With so many factors left to Mother Nature, an outdoor event can go wrong fast. Take these outdoor event planning tips to heart. We've learned some of them the hard way.
Prepare Your Guests
Prepare your guest for event conditions with an email. A week before the event contact guests and let know what type of weather to expect and how they should prepare for it. You don’t want a guest to leave early if they are too hot or too cold. Detail what they should bring in terms of jackets, coats or hats and let them know other special considerations like if the event is on grass, high heeled shoes may not be the best option.
Rain or Shine
When planning an event outdoors, consider the possibility of rain or snow. Check often for weather updates and have another plan in place if a storm arrives. Pick an alternate site or consider tenting your party. If you do decide to tent, trouble shoot for wind and make sure that everything is adequately weighted and staked down.
Alternately, sun can be difficult especially in severe heat and humidity. If this is the case have plenty of cold water and umbrellas or parasols for attendees to use. Having a small air-conditioned room or even a vehicle can also be helpful for attendees to take brief breaks from the heat.
Give yourself plenty of planning time to get your check list in place. Work with an event planner to help manage the work load and help you stay on top of things. Coordinating with an event planner also frees up some of your time so you can to work on the fun special details.
Outdoor Event Planning Check List
Have an alternate plan in place in case of weather
Hit the event area and parking area with a leaf blower before and after event
Make sure the sprinklers are turned off!!!
Oder all tent rentals well in advance, make sure they are large enough to accommodate a crowd during rain
Make sure WIFI works and is reliable if it is needed for your event. You may need to bring in a hotspot or a more powerful and reliable internet connection.
Test your walkie-talkies to determine if they work for throughout your event parameters. If not you might consider a repeater.
If you are relying on cell service to communicate with your team, test coverage with the different carriers to determine if cell service is available and strong.
Check your power sources and determine if there is enough to support all of the elements of your event or if you need to bring in a generator. If a generator is needed confirm requirements before arriving on site with your generator.
Fees and Permits can be handled through your event planner
Tent and stage flooring, staging and draping
Heaters and/or air conditioning
Portable Restrooms, the more VIP the better. For a quick formula calculate 2 toilets per 100 people
Securing outdoor areas can be an important job so make sure attention is paid to this and your plan accordingly,
Fencing and Crowd Control can be very helpful for guests as fencing won’t let kiddos wander away. Stanchions can be used for lines at the bar, photo booth, etc.
Parking and traffic control, do you need a valet service and can the same team direct traffic?
Make sure event staff have all necessary phone numbers and can communicate clearly with each other
First Aid make sure and have a well-stocked kit at least and keep plenty of sun screen and drinking water handy
Detail who takes care of trash during and after the event. Make efforts to recycle or reuse.
We know this is a long outdoor event planning checklist! Being well prepared is the most important step. Recruit some help. For worry-free planning hire an event planner!
Let Strategic Event Design plan your next outdoor event -there isn’t anything that we can’t handle.