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  • Writer's picturePaige Nathan

Planning an Outdoor Event

Depending on what part of the country you’re located in, you may be seeing daffodils pop and fresh buds emerge on trees, which means winter is coming to an end. Soon enough, warmer weather will be here, making outdoor events not only feasible but downright desirable. Pesky variants and cold weather have kept us indoors and isolated long enough, so it’s time to mix and mingle in a lovely outdoor setting.

And many corporate meeting planners are doing just that and seizing the opportunity to plan their next event outdoors. Not only will it be a welcome change of scenery for attendees, but it will also allow them to feel safer in a fresh-air environment.

As event planners grapple with COVID variants and guests with varying levels of comfort, having the option of outdoor event space has become incredibly appealing. And as a result, outdoor event companies have seen a surge in business. We spoke with one of our top event partners, Steven Eisenstein, President of Classic Tents & Events, to understand how their business has changed over the past two years.

Classic Tents & Events is an Atlanta-based full-service tent and rental company that serves the entire Southeast. Not surprisingly, the demand for outdoor functions is greater than ever before. And with the use of tents and climate control systems, the weather isn’t the limiting factor it once used to be. As a result, planners can host outdoor events comfortably well beyond spring and fall. The team at Classic Tents Events understand that attendees have varying levels of comfort attending events, so they’ve expanded their product offerings to include COVID sensitive items such as:

  • Portable sinks with hot water capabilities

  • Hand sanitizer stations

  • Smaller tables

  • Space and wall dividers

While they’ve seen a decline in certain types of events, such as outdoor festivals, they’ve noticed a significant uptick in activity from the film industry. This is likely a result of demand from consumers wanting more and more content to stream on their favorite platforms. Another segment of business that has experienced an increase in activity is social events, including bar/bat mitzvahs and weddings.

If you’re a meeting planner looking to host an outdoor event in the coming months, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. First, you will want overhead covering for your guests, whether a pavilion or a tent rental. Not only will this serve to keep them shaded from the bright sun, but you will also be more protected should there be last-minute changes in the weather (hello, pop-up rain shower.)

2. Even though it’s a business meeting, asking attendees to wear suits might be too much. Instead, keep it casual and have them dress casually.

3. Also, outdoor meetings are more conducive to certain types of agendas than others. Outdoor gatherings work well for town halls and roundtable discussions. They don’t work as well for heavy, content-driven sessions that require intense concentration and lots of notetaking.

As with most things right now, one of the big takeaways is don’t wait to book! Outdoor events are the perfect solution for COVID weary guests who are still hesitant about attending large, in-person meetings. Venues book up fast, and vendors such as Classic Tents Events are in big demand. And when it comes to catering, your attendees want more than a meal; they want an experience. Food trucks are the perfect way to offer a fun and diverse menu while allowing guests to adhere to whatever social distancing standards they feel most comfortable.

Click here to learn more about planning your next event.

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