Get Out! Tips for Outdoor Meetings
“The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.”
During the summer months when the sun is shining and the weather is warm, why not consider hosting your meeting outside? Psychologists and health researchers consistently report science-backed reasons we should spend time outdoors, so get your attendees outside and away from the fluorescent lights and windowless conference rooms. There are several important things to consider, however.
Will it work outside?
The first thing to consider is if your event will even work outside. Take a minute to step back and think through your checklist of the requirements and necessary amenities you have for the event and ensure that all or most of them can be met in an outdoor space. Consider your needs for A/V, food and beverage, lighting, flooring, parking and sanitation. This seems simple, but outdoor spaces can be a bit tricky and you want the outdoor environment to be a positive experience for attendees (and you).
What if the weather changes?
So, you’ve decided your event will work outside. The next thing to consider is a plan B. Most events are planned well in advance and we all know it’s impossible to predict the weather. Let’s be honest—it may not be worth the risk to host your event outside. Think through all the reasons you might have to move, postpone or cancel your outdoor event and try to have a backup plan to overcome any challenges that may arise. Does the venue have indoor space as well? Should you rent a tent in case it rains? Developing a contingency plan will go a long way to relieving worries and allowing you to relax as the event approaches.
What are good outdoor venues?
The best venue options for outdoor meetings are usually the ones that have “been there, done that.” In other words, your safest bet is to choose a venue that is accustomed to hosting outdoor events. Sure, at first it may seem that holding a meeting in a park is a good idea. But when you start to consider the logistics involved with permits, parking, catering, noise restrictions, security, etc.—it’s likely that a venue with experience hosting outdoor meetings is the best choice.
Where outdoor venues shine!
The Eugene, Cascades & Coast region of Oregon certainly brings the beauty of nature to the table. After all, it’s not enough to just be outside—you want breath-taking outside… jaw-dropping outside… outside that wows! This region serves that up and then some. Plus, there are lots of outdoor venue options for you to consider that have experience you can trust. Here’s just a few suggestions:
Eagle Rock Lodge
With 400 feet of McKenzie River frontage and over four acres of lawns and gardens, Eagle Rock Lodge is the perfect spot for your outdoor meeting of up to 120 people.
The Inn at Diamond Woods
With a 2,400 square-foot patio and an expansive lawn with a gorgeous view of the Willamette Valley, this peaceful retreat located just minutes outside of Eugene has a lot to offer.
Shadow Hills Country Club
Just 15 minutes from Downtown Eugene, this peaceful, rural setting has several outdoor options including a patio, event garden and expansive grounds that can host up to 500 attendees.
Sweet Cheeks Winery
This Eugene winery’s panoramic views and vineyard make a beautiful backdrop for an outdoor event on the sprawling patio and the venue can host groups up to 250 people.
Located in the "Covered Bridge Capital of Oregon," The Village Green in Cottage Grove encompasses a beautiful 14-acre garden and has two outdoor meeting options that can each accommodate up to 200 people.