Factors to Keep in Mind When Planning an Outdoor Event:

  • Sun – This is an important factor to consider for the positioning of your stage area, direction of cameras/photographs, or LED screen visibility. It is also important to make sure you have shade for children or senior citizens at your event. Pop-up tents are an easy and cost efficient solution in a pinch!
  • Rain Plan – Last thing you want is for your event site to turn into muddy, wet mess! Make sure you are tracking the weather days in advance and that you have the proper rain plan measures in place, including having materials on hand like ponchos, tenting, umbrellas, backup flooring to cover grass/muddy areas, squeegees, or even having an indoor venue on standby.
  • Wind – Make sure you know the wind rating for any vertical elements you may have at your event. Consider whether you need to have mesh/wind slits cut into hanging banners, or if you need microphone covers to reduce wind noise. Always pack sandbags to prevent speaker stands, mic stands, or tenting from flying away!
  • Temperature – Will you have extreme hot or cold temperatures for your event? Temporary air conditioning or heating units can make a huge difference for outdoor events. Extreme temperatures can also freeze or overheat audio-visual equipment, so make sure you are using the right gear for these situations.
  • Noise – Are there train tracks, airport flight patterns, highways, church bells, or noon clock chimes in the near vicinity? These noises may cause a disruption to your program. Schedule walkthroughs and site visits of your location during the time period when you want your program to take place so you can plan accordingly if you need to change the time around.
  • Permits – Does you event take place on a public space? Check permitting for parking meter locations, noise permits, tenting permits, and generator permits. Start the permitting process as early as possible, as they often take a few weeks to be approved.
  • Backdrop/Setting of the event – Control the visual behind your stage area. You do not want passers by making faces, hand gestures into camera angles, or protesters holding up signs. A simple set up of pipe and drape, or a hanging banner can create a clean attractive background for your next event.
  • Power, Power, Power! – Make sure there is a clear path for any generator needs and that you have permission to have generators on site. Some outdoor locations will not allow generators to be placed in parking lanes or on grassy areas, so always confirm those locations ahead of time. Make sure your generator provider knows exactly what you are powering, and how long it needs to be powered, so they can bring the right equipment. Backup power is also highly recommended- we all remember what happened at the Superbowl a few years ago!
  • Emergency Action Plan – In the event of an emergency that requires evacuation, make sure you have established “Rally Points” for your event teams and crews and have department leads take headcounts to ensure everyone is accounted for.

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