How to incorporate outdoor space into your event
As the summer approaches, we all look to spending more time outdoors. The benefits of spending time outside are widely known; according to Mind, the mental health charity, spending time in green space can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve mood, help reduce feelings of stress or anger and improve confidence. Sunlight and fresh air always promote a relaxed environment, and will also help your attendees top up their vitamin D, which known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because the sun is one of the best sources of this important nutrient.
Research from the Mental Health Foundation discovered that spending time outdoors was one of the key factors that enabled people to cope with the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, nearly half (45%) of people in the UK said that visiting green spaces, such as parks, helped them to cope. It’s quite easy to incorporate outdoor time and activities into your events, here’s our guide to help:
Meet and Mingle
Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing so why not schedule your ‘meet and mingle’ time outdoors? Holding events like this outside can help to relax attendees if they are worried about meeting new people. Welcome events held outside feel so much more relaxed and informal and can help set the tone for an inclusive and stress-free retreat.
It stands to reason that outdoor activities – such as team sports and games – are best played and enjoyed outside. Incorporating these activities into your event will enable your attendees to bond and have some fun too. You could hold a simple softball or rounders game, or create a tournament to create some friendly competition. Team games can help to bridge age gaps and encourage attendees to meet and mix with people they don’t know. However, if bringing specific people together is one of your retreat or event objectives, you could ask for participants’ names in advance so that you can choose their team mates and place them together in the same group.
Walking became very popular through lockdown, and long may it continue! According to the Harvard Medical School, walking has some surprise benefits: it can counteract the effects of weight promoting genes, help tame a sweet tooth, reduce the risk of breast cancer, ease joint pain and can also boost your immune function! All of our venues have walking routes around the grounds to enable attendees to connect with nature, get some exercise or to take a relaxing stroll during breaks. Build some time into your event for your guests to take a walk around the grounds – or even do something fun, such as incorporating a walking treasure hunt into the event to get them moving and enjoying the grounds.
Enjoying meals outside can bring a relaxing holiday vibe to your event. Alfresco dining is much more fun and less formal, and is best suited to a relaxed menu designed specifically for outdoor dining. Our Executive Chef, Sam Morgan, has created specific menus for outdoor events, bringing a more relaxed and sociable vibe to meal times. Barbeques or hog roasts are popular options, but also consider street food to bring fresh and unusual summer flavours to your attendees.
Sustainability is also important to consider, holding parts of your event outside will save on lighting and heating usage.
Research shows that people who are more connected with nature are usually happier in life and more likely to report feeling their lives are worthwhile. Nature can generate a multitude of positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and creativity and can facilitate concentration and learning. Nature connectedness is also associated with lower levels of poor mental health; in particular to lower depression and anxiety levels. All properties within The Venues Collection have a huge amount of green space for you to incorporate into your events, we also have outdoor seating / eating areas for guests to enjoy too. For more help in incorporating outdoor space into your next event, please contact the sales team on: firstname.lastname@example.org