Drawing a crowd to an outdoor event in the summer involves a mix of strategic planning, marketing, and providing an attractive and enjoyable experience for attendees. You want people to benefit from the sun, but you might need shelter should things turn a little wet. You want a large open space to encourage people to access all aspects of your event, but you don’t want the sound being carried away from the attendees so they cannot hear if you opt to do demonstrations or have presentations to showcase. If this is an exhibition where you are the host, you can have much greater control over how things can be set up, if you are an exhibitor at an event run by a third party, you’ll need to compete with other businesses all vying for attention.

Luckily, at Starlight, we provide all the exhibition display stand resources to ensure your presence is noticed and embraced. From bespoke outdoor display stands to sign boards, barriers and pavement signs, we make sure your event is a place where your brand is noticed. Aside from the signage though, there are a few other things to think about, especially if you are the hosts of the event too. We’ve put together some handy tips to help your event be a success and a few that may help draw a crowd.


Choose the right location

Location is so important when hosting an event. The last thing you want is to have people unable to locate you! Location also matters for how it may reflect your brand. If you were launching a new alcoholic drink brand, you wouldn’t want to use an outdoor location next to a playpark for example. Likewise, if you have new kid’s products to showcase, it wouldn’t be wise to use an area where demos are not possible. Another location-based factor to consider is what your location involves. If there are workshops and talks, a large public space may look attractive, but the additional noise could be detrimental, unless your event is open to walk-ins and not a ticketed affair!

Accessibility: Ensure the location is easily accessible by public transport and has ample parking.

Visibility: Pick a spot that’s visible and known to attract foot traffic.

Select a suitable date and time

It sounds obvious but poor event planning could see you clash with other events, miss out on times your target audience is available or out of synch with how the rest of the market tends to operate. You want to be a market leader and innovator, but timing is crucial. Gauging the wrong time for a launch for example could vastly undermine all your hard work if nobody is going to be interested. You wouldn’t advertise Christmas in March!

Avoid conflicts: Check for other major events in the area to avoid clashes.

Optimal timing: Choose a time when people are likely to attend, such as weekends or early evenings.

Create a compelling event concept

Marketing is a tool with many functions. You may want brand awareness, you may want sales, you may be looking for ways to secure funding. Regardless, you want impact! You need an event concept that makes people stop and think, “I need to hear about this” or “This excites me!” Some of the biggest brands in the world regularly let their imaginations run away with them and create experiential marketing events that put the consumer first. Live interaction, gamification, performances and demos all go some way to showcasing what you do. It’s just how you incorporate these functions into your event. Look at our blog about experiential marketing events and see how could embrace this form of marketing as a concept.

Unique theme: Have a unique and appealing theme that stands out.

Target audience: Tailor the event to the interests of your target audience.

Effective marketing and promotion

What good is an event if nobody knows about it? You could spend large sums of money on crafting a flawless event that ticks every box but if the right people do not know it’s happening, it’s money wasted! You’ll need to carefully curate a list of people you want to have attend and target them but then also look at a wider audience of prospects who may have not yet discovered you. Consider the following:

Social media: Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote the event. Create an event page and share regular updates.

Local media: Engage with local newspapers, radio stations, and blogs.

Influencers: Partner with local influencers to reach a wider audience.

Flyers and posters: Distribute in high-traffic areas and community boards.

Display equipment: For on-the-day marketing, your display, as we said earlier should be eye-catching and ready to make your outdoor event memorable. Our portable pop-up display stands make for a versatile display and rapid setup whilst our varying array of outdoor event specific signage and displays such as banners, tents marquees and counters ensure you can beat the weather, host a crowd and draw in a crowd.

Our outdoor displays can cater for all business types, from small to large looking for simple solutions to attract more attention from small local events to large corporate roadshows and event sponsorship. We can provide you with a free exhibition stand design service too!

Engage the community

If Covid taught us one thing, it’s about how the community can pull together and make a difference. If you own a small independent business, you are often fighting a battle against the much larger corporations and their unlimited budgets. People power can help your outdoor event become something to rival the big chains.

Collaborations: Partner with local businesses and organizations for cross-promotion.

Volunteers: Recruit volunteers to help with promotion and logistics.

Offer attractions and entertainment

Whilst business is at the heart of your event or exhibition presence, you could make further impact by keeping a crowd captivated without you having to do anything at all. Breaking up your presentation with live entertainment can be a great way to keep people enthralled, and perhaps even spend time engaging with your team before the next part of the presentation take place. As we said earlier, gamification and interaction for attendees can be a huge asset to your marketing efforts for an outdoor event.

Live music and performances: Arrange for local bands, DJs, or street performers.

Food and drinks: Provide a variety of food trucks, stalls, or a picnic area.

Activities: Include games, workshops, or competitions that engage attendees.

Create a comfortable environment

You want people to leave with not just a sale and a smile but also with the feeling that the environment catered for them. This could be through access to facilities, seating options and general security.

Seating and shade: Provide ample seating areas and shaded spots. Also, remember you may have people with additional needs so cater for that too.

Restrooms: Ensure there are enough clean and accessible restrooms.

Safety and security: Hire security personnel and have first-aid stations.

Utilize technology

In this modern world, we want things in an instant. Access to the what, the where, the why, the who and then when. You can bring this together for your outside event by harnessing the skills of your IT department or a third party. Keeping attendees updated in real-time can be a huge benefit to how successful your event is. People won’t miss important presentations, demos or features if they can see how things are running!

Event apps: Use event apps for scheduling, maps, and updates.

Live streaming: Stream parts of the event on social media to attract more attendees.

Incentives and giveaways

Everybody loves to win something! If you are launching a product, a few free samples can never go amiss, nor can some brand relevant merchandise. Encouraging lead generation through sign-ups for vouchers and mailshots can be hugely beneficial, as can giving the opportunity for people to win prizes.

Contests: Run social media contests with prizes.

Early bird specials Offer discounted tickets or special packages for early registrations.

Swag gags: Give away branded merchandise or samples.

Follow-up and engagement

After the event has finished, you don’t want your efforts, or your brand to be forgotten! Look to keep the theme continue post-event too, if only for a short time.

Post-event content: Share photos and videos after the event to keep the buzz going.

Surveys: Send out surveys to gather feedback and improve future events.

By combining these elements, you can create an inviting, enjoyable, and well-attended outdoor event this summer.


If you need further help having your summer event become a success. Speak to the team at Starlight Exhibitions. We not only offer a full event signage service but we can provide full event project management too, allowing you to focus on your team and the attendees, all while we keep things running with the set-up and dismantling of your event as well as conducting risk assessments and health and safety obligations.