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What you NEED to Know Before Planning an Outdoor Event

Outdoor Event

Outdoor Event

Summer is just around the Corner – Don’t Wait to Plan your Outdoor Event

Some of the best events take place in the warmer weather. Make yours one of them!

Are you thinking about planning an outdoor event in the coming summer months?  Here is some food for thought. Working outdoors means working with unpredictable elements. You want to make sure you’re 110% prepared or you could pay a big price. Not ideal when investing substantially in an experiential marketing approach.

Top Ten Tips on Planning an Outdoor Event

1: Consider the OPTIONS: what kind of event are you aiming to plan? The summer opens up tons of possibilities from golf tournaments and barbeques to outdoor sampling, concerts and special events. A personal function is clearly different than a corporate event – but the logistics of an outdoor event are largely the same. Just make sure you determine what your guests or consumers would appreciate – and go from there.

2: Choose a Suitable VENUE: for obvious reasons, venue is a huge part of planning an event, outdoors or otherwise. If you’re thinking of a public park, make sure you have adequate permission. Many government run parks have a special set of guidelines you need to follow – for example, the event can only be not-for-profit and open to the public. If this is not what you want for your event, you will need to consider a privately run facility or a federally run park vs. a provincial or city park.

3: Plan on various ELEMENTS: yes, plan for rain! While we all hope for sunshine, there is a 50/50 chance (or higher) that the rain could spoil your day. How can you combat this? One of the best solutions for an outdoor event, depending on the type of event, could be tenting. Some companies require alot of time to get tents up but others are portable and can be set up in a flash. Again, this depends on the size of your event but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You can also buy weather insurance just in case you need to cancel your event due to a crazy thunderstorm that wouldn’t be safe for guests to attend anymore.

4: Have SUPPLIES Available: whether rain or shine, you want to make sure you have adequate supplies for your guests. On a hot sunny day, complimentary cold water, sunscreen and even hats would be greatly appreciated by your guests. On a rainy day, you could bring some rain ponchos and umbrellas on hand. If you have an evening event, mosquito repellant and citronella candles would be a blessing. An epi-pen may not be a bad idea to keep on hand in case anyone has a bee allergy as well. Additionally, ensure you have a first aid kit available. You never know when you may need a band-aid. An outdoor event can be full of surprises

5: Choose your FOOD Carefully: summer temperatures can be unpredictable sometimes. You need to make sure you keep meats cool until they are ready to be cooked and no food should be left out in the hot sun for any extended period of time. There would be nothing worse than food poisoning your guests! If you’re using a caterer, ask them what they do to make sure the food temperatures are regulated before and during the event.

6: Don’t Forget about LIGHTING: during a daytime event, you won’t have to worry about this but as day turns into dusk, you will need to consider lighting options. Candles may not be the best idea so consider spotlights, lanterns etc. And in keeping with these options, you’ll also need to consider a power source and a generator if power isn’t available at your venue of choice. You don’t want guests tripping around because they can’t see, especially at an outdoor event. Who knows what could be lurking in the darkness!

7. Arrange FACILITIES: there is nothing worse than a long walk to – or a long line up – when you have to use the, ahem, little boys or girls room. Make sure your venue has adequate washroom facilities – and if not, arrange for portapotties with a wash station. You should also have someone on your team responsible for keeping these cleaned and fully stocked. Sanitation is a huge part of any event and should be planned on properly.

8. SOUND Makes the Setting: when you have an event outdoors, the sound travels because it is not contained. If you have an outdoor music event, social function or even a barbeque, it’s a great idea to not only provide music that your guests or consumers will enjoy – but also have appropriate speakers to carry the music – and ambience throughout the event. Music enhances any event and can make the different between guests staying for an hour or two – or until the wee hours of the morning.

9. COMMUNICATE with your team! If you’re event is up north, there could be a risk that your cell phone(s) won’t work – or could die mid-day. To combat this concern, you could arrange for walkie-talkies or head sets to stay in regular contact with your entire team (potentially on different channels for different groups) so everyone is 100% accessible, especially in an emergency situation. Depending on where your outdoor event is located, cell phone signal may not be strong so you have to plan on back up.

10. ENTERTAIN your Guests: there are only a few short months of summer, so aim to plan an event that will entertain your guests. During the day, you may want to include inflatable games, clowns and sporting activities for kids. For the adults, you could arrange live entertainment such as a band or DJ. Fireworks are also a great enhancement but be sure you have approval and safety measures in place. Event staffing teams can also assist in catering to your guests every need.

Summer comes and goes. If you’re planning an outdoor event, it is never too soon to start planning. We hope some of these tips were helpful. Please share this if you found it informative!

Tigris’ Outdoor Event Planning Services are Available at Top Locations including Calgary, AB | Vancouver, BC & Toronto, ON. For a free, no-obligation quote on how we can help you plan your next outdoor event, call us at 416.283.9119.

Serena Holmes
Serena Holmes
Serena Holmes (formerly Schwab) is the President & CEO of Tigris Incorporated. She is a Broadcast Journalism graduate from Ryerson University. She began working in events in 2000 and started with Tigris as an events staff in 2004, was promoted to management and later accepted partnership. Serena took over operations of the company in 2008. Since that time the roster has tripled and the company continues to grow at a healthy pace. Some keynote clients include Rogers, Motorola, GTAA, CHIN Radio, Appleton Rum and many others. Google PLus Profile:

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