If Mother Nature were a meeting manager, she would make sure to save rainy, snowy and other uncooperative weather for non-event days. There are definitely some unique challenges to planning outdoor events.
Here are some tips for making your outdoor events shine, no matter what the weather brings.
- Permit Me To: Do your homework to find if you need permits or permission for a certain space. Also know the ordinances on noise, number of guests permitted, etc.
- Visitation Time: It may not be a bad idea to visit the location at the time and day of the week you will hold your event, you may notice things like lighting or other elements that may require your attention and planning that you did not originally take into account.
- Insider Info: In case the weather simply refuses to cooperate, ask the venue if they can hold an indoor space to move your event if need be; there may be additional costs incurred. If you are in a location that does not provide for this alternative, consider a tent. The tent will protect your guests from sun and rain, even winds if there are side flaps.
- Dress for Success: Make sure you guests are aware that the event is to be held outside and to suggest appropriate dress.
- Accessorize for the Outdoors: Depending upon the time of day, useful items to have on hand include umbrellas, towels, fans, insect repellent and sunscreen.
- Weather or Not: Keep an eye on the weather forecast and make sure a team member is on top of it. In the case that nasty weather may visit upon your event, be sure to devise a plan with your staff and the venue.
- Walk Steady: When surveying the event space, keep an eye out for any uneven surfaces. There may be a need to bring in some sort of temporary flooring in order to prevent falls from occurring. Also, be aware of any guests you may have in wheelchairs and plan accordingly.
- Picnic Baskets: When it comes to food and drink, be sure all can easily be delivered and served at your outdoor spot. If you are featuring food trucks, be aware that licenses and permits may be required. Have plenty of water on hand for outdoor events, especially in hot temperatures.
- Let Me Entertain You: If you have entertainment coming in, you will want to make sure that you have all the necessary items to support the entertainment. There may be a/v, electrical and lighting to consider.
- Seating Arrangements: Make sure there are places for your guests to sit. Outdoor venues may call for you to rent some chairs and tables.
- Restroom Breaks: Yes, this is uber-important. Restrooms will need to be easily accessible and clean. You may need to get portable units and before you freak out, know there are better, cleaner, less yucky options now available.
- To Their Health: Outdoor events may call for medical professionals to be on hand. Also know where the local urgent care facilities and hospitals are located.
- Cushion Your Time: Many outdoor events will require more set-up and teardown time, so plan accordingly.
Here is to a successful outdoor extravaganza, Meeting Planner!