If you’re setting up an outdoor event, such as a cultural festival, an open air show or an outdoor conference, you will need to think about the equipment and facilities you need to provide to ensure your event runs smoothly.
Outdoor events have different requirements to those taking place indoors. For example, first you need to think about how to turn the space into an all-weather venue. You can never guarantee what the weather will be like, and it’s common to come face to face with heavy rain even in the middle of August. Therefore, it’s important you have a waterproof structure set up, such as a marquee, in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Secondly, whereas indoor event security tends to involve stationing security guards at the doors, outdoor events face more challenges. The area may not be secured, so it is worthwhile hiring a fencing structure, or failing that, a concrete barrier system to keep the event space secure. Concrete barriers are ideal because they’re too heavy to be moved out of the way and are difficult to climb over, effectively creating an ‘outdoor room’ so you don’t need to employ as many security guards.
Another important thing to consider is the staff. With an indoor venue, staff are often included in the price of booking the room, but outside it’s a different story. Hire a cleaner to help you clear up during and after the event, but also make sure you’ve organised some bins [for recycling and standard waste] to avoid littering, if you will have food and drink at the event, consider hiring waiting staff for a more professional feel.
Make sure your parking bay is very clearly signposted, along with good signs showing the route from the venue to the parking spot. You could even set out the route with non-slip outdoor matting so that people don’t have to walk across wet grass or mud if it rains. Be sure to set clear boundaries around the parking area with fencing to keep people safe and avoid cars spilling out into the rest of the area.
Finally, think about the time of day your event will take place. If it will carry on into the evening, think about rigging up some lighting or buying some lamps to keep the venue well-lit. You don’t want your guests to be stumbling around in the dark as this is a major health and safety risk, so make sure you provide some reliable lighting.
About the author: Peter Naylor has been working in events management for over 15 years and regularly blogs about his experiences to help others in staging their own events.