Outdoor events can be memorably charming — or they can become a harrowing weather adventure you want to forget. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to prepare— and it’s that extra preparation that can make an outdoor event successful.
Tents & Structures
Inclement weather isn’t the only reason for setting up a party tent. Summer sun can also beat down on your guests creating unpleasant sunburns and heat exhaustion. Tents provide welcoming shade – a retreat. Adding sidewall enclosures are also helpful if windy or wet conditions are expected. Just remember that enclosed tents will need ventilation fans to keep things from getting stuff inside. And if precipitation is on the menu, make sure the tent is set up in a raised location where the water will run away from, not into, the tent.
Choose a caterer that is experienced working in all kinds of weather conditions and familiar with executing tent evets. The right equipment to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold in unpredictable outdoor conditions will be necessary. A good caterer will also have great ideas for season-appropriate foods. For example, sturdier marzipan or fondant will hold up better on a cake in hot weather than buttercream frosting. On the other hand, event attendees enjoying outdoor gatherings in the spring or fall (when things can turn chilly quickly) would probably enjoy having some hot tea, coffee or hot mulled wine instead of ice-cold lemonade.
Traffic Control & Restrooms
While you may have found wonderful location for your outdoor event, there are some ‘behind-the-scenes’ logistics that can contribute to your events success. Be sure there is parking nearby for guests. Some locations may require you to shuttle your guests from another location if parking isn’t available. Additionally setting up stanchions and railings where you need to have foot-traffic directed into or away from certain areas ensure guests don’t accidentally walk into or kitchen tent.
Don’t Forget the Details
- Don’t forget to make sure that restrooms are within reach, and arrange for comfortable, clean trailers with staff to check that they are clean at all times.
- Absolutely make sure that any automatic lawn sprinklers that could surprise your guests are turned off for the event!
- Work decorative bug lights and candles into the equation if the event is happening at night in an area where mosquitoes and other insect pests are common.
- Also check the local area and venue to make sure all parking permits, event permits and fees are paid for and arranged well in advance.