Ah, summer has arrived. And with the balmy season comes the warmest weather of the year. It’s the ideal time to hold an outdoor meeting or event. But before you start outsourcing caterers and choosing a venue, remember that heat can be a double-edge sword. Sure, it permits a plethora of fun activities and beautiful scenery. Yet it can also result in overheated, and therefore displeased, attendees. Here’s how you can plan to accommodate for the heat and ensure attendees keep their cool.
1. Get creative with ice cubes
Ice can have applications beyond the classic cube form. Here’s one creative way: Iced coffee with coffee cubes. Simply fill an ice cube tray with coffee and freeze overnight. Fruit ice cubes are another fun idea. Put bits of lime, raspberry or pineapple—whatever piques your interest—into an ice cube tray with water. As the cubes melt in their drinks, attendees will get an invigorating surprise.
2. Serve refreshing foods
In general, summer events call for fewer hot foods such as soups. When creating your F&B menu, opt for something refreshing, such as seafood, salad, fruits, popsicles and ice cream.
3. Establish shade
All outdoor events require shade. Tents are a great way to keep an outdoor event open and cool. If that’s not an option, then try to strategically use the landscape or set up overhead décor that provides shady relief.
4. Don’t run out of water!
Yes, it’s a basic requirement. But it’s easy to forget that summer demands stocking up on double the amount of water you might normally need. Keep water bottles chilled and continuously encourage attendees to stay hydrated. One fun idea is to purchase bottles with time markers listed on the side. For instance, if a marked line reads “2p.m.,” your water line should be at the mark or lower. It provides a friendly reminder for attendees to drink up!
5. Keep the drinks low in alcohol
Alcohol is very dehydrating, and when temperatures are high people tend to drink quickly out of thirst. You don’t have to get rid of alcoholic beverages all together. Instead, serve drinks with lower alcohol content and minimal sugar. Light beers and wine spritzers are excellent examples of how this can be easily applied.
6. Provide swag bags with summer goods
Why not offer practical gifts along with your fun ones? A branded pair of sunglasses, fans, flip flops, sunscreen, bug spray and hats can go a very long way.
7. Entertain but don’t exhaust
It’s important to keep physical activity to a minimum in the heat. The sun drains everyone and vigorous activity will quickly deplete energy. Let attendees engage in something mellow like a craft project. If they’re a more active bunch, try to incorporate water into activities. Water gun fight, anyone?
8. Aim for the evening
You may not be able to choose when a certain activity is held. However, if given the option in a typically warm city, always go with the night time.
9. Implement mosquito resistance
There are few things peskier than waking up covered in itchy bites. Set up a line of defense against these blood-suckers. Citronella candles, mosquito-repelling lamps, certain herbs and netting (which can also be quite pretty) will all help protect your meeting or event.