July 10th 2019
How to Run a Successful Outdoor Event in the Countryside
by Philip Atkins Events, Industry Advice
Hosting outdoor events in the country pose their own set of challenges that you may not always foresee.
Their success is dependent on outdoor event “Logicalistics”, where logic is applied to logistics to ensure events run smoothly and are commercially successful.
Where events in town and at fixed venues have the infrastructure in place to allow you to react to any last-minute changes or supply challenges, outdoor marquee events don’t.
Here are top tips to run a successful outdoor event in the country:
1. Always allow extra time. While it may always be tempting to bring your team and suppliers in as late as possible events are always extremely time sensitive and it is always better to be set and ready early rather than rolling out the carpet as guests arrive.
2. Travel vs time cost: While it may potentially save hourly costs to bring in the team at differing times it may to fit operational needs by splitting them up it is likely to cause more travel costs, be this simply mileage for cars or the inability to put the team in a coach together.
3. It’s the little details that count. Aspects such as enough ice to both serve and bring drinks down to the correct temperature needs to be on-site, bar team need to have bottle openers, there needs to be enough glassware to account for no washing up and enough loos for guests.
4. Have you got the power? It is imperative to ensure that you are clear of power requirements for the different suppliers to your event. This may include caterers ovens and fridge storage, air conditioning, light & sound , band, DJ, entertainment and loos. If short in the power available and systems trip it will make for a challenging evening. Good production companies such as Wise Productions will ensure this is covered for you.
5. Wet or Dry it needs to fly. It’s a dangerous game to gamble on your summer event in the UK being under wonderful sunshine. If you are doing an outdoor event make sure you have a wet weather contingency all operators are clear on before the heavens open. You want to avoid firefighting and move to a wet weather area that is set and ready for your guests (including the parking area).
6. Brief to perfection. Being an outside event in a temporary space your catering team are not going to know where all equipment is and exactly how you want the event to run. Do make sure you give them a clear brief and then allow them to get on and deliver for you allowing you to enjoy your evening.
7. Waste is a hot topic. Do make sure that rubbish has been considered and arranged to be taken away. If, for example, you are providing your own drink at the event make sure the caterers are clear they are removing bottles, cans etc and any other associated waste.
8. Noise – Sound always travels much further than you think in the middle of the countryside! Make sure you have pre-warned / spoken to the neighbours. If doing a real late one you can always consider a silent disco which takes the danger away.
9. It’s not all about the alcohol. With out of town events you usually have a higher percentage of drivers than normal which drives up those looking for a non-alcoholic drink. Do make sure you have a good selection of mocktails and soft drink options for your guests.
10. Cold staff find it hard to smile. When the sun shines it is lovely to have all the service team in crisp white shirts however as the evening goes on and it gets cold outside it can become extremely hard for them if they are having to go in and out of marquees for service. Do consider what you are happy for the team to be wearing in the evening so the smiles and customer service remain at the highest level.
11. Keep it secure. And lastly do consider if security is needed for your event. If you are in an area where people may try and crash your party or will be leaving valuable equipment or stock on site in an unsecured tent, consider having security on site. It can also be that they are duty first aiders for you ensuring a duty of care for your guests.
Need support with an upcoming countryside event? We'd be delighted to help.
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