It never rains in the San Francisco Bay Area in October, right?
After months of planning for our client’s IPO party, the weather forecast changed as the event drew closer, and now rain was imminent. At the outdoor venue at The Mountain Winery in Saratoga. Time to cancel? Not so fast!
Instead, we pivoted and employed some of our best outdoor event practices to enable us to pull off a fabulously successful event:
Have tents reserved, and reserved as far in advance as possible. Rental companies are slammed and overbooked. Last-minute requests can not be fulfilled. Book tents the day you book your event. Ask your rental company when the drop-dead date is to pull the trigger on tents; ideally, it’s just a few days out from your event so you can cancel them if not needed. Don’t like the aesthetic of tents? Ask for no walls; a simple solution that keeps the elements out but the rain protection in.
Reserve space heaters as far in advance as possible. Same story as above. Planning ahead is key.
Be mindful of your menu. Some food can hold much better in moisture-rich conditions than others.
Have umbrellas. An inexpensive way to majorly enhance your guest experience. Hand out an umbrella to each guest upon arrival. Bonus points if branded!
Start the event off with a welcome cocktail. Better yet, start the event off with a welcome cocktail with a company-branded ice cube in it. And even better yet, tie the name of the cocktail into something that has meaning to the attendees.
Consider a pizza oven. Even in dreary conditions, having a big warm pizza oven blazing away all night adds an instant aura of coziness and…delicious wood oven-fired pizza.
Give a toast! Two hours into the event, tray pass champagne or sparkling wine. Gather the group and have leadership give a toast. Not a single guest isn’t going to smile when being tray-passed a drink with a server saying, “Champagne for the 7 pm toast?”
Have a coffee and tea station. Warm beverages always help, in addition to a bar, of course.
Hire the right caterer for the job. We had to say it!
From start to finish, this was an epic event full of joy, camaraderie, smiles, laughs, and celebration. Attendees were so happy being brought together as a team, in person. You could feel the energy reverberating throughout the property.
With the pandemic still in our midst and winter approaching, planning an outdoor holiday event may seem like an impossible idea. However, we’re here to show you that it’s absolutely doable, and can be done well. In fact, the feedback from this event was so spectacular, you may actually ask for a rainy event day forecast.
For more information or to request a customized proposal for your next event, rain or shine, contact us at 415.701.0001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.