Facebook
LinkedIn
Instagram

Cold Weather Event Ideas: Bringing the Outside In

Even in icy temps, important meetings and events still need to be had. But a common complaint of many meeting attendees is the feeling of being cooped up inside. That gripe is hard to combat when the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor events or activities. So how do you keep the fires of commerce burning when the temperatures are below productive? One clever way is through event décor. Why not flip the script and bring the outside in with cold weather event ideas?

We love reimagining basic, boring ballrooms into spaces with an outdoor feel. Whether it’s a backyard, tailgate affair, or a simple, starry night, creating an outdoor ambiance can bring a spark to an all-indoor experience for attendees.

Our event production experts have identified a few key components necessary for creating that perfect “outdoor in” vibe. 

Set The Event Space Mood When There Is Cold Weather 

Suspension of disbelief begins the moment your guests enter their event space. Depending on the theme of the event, simple enhancements that lean into the outdoor feel are all you need to set the tone.

  • Plants, plants, and more plants…we can’t say it enough! Live plant groupings are an inexpensive and effective way to bring lushness to your surroundings. Swaddling the borders of your event space, hugging your stages, tucked between seating, and flanking food stations, plants bring that organic awareness to your environment.
  • Hedge walls are another lush way to create an outdoor vibe in an indoor space. They can be used as vignettes with florals and neon for an Instagramable moment with an outdoor flair. Or artfully notched together to break up your space into intimate garden nooks.
  • When going for a more rustic experience, spans of split fencing, haybales, or wooden pergolas can instantly create an al fresco feel.

Take a seat…or don’t!

One of the best things about an outside-in event is that you can finally control the lighting! Unlike outdoor events, where you’re compensating for shadowy corners, you can tone your lighting to your discretion.

  • Market or twinkle lighting is a dramatic and impactful way to immediately transform a ballroom into a backyard. Strung across seating spaces, spanned around perimeters, or swagged from corner to corner, market or twinkle lighting instantly puts your guests in an outdoor frame of mind.
  • For those really trying to make an impact, ceiling stars and twinkle curtains are statement moments. You can create the feeling of a starry sky by artfully rigging one above guests’ heads.

Event Lighting Ideas

One of the best things about an outside-in event is that you can finally control the lighting! Unlike outdoor events, where you’re compensating for shadowy corners, you can tone your lighting to your discretion.

  • Market or twinkle lighting is a dramatic and impactful way to immediately transform a ballroom into a backyard. Strung across seating spaces, spanned around perimeters, or swagged from corner to corner, market or twinkle lighting instantly puts your guests in an outdoor frame of mind.
  • For those really trying to make an impact, ceiling stars and twinkle curtains are statement moments. You can create the feeling of a starry sky by artfully rigging one above guests’ heads.

Weather Interactive Games and Activities

One of the best things about an inside-out event is the inclusion of activities and experiences that you traditionally don’t find in a ballroom. Here are some cold-weather event ideas to add some fun to your event.

  • Backyard and tailgate events are a wildly popular way to bring interaction and engagement to an otherwise stagnant space. Cornhole, ladder golf, and even beer pong are inexpensive enhancements.
  • If you are going for specific themes, choose activities that support that vibe. Pairing a Tennessee hootenanny with roping games or a circus event with midway madness embraces both the outdoors and the theming.
  • We love tapping into the child at heart too. Swing sets, adult teetertotters, and even ball pits provide an unexpected, whimsical flair.

Food to Warm You Up During Cold Weather

Attendees experience an event through their senses…especially their tastebuds! Making an indoor event feel outdoorsy is as easy as pie!

  • Food truck fare is a favorite! Grab-and-go corndogs, funnels of fries, or fried anything is simple snacks that make attendees feel like they have cause for celebration. And don’t get us started on grown-up cotton candy!
  • What’s more Southern than a barbeque? Smoked meats and grilled veggies not only make an outdoor statement, but their tantalizing smell can immediately transport a guest from the ballroom to the backyard!
  • If you’re going for a more upscale affair, food stations that encourage guests to roam will help break up your space. Tapas, gourmet cheese stations, or farm-to-table crudité compliment an al fresco experience.

Event Entertainment Suggestions

Outdoor events don’t usually need elaborate stage design or production set-up. When it comes to entertainment, simple, poignant performers can wipe out those detailed riders for full-piece bands.

  • Intimate stages with single guitar players or pared-down duos create a park-like busker vibe. The bonus: smaller stages mean smaller footprints…and production costs!
  • Strolling or vignette entertainment is key! Interactive characters like a Living Fountain, Flower Fairies, or roaming Cirque-style entertainers make guests feel as if they’ve stumbled into Central Park or an enchanted garden.
  • Take-away mementos have not waned in popularity. Activation stations with a parting gift are always a draw. Custom postcard stations, “city” mural photo ops, or local artists creating one-of-a-kind art allows guests to leave the event with a token from their adventure.

With a little inspiration and imagination, the weather forecast will only impact your event when it comes to what to pack. For more cold weather event ideas and how we can keep those winter blues away, give us a call. We can help you turn any event inside out!

scroll to top