Whether you’re hosting an outdoor music festival, charity fundraiser or sporting event, much of the success of your outdoor event hinges on the weather.
While we all know you can’t predict what Mother Nature will bring, preparing for all eventualities will ensure your event’s fate isn’t sealed before it’s even underway.
Be ready with plan B
Meticulous planning is part and parcel of pulling off a successful event but, with outdoor events, you’ll also find yourself contending with unpredictable weather - so it pays to ensure you have a robust contingency plan in place. With measures primed and ready to be implemented, you can have complete confidence that your event will run smoothly - even when the weather isn’t on your side.
From alternative entertainment and portable marquees for sheltering attendees, to warm beverages and waterproof ponchos, your efforts to prepare a viable backup plan will keep attendees and vendors on side and engaged throughout - regardless of whether or not the sun makes an appearance. Simon Mitchell at Action Storage gives us his thoughts on the ultimate guide to all-weather event prep - guaranteeing it goes swimmingly, rather than being a complete wash-out.
Choose your venue wisely
Picking out the right venue for an outdoor event can be a challenge. Delivering on key objectives such as capacity, location, accessibility and amenities is vital, but you’ll need to confirm its suitability for your event in other ways, too.
From obtaining the relevant permits to carrying out thorough fire assessments and health and safety checks, getting your necessary paperwork in order will help you avoid any hiccups along the way that could otherwise compromise the event entirely. You should also be sure to research additional factors, like noise ordinance rules and conservation restrictions.
In addition, it’s a good idea to thoroughly scope out the venue’s characteristics to identify potential concerns early. From calculating where the midday sun will hit to possible wind tunnels and flood risk areas, having a handle on these aspects ahead of the event will afford you the time to put prevention measures into action - guaranteeing everyone’s safety and comfort.
Consider catering carefully
Food and drink play a huge role in guaranteeing satisfaction for event-goers, particularly if bad weather wreaks havoc - so be sure to choose practical and disaster-proof options.
Whether you’re dishing up tasty fast food or high-end cuisine, keeping attendees well-fed and hydrated with a fresh supply of hot snacks and drinks will keep spirits high, should bad weather arise - and you may also want to consider offering freebies to keep them sweet.
Offer outdoor storage
Wet weather can do more than dampen moods at an outdoor event - causing no end of damage to belongings and equipment. So, if there’s a distinct chance the heavens will open, it’s wise to invest in hard-wearing outdoor lockers. Offering waterproof lockers onsite for both event-goers and vendors is key to all-weather event prep - providing a dry and secure place to store equipment, clothes and other belongings that could become damaged when wet.
Plan the layout and logistics
Unlike traditional venues, outdoor spaces have a greater potential for throwing up unforeseen surprises when it comes to logistics and layout - what looks good on paper can sometimes prove impractical in reality.
To avoid any operational hitches on the day, map out the layout and configure setup logistics to establish how equipment will be transported onto the site - factoring in a bad weather contingency plan, too. Providing vendors and onsite staff with layout maps and clear instructions on the logistical elements should guarantee things run smoothly before and during the event. Finally, clear and frequent signposting will ease navigation onsite for attendees and staff - helping to regulate footfall flow, should weather conditions wreak havoc.
Whether you’re tasked with hosting an awe-inspiring outdoor festival or a swanky charity banquet, the weather doesn’t have to put a damper on the occasion. Planning for the worst with all-weather prep is a sure-fire way to guarantee your event goes down a treat with everyone on the day.
Ensure you have cover in place for the worst case scenario
For most weather eventualities the above advice will be enough, but for those few disastrous storms, floods and extreme winds you may find your attendee safety is at risk and cancelling is the only option. By using a responsible ticketing company like LIVE IT Group who use a trusted event cancellation insurance provider, you can ensure your reputation is kept in tact when things go wrong out of your control.
This is a guest post by Simon Mitchell, MD Action Storage Systems Ltd. Action Storage offers a diverse range of storage products, along with the technical expertise to help clients’ businesses operate more efficiently.