The Covid-19 pandemic has completely transformed our way of life. But it also changed the way we organise events. The situation has started to get dire again all over Europe and we still do not know what measures will be taken in the immediate future to counter the spread of the virus, or how restrictive they will be. What we do know for sure is that the events industry has already suffered a hard blow during the first lockdown and that, lest the situation should get worse, with inevitable repercussions on our industry, it is our duty to operate with the utmost care and be responsible, especially in the choice and management of event venues. As long as restrictions on meetings and gatherings are kept in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, we can rethink all kinds of events to make them feasible outdoors. Check out our pro tips to organise a memorable outdoor event while keeping everyone safe!
The Italian summer is still hot: keep your guests cool!
The Italian summer can be extremely hot and temperatures in many regions remain high until late October. For this reason, when selecting a venue for your outdoor event (particularly if it is scheduled to take place in the daytime), it is important to make sure that there are enough shaded areas. If the venue offers a beautiful park or garden, but there are not enough trees to provide shelter from the hot Italian sun, it is advisable to rent tents, umbrellas or gazebos to allow guests to find some respite during the hottest hours. If the event takes place during the day and in a particularly hot region, it will also be worth investing in outdoor nebulizers, which spread microscopic drops of fresh water in the air, making the high temperatures more bearable. As a rule of thumb, however, outdoor venues with abundant vegetation are the most suitable for hosting events at this time, as they always guarantee a slightly lower temperature than most urban spaces. An excellent example is this splendid Milanese loft, which provides an outdoor area with plenty of greenery, where shade is provided both by the trees and by dedicated installations. In a space like this you can organise all kinds of events, always guaranteeing social distancing and without compromising on style.
Find creative alternatives to traditional catering
Catering is off limits. This is one regulation that has not eased over the summer. You are not allowed to offer refreshments where food is displayed on a table. Buffet lunches are definitely out. On the other hand, however, it is difficult to think of organizing an outdoor event and combine it with a seated dinner, with waiters moving between the kitchen and tables. Not only is it an expensive and impractical option, but it is also not stylistically suitable for most events. On the other hand, no event organiser wants to organise an outdoor event with elegant fittings and sophisticated entertainment, and then serve packaged snacks and canned drinks. Is there an acceptable alternative? We think so. If you want to find an alternative to traditional catering, our advice is to turn to small producers of local delicacies. Many companies, in fact, have developed alternative packaging suitable for safe transport and consumption, specifically to meet their customers’ needs during the pandemic. These are often gourmet portions of typical products, which can be easily transported, sanitized, and made available for individual consumption or given as gifts. In This will allow you to maintain the gastronomic aspect of the event without taking risks and without violating any provisions. This 19th century building is one of our favourites. Its style imitates the medieval Tuscan and Lombard architecture. In fact, it combines a beautiful garden with an elegant, contemporary and minimalist interior open space measuring 260 square metres.
This beautiful historical building in Piazza Duomo is suitable for the same purpose, but for different events. Inside its magnificently decorated rooms you can move around in complete safety, with ample space available. If time allows it, however, you will be able to hold your event on the splendid panoramic terrace or in the large courtyard, which is perfect for presentations and catwalk shows.
Organize an themed open bar
While the rules for catering are not always clear-cut, the management of bars is more clearly regulated in Italy at the moment. Organizing an outdoor bar is really simple, whether you choose to run it like many Italian bars, with social-distancing enforced by the counter and transparent plastic barriers, or offer a basic form of table service. To make the experience even more interesting, a themed open bar can be organized to further emphasize the tone and personality of the event. Ask your caterer to design a set of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, designed to highlight the event’s theme, perhaps even match the decor’s palette. Naturally all the cutlery will have to be disposable, but it is worth investing in recyclable and ecological options: guests will appreciate the effort to organize a sustainable outdoor event! Of course, there is no better space than an outdoor swimming pool to enjoy a fresh and colourful cocktail. For this kind of events, we love to use this small loft in the very heart of Milan, which combines a sophisticated design with a luxury outdoor area, with a splendid swimming pool and all the necessary space to set up an open bar.
Distribute PPE and personal hygiene kits
At this stage it is very important to maintain social distancing and to follow the scientific community’s guidelines in terms of personal hygiene and disinfection. And to wear masks whenever social distancing is not possible. To ensure the safety of all your guests and staff at all times, it is a good idea not to rely solely on the caution of others, but to plan ahead. For this reason, experts recommend distributing small kits among guests, which include everything necessary to prevent the spread of virus. Masks (ideally washable and branded), disinfectant gels and hand wipes.