Summer Success: your guide to hosting outdoor events

Summer Outdoor Events Header Image

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor events in the UK. Whether it’s a community fair, colleague gathering, or music festival, a well-planned event can strengthen bonds and provide a good old time for all involved. However, outdoor events can present unique challenges and require meticulous planning that accounts for variables like weather and accessibility. Solopress is here to support your event with essential outdoor printing materials that ensure your event stands out and runs smoothly.

Choosing the right venue

Selecting the right venue is crucial to the success of your event. Accessibility is a key consideration; ensure the location is easily accessible for all attendees, including those with disabilities. Check for adequate parking and public transport links.

Given the unpredictable British weather, choose a venue that offers some form of shelter or allows for temporary structures like Gazebos. Research local weather patterns and historical data to make informed decisions. Using Banners, Posters, and Signage can help guide attendees and enhance the venue’s visual appeal, ensuring everyone knows where to go even in inclement weather.

Crowd capacity is also important. Overcrowded spaces can be unsafe, while a venue that’s too large might appear sparsely attended, which can kill the vibe. Select a venue that can comfortably accommodate your expected number of attendees while adhering to safety regulations. 

Can I hire a park for my summer event?

Parks represent attractive outdoor spaces, often easily accessible at the heart of a community, making them an ideal location for events. Generally, parks are under the authority of local councils, with the exception of London’s royal parks, which are owned by the Crown and administered by the government.

The decision to allow your event on parkland, along with any associated fees, is ultimately made by your local council on a case-by-case basis. Many boroughs and councils are more favourable towards charity and community-based events. While commercial events can take place on council-controlled parkland, be prepared for higher fees and rigorous administrative requirements covering issues including parking, sanitation, noise, public safety and curfews.

For more information, you can access useful guidelines from the Local Government Local Government Association.

Seek out sports clubs!

If you’re a private enterprise looking to organise a corporate event for clients or a colleague celebration, you may wish to consider local sports clubs for your venues. Sports clubs often smash the tick list of summer event requirements: outdoor space, bathrooms, parking and a licence to sell alcohol. That makes them a great solution for hassle-free outdoor event planning.

Event promotion and branding

Effective promotion is key to building anticipation, excitement, and a sense of occasion for your event. Consistent branding across all materials not only reinforces your event’s identity but also builds trust and recognition. Here’s a step-by-step guide to promoting and branding your event, from initial Invitations to on-the-day branding.

Pre-event promotion

Summer Outdoor Events Branding

Creating Invitations and Tickets:

Start by designing and sending out Invitations. Custom Invitations set the tone for your event and can be tailored to match your theme. For events requiring admission, design branded Tickets that carry your event’s logo, colours, and key information. Printed Invitations and Tickets ensure a professional and cohesive look.

Designing Posters and Flyers:

Promote your event with eye-catching Posters and Flyers. Distribute these in strategic locations and share them with local businesses to extend your reach. Branded Posters and Flyers will help boost visibility and build excitement.

Social media and email campaigns:

Utilise online channels to spread the word. Consistent branding across social media posts and email campaigns reinforces your event’s identity and keeps your audience engaged. Complement these digital efforts with physical materials like branded Wristbands for admission to create a tangible connection with attendees.

Staff T-shirts and merchandise:

Equip your team with branded T-shirts to make them easily identifiable or as a piece of event merchandise. Consider printed cotton tote bags, to offer attendees a memorable keepsake. Custom T-shirts and Tote Bags ensure high-quality, branded apparel and merchandise.

On-the-day branding

Creating a welcoming entrance:

Make a strong first impression with a branded entrance. Use a Bannerbow to welcome attendees and set the stage for your event. This creates a sense of occasion and excitement as guests arrive.

Dressing the venue:

Enhance the event space with Signage and Printed Flags. Clear, branded signage helps attendees navigate the venue, while flags add to the visual appeal and reinforce your brand’s presence. Consider branded seating to further enhance the event’s professional appearance.

Event programme:

Provide attendees with a comprehensive event programme. A stapled brochure detailing the schedule, key highlights, and essential information ensures attendees stay informed and engaged throughout the event. Solopress offers high-quality stapled brochure printing to meet your needs.

Interactive elements and giveaways:

Engage attendees with interactive stations and giveaways. Use printed materials like Flyers, Brochures, and Postcards to provide information and encourage participation in activities. Branded materials not only inform but also serve as souvenirs that attendees can take home.

By following these steps and using a mix of branded Banners, Flags, Posters, and other promotional materials, you can ensure consistent and professional branding throughout your event. Maintaining uniform branding across various platforms and materials creates a cohesive and trustworthy image, attracting more attendees and enhancing their overall experience.

Creating an engaging environment

An inviting and functional event space is essential for a memorable experience. Use vibrant colours and attractive designs to create an appealing atmosphere. Interactive elements such as photo booths, live demonstrations, or art installations can engage attendees and encourage social sharing. Custom printed Gazebos, Tablecloths, and even Deck Chairs can enhance the visual appeal and make your event stand out.

Arrange your space to facilitate easy movement and interaction. Consider the layout carefully to avoid congestion, ensuring there are clear pathways and signage directing attendees to key areas like restrooms, food stalls, and information desks. Well-placed promotional displays and signage will help guide your guests and maintain an organised and enjoyable environment.

Allowing for bathroom breaks

When planning an outdoor event, it’s crucial not to overlook the provision of adequate toilet facilities. Ensuring your guests have access to clean, functional restrooms can significantly impact their overall experience and comfort. Neglecting this aspect can lead to long queues, discomfort, and ultimately, a negative memory of your event.

Hiring portable loos

Hiring portable toilets is a practical solution for any outdoor event, from music festivals to weddings. Modern portable loos are supplied clean and fully stocked with paper and sanitiser. They don’t require electricity or plumbing, making them suitable for any location. For multi-day events, it’s important to arrange regular cleaning and maintenance to keep facilities hygienic. Proper planning and coordination with your portable toilet provider will ensure that your event remains comfortable and pleasant for all attendees.

Do I need a licence to provide alcohol?

If you’re planning to provide alcohol for free at your event, you don’t need a licence. Additionally, food can be served and sold up to 11pm without a licence. However, if you wish to sell alcohol at a one-off event, you will need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) for licensable activities such as the sale of alcohol.

According to, licensable activities include:

  • Selling alcohol
  • Serving alcohol to members of a private club
  • Providing entertainment, such as music, dancing, or indoor sporting events
  • Serving hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am

A Temporary Event Notice costs £21 from your local council. It’s important to note that the laws regarding alcohol are strict. Anyone convicted of breaking them can face a heavy fine and a criminal record. Whether you plan to charge for drinks or supply them freely, any individuals or organisations intending to serve alcohol should visit and familiarise themselves fully with the law.

What kind of insurance do I need for an outdoor event?

When organising an outdoor event, you assume a duty of care towards those who attend. It’s essential to look into the specific insurance that’s required, as the kind of event you’re hosting will determine the type and level of cover you require. Examples of the policies you should consider might be:

  • Employers’ Liability Insurance: if employees are working at the event, you will want to explore 
  • Public Liability Insurance: if you’re throwing your event open to the community, then should be high on your priorities.
  • Event Cancellation: cover if you are exposed to high overheads and sunk costs.
  • Equipment Cover: If you need a policy to protect expensive gear on-site, such as a PA system.

If that sounds like a lot to think about, many providers will offer one-off event insurance for the day. These policies will often bundle together a number of applicable services to cover equipment, liability, cancellation etc.

What’s the best way to source electricity for an outdoor event?

It’s not uncommon at small social events to see electrical extension cables running to the outside from interior sockets. However, this is far from best practice for a professionally staged event!


It is possible to power your outdoor event from the grid if your venue features exterior electrical hook-up points. Any electricity supply that’s intended for use with outdoor appliances must be protected by a 30mA RCD (residual current device) to act as a trip switch that cuts power in the event of a fault.

In addition, all cables must be equipped with weatherproof outdoor fittings. Event organisers also need to be aware of the trip hazard posed by cables and make appropriate arrangements.

Diesel generators

When mains power is not an option, generators are the most commonly seen (and heard!) solution. Typically powered by diesel or HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil), generators are capable of handling significant power loads over long periods. Despite many drawbacks, including noise, emissions, and the use of costly, flammable fuels, they remain an industry-standard power source for outdoor events.

However, it is essential when using a generator to monitor fuel levels and make sure it doesn’t run out. In addition to the obvious disruption to your event, a sudden power outage can be detrimental to some electrical equipment. 

Rechargeable battery packs

If the disadvantages of generators are off-putting, it may be worth considering a battery pack. Recent years have seen significant advancements in rechargeable battery packs, with modern units offering increased power and reliability for off-grid events. 

These packs are silent and emission-free at the point of use, with some even capable of hooking up to solar panels. Lighter and more portable than generators, their convenience and environmental benefits make rechargeable battery packs an increasingly viable solution as technology continues to progress.

Weather-proofing your outdoor event

The UK’s weather can be unpredictable, but with the right preparations, you can ensure your event proceeds smoothly regardless of the conditions. Using waterproof and wind-resistant materials for all outdoor prints is essential. Waterproof Banners, windresistant Flags, and sturdy Signage are crucial for maintaining a professional appearance even in adverse weather conditions.

It’s also important to have backup plans, such as covered areas or alternative indoor venues. Renting tents or marquees can provide necessary shelter for both attendees and equipment. Proper planning and the use of durable, weatherresistant products will help keep your event running smoothly, regardless of the weather.

Maximising audience engagement

Keeping your audience engaged is key to a successful event. Setting up interactive stations for games, giveaways, and hands-on activities can provide entertainment and engagement, making the event more enjoyable for attendees. Custom Flyers, Brochures, and Postcards are perfect for these activities, as they can be used for printed clues in a scavenger hunt or as part of giveaways.

Using printed materials effectively can also enhance engagement. Distribute Flyers, Brochures, and Postcards to provide information and keep attendees informed and interested. These materials can be creatively integrated into your event to foster interaction and ensure that attendees remain engaged and entertained throughout the event.

Planning for litter and waste management

Effective planning for litter and waste management is crucial for any outdoor event. Ensure you supply ample refuse and recycling bins throughout the venue to encourage proper disposal of waste. 

Strategically place bins in high-traffic areas such as near food stalls, restrooms, and seating areas. Clearly label bins for general waste, recyclables, and any specific waste streams relevant to your event to promote recycling and reduce environmental impact. It’s also advisable to provide information to attendees about the importance of proper waste disposal and recycling.

The clean-up

After the event, it is important to dispose of refuse according to local laws and regulations. Hire a licensed waste disposal service to collect and manage the waste responsibly, as per the Environmental Protection Act 1990

Conduct a thorough sweep of the venue to ensure no litter is left behind, preserving the site’s natural beauty and maintaining good relations with local authorities and communities. Leaving the venue litter-free not only demonstrates respect for the environment but also helps to avoid fines and reflects well on your event.

Post-event follow-up

Once your event is over, your contented guests departed and your clear-up tasks complete, you might want to take the opportunity to evaluate. Following up with attendees post-event is crucial for maintaining connections and gathering feedback. Sending out surveys to gather insights on attendee experiences can provide valuable information to improve future events. Offering incentives such as discounts or entry into a prize draw can encourage more responses. Thank-you Cards and followup surveys can be an effective way to collect this feedback.

Hopefully, this guide will stand you in good stead to organise a successful outdoor event. Solopress’ high-quality, weather-resistant outdoor materials will ensure your event not only looks professional but also runs smoothly regardless of what the British weather has in store!