10 Things to Consider When Planning Outdoor Events

By NYIAD Event Planning Mentor on May 12th, 2015

The New York Institute of Art and Design is one the largest online event planning schools, and because we are, we like to provide free tips for event planners. Enjoy!

10 Things to Consider When Planning Outdoor Events

The sun is out. The days are longer. Summer is almost here!

For an event planner, that means that the possibility once again exists for outdoor events. Almost any event can be turned into an outdoor event, and outdoor events require the same kind of commitment on the part of the event planner. But with outdoor events there are additional things to consider in order to ensure that your event goes off without a hitch.

Here are 10 things to consider when planning an outdoor event:

  1. Weather – this is the obvious one, but it bears stressing. Plan for the weather. Its unpredictable and if you’re not prepared for it, it will ruin any event.
  2. Permits – most indoor venues already have all the permits they need. But when planning an outdoor event, it’s critical that you make sure you follow all local procedures to get your event sanctioned.
  3. Setting Up – setting up for an outdoor event can be more time consuming than setting up an indoor one, since you’re essentially building a temporary venue from scratch. Whether its tents or stages, allow additional set up time for outdoor events.
  4. Pest Control – dealing with the elements means more than just bad weather. Insects and other “pests” could affect your ability to host an event your guests are happy with. So address pest control in your preparation.
  5. Power – music, speakers, lighting, heating or cooling equipment, etc. all need a power supply. When your outdoors, that takes extra work.
  6. Lighting – if you rely on the sun to light your event, you better make sure it’s a beautiful, sunny day and your event doesn’t outlast the daylight. Lighting an outdoor event is a specialty job you’ll want a vendor to handle for you.
  7. Food and Drink – your ability to prepare food at an outdoor event is more limited than an indoor one where you might have a full kitchen. If you want your guests to be comfortable, plan for easy to manage food and drinks to be available to them.
  8. Seating – people don’t want to stand the whole time they’re at your event, and unlike many indoor venues, outdoor venues don’t come with seating. You have to arrange for it and set it up.
  9. Parking – indoor venues usually come with parking lots, but depending on where your outdoor event takes place, you may have to create your own.
  10. Clean Up – while indoor events require clean up as well, outdoor clean-up is a different job entirely. So plan accordingly and be sure to return your venue to the shape it was in before you showed up.

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