With the hottest summer on record in London, 2018 is experiencing a heatwave which is inspiring us to take all of our events outside next year! UVL’s members have some of the most stunning outdoor spaces in London including the beautiful gardens at Chiswick House where we held our member’s meeting last week. Venues and suppliers shared insights into how to make a summer party spectacular, here are some of our favourites:
1) Keep up with the trends
Sam Glenister-Batey, Head of Commercial Activity and Marketing at Chiswick House, talked through how organisers should keep up to date with suppliers who are increasingly creating unique props at summer parties.
Events often have unique things built which then become available for hire including weird and wonderful creations they have in their workshop from giant shells for guests to sit in to outdoor party games and giant letters.
2) Create the outside inside
We all know that the British weather isn’t always this compliant. Many of UVL’s venues also have stunning indoor spaces with lots of natural light. Rose Julian, Senior Events Executive at Banqueting House, told us all about how modern technology has been pivotal in helping to bring the sensation of being outdoors to an indoor venue. Techniques such as projection mapping, floral installations, lighting and draping can be effective simulating outdoors. Rob Mills, Managing Director at Light Motif, expanded by demonstrating that to create a more dramatic effect a larger budget would be required for more lighting to balance out the ambient surroundings of the lighter evenings.
3) Keep it casual
Alana Buckley, Head of Events at KERB, explained that interest in street food has grown exponentially and highlighted the importance of locally sourced ingredients. A new diversity in corporate clients means street food is now on the agenda, opening opportunities for small independent businesses with a great story, putting provenance at the heart of a summer event.
4) Always keep the guest in mind
When planning summer events with a client, Beccy Thorp, Head of Functions and Events at Syon Park, reminds us to keep the guest at the forefront of the planning process. Beccy brought forward some fantastic insight into creating an unforgettable guest experience such as creating content to engage all five senses whether that's the smell of the BBQ or a pungent plant or considering the texture of props or furniture. She reminded us the importance of always having a wet / hot weather plan, managing client expectations and keeping event staff hydrated and happy on the day of the event.