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How To Prepare for Your Next Outdoor Event
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Having an event outdoors is a great alternative for a more relaxed, spacious, and inviting affair. An additional benefit of having an event outside is the ability to host a larger number of guests. Whereas indoor events are restricted by their wall-to-wall capacity, outdoor events can spread and sprawl along with their grounds. In fact high attendance events are ideal in outdoor settings for adequate spacing and breathing room, while a smaller guestlist event may look empty and unpopular in a large outdoor area. Throwing an outdoor event can seem like a daunting task, yet there are many basic rules for planning a comfortable and elegant outdoor event that many people overlook.
Finding the perfect outdoor venue is the initial step. When browsing potential venues, there are a few key points to be looking for. Firstly, what does the terrain consist of? If the terrain is natural, is it muddy, grassy, or rocky? If it’s paved, are there cobblestones, cracks, or grains? The basic rule of thumb is the most even terrain is the best terrain. Just be sure that women in heels will not get stuck or tumble when they are walking around. Many spaces with uneven terrain can even be modified with special throws, rugs, stages, or walkways. Also don’t forget to check the level of the ground because planning events on hills or slopes can be quite difficult and leave the tables, drinks, and guests falling over.
Next check the vegetation of the area. The more green, lush, and blossoming a space is, the more appealing, comfy, and enchanting your event will seem. Dead grass, weeds, and dying trees should all be avoided. Even a drier arid space can work well, especially with surroundings of succulents and sage. In the end it should all somehow coincide with the overall theme or feeling of the event.
Checking for adequate facilities is the next important step. Facilities meaning restrooms, outdoor sinks, running water, and a sufficient number of electrical outlets for setting up light and sound systems. A day event with plenty of sunlight would not need as much, but obviously an event at night needs to be adequately lit so guests can see where they are stepping.
The most unpredictable thing about planning an event outside is obviously the weather. That being said, plan for every type of weather. Forecasts a week in advance should provide a range of the type of weather to be expected. Obviously for a hot sunny day make sure there’s plenty of shade, either naturally under trees or using umbrellas. For cold days heat lamps are a must, and obviously for rain so is a tent.
It’s also important to keep a look out for the insect situation. If there is any standing water nearby then there will definitely be a high incidence of mosquitoes. Citronella candles can repel many bugs, however there are also many burning oils and electric bug repellents available on the market without having an open flame.
Finally, the greatest thing about having an event outdoors is the entertainment space. The physical measurements and acoustics of an indoor space can often limit the type of entertainment. But outdoors is ideal for musical performances by live bands and dj’s, as well as various dance performances and visual art. Vertically space is limitless, so outdoor parties can utilize the area above the guests’ heads for trapeze artists, acrobats, and aerialists. On the floor dancers can have more room to intermingle with guests and provide mini-performances between crowds, rather than being focused solely on stage. Outdoors the entertainment possibilities are limitless.