Team Building vs. Picnic vs. Excursion

Planning any company outing begins with knowing what your team needs or wants out of it. We always recommend setting a date and sending out a survey as your first steps in the planning process. Once you’ve narrowed down what your team members desire, and set a date for the event, the rest of the process will be a breeze.

There is no shortage of styles for a company event. While we’re called A Company Picnic, we don’t just work in the picnic sector, nor should you assume a company picnic is the only type of event we can coordinate for you. Whether you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime company excursion, a team building day to strengthen your teams’ bonds, or a relaxed company picnic for your team to get to know one another at, we can do it all! Let’s get into the different sorts of events, and why each one might be the best fit for you.

3 Main Types:

There are three main types of company outings to choose from out there, and each one brings a different experience for your employees. Here are the three main types:

  •         Team Building Day
  •         Company Picnic
  •         Corporate Excursion

Team Building Day Ideas and Definition:

A team building day is an employee-only event in which entertainment is structured around growing team bonds. Team building is important for any workplace, not only in strengthening bonds, but in improving performance and promoting company culture. The main qualifier for a team building event is that teams must work together to accomplish something. Games and challenges promoting teamwork are a vital part of these events and make events such as these incredibly exciting and memorable. We’ve got a comprehensive list of some of our favorite team-building games here as well.

Examples of Team Building Day

  •         Going on a scavenger hunt, as teams
  •         Teams competing in a sand castle competition together
  •         Doing team challenges in your company’s parking lot
  •         Teams competing in an escape room challenge
  •         Indoor skydiving relay race

Team building days are an amazing way to promote bonding among your staff. They highlight teamwork and have an amazing way of fostering connections and communication that your team can take back to the workplace. These company outings are an amazing way to develop skills your team needs in their day-to-day life and are exceptionally important for their workplace environment. If you’re looking to plan a team building day and want further ideas, take a look at what this company did for their own team building day.

Employees Playing a Game of Water Balloon Toss at Edwards Lifesciences' Team Building Day in Newport Beach

Company Picnic Ideas and Definition:

Company picnics, unlike team building events, are not employee-only, and usually the loved ones of your team will be invited as well. These events are amazing for networking, bonding outside of a workplace environment, and fostering connections among your staff. They’re characterized by being laidback and relaxing, with both free-to-use games as well as structured ones. These events are an amazing way to build friendships among your team, and there’s no shortage of other benefits to them as well. If you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere at your next company outing, picnics may be just what you need. 

Ideas for Company Picnics 

  •         Taking the team out to a local park or recreation complex
  •         Bringing in loads of free-to-use games
  •         Letting your team mingle over food and games, relaxing and bonding as they do
  •         Setting up structured team games time to bring in some excitement
  •         Creating a laidback, casual environment for your staff to relax and spend time together in

Company picnics have been an amazingly popular way of giving back to staff across the country for years. Being more laidback, they’re an amazing way to promote relaxation among your team, and their relaxed environment fosters friendship and bonds among your staff. They’re also a great way of showing you not only care about your team, but their loved ones as well. If you’re looking to give back to your team with an easy-going event, a company picnic may be just what you need. If you’re looking for ideas on your company picnic, take a peek at what this company did for its annual picnic.

Guests Trying out The Carnival Booth Games as Picnic Entertainment at ASGN's Carnival Themed Company Picnic near Los Angeles

Company Excursion Ideas and Definition

Company Excursions are defined by being experience-based. Think of them as being once-in-a-lifetime type experiences to share with your team. These events are exciting and generally centered around a specific experience or activity. An excursion may be a trip off-roading, visiting a local wonder, or going rafting with your team. If you’re looking to give your team an unforgettable experience, a company excursion may be just right for you. We have a blog about this with plenty of ideas, but here are a few more. 

Company Excursion Ideas

  •         Going hiking with your team on a local trail
  •         Taking the team out for a river run
  •         Going out for hot air balloon rides
  •         Visiting a nearby racetrack
  •         Taking your team canoeing

Company excursions are a great way to boost cooperation, teamwork, and interpersonal connections, and tend to boost retention as well. These events are exciting and a unique opportunity your team may otherwise not get a chance to experience. Excursions are a great way to give back to your team, and with the above benefits it has for them, they’re an amazing way to give them experience they can take back to the office. If a company excursion sounds right for your team and you need some more ideas, take a look at this company’s unique excursion.

Group Posing with the Machinery During MP Materials' Excursion to a Las Vegas Mine

Combining Event Styles:

If you like the benefits of each different style of event, it’s definitely possible to combine elements together! While you can combine elements of each into one another, company picnics and team building days are, by their nature, very different events. Since company picnics are very casual, and team building days are far more structured, the two are more mutually exclusive than excursions are. If you like the idea of a laidback picnic with elements of team building, it’s entirely possible to do, as seen here. But the two are, generally, very different. That being said, excursions can take on elements of the others very easily. Here’s a few of our favorite combination ideas.

  •         An excursion white water rafting, focusing on teamwork (team building + excursion)
  •         A company picnic at a farm, with activities centered around the farm (company picnic + excursion)
  •         An off-roading race where one person is the navigator and one is the driver, focusing on teamwork (excursion + team building)
  •         A company picnic at a drive-in theater, relaxing and playing field games while watching movies (excursion + company picnic)

Company Excursions, Company Picnics, and Team Building Days

In short, there’s no bounds to the events you can hold to give back to your team. Each sort of event provides its own unique benefits your team can take back to the workplace, growing them as individuals and as a whole. And, of course, you can always combine elements from each type of event, reaping different sorts of benefits at once.

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