There’s no better time than the summer to plan an outdoor event. The warm temperatures and sunshine offer the perfect environment for parties, events and social gatherings. However, event planners should take the necessary precaution to ensure that guests are comfortable and not too hot. Here are some ways to beat the heat when planning an outdoor summer event.

Use Portable Fans

Set up portable fans around the venue to help keep guests cool and comfortable. Just two or three large oscillating fans can make a world of difference in guests’ comfortable levels. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can place buckets of ice water in front of the fans, enhancing its cooling power.

Avoid Peak Sun Hours

Another tip to help guests stay cool during the summer is to plan your event around the peak sun hours. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, 3:00 PM is usually the hottest time of the day. Because the sun is so low during this time, there’s more ongoing heat than incoming, making it feel warmer. After 5:00 PM, however, heat dissipates into the atmosphere and Earth becomes cooler. So, consider planning your event either before 3:00 PM or after 5:00 PM to help guests beat the summer heat.

Watch the Weather

Keep a close eye on the weather when choosing a date for your event. If there’s a heat wave in the forecast, perhaps you can plan for a different date.

Create Shaded Areas

Try creating some shaded areas at your event where guests can sit, rest and relax without burning up under the summer sun. Shaded areas can feel up to 15 degrees cooler than areas exposed to direct sunlight, making it an invaluable addition for outdoor events.

When scouting prospective venues, check to see where the shaded areas are located. Is it largely shaded throughout the entire day? Can it accommodate chairs/seating for all of your guests? Even if the venue doesn’t offer any shaded areas, you can always create your own by setting up large tents and/or gazebos.

Serve Cool Beverages

Obviously, you’ll want to skip coffee and other hot beverages, serving guests cool beverages instead.

Here are some beverage ideas to consider for your next outdoor summer event:

  • Iced tea (regular or flavored)
  • Fruit-infused sparking water
  • Strawberry lemonade
  • Frozen lemonade
  • Soda fountain with multiple flavored syrups
  • ‘Green’ smoothies
  • Coke floats
  • Piña coladas

Tip: serve drinks in mason jars for an authentic down-south summer touch.