The summer months are always looked upon with great positivity and excitement. The feeling that this summer, yes, this summer, is going to be the one! The one that reminds us of our youth when the summer holidays were hot, without a cloud in sight, and endlessly long.
So, if you’re looking to embrace the sunshine, embrace the positivity that seems to well up in each of us, then why not embrace the opportunity to get your people together for a Summer Party?
“Summer Parties are often overlooked in favour of Christmas, but if you have a clear objective, then a summer event offers rich rewards; ripe for picking. It’s also not a ‘must have’ event like Christmas Parties; at the end of the year they are sometimes offered begrudgingly, whilst in the summer it’s a gift, a pleasant surprise.” Says Jo Austin, Sales Director at Lime Venue Portfolio
Kevin Jackson, Director of Ideas & Innovation at The Experience is the Marketing, puts it incredibly succinctly: “Events are a growth business. People have events for the pure reason that they want growth for their organisation; be it through stronger relationships with their customers, a more motivated sales force, a more informed work force, or happier shareholders.”
So if you’re thinking of hosting a Summer Party, we’ve compiled a list of things you may want to consider:
3. Start with a clear objective and budget
Set objectives and consider the “what, why, how and who”, when developing ideas for your event. What is it that you want to achieve? Your prospective guest list will have a big impact on this. Is it an internal event to build company culture, or an external one to build relationships with your customers? Carefully consider the objective and ensure that the key stakeholders all agree.
5. Think carefully about the date
You will probably want to avoid the key school holiday weeks, but successful businesses don’t stop because it gets a little warmer outside. Rather than assuming a certain date is out. Why not find out first if your key guests are available. June and July are often good months for Summer Parties, but May usually has great weather you can take advantage of.
7. Think carefully about the venue for your event
A successful Summer Party can’t just be held at any old venue. Look for a venue that offers you something unique. Outside space is of course particularly important. This could range from grassed lawns to a secluded courtyard, roof terrace or even the side of a pitch. One thing is for sure – you want your guests to be excited about attending the event and the choice of venue has a really big impact on this.
9. Back it up!
Of course, every Summer Party is a slave to the Great British weather, and we all know there is not much we can do about it. That’s true, but like any potential problem, all you can do is try and limit it as much as possible. Most venues can offer indoor space as a backup in a weather emergency, so that is definitely something to consider. But another top tip is to monitor the weather in the lead up and if it is looking like showers – then how about buying some cheap umbrellas as a backup and maybe even poncho’s.
11. With the audience, date, type of venue and its location carefully considered, it’s time to get booking.
With an average lead time of 3 months, the most sought after venues get booked up fast for key dates.
13. Look for packages and offers.
Many venues which are great for Summer Parties, release packages and early bird promotions. These can save you a lot of money, and means that the venue in questions knows how to have a party!
15. Incentive extension?
We’ve noticed a big increase in incentive extensions. This is to say – could your Summer Party be added on to the end of another event, such as your annual conference. By doing this you can create a bigger, much more positive, buzz around the conference and reduce the overall costs of both events.
The Summer Party can be used as an opportunity for the Executive Team to reward and acknowledge staff. Perhaps a gift giving or award ceremony could be included in the Summer Party?
19. Communicate Clearly
As the organisation of the event ramps up, make sure you are regularly in communication with your key suppliers. Where necessary put them in touch with each other, but make sure your message is translated properly, perhaps through an introductory call or email. As an integral part of the event – your venue event organiser can prove to be a real ally!
21. The food
There are many foods and drink we instantly associate with summer – BBQ’s, strawberries and cream, Pimms and Prosecco. Bringing in these option is a great way to create a summer theme, but perhaps there is more you can do too! Make sure you talk to the venue, challenge them to deliver something summery but different, ask them to really think about the presentation of the food. Of course, if you do go down the BBQ route don’t forget about your vegan and vegetarian guests.
23. Get outside help!
If the thought of organising the party alone is daunting, there are plenty of companies out there can help you organise the event, or at least take responsibility for a bit part of it such as the team building activities. In fact, if it is team building you’re planning, the venue is likely to work with a number of partners that they can recommend!
25. Change the language around summer events
The phrase ‘Summer Party’ does not go down too well with CFO’s or CEO’s when business is tight, and the economy is unstable. However, both correctly like words such as ‘incentive’, ‘reward’ and ‘motivate’; lets change the language to reflect what these events are and the value that they add.
Discover unique and unusual venues perfect for your summer event, click here.