Have you considered outdoor events this summer?

Sarah Orten
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March 4, 2021
planning virtual events
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Outdoor events

People sit on chairs apart one from another to maintain the social distance during the Covid-19 outbreak at an outdoor event on the turf of a stadium.

Everyday, spring is getting closer, and so are outdoor events. Naturally, outdoor events are very popular in the spring and summer months, as clients can enjoy lovely sunny weather during their lunch and refreshments breaks or combine with a fun outdoor teambuilding activity. However, due to the pandemic, and people still being understandably wary about meeting inside, the demand for an event that offers outside space is more prevalent than ever and we expect this to stay for this summer and next.

We caught up with Senior Events Manager, Olivia Unsworth, to share more on what she expects to see this summer…

What are Clients looking for in events when they can reopen?

We’ve noticed Clients are willing to change their usual preferences and adapt their events to make sure that all those attending are safe and comfortable and making part, or all, of their event outside is an easy way to do this.

We know the business meeting element of most events is still more likely to take place indoors. However, other parts of an event, lunch, BBQ dinner, games, or other teambuilding activities are often being moved outside, leading to almost every event having at least one outdoor element.

A change of environment even for a short while can be enriching for delegates. It can even improve productivity for afternoon sessions too.

What are the priorities from clients when enquiring about outdoor events?

Of course, safety is always top of the priority list. Now more than ever it’s coming to the way events are being briefed and prepared for this summer. We expect that the demand for outdoor space during events will continue into late September and potentially early October. We wouldn’t normally expect this, but seeing more due to post-pandemic concerns. Outdoor heaters and temporary structures can aid this to ensure events remain enjoyable.

As well as using an outside area for events, there are additional important points that help with keeping everyone safe. From replacing self-service buffets with waiting staff serving food, ensuring touchpoints are reduced, having more space than necessary and all staff wearing masks to exclusive use of a venue where possible. ‘How can we make this event safer?’ is a common question we’re answering.

What are the themes you’re seeing for outdoor events?

When it comes to the themes our Clients are choosing for this summer, we’re seeing a lot around sustainability and wellbeing. Both hot topics across the board right now.

Unlike previous years, where colleagues often see each other in the office, this year means some teams haven’t got together since March 2020, or earlier. As a result of this, Clients are often wanting to combine their theme with a fun social element.

What can we expect from outdoor events in the near future?

A lot more of them, we’re sure! Understandably, not every type of event is suited to take place outside. But we can say for sure that most of them are going to have at least one outdoor element. It’s a safe way to move forward. It can bring a new experience to an event that historically would have been ran entirely indoors.

Let’s take this as a new opportunity to do our events differently!