Custom Cooler Ideas for Your Company's Annual Summer Retreat

Custom Cooler Ideas for Your Company's Annual Summer Retreat

With summer fast approaching, now is the perfect time to order custom coolers for your annual company retreat.

Why custom coolers? When it comes to branded employee gifts for retreats and other special events that happen outside of office hours, you should always be thinking about what people will actually use outside of the office. A branded pen can be useful during presentations and another flash drive can come in handy at work, but giving away something like custom coolers (or water bottles or sunglasses) means that your employees will be taking your gift home and using it when they’re out and about — potentially introducing a lot more people to your brand.

If you’re thinking that customizing something like a cooler will take more effort or a much larger investment, we have good news. Personalizing a cooler is as easy as personalizing a pen, and both custom lunch coolers and custom beer coolers can be purchased at very reasonable prices. More importantly, though, when you’re thinking about gifts or giveaways for your corporate retreat, making memories and positive associations should be at the front of your mind.

Your employees will almost always enjoy your warm weather events more and feel more appreciated when you give them something fun like a cooler versus something practical like a pen.

Creative Custom Cooler Ideas 

Once you’ve decided that custom logo coolers are the perfect giveaway for your annual summer retreat, your next question will be what to put on it. You’ll find list after list featuring corporate gift ideas out there but most don’t offer up suggestions for personalizing those gifts. Maybe you’re thinking about slapping your logo on your custom coolers and calling it a day. You could do that, but also consider personalizing your custom coolers with text and imagery that’s more meaningful to your employees.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

1. Your Corporate Logo, Retreat Style

Just because there’s no way you’d leave your logo off of your retreat gifts and giveaways doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. Some companies modify their logos for each special event they host. You can do something as simple as swapping out your usual brand colors for beachier hues, or if you have the time, you could incorporate a retreat-specific character or image into your logo along with the location and year. The key here is to make your custom logo coolers fun and distinctive instead of just another piece of branded swag.

2. Your Company Slogan

Branding is important, but keep in mind your logo is only one element of your brand. You put a lot of thought into your company slogan or tagline, so why not put it on the custom coolers you’ll give away at your summer retreat? If it’s witty or interesting, it may inspire people to ask about your company in the future.

3. A Special Slogan Created Just for Your Retreat

If you don’t have a company slogan (or you do but it doesn’t match the vibe of your summer retreat), why not develop a creative and catchy slogan just for the retreat and put that on your custom coolers? It will not only serve as a reminder of how awesome this year’s event was, but will also ensure that people are excited for next year. You could even ask employees to submit retreat slogan suggestions and then let everyone vote on their favorite.

4. Your Official Company Cheer

Even if your logo and your slogan are a little bit on the serious side, your company retreat gifts can still showcase your company’s fun side and upbeat culture. Consider printing an inside joke or internal rallying cry on your custom coolers. Need some inspiration? The Seattle board game company Cranium has a special and semi-secret jargon word, “Chiff,” that employees know stands for “clever, high-quality, innovative, friendly, and fun.” At Oracle Bronto, you’ll see employee gifts emblazoned with cheers like “Big Bad Bronto” and “Straight Outta Bronto.” Nintendo's employees are inspired by the “Blue Ocean.” What will inspire your employees? 

Your Employees’ Names (or Initials)

The best gifts are personal, so if your budget allows, why not give each person at your summer retreat a custom logo cooler that’s been personalized with their name or initials? When people see their names on a gift, they automatically feel more connected to it and to the giver, so this is a corporate gift idea that can make employees feel extra appreciated and special.

Creative, Clever, or Silly Awards and Accolades

Another way to personalize the custom coolers for your summer retreat involves thinking about what you like or what stands out about each attendee. The point is to be very specific because when your retreat gift is totally personalized, you can bet that your employees will be more engaged. So, instead of giving someone the ‘Hardest Worker’ award, give them the ‘Most Likely to Be Running the Company Someday’ award, giving them a positive lasting impression. Instead of just saying thank you for all the hard work, personalize custom coolers with more specific statements like ‘Thank you for being awesome’ and ‘Thank you for breaking sales records’. These personalized coolers are all about noticing what makes each of your employees valuable and praising them for it.

Inspirational Sayings and Quotes

Want to give everyone a lift at your summer retreat? Custom coolers with positive, inspirational, or empowering quotes and sayings can inspire your employees to be their best all year long. Just make sure that the quotes you use aren’t super cheesy. Here are some examples of quotes you could put on your custom beer coolers:

  • Dream big; work hard; play hard.

  • Great things are never found in comfort zones.

  • Creativity is a habit.

  • Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

  • Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

 Impressive Team Milestones

Have your teams really crushed it this year? Why not give your teams custom beer coolers with info about the milestones they’ve hit at your retreat? It’s a great way to show your employees how much they’ve accomplished so far and that you’ve noticed their hard work and dedication. Pointing out how much you appreciate employees can even help boost employee retention, as workers who are regularly praised for their efforts tend to be more engaged and more loyal.

A Totally Fresh Retreat Design

Some companies brand their annual retreats heavily, with totally unique logos, designs, taglines, and more, and then have things like t-shirts, coolers, bags, and other merchandise designed just for the event. Branded swag makes a great attendee gift and makes a wonderful keepsake. Elements to include in your branding can include the location, the date, the name of the event, and images that reflect the theme of this year’s summer retreat.

Employee-Driven Designs

One of the best ways to design a new look for your corporate gifts is to let employees submit ideas. You can even turn it into a pre-retreat team building exercise! Have teams create designs for the retreat gifts and then let employees give feedback on designs and vote on their favorites.

A Creative Way to Make Your Custom Coolers Even Better

A cooler is already a great retreat giveaway, but you can make those custom logo coolers even better by turning them into retreat swag bags or retreat survival kits. Depending on what kind of summer retreat you’ll be hosting, you could stuff your coolers with other freebies like:

 Just make sure that whatever you put in your retreat coolers is top quality. You want your employees to hold on to your gifts and remember your upcoming retreat fondly every time they use them.

Why Custom Coolers and Other Retreat Gifts Matter 

Having a strong company culture is important. Research shows that employees at companies that make an effort to promote positivity at work are more engaged and more likely to stick around. That’s because corporate gifts (whether they’re for a retreat or given just because) give your employees the opportunity to take pride in their association with your company and to show their team spirit. They can also build camaraderie among teams if each team receives unique or personalized gifts.

Corporate gifts that are useful outside of the workplace are also inexpensive advertising. When employees use their coolers after the retreat, they’ll be reinforcing awareness of your brand every time they hit the beach or the golf course. High quality, attractive company swag can also boost your reputation. That means there is a chance that the custom coolers you give away at your upcoming retreat could actually land you your next client or help you attract more top talent.

And finally, a personalized summer retreat gift can boost performance across teams. That’s because corporate gifts can trigger something called the reciprocity effect in your workforce. You’ve given them a gift, and the conditioned cultural response to receiving a gift is to return the giver’s kindness with more kindness. At work, the reciprocity effect can manifest as higher engagement, more productivity, and increased loyalty in your employees. How cool is it that a custom cooler can do all that?

Ready to Order Your Custom Coolers?

Are you searching for the best quality custom coolers for your annual summer retreat? At Bagmasters, you can choose from more than 200 unique designs that can be personalized in all kinds of creative and eye-catching ways. The cooler bags, custom beer coolers, or lunch coolers that you give away at your next corporate retreat can be a powerful way to get your brand seen by more people, especially when you do business in the food and beverage, outdoor recreation, or trade industries. Whether they're catching some rays, picnicking at the park, shooting some hoops, or heading to the game, your employees will appreciate a fun and functional cooler.

Ready to get started? Order your custom coolers today!

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