4imprint, LLC

Posted: April 28, 2023 6 min read

Creating successful employee events can be as simple as Casual Friday or as complex as a catered party with live music and awards. Planning is crucial, but the follow-through is equally important for success and smiles all around. We talked to Erika, 4imprint’s internal events and communications manager, on how to plan and execute a successful company event. Here are her thoughts on planning, plus event giveaway ideas from a pro.


Pre-planning tips: The earlier, the better


Clearly, planning for a small company event is a bit easier than planning for a bigger one. With 4imprint now at more than 1,400 staff, Erika’s planning tasks have grown too. So how far in advance should you plan the event? “I like to create a calendar in November for the upcoming year,” she said. “Depending on how large the event is, we may start working on it a year in advance or maybe a few months. For our all-company events, I would ideally look to start having dates and event spaces booked a year out. For things that we do every year, three to six months ahead is fine. For internal events, we usually work about three months ahead of time.”

Select a date that “doesn’t interfere with our busy times at work,” she recommends. “We also like to look at days of the week and times that can accommodate most of our employee shifts, and also stagger those days/times so people can attend one of them without asking off work. I also try to think of people who have kids in sports, if they are in peak season, or look at holiday weekends and avoid those as most people have plans.”

Select a venue “that can fit all of us (with families or a plus one). We also like to take our employees to a picnic/baseball game and offer a free music event each year. So those are usually set in stone; we just need to select a date that works for most.”

Make it a team effort too. “I like to have a small group to help plan events. That way we can all plan and hopefully work through any major mishaps in hopes of avoiding them.”

Erika’s product recommendations:

Sweating the details before launch


Nailing down a date and venue are big tasks, but figuring out the menu, caterers, music and more may seem daunting by comparison. For example, what about those with food allergies or special dietary needs? “We like to put out a survey ahead of time asking people to list those specific dietary restrictions,” Erika said. “We then offer foods to accommodate all.” Obviously, the more options, the better—while staying within your budget. Be sure to let guests know whether the menu includes a full dinner, hors d’oeuvres or something in-between.

Erika explained her catering selection thoughts: “We try to choose people who have a good reputation in the community and are easy to work with. We always require a variety of dietary needs and are constantly looking for companies that can help us accommodate that along with our large numbers.” Do your research on DJs or bands to see if they garner many good reviews and repeat business. Ask for references too.


“Try to find music that will appeal to the masses. If it is a large enough space, we like to have some seating right up close for those who like it loud, but also offer quieter areas where people can chit-chat without shouting.”

“Entertainment is a must, whether the event itself is the entertainment, like a baseball game, music festival or golf outing, or if we are throwing the event and hiring a band, a speaker or renting parlor games.”

Branded gifts and prizes leave your guests with little mementos of the event and help them feel appreciated for all their hard work. “People love prizes! Since we are a promo product company, we get to see all the latest and greatest giveaways for company events. Giving goodies out at events is a great way to get our brand out in the community, but it’s also fun to treat our employees.” Event giveaway ideas include items that go well with games or drawings. You can award the larger items but try to make sure that everyone gets something with your logo on it.

Erika’s product recommendations:

The big day: It’s now or never!


When the event day arrives, much of the hard work is over—and if you’ve done your homework well, you might be tempted to coast. Hold on just a bit more to be on the scene and make sure every piece falls into place. “Sometimes things won’t go as planned. It is best to plan for mishaps and have lots of help at the event so you can navigate through those.”

Check in with the venue management, entertainment, caterer and more to snuff out any minor brush fires. Make it easy on your guests to navigate the fun too. “We love to use lots of signage that helps show people where to go. At our check-in tables, we have supervisors and managers from various departments assist so that people feel recognized and welcomed when they show up. We then have clearly marked areas where people can grab company event giveaways, mingle, get food and more.”

Erika’s product recommendations:

Assess the event’s success for future fun

Now that it’s time to take down the decorations and clean up the venue, it’s also time to assess the celebration’s overall success. 4imprint typically surveys its employees a day or two later (while their memories are fresh) about whether they liked the food, music, venue and other elements. Be sure to leave room on your survey for write-in recommendations, other venue suggestions and more. If your staff doesn’t like to fill out surveys, offer a drawing for a few hours of PTO or another incentive from the completed surveys.

Planning the next event can begin just as soon as you read all those surveys.

Erika’s product recommendations:

Make your next event a smashing success

By planning early, paying attention to the details, surveying staff for feedback and using some event giveaway ideas sourced from a pro, you can host the best employee event yet.