Summer parties are one of life’s best offerings. Warm weather, conversation, seasonal food and fruity bubbles provide us all with something to look forward to in the colder, darker months and, at the HAC, we know a thing or two about creating exceptional outdoor events. We’ve compiled a guide of all the key things to consider when planning a summer party.
Location and convenience
Ensuring that your choice of venue is a convenient one is a great place to start the party planning process. As with anything, you’ll never meet the needs of everybody precisely, but providing a convenient location for the majority of your guests isn’t as difficult as it sounds.
Having a number of transport links available at any time is one of the best ways to judge whether a summer party venue will be a convenient pick. If guests are relying on a bus that stops at 8pm, it might not be ideal for an event that goes into the evening. You can also assume that your guests will need access to different train lines – so a central location is the easiest way to cater for this.
The HAC is located in the City of London, with both Moorgate and Old Street underground stations just a short walk away.
Whilst we’d all like to think our summer parties will be weatherproof, unfortunately this won’t always the case. Even in the height of the British summer, there is no guarantee of sunshine! So it’s important to have contingencies in place should the heavens open.
Ask your venue about this when you book and ensure that there are indoor spaces nearby with capacity for your numbers.
It’s not just the rain to worry about however - it might also be too warm for some of your guests if it’s a particularly hot summer’s day. You really need to be prepared for both: can your venue provide parasols? Is there shaded space available, or an indoor area? As an event organiser, these will be important things you should know - and plan for - come rain or shine.
Our summer party packages usually include use of the Prince Consort Rooms, our largest space and fully accessible from the courtyard.
Summer party entertainment
Summer parties provide lots of opportunity for unique outdoor entertainment. It’s a great way of engaging your guests, particularly if they haven’t met before or you’re looking to include a team-building element into your event.
From giant Jenga to ‘It’s A Knock-Out’ style competitions, the courtyard at the HAC provides plenty of space for everything from team activities to casual garden games, as well as our five-acre Artillery Garden. Alongside city skyline views, the vast space of the Artillery Garden provides options for fireworks, fairgrounds and even hot air balloon rides for the ultimate summer party - as well as options for music both indoor and outside.
Summer party catering
From elegant outdoor canapés to sociable barbecues, there are many options for summer party catering that will impress your guests.
It’s best to avoid heavy dishes or stodgy ingredients at any event, but particularly in the summer months. If it’s hot, your guests are less likely to enjoy plates piled high and so it’s usually a good idea to opt for a buffet set up or light bite options for people to pick and choose as and when they please.
Seasonality is also important when it comes to choosing the food you’ll serve. Summer is the time for juicy fruits and refreshing beverages, so you might be thinking strawberries, watermelon, Mediterranean-style salads, Pimm’s and fruity cocktails - but don’t forget to include alcohol-free options, too. It’s not just those who are pregnant or driving that would prefer an alternative and this is increasingly the case. Your guests will need to keep hydrated – especially when it’s hot - so make sure you’ve got the water and refreshing fruit drinks flowing.
To find out more about summer parties at the HAC, get in touch with our experienced event management team.