6 Secrets to Planning a Successful Summer Event

Summer is a special time. It’s vacation time. It’s shorts weather. It’s days spent by the grill and nights by the pool. It’s baseball and hotdogs.

It’s easy to romanticize the summer. Events held in the summer have a certain sense of ethereal specialness to them, as well. Yet, it is often up to the event planner to ensure that this quality is, in fact, present in the event.

Here are some hints to help you plan the perfect summer event.

Location

Depending on your area, summer weather can range from ideal to sweltering, humid to rainy. The days can be blazing hot and then rather cold once night hits.

So, the goal for an ideal summer location is one with gorgeous views and plenty of outdoor space. But, you also want your guests to be able to escape all that wonderful fresh air when they start dropping from heat stroke or an unexpected downpour starts drenching them.

It can be difficult finding a location that has amazing access to the outside and enough space inside. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

One example is Event Architecture's  mobile architectural structure. The structures are designed to be set up in different environments, including uneven surfaces like sand. The contemporary design of these structures looks great and is so unique that eyes are drawn to these buildings.

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In addition, the front and back entrances can feature clear Plexiglas panels and doors, so those on the outside can easily check out what’s happening inside.

The line provides a variety of configurations that can be sized up and down to fit your exact requirements. In general, the structures are modular, so they can be mixed and matched as needed. In addition, every surface of an structure is fully brandable, so your guests won’t ever forget who is providing this unique setting in a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  • XPO: The XPO single story model is available in two sizes of approximately 20’ and 33’ wide. You can attach additional AirCells to extend the depth in increments of 8’ to create structures that stretch as far as you need.
  • XPODH: Need more height? Double it with the XPODH. Like the XPO, the depth of the XPODH can be extended by simply attaching additional AirCells.
  • xDek: To give your guests a view from the top, expand space upward with the xDek. This sturdy steel and aluminum freestanding deck is designed to fit snuggly above an XPO.
  • Snoozy: What to provide some overnight options? Set up some Snoozys. Each pod sleeps up to two people, is equipped with a lockable door, and can be rigged with electricity (for lights, amenities, and device charging) and climate controls. These weatherproof structures take only 10 minutes to set up.

There are no limits to your options. Since flooring panels lock in place to help ensure the structures stand solid, there’s plenty of space under the floor to customize your electric grid. Which means you can include an optional climate control system, so guests can take a break from the weather and remain cool and dry.

Also, consider the weather when it comes to setup and teardown. If you are in a hot or humid area, working outside could be quite taxing for the staff (and you). You may want to check with the venue to see if working in the morning or evening hours is a possibility. The work may go faster, and your staff will avoid heat exhaustion.

The Theme

You may not have to actually announce an official theme for your event (you’re not throwing a prom, after all), but you should have one even if it is informal. It may be as simple as tying some under-table lighting to your brand colors or matching the floral designs to a recent product launch.

Two things you need to be aware of when conceptualizing a theme are your guests and your budget.

By having a thorough understanding of your guest’s average age, likes and dislikes, and general expectations, you will be better able to judge how to allocate your budget.

Be Sure to Alert Possible Attendees Early

As mentioned, summer means vacation – and most people make their vacation plans early. So, you need to beat them to it with your Save the Date notice.

Also, when sending these out, try to tie them into your event. If it’s a fun theme, make the invite fun. If it’s more austere, tone it down a little. Give your guests a hint of what’s to come with your invitation.

You can also link the RSVP to head to a micro-site that’s integrated with Eventbrite. This way you can accurately keep track of yeas and nays as well as any additional information you need -- like who is bringing a guest, specific dietary requirements, etc.

The Menu: Food

Summer food is cool, fresh items. Leave the heavy, creamy dishes for the fall and winter.

For snacking items, provide fresh fruit and vegetables, cold seafood (shrimp and ceviche), and light charcuterie. Of course, you are going to want to keep these cold. Instead of having to repeatedly change out watery bowls of ice, think about keeping the food inside (perhaps in an air conditioned XPO).

For meals, you should also stick to lighter fare: proteins of chicken or fish with accompanying salads. Remember that people are likely thinking of hitting the beach at some point and may be watching what they eat.

It’s also fun (and promotable as sustainable) to visit local markets (farmer’s and otherwise) and source all your ingredients from these sources. Allowing in-season ingredients to dictate what winds up on the plates is very on-trend and can allow you to get creative with a healthy, locally-sourced menu.

For dessert, again you can’t go wrong with going light. A gelato bar is one idea – as are specialty, gourmet popsicles. Also, for richer options you may want to include desserts that feel light in texture, like cheesecakes or key lime pie, even though they may be heavy in calories.

The Menu: Drinks

Speaking of popsicles, adult pops (i.e., alcoholic) are quite trendy these days and will be a hit with both those in the know as well as novices.

Going beyond the treats on a stick, frozen drinks are a great way to beat the summer heat. But you don’t have to settle for a couple of slushy machines spurting out frothy margaritas. Get a couple of savvy bartenders and buckets and buckets of ice, and you will wind up with some happy guests.

Of course, these bartenders will happily make a mixed drink as well. Help them jazz up their cocktails with some infused ice. This frozen water mixed with fresh fruit juice will add flavor to the drinks and a pleasant surprise for your guests.

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Flower Power

Summer events and floral decorations are a natural fit. These centerpieces and displays add a gorgeous splash of color. Go with pastels or vibrant hot pinks, oranges, and blues.

But you do not need to be limited to the traditional daisies in a glass vase. Work with a florist that will create innovative designs to enrapture your guests, either forgoing the vase altogether or incorporating out-of-the-box flowers that you don’t see in an everyday, typical arrangement.

The secrets to showcasing a memorable summer event are at your fingertips. To learn more about more summer success suggestions, call Event Architecture at 972-323-9433.

sofia krsmanovic