What To Consider When Planning Outdoor Event
Few experiences are as appealing as an outdoor event. After all, who doesn’t love a bit of fresh air? With more space to work with, and natural sceneries to enhance the ambiance, al fresco is perfect for a breadth of activities – from romantic weddings and street fairs, to graduation parties, corporate get-togethers, and private gatherings.
Planning an outdoor event does present a unique set of challenges, including logistical concerns and unpredictable weather. To make sure nothing rains on your parade, we’re sharing some important tips to help you determine if your event should be held outdoors.
Indoor Versus Outdoor
While an open space sounds attractive, not all events are suitable outdoors. A tech expo, for instance, will not work outside, especially when electronics are exposed to the sun or possibly even the rain. When planning an outdoor event, it’s also important to consider the logistics for wiring needs, WIFI, and any other technical requirements to ensure that the outdoor environment would prove as capable, and as successful, as an indoor location for your specific event.
When planning an outdoor event, carefully think about the type of event you’re organizing, and why. Consider if a certain degree of control over the environment is important to your planning, as this will ultimately influence your choice between indoors or outdoors.
Choosing a venue should not only be about the visual appeal but also the location’s appropriateness for an event as well. Consider the guestlist for the event to determine if the outdoor location is the best choice. Sometimes, a younger, savvier crowd may be amenable to traveling to unique and stunning locations, like a destination desert or mountain resort. On the other hand, an event guest list filled with children, or even elderly adults, are better held in outdoor event spaces ripe for family activities like beaches and parks that don’t include travel. Lastly, it’s good to know if event equipment can be transported to a remote location, and will work with the terrain or landscape. If it’s going to be more of an obstacle, consider more accessible outdoor venues, or make the decision on an indoor venue instead.
Consider the Season
Whether it’s a concert, family reunion, or corporate gathering, it’s natural to consider the season for your event. Spring and summer’s lovely weather, for example, make them popular choices for outdoor activities like floral exhibitions or beachside parties. Likewise, early autumn’s moderate temperature and breathtaking landscapes are top choices for fall weddings, music festivals, and county fairs. Make sure to match – and even integrate – the season with the nature of your event. This helps you in deciding a motif or theme that stands out rather than looking out of season.
Outdoor events have nature as their stunning backdrop. Is that something you want? Does it incorporate into the theme and vision for your event? If so, you will want to consider incorporate the outdoor elements into your decor. Consider organic elements in your tablescape and outdoor event space design. Wooden furniture and in-season floral arrangements are perfect for rustic affairs. For beachside events, create stunning table centerpieces by displaying sand and seashells inside vases. In this article from BBJ Linen, they share great outdoor settings that can be highlighted by using minimalist ideas — polished wooden tables topped with simple, unadorned greenery. In addition, Eventbrite recommends combining natural and manmade textures in the event design for a unique sensory experience.
When planning an outdoor event, you will still need to consider how creative lighting can instantly elevate any event. Lighting can also be used to create, highlight, or emphasize spaces. For outdoor events, the use of trailing lights can add prominence to the specific seating arrangements, perfect for weddings and gala nights. In larger outdoor venues, rustic bulbs and string lights deliver a soft lighting effect that makes expansive spaces feel intimate – ideal for laidback affairs like reunions and company dinners.
With sustainability on top of everyone’s mind these days, an eco-friendly event is imperative. If you ultimately decide to plan your event outdoors, consider opting for sound equipment and LED lighting that can run on solar panels. Choose local suppliers and environmentally-conscious vendors, like your catering services and event planners, to further reduce your footprint. Next, you can set up recycling stations at your venue instead of unlabeled trash cans. Indeed, outdoor events are the perfect opportunity to communicate a green message, especially as more and more event venues embrace sustainability.
Have All Your Bases Covered
Exposed to the elements and with unique technical and logistical requirements, outdoor events demand that all bases are covered. As discussed earlier in this article, make sure you have a reliable source of power in your venue. Next, have a contingency plan in case of inclement weather, including on-site venues where you can move your event. For larger events, on-site emergency teams are a welcome site, reassuring guests and organizers alike. Bring the best of indoors and outdoors by opting for a canopy or party tents. They not only keep your guests protected, but they can also be customized to fit your event’s theme. Lastly, clean up. Nothing is as beautiful as a well-planned event with zero-waste.