Risks and Advantages of Hosting Outdoor Events
Outdoor events can be a beautiful experience, especially when the weather is warm, the birds are singing, and the sun is shining. The pictures turn out lovely and there’s space for everyone to socialize in the fresh air. Even in the colder months, outdoor events can be enjoyable as long as everyone is dressed appropriately. How does an event planner prepare for an outdoor event? What is it that you have to prepare for? While there are many advantages to hosting an event outside, there are absolutely risks involved as well. In order for you to assess whether an outdoor setting is the best venue for your next event, you’ll need to be able to consider those risks.
The Advantages of Outdoor Events
You’ve probably seen gorgeous pictures of wedding receptions on beaches with white sand, birthday party picnics in colorful gardens, or anniversary dinners on cobblestoned patios. There is no doubt that outdoor events can be some of the most memorable for the guests. For planners, outdoor events have several very appealing elements as well.
Enjoy the weather and the season:
Who wouldn’t love the opportunity to spend a warm spring day outside doing the job they love? Of course, if working outdoors can be enjoyable for you, it makes sense that attending events outdoors can be a great experience for guests. Taking advantage of the weather is something everyone likes to do, so incorporating the outdoors into an event can be a great way to set the mood. You’ll enjoy the fresh air while you organize and attendees will appreciate it while they celebrate. Instead of looking out from an echoing, stuffy banquet hall at the cool breeze ruffling the trees, your guests can relax and concentrate on the reason they came to celebrate. Even in colder months, outdoor events are an excuse to enjoy weather that some people might not usually take advantage of, as long as they are advised to dress appropriately. People can take a break from their normal routine to enjoy an autumn walk through a vineyard or a snowy sleigh ride through the forest, where they might have otherwise chosen to stay inside out of the cold.
Enjoy the space:
Taking advantage of the space that outdoor venues provide can be both practical and simply fun. Organizing seating or floor plans for large parties in a room gets tricky if the clients have their heart set on a quirky but small space or a venue with an odd lay out. With outdoor events, you’re often working with a blank canvas and can therefore structure seating, tables, podiums, and mingling areas where you see fit. Children have space to run and play and guests are less confined to one area, allowing them to socialize better. Depending on the space, working in an outdoor area can be far less limiting in terms of both logistics and activities than working within four solid walls.
Enjoying the natural scenery:
By choosing a scenic outdoor venue, you can actually decrease the amount of decorative work your event needs. Whereas an echoing banquet hall might require heavy decorating to set the atmosphere and customize the space, a country garden might need less altering because of its naturally beautiful scenery. You might incorporate flowers that are already growing nearby and colors that are already present in the space naturally. Depending on the time of day, pictures of the event can also benefit greatly from abundant natural lighting. Outdoor events are a great opportunity to take advantage of resources that are already there for you.
The Risks of Outdoor Events
Event planners know that the process of organizing an entire wedding, dinner, or party is full of uncontrollable factors. You can do your best to prepare for possible complications beforehand, but there’s always a risk that something unexpected will happen that complicates your day.
The possibility of unforeseen changes in weather is always present during outdoor events. You can check the weather forecast and plan for a day that is supposed to have sunshine instead of rain, and you can set up tents in case that changes, but you can’t absolutely guarantee that a sudden storm with high winds won’t cause problems. Your best strategy for dealing with weather is anticipating every feasible possibility and having a plan, just in case. 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.
You will rarely organize an outdoor event that doesn’t require some type of seating and electrical equipment. If you’re planning well for weather, you might also be dealing with the set up and take down of tents. Each of these accommodations involves structures, small parts, and additional people to install them. They also, therefore, 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.
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 small risk that could arise in your outdoor scenario. Account for things like bugs, sun burns or frost bite (depending on the season), allergies, stings, tripping hazards cause by things like uneven terrain or ice, and any number of other complications. We don’t recommend that you 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!
Make informed decisions!
You shouldn’t let the risk of complications stop you from organizing beautiful outdoor events. At the same time, you should never assume that an outdoor event is guaranteed to happen smoothly every time. Preparation is the key. If you’d like for more information on how to prepare for different types of events, check out the courses at QC Event School!