Now that Spring is here and Summer is right around the corner, why not take your company’s next event into the great outdoors. Outdoor events offer employees a welcomed change from the office and customers will appreciate some outdoor fun, mingling with colleagues in a relaxed and open setting. Of course, outside events in Florida require a different level of preparation altogether, but plan well and you’ll likely be rewarded with amazing water views and dramatic sunsets. We’ve planned many successful events in and around the Tampa Bay area for some of the largest global corporations, most recently the Arnold Palmer Invitational by MasterCard. So as you think through your outdoor event plan, let us offer some tips that will help you manage the elements and other aspects of your party.
- Weather: Rain and sun and heat, oh my. All of these natural forces can be a concern on any given Florida day, not to mention windy bay breezes. Level the playing field by working with the venue’s on-site manager to ensure that there is a contingency plan for wet weather. Check the weather forecast daily for three or four days leading up to your event date. Sun and heat can do a number on food, flowers and of course, on your guests. Providing shaded areas are a must and perhaps misting machines would also help keep attendees cool. Remember to anchor lighter items creatively to the tables or accessories to prevent them from taking flight on a windy day.
- Check Acoustics: If speeches or presentations will be made outside, make sure to test that microphone levels are set at the right level and that all projection equipment works. Do you anticipate any surrounding noise nearby that might interfere with sound levels? Adjust your event setup to accommodate this.
- Bugs & Pollen: Most event facilities keep up with regular pest control and that is certainly something to ask about when considering the venue. Have an emergency kit of bug spray, sunscreen, sanitizing wipes and other remedies stored discreetly, as a worst-case scenario. Keep tables covered and clean until right before the event to protect them from any seasonal blooms in the air.
- Indoor Facilities: Make sure that the restrooms and other indoor facilities are within a comfortable walking distance for your guests or offer a shuttle if necessary.
- Power & Wi-Fi: In today’s connected and rapid-response business world, Wi-Fi access for a corporate event will be mandatory. Make sure that event attendees will have detailed instructions on how to access it themselves. Depending on what type of planned activities or presentations that you have scheduled, your facilities contact can establish the right power supply for those needs.
- Always Have a ‘Plan B’ Ready: Sometimes despite our best efforts, life just happens. Whether it’s the freak weather storm or a last-minute emergency, make sure that you have a backup plan that you can execute with the venue manager that includes an indoor setup of tables, food, entertainment, A/V, etc. And it’s smart to establish a phone-tree contact plan so that guests and business colleagues can stay in the loop in case of last-minute changes.
If you’re planning a corporate event, please contact us for a free consultation. Creating memorable, high-quality corporate parties is what we do best. It would be our pleasure to make your meeting a Grand Event.