Outdoor events are a cost-effective way to host a large group. Add in some blue skies and delicious barbequed goodies and you have a guaranteed all-ages crowd-pleaser. But, if you are planning on hosting a corporate event this summer, it’s already time to finalize your preparations. Here’s what you need to know:
First of all, you need two plans. One for sun and one for rain. Your rain plan will probably include tents, so set them up before you need them. If it stays sunny, they will be used for shade. If it does start to rain,you don’t want inexperienced volunteers putting up tents in a downpour, long after staging crews have gone home. For Bright Ideas’ produced events we always make sure there’s also an entertainment option for bad weather as well. At one corporate picnic, high winds and heavy rain put a damper on our Mini-Olympics. Luckily, we had planned ahead, bringing classic board games, arts and craft supplies, and a white board to play Pictionary. This pre-planning was invaluable, turning what could have been a dreary experience into a fun afternoon reminiscent of those rainy childhood days at summer camp.
Watching the Waste and Choosing a Location
Waste disposal is also a factor that needs additional attention for outdoor events. Make sure to pack in what you pack out, rather than filling up waste receptacles at a public park or beach. You should also check the regulations for your chosen venue against your planned activities, menu, and décor choices.
For example some things are not permitted in Metro Vancouver’s regional parks, (smoking, alcohol, balloon decor). It’s crucial to know ahead of time what restrictions might impact your event.
For convenience, it makes a lot of sense to offer a shuttle bus to the outdoor venue. Typically we will advise clients to provide a shuttle from the workplace (where most employees will already have a parking arrangement) to the event location. Another option, when your employees are predominantly from one region in Metro Vancouver, is to find a venue that’s easy to access by the greatest number of people. Also, if you are inviting guests who aren’t employees or family, or have staff coming from multiple locations, this second approach is probably best.
So, outdoor events do have limitations and considerations you need to keep in mind. But they also offer a wide variety of theme options and entertainment activities for your guests. And, as a way to create a family-friendly event, it’s hard to beat the fun that results when you ‘take it outside’.