Both the NCAA and NFL football seasons are officially back in full swing, which means your next event can incorporate a favorite sporting pastime for increased attendance and guest satisfaction.
Tailgating events are fun, casual, and offer built-in conversation starters and entertainment – making them perfect for corporate team building, sponsorships, and other business relationships.
As an approved vendor for multiple Super Bowl games, we’re sharing some of our best tips for tailgating events that score big with attendees.
Make Sure Everyone Has a Seat
A seat in the stadium is only one essential element of a successful game day event. For those eager to tailgate beforehand in the parking lot, park, or designated tailgate area, you need to make sure there are tables and chairs for guests since these pre-game events can go on for hours prior to kickoff.
Collapsible stadium chairs are easy to transport and set up, offer extras like built-in cup holders, and can be custom branded as cool swag and giveaways for guests. Inflatable sofas and similar seating are also convenient options, particularly to reuse for multiple events throughout the season. Don’t forget to bring an inflation device and appropriate power supply! (We can also bring in our rental furniture partners for a true luxury experience for your VIPs.)
Design a Game-Friendly Menu
One of the most important things you need to consider when planning food for a tailgate is simplicity and ease in eating. No one wants to balance a disposable plate on their lap and try to manage cutting bites with a plastic knife and fork. Think instead of items that can be eaten with one hand like sandwiches, sliders, and kabobs.
Or, get creative with how you serve items. Dish out chili in thermo-friendly cups instead of bowls or plates. It keeps the chili warm without burning hands and makes it easy to carry a spoon inside the cup.
Other yummy in-a-cup ideas include mini chicken pot pies and taco salad for entrees, and layered parfaits and cheesecakes for desserts.
Looking for a slightly more elegant meal service with wine or cocktails? Consider offering guests party plates with a built in stemware holder. This allows guests to keep a hand free for selecting items from a buffet, cheering on the game, and satisfying their appetites without constantly searching for table space.
Maximize Your Viewing Pleasure
Some football games are a thrill to watch. Others move more slowly.
Some guests are super fans who want expert analysis on every play. Others just enjoy the friendly atmosphere of watching a game alongside other people.
These differences, and others like them, are why it’s so important to have many ways for attendees to enjoy the experience. In addition to tickets to the stadium, make sure you have outdoor viewing screens or inflatable screens with speakers for sound and audio of all pre-game activities on the field and commentary before heading inside.
Also, make sure to think of activities guests can enjoy in the hours leading up to the game, or for those who intend to stay outside during the game. Cornhole, yard games, and football skill drill games are favorites that can be enjoyed by all ages.
Don’t Forget Pre-Game Planning
Make sure you have contacted the stadium well in advance to find out tailgating requirements. Some venues are first-come, first-served while others require a special parking permit. This is often the case if you intend to bring an RV or other large vehicle to accommodate private restrooms or cooking needs or if you need multiple spaces to accommodate everyone and your seating needs.
Also remember that playoff, championship, and rivalry games mean increased attendance, so that means more competition for hotel rooms, flights, and other transportation. Be sure to leave several extra weeks when planning for these big-level games.
Don’t forget the value of trusting your event to a pro. In many cases, working with a preferred vendor or approved vendor can get your group extras that would not otherwise be available.