Keep guests cool at outdoor summer events

Outdoor Summer Events: 5 Ways To Keep Guests Cool

June is upon us and Summer Solstice is just a few short weeks away. Translation? It’s HOT outside. No one likes to attend events where they’ll be sweaty or uncomfortable, especially when they’re in business casual. This doesn’t mean you have to move your function indoors to stay cool. Here are 5 tips on how to keep your guests comfortable during your outdoor summer events.


If time is on your side, plan your event start for late afternoon or early evening. Taking the sun out of the equation drastically reduces the temperature and humidity. Plus, a sunset is a great backdrop to an outdoor affair, adding mood, ambiance, and prime lighting for photography. Add in some twinkle lights and your guests will forget about the temperature and focus on your super cool event.


A big fan keeps guests cool at outdoor summer events.
Oversized fans help keep air circulating and guests cool at outdoor summer events.

Stagnant air makes heat absolutely unbearable. Adding a constant flow of air circulation will keep your guest from getting sticky and provide respite in muggy weather. Consider using oversized fans, like one from our friends at Big Ass Fans. They have directional fans as big as 8’ tall and can offer up to a 10 F cooling effect. They are also a great conversation starter! Implementing them into your event design keeps attendees cool and creates a buzz to make your event memorable.

Hand-held folded fans are also efficient for personal cooling, as well as maintain your event brand with customized logos and colors. Guests can take them home and use them throughout the summer, as well as spread brand awareness beyond the event.


A shade structure for outdoor summer events
Shade structures and sun sails are great ways to reduce heat and direct sunlight.

When your event must take place outdoors during the day, shade structures are imperative to providing relief from the heat. Reducing direct sunlight can be achieved by tenting your event – with or without walls. Ideally, the best placement for tent structures is where food is served, or where guests eat and/or relax.

Tents are great heat protection but can potentially obstruct your views or make a space seem smaller than it is. With events that transition from afternoon to dusk, shade panels or sun sails can provide relief without closing off your function. Available in different shapes, sizes, and colors they provide both shade and attractive visual interest. They are a great design compliment to any outdoor event.


A sushi bar helps refresh guests at outdoor summer events.
Chilled light foods like a Sushi Bar can help guests feel refreshed at outdoor summer events.

A defining factor in feeling cool is staying hydrated. Outside of offering plenty of ice and cold water through strategically placed hydration stations, an outdoor event menu should reflect the heat of the season. When it’s hot outside avoid dishes with heavy sauces, robust meats or hot bars.  Light foods like seafood, chilled fruit, and ice cream stations are a great way to keep your attendees full and refreshed.

At the bar, offer light fruit- infused mixed drinks, chilled wines or spritzers, and frozen drinks – both with and without alcohol. Ice bars, sculpted completely of ice, are another way to add a chill to your event. Pouring drinks through an ice luge is a great attraction and focal point for guests and makes your event incredibly “cool.”


Cool blue lighting gives the illusion of chill at outdoor summer events
Lighting a space in cool hues can give the illusion of a more moderate temperature.

Another way to moderate the temperature outside is to create the illusion of cold. Color is a great way to trick your mind into thinking a certain way or conjuring emotions. Lighting your event in cool hues – blues, greens, and purples – can trick your brain into thinking it’s cooler than it is. Blue also has a calming effect, so any anxiety your guests experience from a warm event could potentially be reduced.

An ice sculpture as a focal point, or as table centerpieces could also allude to a cool temperature. Uplight these sculptures in blues as described earlier and you might achieve double the effect!

Don’t let the summertime deter you from planning outdoor summer events. As you can see, there are plenty of ways to stay cool during the warmer months. Need help planning your next outdoor function? We’d be happy to help. Contact us today to get started.