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Wondering how to plan a successful outdoor event? Whatever the time of year, the great outdoors has so much to offer. This article highlights how to set up your own outdoor event and the factors you need to consider to make it a success.

outdoor event lights

Outdoor events are often the ones that people get most excited about. They’re something a bit different - they’re the type of event that always catches our eye. In the midst of the pandemic, many of us were wanting to know how to set up an outdoor event as meeting indoors wasn’t an option. 

Even though restrictions have now eased across the country, allowing indoor venues to operate at close to full capacity, outdoor events are still a great option - especially during summer. But how exactly do you go about planning an outdoor event?

We’ll be explaining how to plan an outdoor event of your own and the additional benefits they present.

Planning an Outdoor Event - Where do I Start?

There are numerous things you may want to consider when planning an outdoor event, some of which you may not have considered. Here are our tips on how to plan an outdoor event successfully.


The most important factor for any event is finding an appropriate space, the same can be said for outside events. Here, you have a couple of important things to consider. 
Firstly, how big does your space need to be? Are you planning to invite 100 guests, or is it likely to be more? 

Questions like this will help you narrow down potential venues and give you the best idea of how much space you need for the number of attendees.


Accessibility is also key. One great tip is to think about your event from the audiences’ perspective. If the venue is difficult to get to from major towns and cities close by, would you still go to the event? 

How you decide to answer these questions will help you with your planning. Ideally, you’d want to find an outdoor venue or space that has parking, or has great local public transport links. 

You should also consider accessibility for those with disabilities. However, this can mean a few different things. People with physical disabilities should be able to get around the venue easily, meaning things like ramps and paths should be present. 

On the other hand, those with sight or hearing loss may need support from interpreters if there are speakers at your event, for example.


Refreshments often form a large part of any event, and outdoor events are no different. Ensure your guests have enough options for food and drinks during your event. Outdoor catering can help to provide a whole new take on the theatre of food. Outdoor spaces lend themselves well to barbecues, or hog roasts, while also being flexible enough to host more traditional catering styles. 

You also need to account for different dietary requirements. This means that vegetarian, vegan, and gluten and dairy-free options are an absolute must. 

It’s also extremely important that you, or your chosen vendors, ensure all areas serving refreshments are kept clean and sanitised. This is especially important when handling glassware and other reusable items. 

Across our events spaces, Make Venues will ensure all of your guests and our staff are kept safe. This means following strict cleaning procedures to ensure contact points are germ free.

Additional Facilities & Seating Areas

By ‘additional facilities’, we’re referring to bathrooms. Not the most exciting part of your planning, but probably one of the more important things to consider when planning an outdoor event. 

Seating areas are also an integral part of planning any outdoor event. While you’ll want guests to explore the outdoor area you’ve set up, it’s important that you give them a chance to sit and relax too. 

Be sure to use a variety of seating arrangements to suit the physical needs of your guests. A combination of sofas, chairs and bean bags would give everyone a chance to get comfortable. 

If the venue you’re considering doesn’t have these facilities, then it might be worth rethinking if they’re the right option entirely.


Good old British weather - hard to predict but it keeps us on our toes. You should definitely keep this in mind when planning your own outdoor event. 

Gazebos and other forms of cover should be kept on hand in the event of a poor weather forecast or a sudden downpour. You could even set a gazebo up for guests to shelter from the sun if it’s a particularly hot day.


How are you planning on powering your event? This could be overlooked in the planning of your event but, if you’re in a remote area, then it should be high on your list of priorities. 

Whether you’re powering a coffee machine or a full sound system - you’ll still need the same access to electricity. Extension cords are one option here and can be used to connect indoor power supplies to electrical equipment outside. However, if your event space is more remote, you may have to consider getting hold of a generator as your main source of power.

You’ll need to ensure that all your equipment is powered by the right source. For example, a coffee machine shouldn’t share an extension with powerful sound equipment. The site manager should always be available and on hand to advise you appropriately.


Depending on what time of day and year your event is taking place, you will need to factor in lighting. 

All evening events are going to need some sort of lighting - even in summer. You have to think about inclusivity and consider those with visual impairments who will benefit from additional lighting outside. It is also worth considering any other audio visual equipment you may need and how it will work outside.

We recommend lighting all exits and walkways to minimise the risk of any accident or injury. Car parking areas, if near to your event space, should also be well lit for the convenience of your guests.

Packing Down & Clearing Away

We’ve left one of the most important bits of planning until last because, well, it happens right at the end. 

Just because your outdoor event has ended, unfortunately doesn’t mean your job has. Packing down any equipment at the end of the event is a tough job, but needs to be planned just as thoroughly as the event itself. 

If your event involves large pieces of equipment, or some stage building for example, then ensure you have transport arranged to come and help take these away from the venue.

Take it Outside: The Benefits of Outdoor Events

Outdoor events have plenty of benefits. Whether you’re hosting a music event, training session or conference, planning your event outside has its advantages. Firstly, it’s something a bit different. Not every board meeting, for example, has to be how we see them on TV or in films - it’s 2021 and the world of business is changing.


In many ways, you have more creative freedom when planning an event outdoors. You get to customise the space more than you would indoors. Hosting an outdoor event means you’re no longer bound by four walls - you can let your imagination take hold and make it your own.

Mental Wellbeing 

Being outdoors has also been proven to improve your mental wellbeing. This means that, in addition to all the vitamin D you’ll be getting outside, you’ll also help boost the mood of your guests. 

This is why hosting a corporate team-building activity day would work so well at an outdoor venue. Employees will appreciate the change of scenery and are more likely to actively engage with the activities you’ve planned for them.

Something to Remember

 Finally, like we said at the start, outdoor events are always ones you eagerly await in your calendar. We’re not saying you can’t have fun indoors - we think events held outdoors are often the most memorable. 

Moving an event outdoors immediately sets it apart. If it’s a team-building day outside or a business networking day with a difference - consider setting up outside for that wow factor. Why do something that’s done before when you can make something unique?

These are just a few of the advantages of hosting an outdoor event. Add some excitement to your next event by using the fantastic outdoor event spaces that Make Venues has to offer. 

Plan Your Next Outdoor Event with Make Venues

We’re all about making our award-winning venues suit your needs. Whether you want to host an outdoor corporate event, such as a training or team-building session, or an al fresco conference - Make Venues has the perfect premises for you. 

Woodland Grange, our residential conference venue and hotel in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire has over 16 acres of beautiful gardens - it’s safe to say that this venue has plenty of space to work with. For more information about hosting an outdoor event at Woodland Grange, please click here

If you’re further south, then our Engineers’ House venue in Bristol is a great option for hosting outdoor staff workshops, for example. There’s also an outdoor dining area if you want to make the most of this beautiful setting. Want to know more? Simply click here for further details on Engineers’ House