Now that the warm weather is here, event planners are gearing up for a season of outdoor concerts, weddings and retreats. And surely, no matter what type of events are on your calendar, using the outdoors to your advantage can create a refreshing experience for attendees, assuming it’s done right.
There is no shortage of benefits to embracing the Great Outdoors. Physical and mental health advantages include vitamin D production, which in turn increases positive moods, enhances focus, and lowers anxiety, stress and depression. With those upsides in mind, getting your attendees to experience the outdoors at your event is elemental when and wherever possible.
What are some possible ways you can incorporate the outdoors at your events? Here are some energizing ideas:
- Breakout Sessions: Treat your group to an escape from their regular office setting by bringing them to an outdoor area with great views and fresh air. Outdoor spaces give you the ability to have a group circle, as opposed to individual rounds or theatre seating. It also encourages equal participation and is ideal for interactive sessions and single speaker presentations alike. As an added benefit, your attendees will be more focused and engaged in the content, ultimately gaining more value from the session.
- Outdoor Receptions: Holding a reception outdoors enables you to get creative with an event’s decor and lighting. Whether it is a dinner reception, cocktail reception, networking reception or simply a time for guests to socialize, an outdoor environment sets a different mood and atmosphere that puts guests at ease. Moreover, the moving air and calmer winds are favourable compared to crowded reception foyers.
- Rooftop Networking: Successful venues understand the importance of allowing groups the ability to get some fresh air. As a result, many have made rooftop patios available to event guests in a popular location. Setting up a social gathering or networking event on a rooftop patio is a good way to keep your group together at the same facility while treating them to a unique skyline view.
Outdoor events can present amazing opportunities. No matter where and when your event is held, however, there are always additional factors to account for. Here are just a few:
- Weather: Every outdoor event planner hopes for a warm, calm and sunny execution day, but mother nature often has its own production schedule. Make sure you have a backup plan. Work with your venue to schedule an emergency room or space that can serve as an alternative site if weather conditions prevent a positive outdoor experience.
- Food: If your outdoor event or activity includes food and beverage services, make sure to use a caterer that is experienced in outdoor environments. Based on the duration of your service, proper selection and storage should accommodate your outdoor climates to keep food and beverages fresh. One disadvantage to outdoor dining is that they can attract uninvited guests such as birds and insects, so be sure to have proper food coverage and protection along with food-safe bug repellent.
- Technical requirements: If your event will be going into the evening hours, you may require lighting for your guests and to conduct food services. Additionally, if you have audio requirements such as music or microphones, work with an audio visual (AV) expert who can calculate your requirements to ensure the best outdoor sound and lighting coverage for your venue, activities and environment.
The season is right for thinking about ways you can give your attendees a breath of fresh air, keep them together and provide a change of scenery. And when all factors are considered, you have the ability to create an outdoor event worth remembering.
If you have an outdoor event coming up with technical requirements reach out to FMAV to find out how we can work with you to deliver a great experience. Learn more at fmav.ca.