Whether you are celebrating some kind of promotion or success, your wedding, or hosting a business event—you need to plan it ahead of time. Proper planning is crucial to ensure the success of your event. Otherwise, a poorly organized or unplanned event can bring havoc to your reputation; or can bring stress and unpleasant memories to you and your guests.
While it’s normal not to always have a perfectly executed event all the time, and even detailed plans go awry, early preparation can reduce your stress and enable you to enjoy the event.
During the planning stage, you will have the opportunity to conceptualize and gather ideas relevant to your event. Knowing your objectives and going through with several key aspects can result in your event running smoothly.
And this is most especially true to holding an outdoor event. Planning an outdoor event can be extra challenging compared to an indoor event. Although there will be a lot of room for flexibility and creativity, several factors must be considered to secure a successful event.
An outdoor event is almost always something refreshing and energizing; particularly when the weather is good and the guests are comfortable. It is a lovely idea to enjoy Mother Nature while socializing and celebrating.
Albeit more details to take into consideration and that a different set of complications and logistical concerns are associated with outdoor events—there’s no need to stress. Keep the following tips in mind to make your outdoor event a very successful one!
A very important aspect to consider when planning an outdoor event is the sanitation of your venue. Lack of sanitation can ruin your event and can make your guests feel uncomfortable.
A stinking environment can easily turn off guests; also flying insects like horseflies are strongly offensive especially if it touches the food you will be serving. Not to mention, the lack of accessible restrooms and washing stations are a proven inconvenience.
To counter possible worse-case scenarios, make sure that all the restroom facilities are regularly cleaned and disinfected during the event period with medical wipes. Provide adequate trash bins and designate a waste disposal area. Have an exterminator spray the place, also have the place disinfected and you should thoroughly check the pest control status of your venue.
You should also provide disinfecting supplies, and first aid kit to your guests. If the venue doesn’t have enough restrooms, consider renting porta-potties.
Ensure that your event will work in an outdoor setting
Although there’s no rule as to what you can and cannot host outdoor, it still pays to make certain that your event will work well in an outdoor setting. Make sure that the concept you have in mind and your objectives will fit outdoors.
Say for example, if you plan to have a wedding during winter, it doesn’t seem appropriate to have it outdoors as your guests may become uncomfortable. Or if you want to hold an event that has a lot of digital entertainment and technology involved, it may be more fitting to do it indoors to prevent possible exposure to elements like too much heat, moisture, strong winds, or rainwater.
Find a suitable venue and location
Once you have made certain that your event will work in an outdoor setting, find a suitable venue and location. Picking the right venue is important because it can make or break your event.
This means that the venue and location should have the capacity to accommodate your guest count. It should also have the amenities and facilities you need to set up the event and make the guests comfortable.
When finding a venue, the right one should preferably have access to restrooms, parking lots, and other amenities your guests’ needs. Try booking a venue where there are fewer distractions and noise too. You should also consider if the place has an indoor space or offers canopies just in case of unexpected weather issues.
Don’t forget to check the weather beforehand
You must pay close attention to the weather since it’s an outdoor event. Inclement weather is a common reason why outdoor events get cancelled. So it’s critical for you to monitor the weather as your event day approaches.
You also need to plan for the rain and strong winds, make sure to devise a “plan B” in case the worst-case scenario happens. See to it that there will be a nearby indoor alternative or tent and canopies as some sort of shelter in case of rain. If it’s windy avoid using lightweight materials.
A good “rainy day” strategy should include alternative setup to provide sufficient coverage for your equipment, catering, and your guests. You should also consider your cost liabilities and rain insurance options. Also, review your contact details in case the weather is so bad which may lead to the cancellation of your event or damages.
Make sure you have the necessary equipment
Even if it’s an outdoor event, you should not forget your equipment. You should include lighting, sound system, back-up generator, duck tape, extension cords, sync cords, and other necessities in your list.
Most importantly, take note also of proper lighting, especially on walkways. And do make sure that your guests can properly hear you, so double check your sound system before the event day.
Keep your guests entertained by choosing decor that matches your event’s theme. Although the natural beauty outdoors is good enough, adding decoration and picking the right ones will add more life to your event. Some of the most creative decorations you can use are balloons, air dancers, confetti, garlands, and paper lanterns.
Know the rules and necessary permits
Another essential thing to do is to get the necessary permits. Outdoor events are usually shut down due to not obtaining proper permits and not contacting the correct authorities.
There are different permits to consider from fire safety permits to alcohol use permits—thus make sure to research the location and note what is necessary. See to it also to know the rules, like checking noise ordinances in the area.
Coordinate with your suppliers and vendors about logistics. Have a good time estimate of loading and unloading of equipment, and other arrangements such as power supply, floor layouts, and among others. Then communicate clearly when exactly the crew is needed and how the other event essentials will be transported and be setup.
Ensure food safety and keep it fresh
Improper food storage can turn your event into a disaster—so don’t forget this aspect. Choose foods that won’t spoil quickly, and let your caterer bring it out at the last possible minute so that it is kept fresh and at the appropriate temperature.
Pick a caterer that has good reviews and have handled several successful outdoor events. See to it that they know how to properly store food, how to transport it well, and know-how to sanitize their equipment and utensils.
Although there are many aspects involved in holding an outdoor event, the key to make it successful is curating a detailed plan. Planning helps you see what is needed and helps you prepare for unexpected circumstances.
To sum-up, some valuable tips for running an outdoor event are:
- see to it that the event will work well in an outdoor setting
- check the sanitation
- find a suitable venue and location
- monitor the weather
- make sure you have the necessary equipment
- choose the right decorations
- know the rules and get necessary permits
- consider logistics
- and ensure food safety