How to Host an Outdoor Event for Your Business During a Global Pandemic

While it may seem like the world has ground to a halt, that’s not true in the slightest. Many businesses have continued to adapt to the current landscape to keep operations ongoing. It’s no secret why remote workforces and telecommuting employees have become more prominent.

Unfortunately, some experiences just aren’t conducive to remote or distanced events. The good news is that in-person gatherings are possible, and when they’re handled correctly, they’re relatively safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined some ways to conduct events and large get-togethers while remaining considerate of the pandemic.

Many of the steps they recommend taking are straightforward:

  • Every attendant should wear a mask at all times, especially when in proximity to others.
  • Staff and food handlers should wash their hands regularly and wear protective gear like gloves.
  • Cleaning professionals should regularly clean and disinfect all communal surfaces and areas.
  • People should follow proper social distancing guidelines when in smaller rooms or buildings.
  • Restrooms should have limited access to mitigate large capacities.
  • Event handlers should install physical barriers, shields and guides to promote safe conduct.

Outdoor events are the best way to keep things safe because ventilation is less of an issue, and, generally, they offer more space to accommodate larger groups. Creating a business service policy can be great for establishing a consistent set of COVID regulations for how employees interact with each other and any customers or clients while outdoors. Hybrid events are also possible, which allow some attendees to experience the meeting digitally via real-time video communication platforms such as Bizzabo or Cvent.

6 Outdoor Business Events You Can Host During COVID

Corporate events are still possible, with the obvious location being somewhere outdoors. Here are some events you can still host during the COVID age:

1. Organize a Picnic

Outdoor picnics are a great way to get some fresh air, especially since we have all been cooped up inside for months now. Renting an outdoor space like a park or venue is an excellent way to host a company picnic, whether it’s for an employee appreciation event or to welcome customers into the fold.

Social distancing guidelines, regular sanitation of surface stations and tables and proper signage should all be established. Moreover, food and beverages should be handled with care, and a professional service or third party should take care of these things. In most cases, they have the necessary protocols and equipment in place to offer safe deliveries.

When organizing games, activities or panels, recognize that social distancing should be followed between individuals. These experiences should be adapted to match said requirements.

2. Embark on a Group Hike or Outing

Nature and hiking trails are good for the body and soul. They’re also a great way to get your workforce active, pepped up and ready to rock. The great outdoors also provides a nice getaway from the dreary landscape of a city, the cramped walls of an office or even the familiar sights of home.

Because people tend to move at their own pace, social distancing is often naturally followed — just be aware that it should still be enforced whenever necessary. Refreshments can be distributed at the start of a hike, in the middle, at the end or even throughout.

3. Go Camping

Corporate camping retreats are still possible, and they’re an excellent way to host an outdoor event. At the end of the night, everyone gets to escape to their tent or cabin, and they can also spend most of the day there when isolation is necessary.

Like picnics or group hikes, several activities can be planned — from sightseeing and scavenger hunts to nature walks and beyond.

You’ll need to make sure everyone has the appropriate accommodations, whether that means providing tents, sleeping bags and other supplies, or renting a prefab campground with cabins or RVs. Also, don’t forget about food, refreshments and all the other goods you’ll need.

4. Set up a Drive-In Cinema

Because everyone stays in their vehicle during a drive-in movie, it’s the perfect way to have a group experience while maintaining social distancing rules. Corporate announcements and introductions can be made directly on the movie screen, much as you would do it in a conventional theater. This idea is also awesome for getting families involved, especially if you’re showing a family-friendly movie.

Of course, proper sanitation and food handling will still be necessary, including when snacks are distributed between vehicles. You’ll also need to make sure you have all the resources handy if you’re setting up this kind of event yourself on company property or in a rented space. The movie screen, projector and food will be necessary, but so will outdoor lighting and power, which may require renting or buying a generator.

Drive-in concerts or conferences are some more superb examples of this type of event, as well.

5. Have a Field Day

A fantastic outdoor event to host, even alongside some of the others here, is a corporate field day. Team bonding and collaboration is encouraged throughout many fun and game-like activities. Field days also consist of good food, drinks, competitions, contests, giveaways and much more.

Many games can be played while following COVID restrictions, namely social distancing guidelines. They will need to be planned accordingly, alongside choosing a proper venue and organizing food and other supplies.

6. Host a Class

Gardening, pottery, yoga, woodworking, wildlife lessons and cooking — these are all activities that are fun to teach and experience. What better way to host a class and expand your workforce’s knowledge than to do it outside in the fresh air?

It’s possible — and easy — to set up distant stations where workers can practice and learn without potentially contaminating each other’s spaces. Coordinate with the course instructors to ensure everyone has the necessary supplies. You might also consider planning some food or refreshments.

Hybrid and Virtual Events Are Also Possible

While hosting live and in-person events like the old days is still possible, it’s also good to embrace modern technology and create a hybrid experience. Virtual or hybrid events allow people to stay home, yet the experience remains as it would if they were at the actual venue. Videoconferencing technologies and cloud platforms can be used to immerse attendees who stay home.

For the times when a traditional face-to-face experience is absolutely necessary, consider one of the excellent outdoor activities discussed above.

Lexie is a digital nomad and UI designer. If she’s not traveling to various parts of the country, you can find her at the local flea markets or hiking with her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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