Outdoor events, whether a wedding, a corporate event, or a family gathering, are a great way to take advantage of nature and do something unique. However, while they are more relaxed than their indoor counterparts, planning for them takes a few extra steps. Do you want to know how to plan an outdoor event that everyone will enjoy? Continue reading!
Finding an appropriate venue is an important first step in planning your outdoor event. Different locations will have different advantages and disadvantages that you must plan around. Consider the following factors when deciding on a location and/or venue space for your event:
- How much space do you require: If possible, visit your venue in person to see where things will go and if it will meet your needs.
- Utilities you’ll have access to: Restrooms, electricity, heating, and cooling are all essential to an awesome outdoor event your guests will enjoy. If your venue does not come fully equipped, make sure you have the ability to bring in utilities.
- Shelter options: You can find a venue with a pavilion or other structure, or you can build your own. Outdoor events that require a covered venue or backup shelter should consider using event tents.
- Accessibility: Make sure your venue space is easy to get to for both your guests and the event setup.
Discuss the logistics of catering an outdoor party with your vendor and ensure they have experience running outdoor events. Based on the venue, they may need to bring their own heat source, tents to keep out of the sun, food cooling, and safety equipment. Plan ahead for which equipment they will provide and what others will be responsible for.
Choose simple foods that can be left out for the duration of the event if there will be no refrigerator access. The same is true for stoves and other forms of heating: Simple dishes prepared ahead of time or dishes served at room temperature may be the best bet.
Have the area sprayed by an exterminator. Take note of how long it will take for the food to be safely set up in the area after extermination. Keep a can of light scent repellant on hand, as well as decorative citronella candles. Decorative plate covers can protect the food while also redecorating the table setting.
Maintain a few electric fans. It keeps the guests cool and the mosquitoes at bay. Another strategy is to place a plate full of sugar water around the perimeter of your party to keep the bugs busy and away from your guests.
Don’t leave your event guests to get thirsty, and don’t assume they’ll bring their own drinks. On a hot day, they’ll be uncomfortable, likely upset, and at risk of dehydration. Regardless of how short your event is, make sure your guests have easy access to water.
It is critical to provide enough hydration stations for attendees at hot weather events (especially those involving alcohol). Avoid using single-use plastic water bottles to reduce the environmental impact of your event. Instead, set up plenty of refill stations using plastic but disposable dinnerware sets that are eco-friendly and easy to bring to the event, as bringing your plates and glass cups outside can be difficult.
There is no amount of planning that can protect you from everything that can go wrong at an outdoor event. Your event may be rained out, a caterer may cancel at the last minute, and so on. It’s always a good idea to plan for as many aspects of your event as possible.
Prepare an event tent or other temporary shelter in case the weather does not cooperate. Create a list of backup vendors who can step in if someone has to cancel. Use a second event coordinator to handle any minor bumps in the road.
Although the event is over, your work is not. Ensure that you have made arrangements with the local sanitation department for post-event cleanup. Otherwise, have a hauling company on hand to clear the area after the event.
Planning an outdoor event is a major undertaking, but your efforts will be rewarded with a spectacular event! Follow these suggestions to ensure that everyone has a good time at your outdoor party, whether it’s a wedding or a simple family gathering.