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Event Horizon – 5 Things You Need To Know When Planning An Outdoor Event

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Lighting towers, speaker stacks, stages, and shade structures are just one part of the complex equation you need to get right if you want your outdoor event to be successful. The two trickiest elements you’ll need to factor in are humans and the weather. With that in mind, here are five things you need to be aware of when preparing for your event. Work these into your strategy, and you’ll gain a little more control over the unpredictable nature of people and the weather. 

1. Have a COVID-Safe plan in place

Events are springing up again, and we’re all incredibly thankful. Outdoor gatherings are essential in bringing communities together. However, they must be carried out in a way that won’t lead to outbreaks. Consult with your local government and relevant stakeholders to create a COVID-Safe plan that will protect your guests.

2. Know your location

It can be difficult scouting out the perfect spot for your event, with the space, amenities, and accessibility you need. On top of your personal list of requirements, you need to consider the following questions: 

  • What’s the weather like in this region during the time your event is scheduled?
  • What are the average daytime and nighttime temperatures? 
  • What kind of wildlife lives in this area?

You need to know if the region is prone to heavy rain, flooding, frost, extreme heat, and other factors. Extreme weather may not be a deal-breaker, but it is something your attendees will need to prepare for. 

3. Prepare for unpredictability

No matter how much research you do, Mother Nature is always full of surprises. To ensure your guests are safe and comfortable, it’s worth preparing for all possible weather events. Sturdy shade structures will protect against sun or rain, and by having plenty of seating, water, and adequate lighting, you’ll ensure your attendees’ basic needs are met. Since every outdoor event is different, it’s also worth providing guests with a list of provisions they should bring along to ensure they’re comfortable and have a good time. 

4. Get to know the local vendors

If you’re setting up an event, one of the best ways you can win the support of the local community is to bring as much business to them as you can. Invite local small businesses to provide food, coffee, and any other services you may need. Find out if there are charitable organizations in the area that you can support or fundraise for. Anything you can do to support the region that’s hosting you will go a long way towards ensuring the success of your event. 

5. Know how to handle volunteers

Having a volunteer program is a wonderful way to cut back on your overheads. However, you need to ensure the relationship between you and your volunteer crew is healthy. Many people are willing to put in a few hours of work in exchange for free entry to an event. However, volunteers are notorious for disappearing when pack-down time rolls around. 

To counteract this, you can have volunteers pay for their tickets up-front and receive their money back after their assigned duties are complete. Alternatively, you could enlist volunteers for set-up and early work, and have a paid workforce handle the latter part of the event. Whichever route you choose, be sure to treat your volunteers with respect and ensure you ask for a reasonable amount of work in exchange for their free ticket.  

Incorporate these outdoor event planning essentials into your strategy, and you’ll be a few steps closer to launching an event that will be memorable for all the right reasons. 

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