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5 Tips for an Appreciation Event to Remember

Ideas for an Epic (and safe) Appreciation Event

Whew—what a year 2020 has been! We’ve all been through a lot, but isn’t it amazing how our teams have toughed it out and made the best of it? Despite all the obstacles, this is the year we learned that we’re better together.

Holding any sort of appreciation event for your employees may be the furthest thing from your mind, but I invite you to challenge that thinking. Isn’t right now the most important time to show your gratitude, especially to those who’ve worked tirelessly these past months?

Let’s end this year on a positive note and set an encouraging tone for 2021 because it’s gonna be great!

Here are a few ideas to get the party planning started, so you can safely celebrate those you appreciate:

Virtual Events

I know, we’re all exhausted with virtual meetings, but when it’s not work-related, I’m pretty sure everyone will show up. But keep in mind that an online party needs to pack some serious oomph, so enlist a few employees to help brainstorm and get things done (keep reading for event essentials).

Outside and Socially Distanced

If the virtual option just won’t do, there are ways to safely pull off an outdoor, socially-distanced appreciation event.

Firstly, buy everyone PPE, and set up any seating six feet apart. Keep hand sanitizer at the ready. If you have a larger team, think about breaking the event into separate time frames or have an open house format. And do provide a live feed, so the employees that don’t feel safe in-person can still tune in.

Even in the coldest days of winter, an outdoor event is possible. Take on the attitude of the Swedes and practice friluftsliv, a way-of-life they firmly believe in that gets them outside and connected with nature (even in a blizzard).

Is there a beautiful state park or recreation area near you? Have a few outdoor heaters delivered or choose a spot where you can build campfires.

Find somewhere that everyone can navigate easily. Did I mention buying PPE and hand sanitizer?

Essentials for Every Event

Positivity First

Pulling off an epic appreciation event may be more challenging right now, but as Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Whatever your event looks like, show your leadership and get people amped up to celebrate. Think of fun ways to create anticipation by sharing party clues in the days leading up to the event. 

Credit Everyone

Even if Tim in sales didn’t send your profits skyrocketing, there has to be a reason to celebrate him. Did he show up every day, give 100 percent to the cause, or encourage others to be their best? You can find the positive in each and every one of your employees, and publicly acknowledging that special character trait will let them know you see them and truly care.


It’s not a party without the jams! Is there a local band that could drop in to your virtual or socially-distanced party and rock the house(s)?

Pure Motivation

Check to see if there’s a local life coach you could hire to speak. These action-oriented mentors are sure to get the party momentum going with positive affirmations and encouragement.

Let Them Eat

Who says you can’t cater a virtual appreciation event? No one! So, let’s make sure everyone eats like the royalty they are. Can a local caterer box up meals and deliver them to everyone’s home? Or set up a deal with a restaurant where each employee can order online and pick it up themselves. Enlist help here, and think creatively.

For an in-person event, make sure food is individually wrapped—again, think easy, boxed meals.

Gifts and/or Awards

Appreciation gifts and/or awards, no matter the size, are essential tools in conveying your gratitude. Even if you decide to postpone your event until the world settles down, still take time out to recognize each team member for their positive attitude, dedication, and accomplishments. It will work wonders for morale, boost optimism and create a more energetic work atmosphere.

Let’s get this appreciation event planned and on the calendar! You’re important to us, so please contact us for ideas and inspiration. As our President & CEO says, “We’re dedicated to helping companies ignite passion in people thereby changing cultures, companies and communities.”