How to Plan a Successful Outdoor Corporate Event: 8 Key Things to Keep in Mind

Outdoor venues work wonders when it comes to personal gatherings like weddings, baptisms, and parties. But have you ever considered hosting a business-related event in an open-air setting? 

Well, it makes sense, given that today’s event planning must adhere to COVID regulations and social distancing guidelines. Next to being the safest way to go, outdoor corporate events tend to be more memorable for everyone. 

Unlike events in conventional indoor spaces like hotels and conference venues, there are more things to consider if you’re planning to take your corporate event outdoors. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process to ensure you’ll nail your outdoor corporate event. 

1. Determine the nature of the event

How to Plan a Successful Outdoor Corporate Event: 8 Key Things to Keep in Mind

Before booking a venue, determine the nature of your event and whether or not it’s appropriate to pick an outdoor space. If your event is heavy on digital presentations but you still want to wow your attendees, it might be best to host it in an indoor yet unconventional venue instead. These include meeting spaces in museums and galleries, historic buildings, and even rustic cottages. 

Here are some of the company or business events that go well in an outdoor setting: 

  • Workshops
  • Trade Shows
  • Product Launch Events
  • Fundraising events
  • Business or corporate lunches/dinners
  • Company parties
  • Outing or team building 

2. Consider the size of the event

How to Plan a Successful Outdoor Corporate Event: 8 Key Things to Keep in Mind

How many guests are you expecting? How about your event staff, entertainers, and key people, like speakers? Will there be enough space for setting up furniture equipment? Can people socialise and move around comfortably? 

One of the best parts about outdoor corporate events is you’d be less likely to worry about maximum occupancy, making it perfect for larger events. However, you still need to consider the size of your event for other factors that may contribute to the price, like additional tent and furniture rentals and catering. 

3. Pick the perfect outdoor conference venue 

Another advantage of having an outdoor event is you’ll have a wide array of beautiful locations to choose from. In most cases, you don’t need to worry about the decorations — the venue’s visual appeal is enough. Skip traditional hotels and check out the following venue ideas: 

  • City parks surrounded by natural wonders
  • Golf course
  • Pumpkin patch 
  • Winery 
  • Apple orchard 
  • Restaurants with ample outdoor seating
  • Picturesque farms, ranches, and other rustic spaces

Aesthetics aside, make sure the event venue can accommodate your tech requirements and contingency plan. 

4. Check the venue’s food and drink options

How to Plan a Successful Outdoor Corporate Event: 8 Key Things to Keep in Mind

Some outdoor event venues, like golf courses and wineries, do have kitchens on-site. This events venue in Dublin, for example, provides on-site catering for all events and conferences, ranging from breakfast snacks to elaborate banquets. 

If your chosen venue doesn’t, you can always hire a third-party catering company or ask your venue about their food offerings. If your event is too small or laidback for buffet-style catering, you may also opt to order from a restaurant or have a picnic or BBQ-style meal. 

5. Create a realistic budget 

After determining the size of your attendees, it’s time to do the math. Below are some expenses to consider: 

  • Venue rental
  • Equipment rental (may include tents, canopies, lighting, and sound system)
  • Catering services and rentals of dining equipment
  • Event Staff
  • Speakers
  • Entertainment (musicians or performers)
  • Staff Giftaways
  • Transportation

To save time (and even money), check with your events venue if they offer all-inclusive packages. Instead of finding multiple vendors, your chosen venue may bundle the needed services into one affordable rate. 

6. Consider the event’s time of the year

While everybody knows that planning an outdoor event during a rainy season is a big no-no, having it scheduled on a hot, summer day is not a great idea either. Be it social or corporate, the guests’ comfort should be a priority. You may rent an airconditioned tent or prepare an alternative roofed location just in case things go awry. 

Spring or fall are great times to be outdoors in most destinations. You may even incorporate creative themes that are relevant to the season. 

7. Check the conference venue’s flexibility 

How to Plan a Successful Outdoor Corporate Event: 8 Key Things to Keep in Mind

Does the conference venue have amazing indoor spaces, like meeting rooms or banquet rooms? How about areas that offer the best of both worlds, like courtyards, gazebos, and rooms with a balcony? Will you be able to swiftly change locations if the situation calls for it? 

8. Ask the right questions before booking your outdoor event venue

While hosting an event outdoor has several advantages, it also has its fair share of risks and challenges. Asking the right questions beforehand is key to creating a smooth, successful event. 

When scouting for the best events venue, ask the following: 

  • Is there a noise ordinance in the neighbourhood? 
  • Can you have amplified music or does it need to be acoustic? 
  • Is there a contingency plan in the events of rain? 
  • Are there large enough spaces indoors for relocation? 
  • Is there electrical outside? 
  • Will the outdoor venue be able to accommodate your event’s AVP and tech aspects? 

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a passionate writer for Meet in DCU, a unique conference venue in Dublin which is perfect for corporate meetings, conferences, seminars and events. Writing articles about travel and lifestyle is one thing she finds enjoyable, next to playing the piano.