I have an opportunity to organise a social outing for my project team. Other than the immediate members of the team, would it be appropriate to invite other team members that are not part of the core team such as previous team members, or the occasional team helper.

The team is also a located in a different site, should I also invite the leader of that site?

It scheduled for the start of a project, so the focus of the team event is team building.

  • Does your team interact with anyone daily? Your supervisor's boss is one person you can invite. Your supervisor, anyone from HR that recruited Tom "Code Master" Doe. People who worked on the team previously is sort of streching it. – Donald Jun 20 '12 at 16:02
  • If it's a team that exists for a longer time, sometimes former members are invited as well. – Karlo Jun 8 '16 at 15:22

Since this is the start of the project I would invite everyone needed to complete the project. The goal of this meeting is to build relationships to help move the project forward. Including those people who are important but tangent and have smaller roles helps to bring them in to the project. Those relationships might be the difference between getting a response tomorrow and sometime next week.


The purpose of the event will determine who get invited.


  • Too many external people cheapens the reward for the award recipients. If 20 extra people go to reward the 5 team members, they see the reward as an excuse for spending money.
  • Does the adding of extra people crush the award budget?
  • Can it be used to inspire other teams. The award must be desirable enough to do this.
  • Does adding a manager add gravitas to the event.
  • Can adding people on the periphery or support people inspire them and serve as team building.

Team Building:

  • Does adding these extra people reward the extra people. It lets them know their contribution is appreciated.
  • If too many people outside the team are invited, the dynamic you were expecting can be lost.
  • The extra people form their own clique at the event and distract from the purpose.
  • They can even become silent observers and can change the dynamic of the team. They are viewed as spies for management.

Pure Social: - If every offcie is going to have a holiday party, then there is no pressure to invite extra people. You either are on that team or not. Everybody will get their turn. - The budget may be x$ multiplied by the number of people in the office. If you invite too many extra people the scale of the event will have to change. It could go from dinner to Hors d'oeuvres.

A comment about former team members , spouses and customers:

  • If they no longer work for the company you might not be allowed to spend money on them.
  • Including families should be considered. This rewards the families for their sacrifice. It can be a good thing if the budget and rules allow it.
  • Customers can be a tricky issue. The invitation can be enough to get the benefit. You wanted them to know you appreciate their business. They might not be able to accept due to their own companies regulations. They can accept a coffee mug, but not an expensive dinner. Government regulations can apply.
  • Is the site lead in the same company, or are they a customer?
  • The site lead is from the same company. They was just in a different location. – tehnyit Jun 20 '12 at 11:19

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