12 Tips for Hosting A Great Outdoor Event
As warm weather comes around, more outdoor events are planned. These can be lovely, but be forewarned — outdoor events are sometimes much more difficult to organize than indoor events.
Here are some tips on how to plan an outdoor event and to minimize stress:
1. Get Permission
Do this as soon as you’ve finalized where and when you’ll have your outdoor event. Do this first. The fastest way to shut down an event is to hold it without a permission/a permit.
2. Check up on all ordinances
What are the noise ordinances? Every town has them. Is noise prohibited after a certain time? You should also look into fire and safety codes. The latter may have restrictions on overselling tickets, advertisements and seating. Talk to the local authorities, the local fire station and the Gardai about these.
3. Some outdoor events need more work than others
Is your event being held in an already existing outdoor facility? Great! That cuts your work in half. Otherwise, are you targeting a raw, uncommon area? Then advance planning and coordination is critical. You can expect to be in charge of everything — power, toilets, communications, equipment and food, among others. Make arrangements to bring everything to the venue, and taking everything out of the venue after the event is done.
4. Load in, load out
Think beyond the event schedule itself, and factor in “loading in” and “loading out” time for everything, including arrangements for power, security, sanitation and other elements of the outdoor event.
5. Logistics and layout
Take photos of the venue, include a sketch and use markers to denote where you want your vendors, et. al. to be set up. How will the equipment be loaded in? The crew and guests? Have a meeting at the venue in advance, with all of your suppliers, so that you can all coordinate the downloading of equipment, parking of trucks, parking space for guests, and other possible needs.
Foodway stations, DJ, and areas that will need lights all will need power stations. If there are not enough, tell your vendors to bring extension cords, and check the power load per plug. Coffee makers and crock pots should not share extension cords with sound equipment. Also, have a back-up power system on standby.
You don’t want any mistakes made here. A lack of restroom facilities, or poor toilet facilities, can ruin your event. Make sure you have enough sanitation equipment not just for the guests but also for the crew.
An evening event will require lights even for exit paths, walkways and parking areas for convenience and safety.
9. Health precautions
Have medical professionals on standby, especially if your event is in a remote area. Or at least keep a first-aid kit handy. Prepare a list of the nearest hospitals with directions on how to get to there.
This is especially important for events at remote sites. If the land is hilly, make sure your walkie-talkies have enough power to get through.
11. Monitor the weather
The most common reason to cancel outdoor events is inclement weather. Buy weather insurance, and start monitoring the weather as far in advance as possible. You can get forecasts at weather.com. Also, keep the wind in mind. You don’t want things to blow over, so make sure that everything is anchored securely.
12. Clean up
The event may be over, but your work is not. Make sure that you have made arrangements with the local sanitation department for cleaning up afterwards. Otherwise, have a hauling firm on hand for clearing the area, once the event is over.