It’s the new year and everyone is finally back at the office! Q1 might take a little bit more time to get back into the swing of things, but also might just be the perfect time to show your appreciation for your team. The good news? Figuring out how to spoil your team in Q1 doesn’t have to be difficult. And, the return on investment is simple: people who feel appreciated value their work. This is a win-win in sooo many ways.

In fact, according to a recent report (2010, Robert Half International) cited by Business Insider Magazine, we know employee appreciation is a heckofa* positive thing (*our word, not theirs). Over 50% of managers and HR reps believe that employee appreciation is a HUGE opportunity to improve morale, productivity, loyalty, and innovation in their company.

So, how do you achieve this? We have a few ideas on how to spoil your team in Q1… with photographs to prove it!

Spoil Your Team with Intimate Lunch Meetings in Unique Spaces

This intimate lunch meeting at the historic Lyric Opera of Chicago had a feeling of regal importance, yet decor was whimsical and fun. Personalized place settings and long tables made for a conversational, banquet-style outing!

We are putting this one first on the list simply because it is one of our favorites. For smaller teams or departments, finding a space that inspires can TOTALLY alter the tone of the first meeting of Q1. From hosting a lunch at The Lyric Opera to dining in a small conference room with a view in Downtown Chicago, we’ve seen how innovative spaces can completely alter the mood of a meeting. There aren’t a ton of people to coordinate or account for, which allows a myriad of flexibility. This applies to the intimate design, floral, or even personal mini champagne bottles you might coordinate for your event! Your team will feel pampered. You’ll feel accomplished. And, the camaraderie of being together (and feeling a tiny bit epic about it) goes a long way.

Team members take a group photo at The Lyric Opera in Chicago, a great example of how to spoil your team in q1!
After their lunch meeting at The Lyric Opera, team members took a photo together in the space to remind them of their experience! This is absolutely a great case for having a photographer capture your Q1 events!
Chicago intimate meeting for The White Dress Society
For this off-site for The White Dress Society, team members had white-themed, on-brand decor that made the space feel like their own.
Partyslate company luncheon in Chicago
Personalization is key! At this celebratory corporate luncheon, each team member had their own mini bottle of champagne waiting for them at the table upon arrival!
Personalized mug at White Dress Society meeting in Chicago, a great example of how to spoil your team in q1
Speaking of personalization, team members at this event received mugs with their names printed! That’s a wonderful way to show appreciation.
Partyslate meeting at historic warehouse in Chicago
We LOVE converted warehouse spaces with exposed brick, high windows, and a feeling of a industrial importance. What better way to liven the space than with succulents and colorful decor?

Plan a Company Off-Site (with memorable activities…)

Corporate outing to Whirlyball in Chicago, a great example of how to spoil your team in q1!
Professional photography can do a few things your iPhone can’t… like capturing a close-up of your team about to snag a Whirlyball mid-air! This was such a memorable outing after two days of conferencing in Chicago.

If the majority of your team works 9-5 at a desk, one of the best things you can do to spoil them is taking them away from the normal routine! In fact, hosting a day-long outing at Whirlyball, Top Golf, or even a dedicated Ping Pong bar like SPIN in Chicago is a great way to get your team engaged. Added bonus: If you hire a photographer, you’ll be able to look back and laugh at all the memories from your outing… and then pick your favorites for your social media narrative!

Corporate outing to SPIN ping pong in Chicago
At SPIN! in Chicago, you can take your team to face-off against each other alongside ping pong pros! This company had their logo inscribed on the ping pong tables, for that added touch of engaging branding – and it looks fantastic in their photos!
Company outing to Whirlyball in Chicago
Definitely a non-traditional group photo that looks FABULOUS in that post-conference wrap-up email.

Spoil Your Team with Massages

Massages available for conference-goers at Langham hotel in Chicago, great example of how to spoil your team in q1
At this Chicago conference at The Langham hotel, attendees could take a break to enjoy a complimentary massage or manicure before heading to the next breakout session.

Don’t even question this one – we’ve actually taken headshots at a conference for attendees who had a massage upstairs just an hour prior, and everyone was SO relaxed! (Not to mention, they still had their best professional look on!) Working a job in any industry almost BY DEFINITION causes some level of stress, and massages help to assuage the tension almost instantly. Spoil your team by planning to hire massage experts for your next conference, or bring their expertise directly into your office! Obviously, pick a day without client meetings, or else plan to offer massages to your clients as well… it will be too luxurious an opportunity to pass up!

Give Your Team VIP Access

Company outing to see Bears stadium in Chicago
Attendees at this Chicago conference took an outing with a private tour of Soldier Field, the Bears Stadium! We are pretty sure that the photos showing the looks on everyone’s faces says it best.

This is probably one of the most direct ways to make your team feel extra important. Whether spoiling your team with tickets to a sporting event, access to a unique Chicago museum, or even a private concert, VIP access makes one feel… well… like a Very Important Person!

Conference attendees tour the Bears stadium in Chicago
…And this happened when everyone first arrived to the stadium. That’s how you VIP! (VIP as a verb, in this context 🙂
APA conference attendees visit The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, a great example of how to spoil your team in q1!
At the APA (American Psychological Association) conference in Chicago, attendees visited The Museum of Science and Industry after hours. Our photography helped capture epic moments like this, and the image below.
APA conference attendees visit The Museum of Science and Industry
Two APA members stood with their tote bags learning about science and technology at The Museum of Science and Industry.
Conference attendee visits Soldier Field in Chicago a great example of how to spoil your team in q1
Need we say more? It feels good to be a VIP for a day!
Conference attendees enjoy a private concert at Wintrust Arena in Chicago
Salesforce conference attendees witnessed a private performance at Wintrust Arena after the first two days of conferencing. This is a fantastic example of how to spoil your team in Q1!
Conference attendee dances with roller girls
This hilarious moment happened when a Salesforce conference attendee joined to dance with the roller girls! …If you look closely, her cell phone completely flew out of her pocket… and didn’t break!

Time for New Headshots

Speaking of win-win ways of how to spoil your team in Q1, you should schedule new headshots! While headshots might feel like another necessary procedure, employees will appreciate the opportunity to have a new, professional photo on the website alongside an updated list of their accomplishments in the new year. If you’re worried it might be a lot to coordinate, just send your team our Gold Grid guide for How to Prepare for Your Headshots! Let your photographer (or us) do the rest.

Authentic female headshot by exposed brick wall
One of our strong suits is natural, authentic headshots. For the team at Venue Logic, we came to their company party and made sure each individual looked their best!
Venue Logic group photo in front of exposed brick, a great example of how to spoil your team in q1!
Of course, group photos are always a great idea when everyone on your team is dressed and ready!

Still trying to figure out your strategy for how to spoil your team in Q1? Reach out to us and we will be happy to share additional expertise! Plus, we can give some pretty great reasons why you might consider hiring a photographer at your Q1 events.