Drive Through Event Tips

Updated: May 13

I'm hopeful that sometime in the near future we'll be able to have more of a social life once again. Though we are definitely not there yet, people are slowly getting vaccinated and regulations on events are slowly beginning to loosen. The second graduation season during this pandemic is here and some people are opting to hold smaller events and some people are still holding drive through graduations. Either of these ways work well. There are no right or wrong and there's nothing wrong with being a little more cautious. Today we'll be looking at 4 things to consider when planning your drive through event and 4 creative drive through event ideas.

What is a drive through event? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like. It's an event you can enjoy socially distanced and from the comfort of your own car. For example, a drive though graduation will consist of driving up to a pop up tent or driveway to see the graduate, dropping off a graduation gift, taking a socially distanced photo, then taking a meal or snack home to enjoy. This also has to be done in a quick timeframe to make sure attendees are not waiting in line for too long.

Event rules during this pandemic could change at anytime so keep updated with the County's latest Covid rules at and check on the latest CDC guidelines here

4 Things To Consider for Drive Through Events

  1. Traffic Flow - It's important to consider the flow of traffic for any drive through event. It will help ensure the street in front of your drive through event doesn't get backed up. Backing up traffic could also create safety hazards. For a business or school event that's held in a parking lot, one way in and one way out is a great way to avoid traffic jams. Place directions to your drive through event and route to take during your drive through event in your invitations to prep attendees ahead of time.

  2. Have Signs- Having the celebrants name or name of the event on a banner at the entrance of your drive through event can help attendees know that they are in the right place. To help with traffic flow during your drive through event, place signs on the side of the road directing the flow of traffic, have chalk arrows drawn on ground, place traffic cones to help with traffic flow, or have people flag cars towards the right route to follow. Limit distractions on this route and make sure people are paying attention to avoid accidents. In your drive through event, it's a good to remind people to stay alert and drive with caution.

  3. Give Attendees a Meal or Treat- Have meals individually packed for guests to pick up and enjoy. It's a great way to show guests that you appreciate them taking the time to stop by. Make sure your meal or treat is non perishable as it will have to hold up to the outside heat. As you plan for this, remember that there is a cost per car. Sometimes people get surprised by how expensive a drive through event can get if a cost per car is not considered.

  4. Keep Attendees Safe - Make sure guests say in their vehicle and wear their masks as they drive up to the meal pick up or celebrant's location. Make sure all your safety requirements are in your drive through event invitations so guests know what to expect.

4 Creative Drive Through Event Ideas

  • Hire a Musician or DJ - Have a musician or DJ provide music and excitement for your drive in event. You could have music playing in an area before the area that the celebrant is stationed at so guests can enjoy some music while they are waiting in line. You probably don't want to the place loud music too close to where the celebrant is stationed because this will lead to the celebrant having to move closer to the attendees to speak over the loud music. This defeats the purpose of social distancing.

  • Project To Car Stereos - Projecting sound to car stereos is something we've been working on here at Eclipse Effect Events that we feel would be great for drive through events. We have a transmitter that can transmit speech or music to car stereos legally within 200 feet. It's kind of like what Puna Lights in HPP does during the holidays. Turn to a certain station to hear the music. Here is a video of this technology in action for a drive in wedding we were a part of.

This would be great with a musician, DJ, or iTunes to have music, a prerecorded message, or MC transmitted to attendees car stereos as they wait in line. A sign would have to be posted at the entrance of the drive though event to make sure attendees are on the right station listening in.

  • Live Stream - Live stream your drive through event to a closed group on Facebook or on Zoom. This is great for those who live off island or in an area that is too far to travel from. This way you can include more guests into the fun. You definitely don't have to stream to a closed group on Facebook, but you stream publicly you may run into the problem of uninvited guests showing up in person. A closed group or some type of private virtual meeting is recommended for safety.

  • Drive Through After Party - Have a meal pick up, greet the celebrant, then have attendees of this drive through event go home and log onto a Zoom Meeting. Schedule the Zoom meetings at least 30 minutes after the drive through event is done, so attendees don't have to rush home. Attendees on this virtual event can watch a slide show for the celebrant, play some games, and enjoy the food they just picked up together. It's not quite that in person event, but this type of virtual party is interactive, socially distanced, and safe. If you're going to have this drive though event after party, make sure to create a meeting link ahead of time, email people the invite, and also have the Zoom link on the event invitation.

These are just a few ideas of drive through events. People are getting more and more creative each day so keep an eye out for those creative drive though events that will be popping up in the next few months. Hopefully we'll soon be able to enjoy each others company in person once again. Until then lets enjoy these unique experiences that we many never get to experience again. Thanks to the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce for sharing some drive through event experience to put this blog together. Visit them online at

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