Edwards’ Luxury Luau Company Picnic
Minutes of Fun
A Luxury Luau
It was a warm afternoon in June when we received a call from one of our long-time clients looking to plan their next big employee appreciation day. We’ve partnered with Edwards Lifesciences many times over the years, and they’re always a pleasure to work with. A leading company in cardiovascular health and other medical innovations, Edwards values their staff like no other. Every year, they throw their team a big department cookout, and this year, they wanted something truly special.
We offer many themes here at A Company Picnic, and one of our add-ons to themes is Luxury. You can plan a Luxury version of any other theme you’d like. For this, we bring in fancy food, upscale décor, and prestigious entertainment. Edwards wanted a Luxury picnic for their guests, and for the base theme, we decided on Luau.
The Luau company picnic would involve high-end foods, a dance troupe flown in from Hawaii, and fresh branded coconuts stamped with Edwards’ logo. We planned more fine details, all special touches, and Edwards hoped each detail would make their employees feel luxuriously pampered. Edwards found it important to give their employees a glamorous event, and we promised them we would bring their ideas and dreams to fruition.
Fun in the Sun
The day of the event was in September. It would be warm that day, as it always is in California. To get around the heat, we’d planned some aquatic activities as well as scheduled the event for late afternoon. The venue for the event was a long-time favorite of ours, Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina. It’s a beautiful location, with a white-sand coast boarding the deep blue waters of the marina. It makes an excellent backdrop for any company outing, but especially a Luau themed picnic.
We arrived on site that morning, as the morning light danced over the marina’s waves. Edwards had asked for luxury seating and plenty of games, so we had quite a bit to set up. We arrived far ahead of the guests’ arrival time, and we felt sure we’d have plenty of time to get everything perfect.
We arranged two lounges for the guests, with beautiful loveseats, chairs, and tables. Once they were arranged, we topped the seating with brightly colored pillows and adorned the tabletops with fresh tropical bouquets. We arranged some beautiful teal picnic tables with white umbrellas and set floral centerpieces in each of them. Our teams busied setting up the signage around the venue and decking out the buffet stations with luxe tropical décor and fresh flowers.
The Perfect Meal
Our catering teams arrived early, as well, and set to work fixing that day’s meal. Edwards had asked for our Premier menu, a high-class option, built around a Luau theme. The vendors fired up their grills, and soon, the air filled with the marvelous smell of woodsmoke. They set to work grilling prime-cut tri-tip, pineapple rings, and teriyaki chicken, and fixing up plenty of hamburgers and hotdogs as well. We’d brought in some kettle corn stations, and a tiki bar. At the event today, we’d be serving both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The picnic was employee-only, and while we knew everyone coming would be adults, we still always check identification and provide wristbands.
Our two luxury foods vendors arrived on scene early as well: a fresh coconut vendor, and a nitro ice cream maker. We’d planned these two amazing foods with Edwards, to really treat their staff to something once-in-a-lifetime. The venue quickly filled with the sounds of corn popping and the smells of that day’s delicious meal.
Welcome to the Luau!
The morning bustled by quickly, and soon the sun began its descent for the day. At 2:00 sharp, our guests arrived. They were greeted by our Aloha signage and made their ways to the registration booth. After getting their wristbands, each person was given a floral lei or a Kukuai Nut lei by our costumed greeters.
The Kukuai nut leis were specially made, and have a rich cultural symbolism, usually being worn by the ali’i, the reigning chiefs of Hawaii. Today, our guests were the reigning chiefs of the company picnic, and Edwards wanted them to feel every bit the part.
Some guests made their ways to the buffet, while others mingling at the lounge. There were plenty of activities to partake in. Edwards wanted high-end entertainment for this special picnic for employees and had arranged paddleboards for the guests to take out into the water. We’d also brought in a bow and arrow archery competition for that day.
Besides this, there were even more games to play. We had a beach volleyball net on the shoreline, and guests took turns playing rounds against one another. We’d also set up Velcro Soccer, a basketball game, a ping pong table, and the Human Foosball inflatable arena. In the Human Foosball game, guests take turns playing as the pegs on a giant inflatable foosball table, kicking a ball to score. It’s always a lot of fun, and the employees seemed to have a great time at it.
The crowd was abuzz that afternoon, full of laughter and conversation as they mingled and relaxed. We’d brought in plenty of field games for them to enjoy. Guests went head-to-head at Jumbo Jenga, corn hole, and water balloon toss, competing for prizes Edwards had provided. It’s always fun to watch teams compete at any game. You quickly find yourself cheering for each contestant, as do the rest of the onlookers. It’s such good, classic company picnic fun, and it makes you feel good to see a group having fun and celebrating their wins.
Our coconut server had brought in 200 branded coconuts filled with sweet, refreshing coconut water, and spent the afternoon cutting the tops off and handing them out to guests. Pretty soon, the crowd was full of folks holding coconuts. The drinks were refreshing as well as perfectly suited to the occasion.
A Live Performance
At 4:00, our live performers took the stage. As mentioned earlier, we flew in an astounding dance troupe and live band from Hawaii to perform for this picnic. Their routine lasted half an hour and was beautiful and mesmerizing. The musician and the Tahitian drummer played seriously incredible music, while three dancers and a Samoan fire-knife performer did astounding routines. Once their show was over, the dancers took guests on stage to teach them some moves. Everyone had been swept away by the performance, and were excited to try their hand at the dances.
Our entertainers, following their dance lesson, mingled with the crowd, taking pictures with them and chatting. On the note of pictures, we’d set up a booth-less photo booth. It had cutouts of waves which employees could stand behind or in front of, and we’d brought in props relating to the sea as well as the Hawaiian Islands. That wasn’t their only opportunity for photo keepsakes, however; our roaming photographer spent the afternoon snapping shots of all the guests.
The Evening Arrives
The sun began to dip low in the sky, casting it and the shore in a beautiful ruddy pink hue. The air took on the briskness it always does near to dusk, and we knew the evening was coming to an end.
The crowd, though, still seemed to be having a great time, laughing and talking and bonding. Edwards always wants their company picnics to not only be a day of fun and relaxation but bonding across their team.
Judging by the conversations still flowing, and the smiles on everyone’s faces, we felt assured these goals had been achieved.
At 6:00, the event ended, and guests filed their way back to the parking lot. Our performers, vendors, and photographers had all left, and now our crew was the only ones left in the venue.
The waves lapped gently at the sandy shoreline, and the sounds of nightlife began to fill the air. It was time for us to return the venue to its original state.
A Wonderful Day
We took down signs and packed away games. Umbrellas were folded, and our props vendors whisked away the lounges and the signage.
Evening began to fall on the marina, and while it began to look bare without the decorations and the crowd, we were still filled to the brim with satisfaction. The day had been a success.
We were able to give Edwards’ staff the luxurious day out, filled with excitement and unique opportunities, that the company had so hoped they could have.
As we grabbed the last bag of trash and checked behind ourselves to make sure we’d gotten everything, we took one last look out over the shoreline. Edwards’ team had the perfect day we’d strived for them to. We’d done a good job.
We, too, had an amazing day, and our hearts were full as we left the resort. We were already looking forward to their next staff outing.