When you think of a meeting or conference, often the first thing that comes to mind is being trapped inside a bland room with uncomfortable chairs for hours on end. However, that doesn’t always have to be the case (especially at Kalahari Resorts). Make time out of the office time spent outside getting a breath of fresh air and some vitamin D.
- Sweat the small stuff.
If you’re planning an outdoor event, you still need to consider:
- Lighting — Will it add to the mood of the event? Do you need it? What kind of lighting is best — LED, pinpoint or overhead? Work with your venue’s A/V specialist to discuss options.
- Sound — Do you need microphones and a sound system? Remember that sound travels over longer ranges outside, so a sound system may not be necessary.
- Heaters — Does the venue offer them? How much heat does it put out and over what area? Have a few on standby just in case.
- Seating — Will a few high-top tables with minimal seating work or do you need more? The rule of thumb is: For an event lasting longer than two hours, you need to provide seating for all. However, it depends on the physical needs and age of attendees.
- Linens — Do you need them? If the tables are in great shape, there’s no need for them. However, if the tables and legs need a makeover, spandex linens are a good option.
- Centerpieces — Do you want them? LED candles for an evening event can provide a creative component to the table setting.
- Give attendees an outdoor goody bag.
Include in the bag a pair of sunglasses, sunscreen, aloe and bug repellent. Many attendees will be thankful for the gift, and it will be a great post-event reminder.
- Provide shade for a daytime function.
Strategically placed umbrellas and tables near a set of trees and/or providing a tent are all good options. Remember, it’s usually 10 to 15 degrees cooler in the shade.
- Keep bugs under control.
An outdoor event can draw all kinds of insects, from bees to mosquitoes. Ensure the venue is swept two to three days before for nests and then spray for mosquitoes 12, 8 and 4 hours before the event.
- Select technology carefully.
Outside events may or may not require the same technology as indoor functions. Check into the lumens on the projector, whether mobile technology can easily be viewed in direct sunlight and make certain all A/V cords are secured to the ground and/or hidden out of sight. Lastly, make sure the Wi-Fi works effectively outside.
- Work the food and beverage manager.
You want your food to be at the right temperature to avoid any food poisoning issues. In addition, if you serve hot entrees, be sure to plate them right away. For appetizers, have the wait staff serve them butler style.
- Have a Plan B and C.
Let’s face it: Something can go wrong. It may be too hot, cold, rainy or windy. Have enough indoor capacity for attendees to comfortably fit inside.
Plan B is executed when you have to move inside while a quick storm comes through for 15 to 30 minutes, while Plan C is for when the rain is coming all day. Each case requires different space and seating requirements, so be prepared in the event of either.
Benefits of Outdoor Meetings
- Fresh Air and Sunshine
Nothing invigorates a team like getting outside from the four walls of a conference center. In addition, according to the World Health Organization, 15 to 20 minutes of sunshine fights depression and can ward off illness.
- Team Building
Most team-building activities occur outside, where space constraints are gone. Whether it be a long- or short-ropes course or participating in icebreaking activities that makes attendees laugh, this activity can build trust and boost morale.
- Unique Dining Options
Whether you have boxed lunches, a family-style picnic or something else, being outside allows for more creative, season-based dining options.
Kalahari Has Outdoor Space for You
Whatever your needs are, the creative team at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions will be happy to work with you. With indoor and outside meeting space, team-building activities and world-class waterparks, Kalahari is a natural choice for business, group and leisure events. Give one of our experienced group sales professionals a call today at 855.411.4605 for more information!