The great outdoors: five tips for planning an event outside

Holding a meeting or function outside can be a fantastic way to enjoy some fresh air and relax with clients or colleagues in a unique setting, but what should organisers do to ensure their outdoor event goes without a hitch?

Outdoor Event: Little Fox Hotel, Cornwall

There is a great deal to think about when planning an event outdoors. What if it rains? Will there be easy access to toilets? What licences are needed? Here are five top tips for planning your event so it is successful whatever the weather…

1. Establish your objectives

It might be a nice idea to plan an event outside, but is it really suitable for what you’re organising? Think about what you want to achieve. If it’s a celebration, such as an office party, outdoor events can be a great way to socialise with colleagues and clients. But if you’re going to need a lot of equipment, or access to Wi-Fi, it’s probably not sensible. Find a venue with an outdoor terrace or access to a garden, so you can enjoy the best of both.

2. Prepare for bad weather

Make sure your delegates have access to a sheltered area – a marquee, covered terrace or gazebo – so if it rains people don’t get drenched. It’s also a good idea even if the weather is hot, as sunburn is equally uncomfortable. Have a back-up plan so your event isn’t affected by the elements as cancellation fees can be costly.

3. Get the right permits

Find out whether you need any licenses or permits – this is vital if you’re going to make a lot of noise or you’re planning a late-night event. If you know that your event is going to run late, find out what time you need to finish and ensure everyone is off the site before that time. And also make sure it’s clear on the invite to guests exactly when the event ends.

4. Make sure there is access to toilets

There’s nothing more irritating for delegates than having to trek a long way to reach toilet facilities. If you’re planning to host your event in the grounds of a venue, ask the venue manager exactly where the closest toilets are, or whether it’s worth hiring a portable loo for the occasion.

5. Choose your food carefully

When it comes to selecting the cuisine for your outdoor event, there are an array of options to choose from. However, unless you’ve got seating arrangements planned, make sure you choose food that is easy to eat when standing up. Barbecues or hog roasts are great in the summer, and are pretty straightforward to organise. Alternatively, canapés or finger food can work well

Best venues for outdoor events

De Vere Tortworth CourtWEB • Gloucestershire 

A country-estate house, situated in south Gloucestershire, De Vere Tortworth Court is set in 30 acres of stunning parkland. As well as the breathtaking beauty of the setting, the lakes and surrounding landscape mean it’s a great place for team building. There are also various activities on offer including an It’s a Knockout-style challenge.

De Vere Tortworth Court
De Vere Tortworth Court

Little fox hotelWEB • Cornwall

This beautiful country hotel is perfect for corporate retreats. The venue has plenty of outside space for team-building exercises or some downtime. Just a few minutes from the beach, the fantastic location means the hotel is the ideal place to clear the mind, relax with colleagues, or host an event in truly impressive surroundings.

Little Fox Hotel
Little fox hotel

Pennard HouseWEB • Somerset

Set in 130 acres of woodland and cider orchards, Pennard House has endless space in the gardens for outdoor activities or meetings. The venue can organise outdoor meals under canvas, workshops in the woods or a fully personalised corporate festival.

Pennard House
Pennard House


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