With the promise of warmer weather just around the corner, event attendees start to dream about escaping from the concrete confines of the office to an idyllic spot outside in the countryside. But should dreams of outdoor events stay within the imagination? How do you cope with the changeable UK weather when you are planning activities with an outdoor element? Should you even consider venturing outdoors for your next event?
Outdoor events bring a whole new set of opportunities. You can be more innovative with content since you are not constrained by space and the traditional design of the internal location. You can energise and engage people better with sunshine, fresh air, and an inspirational setting. However, outdoor events are not without their downfalls (weather is one big issue to consider). Here is a quick checklist of things to do to ensure your outdoor event is not a washout.
- Plan for the Weather Right From the Start
The British climate may not seem suitable for planning an outdoor event, even in the summer. But if you embrace the British weather and plan for the worst, you can enjoy a more positive experience. For example, branded umbrellas or raincoats are a must. Encourage guests to dress for the conditions and ensure there are places to change if necessary. Also, consider the sun and provide adequate shade for hot days.
- Think About an Indoor/Outdoor Space
If the idea of having delegates standing in the pouring rain for five hours doesn’t go down very well with senior management, compromise with an indoor/outdoor setup. Make sure that there is an option for keeping dry, such as a marquee. Or organise an event in a room that leads onto an open outdoor space such as a patio or terrace. Marquees should be of high quality with high-performance floors and heating. Have a back-up space so that everything can be moved inside in the event of severely wet or hot conditions.
- Incorporate Activities Outdoors
Rather than thinking about merely putting chairs and tables outside, make your event fun and interactive with outdoor activities. Activities in the open-air reduce stress and make the experience memorable. They are also something that people will not necessarily have time for in their everyday work lives and will promote team morale. If you cannot move activities indoors, make sure there are some warming food and drinks inside at the end of the activity, and space to get dry and warm.
- Think About Content then Book the Venue
Search for event venues near me for a long list of possibilities, and then search for venues that incorporate the use of outdoor space, or are fully outdoor. Consider what you want to do and achieve before you book the space, not the other way around. You will then be freer to plan your ideal event without being shoehorned into an impractical location.