How to Make Your Next Party a Great One

Keeping Guests Socially Distanced And Comfortable At An Outdoor Party

by Salvador Watkins

Outdoor events offer a smart way to have a great time while keeping COVID-19 mitigations in place. Whether you're hosting an outdoor wedding or a casual backyard picnic, your party planner can help you put all the pieces in place to keep everyone socially distanced and comfortable throughout your event. Here are some considerations to discuss with your party planner in advance.

Unique Seating Setups

Small round tables with guests facing each other might be a traditional setup, but social distancing makes this option less than desirable. You can use small tables if you'll be seating members from individual households together, but banquet tables might be a better option for guests gathering from different social bubbles. You can seat everyone facing in the same direction, similar to a head table at a wedding, to help minimize potential exposure while guests are unmasked during the meal portion of your event. Your party planner can help you determine how many tables will be needed to keep guests socially distanced while sitting down for dinner. 

Canopy Rental

While traditional outdoor parties might incorporate a tent to keep guests safe from the elements, the COVID-19 pandemic might have you rethinking this option. Canopies with open sides allow fresh air to circulate throughout the event space, adding an extra layer of mitigation to your party. You'll want to make sure the canopy is large enough to accommodate your banquet tables, so be sure to map out your available space and where tables will be located to ensure full coverage. The canopy will shield your guests from the sun and potential rain without creating an enclosed space. For extremely large gatherings, you may want to set up several canopies, creating dedicated areas for dining, dancing, and other activities at your party.

Outdoor Heaters

Of course, planning a party outdoors means you might not be able to account for the temperatures at your event. For evening parties or those hosted in the spring and fall, outdoor heater rentals can stand in as climate control. You can position taller heaters on the border of your event space to create a wall of warmth for guests, and shorter heaters can be placed underneath the canopy toward the center of the party space for an additional circle of warmth. With tables socially distanced throughout the event venue, there will be more space to safely position your outdoor heaters away from direct contact with guests. Work with your party planner to determine how many heaters will be needed and the sizes you can safely accommodate underneath the canopy. You'll also need to determine fuel or power sources to ensure the heaters remain in proper working order for the length of your party. Remember that heaters might also be a smart option for evening parties in the summertime, depending on where you're hosting your event. Even warm climates can experience mild to chilly evenings, making heaters essential for keeping guests comfortable.