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How to Host A Charity Great British Bake Off (Despite the Weather)

23rd Oct 2019

It's finally October! That can only mean one thing: we're approaching the final of this year's Great British Bake Off. If you're one of the millions baking obsessives in the UK, you might be looking for a way to share your passion with your fellow fans, and, what better way of doing just that than hosting your own charity competition at work?

But, if you're going to do your event justice, you need to do it in its traditional surroundings — outdoors. This way, you can invite neighbouring businesses to take part, as well as get the public involved, ensuring your event earns your business some great exposure, too. 

There is one challenge, however: while the TV series is filmed in the sunny spring, you'll need to deal with the unpredictable autumn weather. To help you out, we've put together a few tips for hosting an outdoor charity bake off that's sure to be a success come rain or shine. 

Make sure you have enough contestants

To have a successful bake off, you need to have enough contestants to keep things interesting. So, before you start to organise your event, you should float the idea among your staff to check that there is sufficient interest. If you're suggesting the event while the Great British Bake Off is on TV, we don't think you'll have much trouble getting people excited. 

Remember, not everyone will be a baking aficionado, so be sure to give those with little expertise some gentle encouragement to get involved, even if it's with a basic dish like flapjacks, chocolate crispy cakes, or fairy cakes. It's all about the taking part and raising money for charity after all! 

If you're struggling or only have a few members of staff, why not try getting neighbouring businesses involved as contestants? This way, you can share your love of baking while networking with new firms and strengthening your local business relations. 

Choose a suitable location and branded set-up

If you're going to drum up as much interest as possible, you'll need to find an outdoor location that is in a prominent position to attract passers-by and draw intrigue from nearby businesses. You'll also need to make sure that your chosen spot is easily accessible for your contestants to easily transport their baked goods, as well as convenient for grabbing extra supplies like plates, napkins, and cutlery. 

While the Great British Bake Off makes use of marquee tents in a wide, open field, you likely won't have access to the same amount of space with your event. Instead, think about investing in one or more pop-up gazebos that can easily fit into a more compact location. This type of shelter can also be easily packed and transported, as well as being a breeze to set up, if you're going to be hosting somewhere away from your premises. 

You can maximise the exposure your business gets out of your event by branding your bake-off with your company logo and name, and the best way to do this is with a printed gazebo. Though your event may only be a one-off or annual occurrence, a branded gazebo can be a great investment for your business in the long term, especially if you regularly attend other events, such as trade shows or conferences. A bake-off is a great excuse to acquire a key promotional tool that will last for years. 

It's also worth mentioning that, while we're planning for an all-weather bake sale, you should have a back-up indoor space in mind that you can relocate to. It's not ideal, but sometimes the British weather can be so rotten that you'll need a plan B. 

Get your gazebo in ship-shape with furniture and themed decorations

As we’ve mentioned, one of the best things about hosting your own bake off is that you can use it to promote your brand. Alongside a printed gazebo with your name and logo, it's worth exploring other ways that you can customise your set up to really show off your business's good side. 

If you really want to capture that Great British Bake Off spirit, you will need some personalised bunting and tablecloths to add those all-important traditional trimmings. You may also be interested in setting up some A-frame pavement signs to publicise your event to passers-by and neighbouring businesses. Again, these promotional items are all good investments for the future, as you can simply pack them away for use at future events. 

There are also some practicalities to think about. You will need a counter to display all of your baked goods and somewhere for your visitors to sit down and enjoy eating them. Adding a few tables and chairs in and around your gazebo is a good solution — be sure to look for ones that are easily collapsible and packable for better storage and portability options. 

Get the word out there!

Thankfully, because your bake off is right on trend and for a good cause, people shouldn't need too much convincing to attend. However, it will need some publicising to get the word out there! Be sure to promote your event in any communications that go out to the local area, such as newsletters or email updates, as well as across all your social media channels. You might also want to visit a few neighbouring businesses to encourage them to come down and check out your yummy baked goods. 

If you really want to promote your bake off, why not get in touch with local news publications or radio stations? They're always on the lookout for a feel-good story, and a local charity bake sale is sure to tick that box for positivity. There's also the added benefit of getting a lot of positive exposure for your business, which helps! Just be sure to make enough baked goods to cater to a bigger crowd if you go all out with your promotion. 

Follow our top tips and you'll be able to host a successful bake off, even in these unpredictable autumn months. We're sure your event will be a huge success — good luck! 

If you would like any advice on creating the perfect printed gazebo or promotional accessory, be sure to get in touch. Keep an eye on this blog for further event and branding ideas, too!