Everyone loves an outdoor shindig, but sometimes it’s just not in the cards. During stormy times of year, for instance, you might not want to chance your big event getting rained out by an afternoon monsoon. And during the heat of the summer, when daytime temperatures easily soar to over a hundred degrees, well … who wants to be out in that?
Enter the newest thing in event planning: outdoor events inside. Instead of risking the weather, you can bring the charm of al fresco entertainment under a roof. Your guests will enjoy the novelty of such an approach, while you yourself can revel in the fun that comes with setting everything up ahead of time and enjoying the big show along with everyone else. Below are several ideas for equipment that will help turn your inside party into a celebration worthy of the most beautiful outdoor locale.
First things first: whether you’re going to be dancing the night away or discussing the news of the day at your company’s next trade show, climate control is key. In fact, it’s the main benefit you have over the great outdoors. HVAC equipment and services can provide the cooling or venting you need during hot or humid months, while heating can step in for a nighttime event during the cooler months of the year. Keeping guests comfortable is key to a great occasion.
Whether you’re trying to provide a brightly lit venue so potential partners or consumers can check out your products, or want a more softly lit feel for a wedding, party or other R&R-oriented event, lighting can help you strike the right note. Bright overhead lights simulate the effects of the sun and can provide you with a daytime feel, while lanterns and fairy lights strung around the edges of your venue can turn any ballroom or warehouse into a beautiful nighttime wonderland.
When planning your lighting, first decide whether you want to simulate day or night, then whether you want a bright feel or a softer glow. For casual events, add lanterns and strategically place candles to simulate the garden environment in which outdoor events are often held.
Typically, when you throw a party inside, the entire room becomes the dance floor. But outdoors, what with patchy grass and uneven ground, you often need a wooden floor to prevent broken ankles. Well, why not bring the charm of an old-fashioned dance floor inside? It will provide a natural gathering place for twisting and shouting. Plus, it easily sections off the outside edges of the room, which you can now turn into various “stations” for your event. If you’re having a wedding, you might put seating on one side, the cake on another side, and a favor table on a third wall. If you’re hosting your company casino night, you can set up different games in different sections.
Every event, indoor or out, needs décor. If you’re planning something a little more serious, such as a trade show, use sandwich signs to direct traffic and label different sections. If you’re going for a formal feel, some potted greenery that mimics the look of an English country garden, such as topiary or ficuses. Then you can hang lights or other decorations from their branches. Other typically outdoor accoutrements can also help to set the scene. Think picnic tables, hay bales, Adirondack chairs, wash tubs full of greenery or big floral arrangements reminiscent of a flowerbed.
Going for epic? The extras are really where it’s at. A kid’s graduation party will benefit from a bounce house, which even the older crowd always goes for. A carnival isn’t a carnival without a dunk tank. And if you’re looking to entertain the little ones at a lengthier event, such as a wedding, you can’t go wrong with giant animals to keep them busy and provide the perfect backdrop for pictures.
Now that you see how easy it is to put an outdoor spin on indoor events, aren’t you excited to try it on your own? Mix and match the above ideas, and you’ll have the perfect plan in no time.