Summer of Soul

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It seems that every period of the year spells more significance for us in the meetings and events industry. Earlier this year we put high stakes on the importance of a strong start to 2024, one that we’ve since shared positive news around.

Now, as we look to the late spring and summer period, we once again try to imagine what this period could spell for our customers and clients.

Summer is a brilliant time for events. We see more outdoor team building and incentive activity, we see new and interesting receptions and summer parties, but we also see them increasingly combined to create better, more productive, experiences for everyone.

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Last year, we even tracked the growing incidence of children at Summer Parties, one of the few positive outcomes from covid, where businesses looked to show more of their human side and embrace the human experiences of their staff. This was further backed up by our Meeting of the Future campaign which predicted the growing incidence of creches at business events. Again, another prediction that has since come to pass as more and more major corporates look to make their events more accessible to parents, but also more purposeful, with values, with soul.

While on the surface appearing disparate, when we characterise these trends as ‘bolt-on’s’ we begin to see a more positive outlook for summer parties, especially those who look to showcase the positive values of the businesses hosting them.

Creches are a bolt-on, the addition of more people, more families, is a bolt on, even the addition of business to a leisure itinerary, and vice versa, is a bolt on. In short though, they all point to a familiar and welcome trend, high production.

Lime Venue Portfolio has been talking a lot about high production recently. It’s a big part of our own purpose. We believe that the more an organiser puts into their event, the more they get back. A large part of the industry’s growth has been driven by the increase in budgets for business events, both pushed by the cost of putting them on, but also the desire to make them hit harder.

It is this investment that is driving quality, impact, engagement, and outcomes for the business that hosts them. High production is about packing a punch, adding theatre and drama to gain resonance and immersion.

It’s important to underline however, that production isn’t just about spending money, it’s about investing in creativity, creative people, new ideas, new formats, new thinking. It’s what is changing the way business events are created, and its leading to positive returns for business. This will influence the summer party market.

This idea of high production should also be seen next to the need for more human experiences, as demonstrated by the increase in family attendance at business events. Businesses are using events to put their values on show, and this is a period to really showcase who they are. Summer is a warm and positive time of year, a chance for people to relax and have fun, without the festivities and ostentatiousness of Christmas events. Summer often has a little more class, a little more purpose.

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Imagine family team building events in gorgeous garden settings. Picnics on the lawn, BBQs and mocktails served al fresco, with options for indoor dining should the great British weather have its way. Venues are a critical partner for these events, they provide positive and thought-provoking backdrops, fine food and a sense of place for the people and businesses involved. 

We should also remind ourselves that these events carry a business element, a conference in the morning, followed by team building and then an evening reception for everyone. Or training, incentive, followed by a dinner in a barmy setting. How about a business event in a historic museum, followed by family activities within the grounds, and a casual reception in one of the many gorgeous rooms these venues have in abundance? Work, play, delight.

At Lime Venue Portfolio, we have for a long-time self-proclaimed ourselves as the cheerleaders for ‘better’ events. Summer is a perfect chance to do so. The industry is in growth, it is being trusted to deliver for business, its time for us to deliver this season with a bit of soul.

If you’re looking to hold a summer party, check out our page that features venues with outdoor space page or get in touch with a member of our team who will be happy to talk you through their recommendations.