Make Summer Sizzle with Hot Trends and Greener Outdoor Events

July 11, 2019

As we bask in warmer weather, it’s time to plan the perfect outdoor event experience to impress and engage attendees. This summer, it’s important to incorporate fresh trends and make your event unique and unforgettable. This season, think sustainability and go organic with a botanical theme, or infuse industrial chic furnishings for a modern look that embraces casual sophistication and an environmentally friendly atmosphere. 

Environmentally Friendly 

Consumers are increasingly aware of their impact on the world. Think about how you can plan events that are zero-waste or waste-reduced to tap into this eco-conscious mindset. First, select a venue that’s LEED-certified for high efficiency and then choose rental décor and furnishings instead of purchasing; it’s the greenest way to style your event. In fact, the rental business model results in 49 percent fewer greenhouse gases than purchasing furniture. Companies like CORT sell 97 percent of their rental furniture direct to the consumer, meaning most product can be reused between 2.1 and 6 times longer than furniture purchased for an event. 

Ask if your venue composts excess kitchen waste and use paper or plastic that can be recycled, or better yet…use actual dinnerware. Try using bulk condiments instead of individually wrapped and go for a meatless menu to reduce greenhouse gases. Finally, hold events near public transportation and encourage guests to use it by offering incentives such as tickets to a raffle with eco-friendly prizes. The little things add up for maximum impact.

Organic, Botanical

This summer, botanicals are back! When adding floral to your event décor this season, bigger is better! Bold floral and tropical prints used in décor, linens and accessories echo the season and lend a cool South Florida or Palm Springs vibe to your event. Use topiaries and tropical vegetation in décor to create a lush garden within your event space, and create intimate moments and vignettes for connections with the addition of faux foliage. A backdrop of greenery exudes an immersive, natural feel. Complete the look with woven, wicker frame furnishings and provide seating that plays up your organic setting. Don’t forget candles! You can never have enough to add a soft glow and ambiance to your event, and it helps reduce the need for other lighting, decreasing energy usage. 

Industrial Chic

This season, indoor trends make their way outside and industrial-chic furnishings are a great way to build modern design that younger attendees crave. Move away from mundane with mixed materials, such as metal and marble and combine it with soft, velvet furnishings in organic 70s inspired colors for eclectic soft seating spaces that encourage guests to engage with each other. 

Metal bar tables and barstools add more industrial surfaces to contrast with the rounded curves and softness in the seating vignettes while providing plenty of places for networking and connection. My biggest pet peeve at events is lack of bar tables to rest cups and plates while networking – don’t make that mistake! Creating different points of view throughout the venue with varied seating elevations and adequate tables gives guests multiple options to see and be seen effortlessly at your next outdoor event. 

The sky is the limit with the natural world as your backdrop. Anchor outdoor venues with organic themes, industrial furniture and most importantly, think sustainably when designing enticing outdoor events! 


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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.