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Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to take the event out of the boring hotel room to the backyard

Backyard business differentiates a brand with the help of nature
Outdoor business adds a fresh perspective to branding
Small businesses do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to rent out events locations, when available backyards can be transformed, with a little planning and verve, into a venue fit for brand activation. 

Backyards have often been used as informal events for art installations, theater and music events, but there is plenty of scope for turning such spaces in to formal B2B event locations. The purpose of brand activation is to engage with customers at an emotional level. 

By their very nature, backyards are impersonal spaces that people feel comfortable and at home in. Using such a space to host a corporate event, as compared to a stiff rented hall or hotel reception room, automatically creates the advantage of comfort. Added to that is the advantage of novelty, which will help to lend personality and individuality to the event, and set it apart from run of the mill corporate events. 

Successful backyard events 


Some events management companies have already successfully turned backyards in to locations for highly successful events, such as for the recent YoungArts Foundation's annual gala and fundraiser held in a Miami backyard that raked in $1.5 million. The name of the event being Backyard Ball, the event planners already had a theme to work around. This led to the warm, rustic décor and ambiance, the home style food and the herb décor on the tables. 

In a similar way, businesses that have backyard spaces to use during key events can consult an events company to suggest the best décor and theme for the space, creative and relevant to the brand image and the theme of the event. What is also significant is that if the backyard is large enough, the ecologically footprint and costs can be reduced by hosting the different sections of the event in the same location. For instance, as in the case of the YoungArts Foundation fundraiser, the performances, awards ceremony as well as the dinner and dance were held in the same backyard location. 

Tips for turning backyards in to event spaces 


As with any event, a backyard event has to make sure the site is accessible and close to the airport if there will be attendees flying in. Inclusion of adequate parking space is a must. It should also be kept in mind that backyards work particularly well as event sites in spring and summer. In the off-season, when the weather may be inclement to spend out of doors, a marquee roof or a large enclosed tent can make guests comfortable and the event a success. 

If it is a product launch, awards ceremony or other event that needs a stage, a backyard deck can be used to function as a stage. Exit and entry routes should be well-planned. Safety hazards should be addressed with power generators (if needed). Planning for the food menu should include considerations of refrigeration available for meats and other foods that require cold storage to prevent food poisoning. 

No matter the kind of event, backyards make unique changes from the typical hotel conference room events. With the help of a professional planner, any backyard that is large enough can be turned into an exciting and unique space for a memorable event. 

Sources: 

Jenny Berg. “Lawn Inspiration: How to Turn a Backyard Into an Elegant Event Space”. www.bizbash.com. 24 January, 2014. Web. 

Kenneth Fabian, Founder & Owner of OGL Asia - a brand activation company specialising in Events, Exhibition and Design Communications since 1989.

With 27 years of experience, Kenneth was able to gather the right contacts, strategies and resources to ensure an effective brand engagement.

Image license: Office Now, CC BY 2.0