Top Tips For Weather-Proofing Your Outdoor Winter Event
Planning a great corporate event or meeting depends on several factors, including an interesting topic and dynamic speakers. But no successful get-together is complete without sustenance because hangry guests are the toughest of them all. At Simply Food Trucks, we consider ourselves foodies, and while this may not come as a big surprise, we are particularly biased toward food trucks. But as they say, do what you love, and we do it every day!
Event planners often think of food trucks during the warmer months of the year when guests want to be outside. But as temperatures begin to cool, some people believe outdoor events might be less popular. And they couldn't be more wrong! Some of the best events we've worked with have embraced the cooler temperatures and created a cozy winter wonderland. Below are some of our favorite ways to make outdoor events inviting and memorable.
If you're planning a special event for your staff, you're most likely mulling over potential event favors commemorating your time together. So when your event is scheduled for the great outdoors, what's more, perfect than a warm throw blanket!? It's the ideal item guests can use during the event to stay warm and then something special to take home afterward that they will actually use again.
Cool nights are MADE for gathering around the fire, including corporate holiday parties. Several venues, caterers, and food trucks include fire pits and portable heat lamps as part of their packages to ensure your guests stay warm and cozy. Fire pits have evolved past the smoke-producing bonfires and now include sleek, modern fireplaces that add to the look of your event. The same goes for heat lamps, which come in various styles to blend in with or complement your event's décor. A good rule is to have one heat lamp for every 10 guests.
Shielded from the Elements
While the evening stars on a winter's night can add to the ambiance, the cool winds and other elements can be a damper. These days, a large selection of tents is available for rent to protect attendees from the elements and bring additional coziness to your event. Tents can be as simple as overhead coverage or a completely enclosed space.
Another idea to consider is large hedges or faux walls to block the wind and create an intimate setting. And don't forget the ground, which can be a conduit for the cold. Area rugs are a great way to keep your guests' feet dry and warm.
Food and Drinks that Warm the Soul
When it's chilly outside, it's easier to stay warm with a hot meal and a toasty drink, so plan your menu wisely. Think soup stations or a mashed potato bar, which are filling and a great way to keep hands warm. And who doesn't love the ultimate cold weather combo - a grilled cheese sandwich paired with tomato soup?!
The beverages you serve are just as important so steer clear of drinks that call for ice (too many cold hands.) Warm apple cider and spiced mulled wine are perfect for holiday get-togethers. If you're looking to take things up a notch, try a hot chocolate bar complete with toppings and adult beverage mixers, or offer guests a whiskey tasting to keep people toasty from the inside out. Our friends at Get Frothy can bring a mobile coffee truck to almost any venue in North Georgia, served fresh from their vintage coffee truck, Bean.
Want your guests to stay warm? Then give them a theme they can dress up for! This is the perfect way to ensure your guests come prepared for a chilly outdoor event. For example, have them wear their ugliest sweater for a holiday party. Or host an après ski theme and have guests don their favorite hat, gloves, and jacket while sipping cocktails with tray-passed hors d'oeuvres.
As you begin your end-of-year meeting planning or find the perfect venue for your upcoming holiday party, take advantage of the opportunity to host your event outdoors. With a little bit of planning, some well-placed heat lamps, and a soul-warming meal, you can give your guests an event to remember.