The sun is thin in the sky, but our party spirit isn’t dimming! As we welcome in a New Year, there’s a strong urge to gather your best customers, lay some chairs outside, and let the drinks and music flow. Entertaining outdoors is a very fine thing indeed, although you may be wondering what you can do to court an awesome evening. We’re here to direct the party on your premises, with a handful of suggestions that’ll get people in the mood for revelry. Adult party games Usually, the kids have all the fun, so why not experiment with some tongue-in-cheek games that adults can enjoy? We’ve come across some corkers, like Dangling Donuts, in which you tie some sugared pastries on a string, hang them overhead at a decent height, and compete to see who can munch one the fastest. Balloon Break is another fun choice: basically, couples have to pop balloons (10 or so maybe) by pressing their chests together within a time limit. Just be sure to clear a space for these kind of activities, well away from the main bar or dining area. A live band The crème de la crème of New Year’s festivities, and for encouraging a packed outdoor space in general, is hiring a band to get people dancing. Nothing fancy – a local set of musicians will do, or a cover act. The latter might actually be better, as people often want to lose themselves in songs they know when eating or drinking out. Deck fairy lights around the stage, which should be opposite the outdoor bar (if you have one) to leave somewhere for customers to chat. Act as the host, cracking jokes and introducing the band afresh every time they come on. Structural makeovers When hosting a party in winter, you should keep in mind that the environment itself has to be warm, appealing and visually dynamic; otherwise your customers will be inclined to retreat indoors. Chairs might be cushioned, for instance, preventing anyone from stiffening on the hard, chilly surface. Heated lamps are a must, dotted in a circle around your hangout spot. You’ll also want to prevent rain or heavy winds from spoiling the party. To do so, invest in a cluster of our Café series parasols, which can be lined up along the heart of your patio or terrace. It takes barely a minute to open and close the canopy with Instashade’s intuitive pulley system. Water will run right off the top, and packing them up is simple, meaning you can instantly create or dismantle the scene of celebration. We have further selections of parasols for your business, so take a little time and think about what’ll suit you best. Throwing a bash outdoors is the truest test of your entertainer status; do it right, and word will spread, resulting in repeat custom and a slew of smiling photos to promote what you do. Call the Instashade team for more thoughts about setting 2017 off with a bang!