Top 10 items of essential equipment when planning an outdoor event

Summer in the UK brings with it a huge amount of outdoor events.  OK, so the past couple of COVID years have been the exception but at least now we’re seeing a return to ‘normal’.

Whether it’s a country show, game fair, music festival, outdoor theatre performance, corporate family gathering or simply a family celebration in the back garden, the warm summer nights lend themselves perfectly to us relaxing with our friends and colleagues, drinking and dancing the night away.  Everyone loves attending events, and you’ll no doubt want to make your event the best ever!

With this in mind, there are certain elements of any outdoor event that need to be considered in the planning stage when it comes to outdoor event equipment hire, so whether you’re a large event organiser or a family member organising a surprise birthday party at home, here’s our advice when choosing outdoor equipment to hire, for any occasion.


OK, if you’re planning a summer event, then you’ve probably got a picture in your mind of a hot day gong through to a warm evening.  But how much faith do you have in the great British weather?  Ever heard of Murphy’s Law?  Yes – if it CAN go wrong, it WILL go wrong.  Don’t worry, you’re not alone – many people have come unstuck in NOT planning for every eventuality when it comes to the weather. Always have some gazebos or quick tents to hand so that you can erect these if needs be to provide some valuable cover if the rain comes.  You never know! If your budget allows, consider hiring portable cabins that provide more space for guests.


And whilst summer brings with it lovely sunshine, once the sun goes down, the temperature can soon drop.  Therefore, why not look at sourcing some outdoor patio heaters, for instance.  These are normally powered by patio gas and provide heat coverage of up to 3 metres.  If you hire patio heaters, then you’ll extend the amount of time that your guests will be able to enjoy your outside space!


Again, once the sun goes, so the light starts to fade.  It’s important to ensure that there is adequate lighting at your event, regardless of the size.  Festoon lights are very popular at the moment for outdoor terraces and gardens – these are regular sized bulbs on long cables which can be draped across an area.  Usually electrically powered or solar-powered (again, can you RELY on the weather!), these look fantastic during evening events.


Always ensure that you provide adequate seating for the guests at your event. Also make sure that the style of the seating is in line with your event.  If it’s a simple garden party at home, why not consider affordable patio tables and chairs.  If it’s a wedding reception, why not check out ranges of outdoor rattan furniture.  Or, if it’s a corporate event, there’s plenty of outdoor table and chair sets which are both comfortable and which look professional.


As well as seating, you’ll also need tables.  Yes, this might sound obvious, but if you’re catering outside, then have you got some prep tables for the catering team?  What about tables for condiments?  And what about if it’s a self-service buffet style event?  Consider your event furniture carefully and hire accordingly.  Attention to detail is always important when it comes to outdoor event furniture hire!

Cooking facilities

Depending upon the type and size of outdoor event you are organising, the chances are that you’ll need some form of catering.  Whether this with a professional caterer or simply that you’re doing a BBQ for the family in the back garden, always ensure that you have the right catering equipment.  If you don’t, then there’s plenty of catering equipment hire companies in the UK who will be able to offer you exactly what you need, in both gas and electric options.


Similar to catering equipment, refrigeration also needs to be considered.  For larger catering events, why not check out trailer fridges and freezers which are simply towed into position on site and which provide walk-in cold rooms for your catering teams.  And for those small parties in the garden, you need somewhere to keep the beers chilled!  Remember, any electrical appliances outside need to be kept under cover.

Cups, cutlery & crockery

It goes without saying that you’d need to hire tableware for your event, if you are catering.  Remember, you are outside, and so the chances of things being dropped, broken or smashed increases.  Patio slabs can be very unforgiving!  You might want to consider paper or plastic plates (the ranges you can get are impressive nowadays), along with reusable plastic cups.  Again, you can hire plastic pints, half pints, wine glasses, Champagne flutes and many more styles of reusable cups from the leading event hire companies across the UK.


Whether it’s watching the latest heavyweight boxing match, World Cup or Euro football match, or whether it’s a band playing on a stage, entertainment is key.  And, if there’s nothing to watch, make sure there’s some music to listen to.  Everyone likes to let their hair down and have a boogie, and so give your guests what they want!


And whilst, not in any way classed as ‘equipment’, your event will all be about the people, especially after the past 18 months we’ve all had.  People make an event, and if they are busy snapping away on their camera phones and posting to Instagram, you know that you’re making a good impression and that your guests are enjoying themselves!

In a nutshell, therefore, planning an outdoor event can be full of fun…or it can be a headache.  Like anything else, give yourself plenty of time to plan, and always have a plan B, C and D in the back of your mind, as things never quite go 100% to the original plan!  Fortunately, when it comes to event equipment hire and outdoor event furniture hire Manchester and nationwide, the UK has some fantastic suppliers who will be able to help and advise you when the time comes.

And finally, let’s keep our fingers crossed for decent weather!…