10 Steps to planning an outdoor event

5th April 2016
Girl eating cotton candy

Are you organising an outdoor event in the near future?  Perhaps its a summer fair, a charity event or a children’s fun day?  To help you plan your day perfectly, we’ve found some top tips and a checklist to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day.

1. Task list

To keep you on track and well organised, write a good long list  of all the things that need to be sorted before the day.  If you have allocated tasks to other people, make sure you send a copy to them too.  Work backwards from the date of your event and list all of the things that need to be ordered.

2. Invitations, Flyers and Promotions

If you are holding a invitation only event, these should be sent out as early as possible to enable people to RSVP.  If you are planning on using posters, flyers or other advertising, start looking at getting these designed and/or printed as early as you can to ensure they are ready to tell people about your event as soon as possible.

3. Catering

Think wisely about what kind of food suits your event. Will there be a sit down dining area for example, or will people be eating whilst walking around?  For every scenario there will be a catering service that suits.  Work with your caterers – tell them exactly what you need and give them plenty of time to prepare and work with your final numbers.

4. Rental Items

Once you have chosen and booked your venue, find out from them exactly what they offer and what you would still need to supply.  Items to consider would be tables/chairs, linens, outside enclosures, lighting, heater or fans as a weather consideration and even china or plasticware.  Also check that your venue has access for any trailers that entertainers may bring, or enough space for staging. Your venue manager should be able to help you with all of this, and more.

5. Music

Music will be one of the most important aspects of your event – DO NOT overlook its significance.  Whether it is live music, a DJ or just background music – your music choices will make all the difference.  If you are booking live music be sure to confirm with the band well in advance of the event.  Make sure that you know how much room they need and that they venue can offer them enough space or staging area to set up.  Also think about how loud your music should be: are you looking to have everyone up dancing, or is it just to set the mood?

6. Entertainment

If you are having additional entertainment at your event, for example inflatables, party games or entertainers always ensure that they are booked well in advance and that you speak to them prior to the day to advise them of exactly what you require.

7. Lighting

Will your event have special lighting requirements?  Will it be held at night?  As obvious as it sounds, lighting should not be overlooked.  There are professional lighting companies for large, elaborate events, but even smaller venues can benefit from the right mood lighting.  Match the lighting in with your theme and chose anything from tea lights dotted around the venue to colour lights to dimmers and candles.

8. Decor

Does your event have a theme? Or even if you are just looking for a simple, sophisticated look – the right décor can really make all the difference.  Think of everything from table clothes, to flowers to table decorations.

9. Pictures/Video

Will you be having your event recorded?  If so, ensure that you find someone to video the event that you are happy with before the day. Make sure you give them a running order of the day so they know where they should be and when.  The same goes for photographers.  Liaise and work with them prior to the event so they know exactly what you are looking for from them.

10. Back-up Plans!

Do you have cancellation insurance for your event?  Or perhaps if you are planning an outdoor event, make sure that you have a plan for inclement weather, such as tenting, marquees or an alternative indoor space.

Don’t forget that our friendly, helpful staff at Funtime Hire can help offer advice on all aspects of your event when you call us on 01371 811381.

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