7 Tips to Help Plan Your Outdoor Event

Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors and a great time to host your next gathering whether it be a birthday party or corporate event .  Here are 7 basic steps to consider when planning an outdoor event.

  1.  Cooling stations – Place some large  fans in the area where your guests will be gathering.   Misting stations can also be a welcome option for guests.  Depending on your space size you may be able to offer two  of each options.  Where possible trees not only provide shade but can make a couple of degrees difference in temperatures.  Trees are lovely but tents and  canopies may be the best option to shelter guests from  heat, sun and rain.   
  2. Keep your guests  hydrated and well fed – Set-up a beverage station for Ice water and other non-alcoholic options for your guests  – lemonade, iced tea, sparkling water.   Your event will dictate the food you will supply to your guests.  Summer and BBQ go hand in hand.  You can make grilled food work for any type of outdoor event.  Depending on your venue they may have a designated BBQ and area.  Serve your guests under a tent or canopies.  If the weather makes it impossible to BBQ  and your venue doesn’t cater you can order pizza, chicken or other delivery options.  Many have gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options available if needed.  
  3. Create  comfortable seating – Depending on the tone of your event you can have small groupings of  tables and chairs for a more intimate feel or go with 8 foot tables placed in rows.   If you have the space provide a  ‘social’ seating area separate from the dining tables.
  4. Prepare for rain or shine  – Ask your venue if they have an indoor location or tent that will be available to you should it rain.  If an indoor option and/or a tent are not available and you definitely want an outdoor event you may want to provide a rain date as opposed to cancelling the event.  Be sure your guests are aware of the date.  If you are sending invitations include that date.   If you have an event page on social media also include the link on the invitation so your guests can check for any updates.
  5. Permits and insurance – If you are hosting your event at a venue ask what permits may be needed and if you need to pay for them or if they are included with the venue.   Examples of permits needed are liquor and tents.You will also need to be aware of any permits necessary if you are hosting on your property.  Tents and alcohol and any others.  Your city, county would be able to help you with that.
  6. It’s the little things that count – Confirm with your venue what washroom facilities are available for your outdoor event or do you need to rent portable units.  Also you could have these things on hand for your guests:  bug spray/repellent, hand sanitizer/wipes, sunscreen, light blankets for evening or cool day.
  7. Will you need power?  – If you  have large fans, any type of sound system and/or lighting.  You may need a generator to run your equipment depending on how far you are set up from any outlets.  If outlets are available you will need to ensure there is enough ampage for your needs.   If you will be using extension cords remember to rent cable mats so your guests don’t trip.                                                                                                                                                            Contact us for more information when planning your event.

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by Paul Richards

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