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Posted by  in Special Events

Below, we’d like to share with you several  items to consider as a checklist when planning outdoor events, no matter where they are.  Whether you’re just starting to think about a summer outing or are in the middle of arranging a company picnic or outdoor activity, this is a great checklist for planning.

Selecting the Venue:

  • Venue Hold What is the venue’s “hold” policy? Many outdoor spaces are government owned (ie. parks) and will not hold the space without a deposit.
  • Other Activity What else is going on in the area during the time of your event? Are there any public events (festivals, concerts, etc.) at the venue that would create increased traffic in and around your event or cause potential parking issues?
  • Floor Surface What is the floor surface of your event? You may need to consider placing a sub-floor or be prepared to spend extra time stabilizing tables and chairs if the floor is uneven.

Venue Policies:

  • Liquor Policy What does the liquor permit cover at the venue? Be careful, in some cases there may be two separate policies and requirements that cover your event space. If you need to file for permits, be sure to do so far enough in advance and many take months to receive.
  • Ability to Stake Are you able to stake for tents or inflatables on the site? You may need water barrels or cement weights on certain grass or parking lot surfaces.
  • Sound/Noise Do you need to amplify your sound so all attendees can hear music/announcements? If so, is there a noise ordinance that affects your event area? Be sure that you, and your client, are aware of how this may affect the event.

Weather Related Questions:

  • Weather Back-up Will your event happen rain or shine? Do you have a weather back-up in place or possibly event insurance? If it will happen no matter the weather, have ponchos available for guests in case of rain.
  • Temperature Depending on the time of year and your location, will you need heaters or tents for shade? If the event is on a hot summer day, you may want to consider purchasing misters and having sunscreen available.
  • Wind Is your event area windy? If so do not use any high profile décor items and be sure to use stretch linens or plan to tie high cabaret linens or clip linens to dining tables. 

Event Logistics:

  • Power and Water Is there adequate power available for your needs or do you need to rent a generator? What does the existing lighting cover after dark and will you need to supplement? Is there running water accessible and what are the rules/permits regarding using the water?
  • Security Will you need additional security or is it required by the venue? Depending on the size of your event, you may take longer to set up and strike and will need overnight security. You may also need off-duty police to secure the event area if the public is able to enter easily.
  • Attendees How will you communicate to your attendees? Be sure to let them know in advance if the need to dress appropriately, ie. casual clothes, coats, tennis shoes.

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