It’s finally here! Apple cider, leaf piles, and enough tricks and treats to fill an auditorium. Fall has arrived and this means one thing; holiday events! While this offers a unique challenge—your attendees will have more specific expectations—it also provides unique opportunities from decor to activities.
If you think about it, the fall season makes it easier to plan Fall events. It provides a template for creativity, so you won’t be starting from scratch. Instead, you’ll have a cornucopia of possibilities to choose from. The only question is, how are you going to organize the trappings of the season into a unique experience?
That’s where we come in! We’ve put together a guide to crafting the perfect fall event for your attendees, whether you’re looking to get cozy by the fire or spook attendees with Halloween fun.
Outdoor or indoor?
It’s the event planner’s “To be or not to be?” This decision will dictate the seasonal activities you host and the contingency plans you put in place. The weather is shifting and the last thing you want is your apple picking to get rained out. Consider your location and the weather patterns in that area before answering the above question.
Hosting large portions of your event outdoors provides more opportunities to take advantage of the season. Outdoor activities like apple picking, nature walks, and corn mazes are a Fall staple and can give your event seasonal flair. Even if your event is held indoors, you can use decor to bring the natural charms of Fall inside.
The popularity of the season makes it even more important to choose your location in advance. You’ll have to secure permits for any public spaces and there’s nothing more awkward than discovering that the local soccer team has beaten you to the punch.
Be extra careful in organizing your plan B in case the weather turns. It’s advisable to stock up on heaters or to hand out hand warmers as attendees arrive. Pay attention to the weather up to the day in case of unexpected rain storms or a fall in temperature (pun intended).
Get your theme on.
Who doesn’t love a theme party? Create an extra draw for your event by leveraging seasonal themes, anything from the fan-favorite “Fall Harvest” to an industry-season combination theme for something more unique and personal; imagine a sustainability-themed costume contest!
When it comes to choosing your theme, start by considering your audience. Not everyone is going to be excited for a spooky infusion of ghosts and ghouls. You can also choose a theme that aligns with a recent event in the culture. Consider a Jurassic Park-themed Halloween event inspired by the recent 30th anniversary.
Transport your attendees to another country without having to pay for the cost of a destination event by transforming your space into an Oktoberfest celebration. Schedule beer tastings or brewery tours for your attendees. Offer brand-themed clogs, encourage attendees to wear their best lederhosen, and decorate with colorful pumpkins!
More seasonal themes
- Murder Mystery
- Tailgate Toward Success (great for SKOs)
- Autumn & Wine
- Haunted Halloween
- Any riff on Thanksgiving (i.e Friendsgiving, Events giving, etc.)
You can easily come up with your own theme. All you have to do is think of a fun fall pun or pick a favorite aspect of the season (like changing leaves). You can use the theme as the name of your event or find a unique way to combine it with your brand or event title.
This is where the fun begins! Autumn activities have something for everyone, whether they’re feeling active or looking for a cozy way to network. You can easily schedule a dynamic set of activities to attract attendees and leave them with a smile and warm seasonal memories.
One of the best parts of the season is the food! Delicious, heart-warming food shared among colleagues and new connections. Get your attendees talking with wine tastings or your very own Biergarten (or, beer garden). Add prestige to the activities by bringing in experts to introduce your attendees to the delicious details of these beverages.
Apple picking or a farm tour is a great way to get into the spirit of harvest season. Include hot apple cider, apple pie, caramel apples, and cinnamon donuts to make it an irresistible occasion.
It’s football season! Organize your own tournament and send your attendees to the field. This will shake up any ordinary business conference or trade show, and few activities are as bonding as a friendly competition. Help attendees form meaningful connections by setting them up for a few playful rounds of football.
Embrace the magic of Halloween with a Quidditch tournament. It isn’t just a sport in a fantasy book, it’s a real thing now (just without the flying). This is a more unique sporting activity that’ll get the book worms off the barstools and out onto the field.
Get your freak on with a costume contest that encourages attendees to ditch their polos and button downs. Invite exhibitors to get in on the fun by providing prizes for the winning contestants, a playful alternative to traditional promotion. If you really want to maximize the seasons freakings, design a haunted house in your venue for some after-keynote frights.
Organize a tour of a nearby pumpkin patch or a jack-O-lantern carving competition for more friendly fun. These Halloween activities are great for those who may not enjoy a scare or who prefer to keep to their button downs (hey, it’s a great look!).
These are just a few of the many, many autumnal activities you can schedule to give your attendees a fun and unique experience. The potential is limitless with a fall event, from candle making to hayrides and scarecrow decorating. Oh my!
Infuse your venue with the cozy, candle-lit vibes of a fall day using choice decor. Tap into the colors of the holiday season with gold and copper glitter or table cloths. Create stunning centerpieces using pumpkins, squash, and other autumnal fruits and veg set in a wicker cornucopia.
Candle light is the coziest kind of light. Use electric candles to get the vibes without the insurance risks! If you’re going for that haunted-mansion vibe, stick electric candles in ornate candelabras for an enchanting aesthetic. These reusable candles are also a fantastic method for improving sustainability!
Get your craft on by painting mason jars to use as charming vases for fall flowers. Wrap pumpkins in flannels or paint them with playful patterns and jack-O-lanterns. Put together fall wreaths and hang them above doorways to greet attendees as they come and go. Remember, holiday events are about letting your creativity soar through the chilly air!
Frights, fun, & food.
It’s the coziest holiday season of the year and its bursting with unique opportunities for planning holiday events! Transform your SKO with sports activities or cozy beer gardens that give attendees the chance to meet, reflect, and connect for the new year. It’s as much a time of celebration as it is a time of indulging in delicious food. You’ve made it though another (fiscal) year. Go you!
When it comes down to it, the key to planning a fun fall event is by tapping into the creative potential of the holiday season’s traditions. Consider what your audience would love most and give them that, but with an autumnal twist! This is your chance to add more fun into your events than you might normally, so make the most of it.
If you do, it won’t just be the frights, fun, and food that your attendees remember; they’ll remember the people they shared them with!