Outdoor Corporate Event Ideas for the Summer

Because many organizations plan seminars and indoor business events during the winter months, event planning for the warmer weather months of May through September offers a welcomed change of pace and the chance to get outside.

As an event planner, you should always be prepared to suggest summer event ideas for your various corporate hospitality events, customer and employee appreciation events, product launches, and even sales meetings. Here are seven of the best corporate summer event ideas that will take advantage of the summer weather.

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Golf Outings and Tournaments

Group of people on golf course
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With about 27 million golfers in the United States, golf outings and tournaments are among the most popular corporate events each year. Planning a golf event is at the top of the list for consideration by most executives. Whether you plan your own golf outing or make a day out of attending a golf event like a tournament on the PGA tour, don't forget to bring the golf gifts for your guests!

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Baseball Games

Spectators cheering at night baseball game, rear view
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With a history that goes back to the 1800s, planning an event surrounding America's favorite pastime remains on top of the list for pleasing groups and crowds. Baseball teams and stadiums around the country have developed several options to entertain groups within the ballpark, not to mention the party and event options available just outside of the park. Here are some corporate baseball event ideas to consider:

  • Suites
  • Bleacher parties
  • Picnic parties
  • Field and upper deck party areas
  • American League and National League Baseball Stadium and Entertainment Options
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Thoroughbred Horse Racing Events

Low section of horse running
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"Win, place, or show!" A day of Thoroughbred racing, manicured grounds, and fantastic food is a great way to build business relationships whether it's with employees, clients, or even business partners. Thoroughbred racetracks can be found in most states across the country. Group entertainment package options may include the following:

  • Executive suites and millionaire's dining room
  • Marquee Tents
  • Box seats
  • Meeting facilities

Event Planner Pro Tip: Make sure your program includes a winner's circle group photo for your guests.

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Concerts and Performing Art Events

Live show
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In nearly every city there's an "in the park" outdoor concert series with some of the best performers in pop, folk, blues, jazz, opera, orchestra, country, and world music. These music festivals include pavilion or lawn seating, private tents for group entertainment, and options for private catered dining. These event options, combined with the live music, natural scenery of the park, the night sky, and perhaps some wine and cheese will be a sure hit for a corporate event.

Event Planner Pro Tip: In addition to music programs, many city park districts plan outdoor community theater in the park. If they do, consider a family BBQ night or similar outdoor event followed by the entertainment of the play performance.

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Cruise and Sailing Events

Sailing team on yacht
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If you are located near water - an ocean, lake, or even a river - chartering a private yacht or boat during the day or evening offers incredible views and is bound to help deliver a successful program. Depending on your location, most cruise lines charge a three or four-hour minimum and rates for weekends are higher than weekdays. The following are popular corporate event options:

  • Booze cruise (cocktails with live music)
  • Brunch or dinner cruise
  • Historical or architectural cruise

Event Planner Pro Tip: In addition to a captain with a great personality, consider hiring a docent to serve as guide and storyteller if your locale offers up interesting or historic views.

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Motor Speedway Events

Formula One Type Racing
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NASCAR is known for having some of the most loyal fans. If your guests are among those fans, hosting an event at one of the famous motor speedways is a surefire way to delight your guests. Similar to the horse track (number 3 above), motor speedways offer private entertainment options for business events that include suites, meeting facilities, and catering options that enhance the track experience.

Event Planner Pro Tip: Consider hosting your event at a speedway on a non-race day as an alternative to traditional business meetings in a hotel environment.

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Your Own Private Hospitality or Adventure Program

Multi-ethnic friends eating outdoors
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In addition to taking your group to the most popular events and venues in town, there are countless other options to consider for planning a unique outdoor summer event. Consider planning a private reception with ethnic dining, music, and dance performances as a signature company event at any of the following venue types:

  • Best restaurant patio
  • Art gallery and garden
  • Museum or zoo
  • Horse barn
  • Winery
  • Botanic garden

Or, consider taking your group for a day to one of these planned group events:

  • Team building retreat in the woods
  • Fishing retreat
  • Horseback riding
  • Walking city tours
  • Hiking and biking
  • Off-road and jeep tours