Outdoor Event Planning Guide 2021 | Allseated

Depending upon region and climate, outdoor event season can be year-round or seasonal. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, however, outdoor events have increased in popularity, need, and practicality to assist clients with hosting their events safely in line with local event guidelines.

With more clients turning to outdoor venues and event spaces, there are certain factors to keep in mind in order to assist clients in making the decision for their events.

When Advising Clients For Outdoor Events:

Guest List & Budget

The first step for every event planning process (be it an indoor or outdoor event) should always be to establish the event guest list and budget. It’s critical to know how many people may be in attendance and how much money there is to work with in order to properly select a venue and the rest of the vendors for the event. An outdoor venue may still have capacity requirements and guest count minimums so a guest list is an important part of venue selection. The event budget goes hand in hand with guest count as it depicts how much can be allocated throughout the outdoor planning process. 

Allseated’s state of the art guest list tool increases organization and operational efficiency. The guest list is an added value to clients, allowing users to do the following:

  • Keep an accurate count and list of all invited guests in one place.
  • List mailing information
  • Group guests into categories (such as friends, family, colleagues) for even more organization.
  • Keep notes
  • Track RSVP’s
  • Assign meal preferences for each guest, preventing the chance for error.
  • Specify guests for multiple events such as wedding-related events (bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and day-after wedding brunches).
  • Arrange seating charts directly from the guest list.
  • Generate reports
Allseated Guestlist

Weather 

Planning an outdoor event heavily relies on the weather and climate. Warmer climates can host outdoor events more frequently and with less contributing factors of restrictions than colder climates. When clients look to plan their event outdoors, it’s important to take into consideration the weather and specific climate for the region during the time period of the event date. If it will be a colder time of year, remind clients that outdoor events in cold temperatures may require tents and heaters to keep guests comfortable. In extremely cold temperatures, outdoor events may not be possible although the pandemic may be shifting beliefs on this idea. More people will attempt outdoor events in cold weather. In this case, take every measure possible to ensure guest comfort.  

Even in warmer climates, a tent may be necessary to block the sun and keep guests in the shade. A tent may also prevent rain from hindering the festivities. 

Regardless of climate and time of year, outdoor event clients should also take into consideration if the outdoor venue also has an indoor venue space option should the day of the event not be ideal for outdoor celebrations. Depending upon capacities and other limitations, it’s also a good idea to have a plan B for outdoor events, if possible. When selecting an outdoor venue, it’s worth determining if there is an indoor option that can safely host the event if weather becomes a factor that affects the ability to host the event outdoors.

Capacity

Outdoor event venues and outdoor event spaces may provide more room than an indoor venue but it’s important to keep capacity in mind. With COVID-19 guidelines and local regulations, even a large outdoor event space may have a capacity limit that limits guest count further than before the pandemic. Be sure to ask the venue what their capacities are for outdoor events to determine if it’s the best option for the event. 

On the flip side, it’s always important to ensure that an outdoor event space isn’t too large for the guest list. In this situation, the floorplan layout may not fill the space well and can lose the intimate event vibe. Also, venues often have a guest minimum which may or may not be cost-worthy for the event.

The Proximity of Location

When selecting an outdoor event venue or event space, take into consideration where most guests are located. Will you need to provide transportation or will the venue be centrally located for your guest list? Keep in mind that travel is more restricted than in the past so guests who live further away from the venue may not be able to attend.

Event Vision

What is the overall vision for the outdoor event? Keep event vision in mind when selecting the outdoor event space to ensure the ideas not only vibe, but are achievable in scope. 

Photorealistic View of Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach Using Allseated Vision

Outdoor Event Vendor Preparation

Quite often when people think about outdoor event planning strategies and considerations, their initial thoughts focus on the host and guest experience side of an event – like having a Plan B, keeping guests comfortable etc – however, it’s equally important for vendors to prepare for and develop their outdoor event planning strategies and practices as well.

Monitor The Forecast

The weather forecast means everything for an outdoor event, especially for set up. Monitor the forecast in advance and have a Plan B in place for your team should the weather affect your original set up arrangement. For example, if it’s torrential downpours and you need to load in chairs, build in the extra time within your timeline to ensure you can wait out the storm.

Check venue rules in advance

Many venues have rules in place when it comes to outdoor event set up and inclimate weather. Check in with the venue on these rules in advance so that you are aware of their polices. Many venues will have a thunderstorm watch policy, often stating that if thunderstorms are forecasted or within a certain mile radius, they will not allow you to set up. In some cases, they will even determine that the outdoor event must take place indoors for safety reasons.

In the event that the weather forecast can always cause the event to take place indoors instead of outdoors, check your client’s order well in advance to determine if an indoor event set up will require different items. Being prepared is critical!

Dress For The Elements

If it’s going to be a warm day, ensure that you and your staff are dressed appropriately. You want to avoid the chance for overheating while also taking into account proper footwear should the event take place on the ground involving grass or dirt. Remember to also consider the change in ground conditions if it may rain prior to the event (think mud!).

Consider Your Staff

In addition to dressing for the elements, be extra vigilant of your staff in warmer climates. Provide water, bug repellant, meals, and snacks to ensure they remain comfortable in the warm weather setting. If it’s extremely hot, consider setting up areas of shade. Umbrellas are a good idea too, in case of sudden rain.

COVID-19 Safety

While each state and local area will have varying regulations, be sure that staff safety is at forefront. Know your local guidelines, check with vendor teams and the venue to ensure you are all following same protocols. Consider testing for staff, sanitize equipment and items as needed, and ensure staff has access to the face masks, shields, and any other safety equipment needed to keep they safe and protected during both set up and the event.

Using Allseated To Plan Outdoor Events 

Design Outdoor Floorplan Layouts To-Scale

As part of Allseated OPs, it’s easy to can create outdoor event floorplans to-scale. Allseated can use Google Maps Earth Images or *overhead* photographs as long as they have at least one accurate dimension included. We can also work with hand drawn diagrams but please be aware that if the drawing itself isn’t to scale, we need the area dimensions in order to produce an accurate diagram! You can upload your outdoor floorplan using the Floorplan Wizard.

allseated outdoor floorplan

Floorplan Design Features 

There are many features available to users when designing floorplans using Allseated’s floorplan tools.

Using Allseated to design an outdoor event layout you can: 

  • Select your tables, chairs, objects, and furniture
  • Customize spacing
  • Join tables and/or knock off chairs
  • Include spacing for dance floors and entertainment areas
  • Mark exits within the outdoor event layout
  • List any planning details and/or notes directly within the outdoor event floorplan
  • Save favorite objects and templates for future layouts
  • Create custom groups and save to favorites
  • Upload files (including JPG, PNG, PDF) to floorplan

Easily Create Outdoor Event Seating Charts

Once RSVP’s are received and floorplan layout is created, it’s easy to create an the outdoor event seating chart. The seating tab within your event provides you with access to your floorplans and guest list. Seat guests within the floorplan layout by selecting guests from the guest list and placing them at the desired tables. It’s simple and efficient to select a guest, then click on a specific table in the floorplan, to easily seat the guest. When creating the table seating chart, seat guests at specific seats at specific tables if desired by by first placing them at a table, clicking that table, and assigning the guest to their specific seat.

3D Outdoor Layout Viewing

At any time during the online floorplan design process, easily, it’s easy to switch from 2D viewing to 3D viewing to take a virtual walkthrough of the layout. The 3D viewing options include Bird’s Eye viewing o which allows you to see your floorplan in 3D from an above view. It’s also possible to virtually walk through the online floorplan layout in 3D via 1st Person View as if you were taking a virtual walkthrough of your floorplan layout. The many varieties of 3D floorplan viewing options help to ensure that you’re 100% satisfied with the layout during the design process. This makes the day of the event seamless, accurate, and in line with your event vision.

Tents

Tents are often used for outdoor events. Allseated offers a cloud-based modular tenting solution. Easily create floorplans to-scale with tents and other tables, chairs, furniture in minutes

Designer Tools

Allseated’s designer tools are available for outdoor layouts. The designer tools allow you to build tabletop and buffet displays to-scale. Watch this quick video to learn more about how designer tools will help you to see exactly what fits to-scale on the tabletops in the floorplan. The designer tools currently include options for place settings, flowers, centerpieces, linens, and buffet pieces, with many more options to come soon.

Physical Distance Tool For Event Layouts

Allseated has launched a revolutionary new technology that enables the creation of social distance floorplans providing the Events Industry with a path to safely reopen as COVID-19 restrictions are eased. This physical distance tool for floorplans allows planners, venues and other event stakeholders to plan indoor and outdoor event layouts incorporating new social-distancing guidelines, and dynamically ascertain new room capacities, ingress and egress, and foodservice protocols while ensuring the safety of event guests and staff as paramount. 

With Allseated’s Physical Distancing Tool, you can:

  • Give clients confidence by designing outdoor event floorplans with guest and staff safety at forefront
  • Create layouts to meet distancing guidelines to run a safe distance event.
  • Visualize the event floorplan with distancing in place.
  • Better understand how new guidelines will affect capacity.

A major benefit to designing floorplans online using Allseated’s 3D floorplan software is the ability to view floorplans in 2D and 3D. At any time during the online floorplan design process, easily, it’s easy to switch from 2D viewing to 3D viewing to take a virtual walkthrough of the layout. The 3D viewing options include Bird’s Eye viewing o which allows you to see your floorplan in 3D from an above view. It’s also possible to virtually walk through the online floorplan layout in 3D via 1st Person View as if you were taking a virtual walkthrough of your floorplan layout. The many varieties of 3D floorplan viewing options help to ensure that you’re 100% satisfied with the layout during the design process. This makes the day of the event seamless, accurate, and in line with your event vision.

 

FAQ

A First of Its Kind - Side by Side Timelines

Create multiple timelines for your event with the ability to view side by side ensuring no mistakes in scheduling are made!

Designer Tool

Allseated's 3D Designer Tool is a Scaled Table & Buffet Builder. It shows you exactly what can fit on a tabletop, so there is no more guesswork around how the tabletop layout will look on the day of your event. Choose from a library of items including tableware, silverware, glassware, buffet pieces, center pieces, and linens.

Create Awesome Floorplans in Minutes!

Build your floorplans in minutes using a few simple tools. Join tables, knock off chairs and save templates for future events. Get access to thousands of scaled floorplans already in our library and watch our 3D viewing bring it all to life - it's spectacular!