Some events need to be hosted indoors. For example, when the event requires a specific ambiance, the use of tools like whiteboards, specific acoustics, special lighting, or video presentations. Events like lectures, coaching programs, self-improvement seminars, and other workshops are generally best when conducted indoors.
Although many events work better indoors, outdoor events have significant advantages. For example, fresh air and natural surroundings can positively impact a guest’s perception and experience. Outdoor events also create a casual and comfortable environment, especially when hosted in a backyard.
If you’re looking for a way to make your events stand out, here’s how to prepare your backyard for hosting unforgettable outdoor events:
- Get a high-quality waterproof patio furniture set
If your events generate a small-to-medium turnout, stop dragging folding chairs out to the patio and invest in an outdoor furniture set. You can usually buy chairs individually, so you can get as many as you need.
You don’t need to buy fancy, expensive chairs. Basic patio chairs and sling-back chairs cost as little as $10. If you buy them at the end of the summer, you can get them on clearance. Make sure they match. Matching furniture will make your outdoor events feel more organized and well thought out.
- Prepare your yard for foot traffic
If your backyard terrain isn’t the best for hosting events, that’s easy to fix. All you need is a few hours and some elbow grease.
The downside to hosting outdoor events is increased liability for slips and falls. Fortunately, the law generally protects homeowners when they make their guests aware of any hazards that may exist. However, it’s best to eliminate hazards.
The first step to preparing your backyard for events is to identify hazards like holes, molehills, broken or uneven concrete, loose or hanging wires, uneven ground, fencing that might fall, etc. After you identify each hazard, create a plan to resolve them.
When working on flattening out uneven areas of your yard, you’ll probably need special equipment. Commercial landscaping equipment is expensive, so unless you plan to use it again, it doesn’t make sense to buy it. If it’s a one-person job and you know how to use the equipment, rent it and do it yourself. For instance, if you need to remove a broken concrete walkway, rent a jackhammer and do it yourself. Or, rent it and hire someone else to do it.
- Trade small table umbrellas for canopies or gazebos
When you’re entertaining personal guests, there’s nothing wrong with small table umbrellas. When you’re hosting events, those patio umbrellas will be in the way when your guests want to connect.
Canopies and gazebos allow groups of people to stand and mingle under one roof. Canopies are cheaper than gazebos and don’t require much setup. The fabric is lighter, and the poles are generally lightweight. Canopies can come with removable walls or permanent walls on any number of sides. Gazebos are higher-quality and are generally more of a permanent structure due to the time and effort they take to setup.
Amazon has a variety of canopies available for under $200. You can even find “instant canopies” that can be setup fairly easily by one person.
Regardless of whether you choose a canopy or a gazebo, if your outdoor events include networking sessions, a shelter (or two) will be invaluable.
If you’re open to making a slight modification to your home, add an awning to the side of your house to cover the patio. An awning is a great option if you experience extreme weather. Canopies are prone to becoming faded in the heat, ripped by severe wind, and might collapse under the weight of snow.
- Propane powered outdoor heaters
When your outdoor event stretches into the evening, you’ll want to keep your guests warm. Propane powered outdoor heaters work wonders to take the chill out of the air. The warmth unconsciously keeps guests close to where you want them to be. This is useful if you don’t want guests to wander during a presentation.
Outdoor events will naturally be more social
When people are outdoors, they’ll naturally be more social than they would be indoors. Prepare your backyard in a way that will make guests want to take a seat, even when the weather turns a little chilly. Make it cozy and inviting so your guests will come back for your next event even when the weather predicts rain.
Check out these backyard overhauls from HGTV for more inspiration.