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June 07, 2022American Tent Life

Planning an event involves a lot of factors. You'll need to pick a date, create a guest list, send invitations, decide on a menu, look at indoor or outdoor party venues, and organize activities - the list goes on and on.

Of course, choosing a venue and deciding whether to have your event outdoors or indoors is essential. Suppose you live in a relatively temperate climate all year round. In that case, the decision to host an outdoor event is much easier than if you live somewhere with unpredictable weather.

Wherever you're looking at indoor or outdoor venues, one thing remains consistent: tents are a must-have, no matter the event type.

What Is the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Event Spaces?

To determine which type of venue is best, you should consider critical factors:

  • Time of year
  • Weather
  • Equipment
  • Guest count
  • Type of event

Naturally, indoor and outdoor venues have their pros and cons. Regarding the weather, indoor event spaces offer complete peace of mind. You'll never have to worry about rain, sunshine, or hot or cold weather.

Outdoor events, however, guarantee a carefree atmosphere for your guests, regardless of whether you are throwing a modest soirée on a restaurant patio or a grand celebration on a vast expanse of land.

Benefits of Having an Outdoor Event Venue

outdoor venue for party

An outdoor event in beautiful weather is enough to choose this type of venue. However, there are a few more advantages to holding an event outside.

  • Mobility: Outdoor venues for parties allow everyone to move around comfortably in an open space. 

  • Cost-effective: Hiring outdoor party venues is less expensive. What's cheaper, an outdoor rental space for a party such as a park or a banquet hall?

  • Flexibility: In terms of layout and decoration, outside party venues offer a lot of flexibility. Indoor venues are usually constrained by architecture, limiting choices about where tables should be placed, traffic flows, and other elements that should be incorporated.

  • Added space: You won't have to worry about the venue being fully booked.

  • Child-friendly: It is advisable to have the event outdoors if children attend, as they tend to feel cooped up inside.

Disadvantages of an Outdoor Event Venue

Whether it's weather, lighting, or power concerns, open-air event spaces come with their fair share of challenges

  • Nature: Bugs, mosquitoes, and bees can fly around, bothering you and your guests when you're in mother nature.

  • Bad weather: Organizing a venue's rain plan is a must, and it should be ready to go at a moment's notice. Heat can also make an event incredibly unpleasant.

  • No power outlets: Outdoor events require careful planning of electrical supplies, which can increase costs.

  • Rustic: If you're looking for a highly elegant event, an outdoor gathering space can sometimes make it difficult. You may also be more limited on decor options, including a DJ or dance floor setup, furniture, etc.

Benefits of Having an Indoor Event Venue

Outdoor venues

In contrast, an indoor space alleviates many of the concerns associated with outdoor events. For example, you can control the climate. Here are a few more reasons why indoor events are a good idea.

  • Power: Electrical outlets to set up a sound system or lights are readily available.

  • Amenities: Accessible bathrooms, heat, air conditioning, etc., are ideal to accommodate seniors. 

  • Different rooms: An indoor rental space can provide separate areas for your event. For example, if you are planning a wedding, you can have one room for the ceremony and another for the reception.

  • Noise protection: Regarding outdoor and indoor venues, indoor events provide a sound barrier for all participants, whether you're looking for privacy for your guests or want to avoid noise ordinances.

Cons of Having an Event in an Indoor Space

There are still some surprising disadvantages of having an event at an indoor venue:

  • Expensive: Compared to an outdoor gathering space, a lot of expense can be involved in furnishing an ample empty space. You may need to rent furniture, tables, and chairs. The cost can add up quickly. 

  • Room size limitations: An indoor event is impacted by the room size, which can affect the number of people in attendance and the type of tables and decorations.

  • Venue restrictions: Some venues may not let you hang anything from the ceilings, so you must adhere to and work around their established look.

  • Poor lighting: Lighting for the perfect photos can be challenging, especially if the venue is dim and there are not enough windows to let the natural lighting in. 

  • Too formal: Indoor events have a very formal and official connotation which may not be appropriate for your event.

  • Accessibility: Although most indoor spaces are designed to accommodate larger events, such as corporate functions, many older, charming buildings with personality and style still lack convenient parking, ramps, docks, etc. When vendors load in equipment and décor for your events, this can prove challenging.

How to Choose the Right Event Plan Option

outdoor event space

The fundamental considerations remain the same regardless of the event's size and complexity and whether you've decided on an indoor or outdoor event space.

#1 Consider the Event's Time of Year

For the most part, an event's time of year isn't necessarily a choice. Birthdays, anniversaries, and other events worthy of celebration occur year-round. That doesn't mean you can't celebrate them in an outdoor party space!

For example, those with their hearts set on a fall wedding can still plan an indoor-outdoor wedding with a glamorous outdoor reception and an elegant all-white tent. Even if you're planning a summer event when the weather should be perfect, your guests will still need shade, which is why outdoor tent venues are always a good idea.

And because tents are customizable, you can plan your event virtually any time of year. Adding tent sidewalls and flooring allows you to create a cozy event even during chilly months.

Clear-top tents are the best tents for outdoor events because they provide an open sky feel if you want to bring the outdoors in. If you still feel uncertain, look for outdoor or indoor venues that will allow you to move the celebration indoors if the weather gets out of control.

#2 Plan the Budget for Your Event

One of the significant advantages of outdoor event space is cost savings. Renting an indoor event venue can be expensive, and you may have to wait a while - indoor event space is often high in demand and booked out for months.

However, you'll still need to invest in some shelter, such as a frame tent, to protect yourself from the sun or rain. If you're fortunate enough to have a large yard or inexpensive or free outdoor event space, you can take advantage of additional savings. Once you've determined the venue, other considerations for your budget include:

  • Refreshments, including snacks, food, and beverages;

  • Decor, tables, and seating arrangements;

  • Entertainment, such as DJ or a live band.

#3 Take the Size of the Event into Consideration 

We should probably backtrack a bit and talk about the size of your event. After all, that will be a significant consideration for venue, budget, and tent size. It also can be one of the most challenging parts of event planning since emotions can also come into play here, especially when planning events involving the family.

Birthday parties, wedding receptions, christenings, and other milestone events can quickly spiral out of control as you assemble your guest list. Consider a cross-cable tent to maximize guest space if your budget allows for a significant lavish event.

#4 Plan the Decorations

outdoor venues for party

Now for the fun part - planning the decorations for your event. Of course, you will have different considerations for an indoor rental space vs. an outdoor space. If your dream event includes chandeliers dripping with crystals, a full orchestra, or a dance floor with an elaborate light show, then you'll probably be happier with an indoor event.

If you have guests with accessibility challenges, you must consider that seriously when choosing a venue. However, if you can successfully plan an outdoor event, you can be as creative as you like! The best part of outdoor events is that each one is unique - and memorable.

Plus, custom tents make it possible to create truly one-of-a-kind tent venues. We recommend using the surrounding nature as inspiration for decorations: seasonal flowers and a complementary color scheme are simple yet unique ways to create a welcoming environment.

If You Can't Decide on an Indoor or Outdoor Space, Compromise!

You don't have to choose between indoor and outdoor celebrations. Many venues offer indoor and outdoor event spaces, and a celebration that transitions between the two will provide your guests with a refreshing change of scenery.

Rent a clear tent for your outdoor event if you can. You get the open-air feel of an al fresco reception and an elegant indoor reception that protects you and your guests from the elements. The perfect indoor-outdoor event is possible with stunning installations or centerpieces filled with lush greenery.

Combining indoor-outdoor venues works really well for those who can't decide between an indoor vs. outdoor wedding. The best tents for weddings create a perfect "rain event space" outdoors, so your guests and you won't have to worry about the weather.

American Tent Can Make Your Event a Success

If we've learned anything in recent years, we should treasure time spent with friends and family. We've also gained a much greater appreciation for socializing and even doing business in an outdoor setting. The outdoor trend is here to stay, and we're here for it.

At American Tent, you can find event tents for every year and every season of your life. Shop for tents with us, and you'll discover an unparalleled selection of the best tents for events. Don't see what you need for your next event? Contact us, and we'll customize a tent to create the perfect venue.

Tony Ehrbar's headshot

Tony Ehrbar

Owner & CEO

Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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We regularly post helpful resources that can help you plan great events and learn more about our event tents.

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