When the weather is warm, more events will be held outside than at any other time of the year.
There certainly is no better backdrop than Mother Nature’s palette to create a stunning atmosphere for an event.
But what do you do if Mother Nature decides to throw a temper tantrum, threatening to destroy your beautifully-designed event?
As an event producer, you know that one of your best lines of defense for averting a crisis is to have a plan at the ready for every contingency.
The big causes of weather-related concerns when hosting an event outdoors are sun exposure, temperature variances, high winds, heavy rains, and hurricanes.
With a bit of forethought and the use of technology, event planners can ensure the safety of their guests and make up-to-the-minute decisions based on any weather threats.
Here are the 10 best practices to put into play to make sure your event goes off without a hitch:
Adequate hydration: Water in the body is lost quickly in hot, summer weather, which makes an adequate water supply tremendously important. Ample nonalcoholic liquids must be supplied throughout the duration of the event. For all-day festivals or concerts, a hosing of the crowd, especially in the packed area at the stage front, may be required. Never take chances when it comes to the safety and well-being of your guests.
Temperature variances: Prepare your guests in advance for the drastic change in temperature so they can dress accordingly if this applies to your location. For instance, an outdoor event in the Southwest United States in the summer months can see a temperature difference of 30 degrees throughout the day. Provide portable solutions to heat variances with the rental of heaters or air conditioning units, as necessary.
High winds: Have a look at the seasonal wind trends for your selected location so you know what to expect. Is there a possibility that temporary structures or light rigging will be affected? Could higher, unsecured structures topple in a strong wind? Is there sand near or at your location that could pose a health issue if it gets in someone’s eyes? Assess any additional effects high winds may have on your event.
Heavy rain: This not only poses a problem to carry on your event outside, it is a major risk for accidents. Slip-and-fall hazards can occur for guests and crew alike. In addition to the health and safety issues a heavy rain can pose, you want to avoid at all costs the possibility of any liability claims brought about following an accident.
Hurricanes: Events on the coast are particularly vulnerable during hurricane season. If your event is held in an area affected by hurricanes, consider whether it is worth chancing an outdoor event at all.With a bit of forethought and the use of technology, event planners can ensure the safety of their guests and make up-to-the-minute decisions based on any weather threats. Click To Tweet
Plan early and reassess often: From the initial planning, right up to a week before event day, use The Farmer’s Almanac website. It’s a reliable, inexpensive way to get information regarding short and long-range weather trends.
Monitor incoming weather fronts: A week before the event, start monitoring the forecast, particularly any fronts that are moving in through your region. Visit a site like Weather Underground for the days leading up to the event.
Weather apps: On the day of the event, I turn to Doppler radar. Download the local TV affiliates animated radar app to your smartphone. It’s the first thing I do when arriving in a city to host an outdoor event.
Calling off the event: If it is a large outdoor event that cannot be moved to indoors, such as an event at a theme park, stadium or other large outdoor venue, the deciding factor must always be guest safety. The cost and inconvenience of rescheduling or canceling should never take priority over this.
Take it inside: Always have a backup location regardless of the additional costs to contract the extra space. Do not be afraid to make that call to take it inside. Once you start the event outdoors and the bad weather hits, it pretty much marks the end of the party. Make sure your client is aware of those risks and what it means to keep the party outside.
Large storms almost always give advance notice of their path and intensity. That will give you plenty of notice to decide when to sound the alarm and inform the public of an impending situation before it becomes a crisis.
With a well-thought-out contingency plan and thorough monitoring, you should be able to keep the party going, rain or shine.
What was the last event you held that got affected by the weather and how did you handle it?