Hosting a sunny corporate event on the beach can provide unique benefits for brands looking to offer an inspirational yet relaxed atmosphere. The beautiful seaside setting fosters creativity and collaboration in a way an indoor venue cannot. Taking your next conference, product launch or team building activity to the coast allows for a more adventurous, experiential event.
A beachside location also conveys your company’s laidback and fun culture. However, producing an impactful outdoor event on the sand requires careful planning and consideration. From permits to production, you’ll need to address key logistics to execute a polished, professional beachfront event. Follow these tips to keep your coastal corporate function running smoothly while creating lasting memories for your guests.
1. Choosing the perfect beach location
Selecting the ideal beach venue is key to hosting a successful coastside corporate event. You’ll want to consider factors like accessibility, amenities, atmosphere and cost when scoping potential locations.
Accessibility is crucial – ensure guests can easily reach the beach site from airports, hotels and parking areas. Look for a location near major highways or public transportation. Disabled access is also a must. Research what amenities are natively available or can be rented onsite – places for meetings, restrooms, changing areas, rinsings showers, lifeguard stations, power sources, WiFi, etc. The venue should be able to meet your technical and guest needs.
Carefully evaluate the overall atmosphere; any remote and pristine beach creates a beautiful backdrop but may lack infrastructure. Well-populated public beaches provide amenities but may not offer the exclusivity you want. Private beach clubs can provide privacy and services for a cost.
2. Securing permits and formal permission
Once you’ve selected your ideal beach location, there are likely permits and permissions required to host your corporate event there. Research local regulations early so you can navigate requirements. Many public beaches require event permits for activities outside of normal recreational use.
Permits may be needed for things like stages, large tents, vehicles on the sand, equipment set-up, use of electricity or generators, etc. Applications are typically submitted to local municipalities or beach management authorities. Build in plenty of lead time.
Noise variances may be required if you plan to have live or recorded amplified music. There are often restrictions on sound levels and hours. If you want to serve alcohol, look into getting a liquor licence for your event. If your event occurs at night, permits for beach fires or fireworks displays may be needed. In addition, depending on your guests and the local rules at the beach venue, you might also need to hire designated lifeguards.
3. Setting the scene with lights and decor
Use decorative elements to enhance your beach venue while harmonising with the natural surroundings. Glamorous outdoor lighting is key for setting the perfect mood. String lights draped on tents or trees create a whimsical glow. Flickering lanterns and luminaries dotted along pathways add romance and warmth. Torches planted in the sand provide fiery accent points.
Include organic textures by clustering natural finds to create photo-worthy vignettes and soften lounge and seating areas with breezy fabrics. Crisp linens, cotton throws, burlap pillows and macramé accents keep things casual and beachy. Cosy rugs provide softness underfoot.
4. Having a backup plan for unpredictable weather
One major risk of hosting an outdoor event is unpredictable weather. From sunny skies to stormy seas, you’ll need contingency plans in place to handle any forecast. Carefully monitor the weather in the weeks and days leading up to your beach event.
Have contingency plans ready if rain is expected – secure weatherproof marquees, prepare to move activities under cover or change to a rain venue completely. Consider getting event insurance with weather coverage to recoup costs and have your cancellation policies and communication plan ready.
Wind can also jeopardise beach events and high winds with sand are never a great combination! Have a backup date or indoor venue option if the wind speed is projected to be too high. Provide shade and plenty of water if hot and sunny weather is expected. Sunscreen stations are a nice touch.
5. Prioritising guests’ comfort and unique requests
Keeping your guests comfortable should be a top priority when hosting a corporate event on the beach, which poses some unique challenges. Provide ample shade through covered tents, umbrellas, trees or shade structures, while a cooling area for relief from the hot sun is a must-have.
Supply bottled water and refreshing drinks to keep guests hydrated. Have water stations set up around the venue. Provide seating with a mix of traditional event chairs and casual beach options like blankets and beach chairs.
6. Providing beachside entertainment and activities
A beach venue opens up exciting possibilities for entertainment and activities to engage your corporate event guests. Live music is a must to set the beach vibe so position the stage so guests can enjoy the music while being able to network and appreciate the ocean views.
Fun photo opportunities encourage social media shares and memorable moments, helping to generate more buzz around your corporate event. If allowed, an evening beach bonfire creates a gorgeous focal point. Guests will gather around the glow to connect while roasting marshmallows or sipping cocktails.
7. Focusing on shoreline health, safety and security
Hosting a corporate event on the beach poses unique health, safety and security considerations. Prioritise these factors to keep attendees protected:
- Hire professional lifeguards if the beach does not provide them. Schedule ample coverage for all event hours.
- Have certified first-aid providers on site with a dedicated first aid tent. Stock supplies for minor injuries, sun issues and water safety.
- Provide ample fresh water stations throughout the venue to prevent dehydration and heat issues.
- Control access points to the event site and limit unauthorised entry. Use RFID wristbands to identify attendees.
8. Ensuring technical production withstands seaside setting
Flawlessly executing the technical and production requirements is essential for hosting a successful corporate event on the beach. Start by ensuring adequate power through generators, cables and connections that can withstand shoreline conditions. Rigging and lighting must also stand up to sun, wind and saltwater air.
Audio systems must provide clear sound that carries across the open venue, without excessive volume that disturbs the surroundings. Construct sturdy staging with weatherproof flooring and rust-resistant platforms that can be securely anchored in the sand. Adhere to all noise and lighting rules, adjusting direction to contain light and sound.
9. Respecting nature with post-event cleanup
After the music fades, the true test comes during cleanup. Require your entire vendor team to remove all traces of activities until the beach is spotless once more. Preserve the beauty of your venue by asking guests to take everything they brought, disposing of their own waste properly.
Protect the fragile coastal ecosystem by avoiding contamination or damage during build and breakdown. When produced with care and conscience, a corporate beach bash can build your brand, foster joy and inspire attendees to become stewards of the very shore on which they gathered.