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Open Air Business January 2017

The UK's outdoor hospitality business magazine for function venues, glamping businesses and outdoor event organisers

FUNCTION VENUES BOGGIO

FUNCTION VENUES BOGGIO STUDIOS Giving the issue of lighting some thought could make both your and your clients’ lives a little easier, and a little brighter, says Isabel Smith IN FAIRNESS, LIGHTING isn’t necessarily the most exciting topic for a business person trying to build their new wedding/event space brand. It isn’t all that exciting a topic to me and I have 10 years experience of getting event lighting right. However, as well as ensuring your pricing is appropriate, profiling your ideal target market, writing the perfect marketing strategy and, of course, ensuring your facilities and services are in line with your client’s needs, lighting is one of those things that really deserves some careful thought. After all, what is the point in having the most gorgeous grounds or views if, when it comes to nightfall, no one can enjoy them? And the perfect, level field for guest parking is all well and good, but who is liable should guests trip over while searching for their cars? Allow me to ‘enlighten’ you (see what I did there!). GARDENS AND GROUNDS Picture the scene. You have a stunning farm or field with a view, or are using your stately home as the backdrop for incredible marquee weddings overlooking the carefully manicured gardens. Your client books your venue and loves every inch of it (having only visited in daylight of course). KATA TIPIS 26 WWW.OPENAIRBUSINESS.COM

FUNCTION VENUES The event takes place, it is perfect and then… darkness falls. Suddenly, that stunning exterior or view that you so capitalised on falls into shadow, looking not just ‘nothing’ but positively creepy in the darkness. Is that really the feeling you want all 100 or so guests to leave your property with? No? Then why on earth not invest in some outdoor lighting? It doesn’t take a lot to install some uplighters to your most mature and prized trees, or elegant floodlighting to the vista. Water features like lakes or fountains also tend to get overlooked, which can actually cause a safety issue should intrepid guests go a wandering. ENSURING YOUR PROPERTY SHINES Likewise, if your setting includes a building of some sort (be that a stately manor or a refurbished barn) think about how you can both enhance the guest experience and ensure everyone remembers the venue at its best by installing some sort of lighting appropriate to your brand and offering. If you’re offering a more rustic barn, then outdoor fairy lights wrapped around the external beams might be just the ticket. A grander property might require more powerful uplighting, which should ideally change colour in response to your client’s theme. If nothing else, there are going JOE SHORT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY “IF YOU’RE OFFERING A MORE RUSTIC BARN, THEN OUTDOOR FAIRY LIGHTS WRAPPED AROUND THE EXTERNAL BEAMS MIGHT BE JUST THE TICKET” to be one or two smokers heading outside throughout the evening. Surely they deserve to be able to see where they are going, and indeed where the ashtrays are that you have so carefully provided to prevent them dropping stubs where they stand; after all, it is likely to be you who has to pick the damn things up! In fact, combining lighting and heating in this scenario will serve you well (she says, sitting in the cool Autumn weather in Rome next to a rather sophisticated and elegant outdoor heating solution). INTERIOR EVENT LIGHTING This is where things have the potential to be complicated. If you’re offering a blank field for marquee events and using a hire company, then hurrah! Interior lighting can absolutely be left to the client and the marquee/ lighting supplier. If you’re offering more than that then ‘eek’ – this really needs some thought. Standard strip lighting in the rafters of your barn is not going to cut it. It is harsh, unflattering and unromantic. Really, you need to liaise with an expert on lighting systems. As mentioned previously, an integrated, dynamic system that allows for colour changes and response to music is going to go a long way to impressing potential LILLIBROOKE MANOR/CHRIS GILES PHOTOGRAPHY