The pressure of being the social secretary

16th February 2016 by Dominic Bates

A few weeks into a new job and I was given the role of organizing next month’s company social. Brilliant. Not only do I not really know these people, I’ve then been tasked with putting on a barnstorming event, expected to be the social pinnacle of the month.

Despite the obvious pressures that come with arranging an activity for a group of strangers, achieving a good work/play balance is vital to the dynamic of any workforce. Especially for a close knit team like the one we have at Clifford French.

If you can create, plan and execute a successful event within budget, it will stand you in very good stead for a career within the sports marketing industry. Whether that is PR, sponsorship activation or even digital strategy… event management is essential!

For the junior members of staff it acts as a gentle introduction into the events world without the pressure of a nervy client peering over their shoulder. However, often the fear of incurring the wrath of co-workers can often be more daunting than that of a client, so all in all, organising a company activity is actually a brilliant test for a young gun.

But approach with caution, this isn’t just a p*** up. You’ve been trusted to keep within the parameters of the budget and the responsibility of putting on a fun, engaging social by the powers that be. Poor planning and lack of thought can result in a dissatisfied group.

A recent trip to Winter Wonderland was the shout for the November social. Park the clan in the Bavarian village – beats, beers and bratwurst. Surely an easy win? However, a work colleague on crutches, cash only bars and long queues certainly threw up a few challenges. The ability to adjust and retain a clear mind whilst others are flapping around you is a priceless skill.

Putting on an event for your counter parts, where do I start? Firstly, you need an activity, think creatively because nobody likes bowling. What will people enjoy? Once you’ve got the activity nailed it’s all about the logistics. If you’re super organized you’ll opt for a run sheet. If you can account for where you’ll be at every moment then you won’t go far wrong.

Down to business, the budget. Going over budget screams a lack of organisation. Base your costings on worst case scenario, tot up the activity cost, travel, F&B and don’t forget a little contingency fund…just in case.