Innovative outdoor set-up ideas for your next meeting/event

A newly published research shows companies plan to return to in-person events in 2021. The GBTA survey reports that most of its companies expect their employees to return to in-person events, meetings, or conferences in 2021.

How will companies prepare to host in-person events? Convention centers, hotels and other venue types are hard at work with innovative ideas to host meetings and events next year. Destinations are creating new “Safety initiatives” to attract business. Venues offer ample room to achieve social distancing, while others are leveraging their surrounding green space for outdoor activities.

Planner Confidence Index: When do you expect to resume operating face to face events?

5 Innovative new outdoor meeting/event set-ups:

  • Get Outside

The health benefits associated with fresh air and outdoor lifestyle are plentiful. Some hotels are using their unique seafront location to maximum effect offering “Walk and Talks” on the beach. Other hotels are taking advantage of rooftop bars not used during the daytime and using them for meetings.

  • Meet in a Tree


While some companies have moved toward creating green indoor spaces that function as proxies for the outdoors, Microsoft worked with Nelson Treehouse and Supply to create outdoor meeting spaces, which includes two enclosed treehouses and one elevated roost called the “Crow’s Nest”. Although these treehouses are located on the Microsoft campus, the idea could take shape as an evolution of outdoor meeting space with a strong connection to the environment-all while maintaining the reliable connectivity of traditional indoor spaces.

  • A product launch in an outdoor stadium

You may have seen photos of an outdoor venue in the UK that designed an outdoor music venue socially distant with raised platform and a dance floor inside their own fenced and gated area without coming into contact with the whole audience. For inclement weather, the platform could also have open-side tents covering each platform. This model offers ideas that could be repurposed for large meetings, sales events, or product launches done either indoors or outdoors. The platforms could offer opportunities for sponsors to reserve a few and invite their own guests.

  • A “Netwalking” in the neighborhood


Networking is a big part of every meeting. Create “Netwalking” event routes and showcase hidden gems around the area for people to talk about. A great way to start conversation, boost productivity and create a healthier and happier workforce. You can also add food and beverage stations along the way.

  • Far apart in a farm field

Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau worked on several outdoor dinners with organizations called “Banquet in the Field”. Planners set up tables and high-tops, far apart, in an empty field next to a big stand of corn. The high-tops were perfect for visiting while chefs smoked meats over big grills and fiddlers played some tunes. An old-fashioned dinner bell brought diners to their tables. Such event could easily be replicated for any meeting group.

Do you have other innovative set-up ideas you would like to share? Feel free to add them in the comment field below.



Marilyne Bouteiller, a Sales and Marketing Professional and French native, has written short stories for various publications since 2011. As a child, she traveled much of Europe and got into the hospitality industry to follow her love for food and travel. She was exposed to different cultures at an early age, and now enjoys writing about her experiences for i-Meet, the Worldwide Business Community for people who plan meetings and events. Follow her on Instagram @thefrenchinme.


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