Event planners should know these things before hosting outdoor events

Event Planning Tips, Wedding Planning Tips

Risks and Advantages of Hosting Outdoor Events

Outdoor events can be beautiful experiences. When the weather is warm, the birds are singing, and the sun is shining, who wouldn’t have a giant smile on their face? Even when you’re looking at the event pictures afterwards, you can feel the upbeat atmosphere exuding from them. And contrary to popular belief, outdoor events can still be enjoyable in the winter… so long as everyone is dressed appropriately!

Preparing for an outdoor event is slightly different than ones held indoors. And with the modified planning process, there are also different risks and advantages. If you’re a newbie at planning events outside, don’t worry! We’re going to take you through all the risks and rewards of hosting an event outside!

The advantages of outdoor events

You’ve probably seen gorgeous pictures of destination wedding receptions on beaches with white sand and azure surf. Even on a smaller scale, birthday party picnics in colorful gardens or anniversary dinners on cobblestone patios look like joyous experiences due, in part, to their outdoor locale! There’s no doubt that outdoor events can be some of the most memorable for guests. But for wedding and event planning professionals, these events have several appealing elements as well.

Wedding and event planning courses teach student planners the advantages of outdoor weddings

Enjoy the weather and the season:

Everyone loves taking advantage of good weather, so incorporating the outdoors into an event can be a great way to enhance a celebration. Who wants to be in a stuffy banquet hall when there’s a cool breeze and sunshine outside? And we’re willing to bet that your clients and their guests probably love attending outdoor events as much as you do.

Even in colder months, outdoor events give people an excuse to enjoy the crisp air and colorful autumn leaves. People can take a break from their normal routine to enjoy a brisk, autumn walk or a snowy sleigh ride through the forest. People don’t always make time for themselves, so giving them these opportunities can make a special occasion be extra special!

Enjoy the space:

Taking advantage of the space that outdoor venues provide can be both practical and fun. Organizing seating charts or floor plans for large parties indoors can be tricky when working with quirky spaces and odd layouts. With outdoor events, you’re often working with a blank canvas. You can plan the seating, tables, podiums, and mingling areas where you see fit. Children have space to run and play, and guests are less confined to one small area. Depending on the space, working in an outdoor area can be far less limiting logistically compared to working within four solid walls.

Enjoy the natural scenery:

Scenic outdoor venues can decrease the amount of event decor needed to make the space look aesthetically pleasing. A bare bones warehouse would require hiring a large decorating team to liven it up. But a country garden will likely need less altering because of its naturally beautiful scenery. But just because an event is held outside doesn’t mean that it can only be nature themed. You can use as much or as little of the resources as you’d like.

You could take flowers that are already growing nearby for centerpieces or hang fairy lights on the branches of trees to create a magical grove. You may also prefer to take the less invasive strategy and make use of the abundant natural lighting.

Hosting outdoor events in a forested wedding venue

The risks of outdoor events

From your event and wedding planning course, you’ve probably learned all about the uncontrollable factors that can wreak havoc on your plans. Planning for possible complications is a must! And even if you’ve never developed a formal contingency plan before, you’ve probably had some sort of backup plan in case something goes awry. No matter how much you plan in advance, you can never truly avoid all issues or complications. Your clients are paying you, the professional, to anticipate unexpected issues and to fix it ASAP if they do arise.

Weather:

You can never truly predict what the weather will be like. Especially for events that are planned months (or years) in advance! The possibility of unforeseen changes in weather is always present during outdoor events. You can find some comfort when checking the weather the week before, but there’s no guarantee that the sunny skies won’t suddenly be hidden by a dark, thundering storm.

Your best strategy for dealing with weather is anticipating every feasible outcome and having a plan. Whether it be providing everyone with umbrellas or having a massive tent set up, do your due diligence. Bad weather doesn’t have to ruin your event, but it certainly might if you haven’t planned a way to keep the party going, rain or shine.

The wedding must go on whether it's rain or shine so come prepared as a professional wedding planner

Equipment failure:

You will rarely organize an outdoor event that doesn’t require some type of seating and electrical equipment. Ensure the venue has backup generators or toting your own extension cords or projectors is never a bad idea.

If you’re on your toes about planning for unexpected weather, you might also be dealing with the set up and take down of tents. You’ll have to have the material resources and manpower to ensure it’s all done quietly before guests start milling about the grounds. These tents also involve some risk. Structures that aren’t installed properly can become unstable or unsafe and electrical systems can fail. You should prepare contingency plans for how to handle these risks if they become reality, particularly where peoples’ safety is involved.

Outdoor events doesn't mean there isn't any cover from the elements

The uncontrollable outdoors:

There are hundreds of factors during outdoor events that are simply not within your control. Once again, there are some things that you can prepare for and some things that you’ll just have to deal with as they arise. Before the event, think of each possible risk or issue, no matter how small, that could arise in your outdoor scenario. Account for things like bugs, sun burns or frost bite (depending on the season), allergies, stings, or even tripping hazards!

Don’t stress unnecessarily about every little ‘what if’ situation, but it definitely pays to think ahead. Is it something that you or your guests might feasibly encounter in that outdoor scenario? Will is cause problems if it happens? Then you should prepare for it! Once you’ve outlined all possible complications, it’ll be easier for any outdoor event you plan moving forward.

Make informed decisions!

Don’t let the risk of complications stop you from organizing beautiful outdoor events. But also never assume that an outdoor event is guaranteed to happen smoothly. Being prepared means doing everything you can to stack the odds against disaster.

What are the most important risks and advantages you consider when planning or hosting an outdoor event?

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7 responses to “Risks and Advantages of Hosting Outdoor Events”

  1. I really like how you talk about enjoying the natural scenery that comes with a wedding reception held at a venue that is outdoors or has a garden. I’ve always thought that the idea of a wedding reception at a garden venue would be nice cause you could have the beautifully arranged garden given a nice natural tough to your reception. I’ll have to talk with my fiance about having our reception at a good outdoor or garden venue. Thanks for the useful information!

  2. Personally, I like taking a little time to myself to reflect on the event. Having the outdoor space allows me to wander and bask in the peace of the surrounding outdoors. I agree with the article that it is nice to not be confined to one area.

  3. I like how you said that you can’t be absolutely sure that the weather will be agreeable on the day of a wedding. Getting a reception venue that has both indoor and outdoor options would probably be a good way of ensuring that you have a beautiful place regardless of the weather. My son will be getting married in October so I wonder if there are any places nearby that would be good for them to have the reception at. Hopefully the weather won’t be too crazy around that time of year.

  4. Jordan says:

    I’ve been assigned to find some event space for a corporate party from my boss, and I think that being able to get some good ideas would be smart. I’m glad that you talked about the weather, and how you can’t really plan around that in advance. I think that being able to get some good event space would be good, and help us to know we’ll have a good event! Thanks!

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