Summer presents the perfect opportunity for company CEOs and DMs to get the team together in an informal setting and celebrate the successes achieved in the first half of the year – because yes we are already reaching the mid point! For those in charge of organising a summer corporate event it can be unnecessarily stressful due to the pressures of creating a memorable occasion with all the right elements, so here are our top tips for planning a summer corporate event.
Save The Date
Although it may seem patronisingly obvious, this is hugely important and must be done ASAP. June, July and August are the most popular holiday months so you want to get in with your date early to ensure that everyone will be around for the celebration – you don’t want anyone to feel left out or that they are missing out!
It’s imperative that you choose a theme BEFORE you choose your venue for the simple reason that, if you have a specific vision in mind, it is much easier to find a space to match it than to try to make your idea fit the venue you’ve already booked.
There are so many fantastic themes perfect for summer corporate events: Midsummer and Enchanted Garden are hugely popular and offer up a whole host of creative opportunities for fun décor, entertainment and catering options! Carnival, circus and beach also prevail as favourites.
Outdoor space is ESSENTIAL. This fact cannot be stressed enough. Luckily most venues seem to agree with this concept and whether you’re holding your event in the heart of a city or somewhere beyond suburbia there are plenty of venues offering outdoor space, be it an intimate roof terrace or sprawling manicured gardens. From quirky urban spaces with hidden gardens to grandiose manor houses, you won’t have any trouble finding something to suit your all-important theme and number of expected guests.
Once you’ve found the right venue you should then be asking all the right questions and there are plenty of things to consider. Is there access to the outdoor area that is separate from the main venue space? This is especially important if you have bulky props or equipment that may be difficult to transport through the venue itself. Are there facilities to cater to outdoor dining? You’ll more than likely be serving food and drink alfresco so it’s worth considering which kinds of edibles won’t spoil if not kept at the right temperature or sorting out some kind of portable refrigeration with the venue or caterer. Are there any rules or regulations that may affect the realisation of your theme? Such as not being able to attach decorations to walls and ceilings, noise restrictions that will affect your entertainment choice, or policies about candles and open flames.
Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to figure out if they are the right venue for your event!
Now you’ve got your theme and venue organised you can turn your attention to ensuring that you have everything needed to create the perfect ambience, with which to breathe in the fresh air and soul-stirring sunsets of the night.
It’s all too easy to overlook lighting when you are anticipating a bright summer’s evening, but the sun will have to set at some point and you don’t want you guests to be plunged into darkness! There are many great ambient lighting options perfect for outdoor events – solar lamps, battery operated fairy lights, candles and fire pits (always make sure that your venue allows you to use open flames) are just a few. With the setting sun goes the warmth of its rays and you can’t expect the ambience you’ve worked so hard to create to remain if your guests are freezing, so if you can’t have fire pits outdoor portable heaters are just as good. A great tip is to add a basket full of blankets for that personal touch.
It’s always good to try and book your entertainment as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment, but that doesn’t meant that booking last minute is out of the question.
There are so many amazing entertainment ideas perfect for outdoor events and many will be able to tailor their performance and costumes to suit your theme, from stilt walkers and roaming performers and musicians, to aerialists with free standing rigs. Aerial drink pourers and living tables can serve delicious nibbles and tipples, while magicians wow crowds with their sleight of hand, and themed dancers offer mini dance workshops to get guests in the party mood. You’ll find that most corporate entertainment options have solutions for outdoor events; all you have to do is ask.
Just because it’s a corporate social doesn’t mean you should skip adding branding like you would for an external event. Adding a personal company touches with blankets embossed with your logo, edible branded treats and giveaways will reinforce company values and make your guests feel appreciated!
In this same vein giving your colleagues a little thank you for attending will go a long way.
If you bear these five critical points in mind when planning your summer corporate event, you will be well on the way to a successful end result that will see both you and your attendees reaping the benefits.
All that’s left to do now is to get planning!
Alanna Bestwick is professional copywriter and digital marketer. She is part of the Creative and Marketing team at Scarlett Entertainment, an award-winning global entertainment specialist working on over 2,000 events around the world every year, with an international roster of over 7,000 acts.