Outdoor events are great in the summer and fall when people want to be outside with their friends and families. If you plan it right, you can even host this kind of event in the winter.
Outdoor gatherings can often be more fun for guests than indoor parties, particularly if your office is small or you feel you need to cut costs by not reserving a larger venue. However, outdoor events come with a fair share of risks and downsides.
If the weather is bad or your event is poorly planned, it might blow up in your face. It’s important to be fully prepared when you plan an outdoor business event.
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Tips for planning a successful Outdoor Business Event
1. Choose the Right Venue
The event space must be suitable for your target guests. Think about everything you might need to make it a success, including picnic tables, restrooms, parking, electricity outlets or generators, and traffic.
If possible, try to hold the event close to your actual business offices. Customers are more likely to associate your place of business with the fantastic event you throw. A well-known park in your city might also offer a great venue.
2. Use Canopies
Rain or shine, canopies are extremely useful for outdoor events. They protect people and items from direct sunlight as well as precipitation, and help to brand your company if they include customized graphics.
Choose pop-up canopy tents that are easy to assemble and take down. You have a lot on your plate today, and you don’t want to spend hours on setup and cleanup.
3. Have a Backup Plan
Even with canopies in place, some consumers won’t be eager to attend an event in inclement weather. If it’s raining, snowing, hailing, too hot, or the wind is blowing fiercely, no one wants to be outdoors.
Always have a backup venue in case of bad weather. It should be indoors and large enough to hold all the attendees, food, and entertainment. Try to find a place that’s willing to take a tentative booking so you don’t have to pay for a venue you might not use.
4. Time It Right
Unless you’re doing something at your event that requires darkness (such as a tree lighting or fireworks), events held during the fall, spring, and winter should probably be scheduled during the day. It’s much warmer when the sun is out, and guests are more likely to hang around. Daytime activities are also best for families who have young kids who go to bed early.
If you’re hosting an event in the summer, plan for the weather. Early summer might have perfect weather all day long, but July and August might be too hot for partying in the middle of the day. Better to schedule for early evening when it’s cooler. This will encourage guests to stay longer.
If you hold your event in the early evening, don’t neglect lighting. Not only does it create the perfect ambiance for attendees, but it’s also vital for safety. Host your party in a well-lit area or use tall lights powered by a generator to make sure your guests can see well.
5. Have Drinks Available
Assess the intended audience. If it’s primarily for people over 21, make drinks available. Customers will love you if the booze is free, but that’s not a necessary expense. It’s all right to offer drinks for purchase.
If you intend to sell drinks, get a liquor license from the city and set responsible limits. You don’t want your event to turn into a drunkfest that will damage your reputation or cause someone injury.
6. Please Guests with Food
Many business events include free food, but it’s not necessary to feed attendees an entire meal. You might offer free burgers, but make drinks and sides available at an additional cost.
If you’re tight on funds, don’t worry about providing free food, but you should have some available for purchase. Ask food trucks to come to your event, and don’t charge them to park on your property. They’ll sate your guests’ hunger but remove this essential item from your to-do list.
7. Follow City Rules
Every city has safety and health regulations you must observe during an outdoor event, even if it occurs on your property. Check all city ordinances, fire safety codes, city safety codes, and licenses you’ll need to follow for a successful event. If you don’t perform due diligence before, you’ll run the risk of getting shut down in the midst of your event.
8. Entertain Your Guests
Guests who are bored will leave. It’s not enough to provide food, drinks, and a speech about your products and services. They have to have a reason to stick around, and you can give them that with audience-appropriate entertainment.
If it’s a family event, provide a bounce house, bubble wars, or jousting competitions. Clowns, acrobats, and other performers can be crowd pleasers.
A concert at the end of the evening is also a great option. It will appeal to the older crowd who don’t have a curfew. People love free or cheap entertainment, so book a great band and watch people flock to your event!