Putting on a big event isn’t easy, and you should start planning several months in advance. If you’re organizing an outdoor event, there’s a good chance you’ll be feeling some pressure. While you may be worried about everything you have to get ready, it’s important to stay organized and be prepared for any challenges you might face when outdoor event planning.
In this guide, we’ll cover some common outdoor event planning mistakes that people make. Knowing what people often get wrong will help give you a better idea of how to plan an outdoor event that goes perfectly.
Keep reading to find out more.
1. Forgetting to Arrange a Weather Contingency Plan
There are a lot of elements you can control when planning an outdoor event. One thing that you have no control over, however, is the weather – and it’s a very important factor to consider.
In most cases, people want clear, sunny weather for their outdoor events. Depending on your location and the time of year, you may have a good chance of this. But, there are always exceptions, and any event could be interrupted by light rain or a heavy downpour.
This is something you should always prepare for. If you don’t, it could ruin your entire event. If you are well prepared, however, you should be able to keep your event running without interruptions.
While you might want an event to be open-air, it can be a good idea to ensure there’s sufficient cover in case it does start raining. If the event is partially indoors, you might have to make more use of this indoor space in bad weather. Depending on the type of event, you may want things like vendors and stalls to have covers so that your guests can still make use of them without having to stand in the rain.
2. Underestimating the Wind
Wind can be another issue, and even if you’re prepared for rain, wind can cause other problems. Light covers like tents could be pulled up by strong winds, so you want to make sure everything is properly secured.
Strong winds may be more of an issue for certain events depending on what they’re for. If you have stalls that are displaying and selling products, for example, they may have to contend with the wind to make sure their items aren’t damaged.
You should look into typical weather conditions in the place you’re having your event so you know what to expect. It’s worth noting that you might get strong winds even on a sunny day, so don’t expect things to be perfect just because there’s no rain.
3. Failing to Communicate Expectations With Guests
When informing people about your event, make sure you’re clear about what it is. Highlight what will be happening and what people will get from such an event to encourage more visitors.
At the same time, you don’t want to oversell it. If you state or imply that something will happen or be available, and then you fail to meet expectations, it will leave your guests disappointed. This could be very harmful to your brand reputation.
Make sure you communicate expectations with event staff too. Let them know what to expect and your event will run more smoothly.
4. Skimping on Essentials
Saving money is ideal when organizing an event, but you don’t want to make too many sacrifices. There are certain things that should always be available at an outdoor event venue.
There should be plenty of toilets for your guests to use. Depending on the location, there may be suitable indoor toilets that are available.
If not, you’ll need to hire portable toilets. consider how many guests and employees you’re expecting to determine how many toilets you’ll need to rent. If it’s a large event, you’ll also want to space them strategically.
Some other important things to consider are shade so guests can get out of the sun, sunscreen, mosquito spray, and first aid facilities. These will all vary for different events, so plan based on what you’re likely to need.
5. Not Providing Proper Hydration
Adding onto the essentials, perhaps the most important thing to remember to provide is ample drinking water. If your guests and staff aren’t properly hydrated, it could be a major health risk.
You can stock up on plenty of bottled water, or it’s possible to rent water fountains. Whichever option you go with, you must ensure there’s more than enough water for everyone on the day.
If you’re planning a summer event, you’ll likely need a lot more water. People will need to drink more on hot days, so consider the weather when planning this.
6. Not Getting Sufficient Lighting
If your event is only during the daytime, this may not be much of an issue. If it will continue into the evening, however, you need to make sure you have enough lighting. Various companies offer rental lighting for outdoor events – you can discuss your event with them and they’ll be able to advise you on what you’ll need.
This will include supplying power to the lights, so you may need to rent generators too. Lighting may need to be covered in case it rains, though you may be able to get waterproof lighting to mitigate this issue.
7. Overlooking Noise Ordinances
Depending on where your event is, there may be noise ordinances that you need to consider. This is especially likely if it’s in a residential area.
Find out very early on what noise restrictions there are in the location you’re considering. If you figure this out early enough, you may be able to choose a different venue for your event. Even if it’s not a particularly loud type of event, a lot of people in the same area can still cause a lot of noise.
You may want to specifically choose an area that doesn’t have people living nearby. If there are no noise ordinances to factor in, that’s one less worry you’ll have.
8. Not Starting Early Enough
This typically isn’t much of an issue with indoor events, so it’s easily forgotten. For an outdoor event, however, it could be far more important.
You may want your guests to be able to enjoy the daylight. As such, it’s best if you can make the most of it.
Starting an event at midday may be convenient, but you’ll be wasting several hours of sunlight. If it’s an event where people will want to go home when it gets dark, starting earlier will give your guests more time to enjoy it.
It’s worth considering the time of year when deciding what time to start and finish. If your event is in the winter it could be very cold in the morning and evening, so you’ll want to think about the timing carefully.
9. Ignoring Timing/Scheduling Issues
When planning an event, you should always consider other events that could interfere with it. You might already have an ideal date in mind, for example, but if there are any other similar events going on nearby on the same date, it could cause conflict. You’ll likely have fewer guests attend than you will if you plan it around other events.
You can also consider things like the season or holiday travel. People are more likely to want to attend an outdoor event in the summer when the weather is nicer, so you could capitalize on that. If you’re hosting it in an area that sees more visitors during holiday periods, you could also use that to your advantage.
10. Neglecting to Test Your Technology
Make sure you test all of the tech that you’ll be using at your event in advance. This includes things like digital displays, audio systems, lighting, and anything else.
If you don’t test anything, the day may come and you could experience technical issues. It’s always best to test things beforehand, then you can deal with any problems that come up with plenty of time to spare.
If possible, you should do a complete run-through of the event from start to finish. This will help you ensure the whole thing will go to plan and will reduce the likelihood of unexpected problems.
11. Planning Too Many Activities
A big event can be exciting, but you should know when to limit things. If there’s too much going on, it can be overwhelming for guests. It also means they won’t be able to see everything that’s on offer.
While you want to ensure your guests won’t get bored or lose interest, having too much can also be detrimental. Plan everything out carefully to avoid this. bear in mind that more activities mean higher costs, so you may simply be wasting money.
Effective Outdoor Event Planning
Outdoor event planning is never easy, but with these outdoor event tips, you should be able to organize things suitably. Avoiding these outdoor event mistakes will help ensure a successful event that your guests will enjoy.
You can learn a lot more about planning events at The Event Planner Expo. Learn more about The Event Planner Expo at www.TheEventPlannerExpo.com.