good resorts in Puerto Galera. If your group like snorkeling, That is the place to go and resorts in Anilao Batangas, If you like fine sand beaches go to the north, in Zambales and Pangasinan. Quezon is also a good place to go.

I thought of adding these links just in case you wish to see more resorts in Luzon.

There are a hundred more out there but it's lunch time and a Sunday. I will update this list later. If you know of good places and ideas for company outing please share by adding in the comment section of this post.

- Ed Ebreo


  1. Anonymous4:52 PM

    Many many thanks for the "inviting" write ups re best places! Indeed a GREAT reference.

    May i include Club Balai Isabel, same as other venue, the place is really very nice.

    Best for teambuilding! and any kind of activity...

    One unique in the is "MOBIDEEP", A POOL IN THE LAKE! Plus of course,a magnificent view of Taal Volcano.

    The place is in Talisay Batangas

    Here's their website

  2. Anonymous7:15 PM

    cool!thank you for this!a great help, actually.

  3. We had our company summer outing last year at the Munting Buhangin Beach Resort.

    All in all it was fun there.

    But I advise not to go during peak summer season like we did. ;)

  4. Hey guys,

    the last time me and my colleges had a company outing. We went to a cook course and after that every one gets a very nice t-shirt with the logo of our company. It was a special Tshirt. The logo was filled up with our Photos of our Facebook accounts. I think we purchase the tshirt from

  5. dee_kae11:58 AM

    Please help, I need suggestions. I am in-charged of the company outing. As an HR Assistant for 2 months, it's a bit hard for me to start planning this.

    I am considering these things:
    -different age levels
    -more female employees than male
    -the 2 groups, the new and the old employees, (there's a bit issue here)
    -limited budget

    I am hoping for your responses. I'll appreciate it very much. Thank you from my heart!


  6. Excellent post! Company outing is also a great way of getting new ideas to the people you're working. Thanks for sharing.

  7. in 2011, our (davao) branch office went to BOHOL & CEBU, with the Regency Tower's SKYRIDE ADVENTURE as the activity's highlight

    this 2012, we explored BORACAY, with the HELMET DIVING & other aqua fun as the spot

    next year, 2013, we're planning for ZOOBIC, with the SAFARI (day or night or maybe both ?) RIDE to be the adventure's climax ;)

    it is then IMPORTANT to have a FOCAL ACTIVITY POINT in summer outings to vigor excitement and memories to tell the whole world!

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