Who would have ever thought that outdoor space would become an invaluable business asset? Moving operations and events outside can put customers at ease and help your business thrive while following social distancing guidelines.

In this environment, the right equipment can make or break your open-air endeavors. Here’s how high-quality outdoor shade structures and other portable options can keep your business flexible and resilient, plus some helpful safety recommendations to consider: 


Why move outdoors?

There are several reasons why a business might make the effort and investments necessary to move some or all of their customer-facing operations outside:

  • Make customers feel comfortable: Creating an environment where consumers feel safe encourages them to venture out for a visit, stay at your location longer, and even make a return visit in the future. 

  • Establish a feeling of normalcy: Especially for restaurants and storefronts, helping your customers feel a sense of security and relaxation will also encourage them to spend their money the way they would have before the global pandemic.

  • Overhauling your indoor space is tough: Depending on your business type and the setup of your location, it can be very labor-intensive and expensive to establish social distancing and add elements like partitions and shields. It may be simpler and less costly to acquire outdoor shade structures and other portable solutions for open-air operations.


What accommodations will your business need to make the switch?

As with anything in business, preparedness makes all the difference. The right equipment can mean the difference between smooth sailing under the sun, or a fresh-air fiasco. 

  • Patio awnings: Keep your customers cool and sheltered from the elements with outdoor shade structures that suit your space and daily set-up requirements.

For bigger, more permanent spaces adjacent to your business, consider a large outdoor canopy to create a shady and enjoyable environment. 

For areas away from your primary location or more public spots that will need to be disassembled frequently, try temporary shade structures like pop-up awnings or large restaurant umbrellas.  

  • Semi-permanent outdoor dining structures: Ingenuity reigns supreme during this global time of uncertainty. Restaurants are thinking long-term by installing outdoor seating fabrications that keep tables separated and sheltered, while also providing comfort and functionality. Furthermore, temporary outdoor serving stations might also be a great addition to help keep your staff within view of your customers and ready to serve their needs. Exhibit Options has a variety of portable rentals available - give us a call!

  • Supplies to encourage health and safety: Taking extreme precautions to combat the spread of COVID-19 is the right thing to do, but it’s also better for your business.

For example, providing PPE to your employees helps customers feel calm and secure during interactions with staff, encouraging spending. It also protects your team members and lessens the likelihood that they’ll have to be self-quarantined for weeks at a time.

The prospects or customers you engage with will also appreciate features/additions like sanitizer stands/individual sanitizer provisions and branded PPE giveaways to arm them with what they need to protect themselves. 

Building trust with your clients and your staff members always has a great ROI.


What about one-time events, or businesses without outdoor areas?

As trade show design specialists, working with small spaces and temporary set-ups is our area of expertise. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Take on the challenge:  

Maximize an unconventional outdoor space with partitions to block unsightly views, thoughtful counter or table placements to enable social distancing, outdoor shade structures to beat the heat, and music to create an enjoyable ambiance in noisy settings. 

  • Hit the road:

Does your business have absolutely zero outdoor space? Try bringing your goods or services to your customers with a pop-up tent. Becoming fully mobile can help you participate in outdoor events and create new business opportunities wherever you find a suitable space. 

  • Work together: 

Are you located in a shopping or restaurant district in close proximity to related businesses? Band together and work with local businesses to create spaces where you can spread out and serve customers outdoors. 

Running a business is about staying flexible and adapting to change. Custom outdoor solutions can be your ticket to success when operations are in flux. The professionals at Exhibit Options have the experience, creativity, and in-house capabilities to create functional open-air spaces where you can continue to thrive in any conditions. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out for an in-depth consultation and speedy outdoor solutions!

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