Rain, rain go away…
I was a guest at an event recently and while it was a beautiful affair, nestled in a lovely field surrounded by the mountains, the ceremony took place in the rain. I know there wasn’t an event planner involved and this experience reminded me how important the little details are that we sometimes take for granted. It’s also easy to forget how quickly weather can make an event go sideways.
As a Calgary Event Planner, I have worked in many local hotel ballrooms, convention areas and event spaces around the city. I have also held some events outdoors and it’s important to note there are many logistics to consider when working outside comfortable and traditional event space.
First and foremost if you’re working outside, you need to visit your site and determine what is it that you are trying to achieve. The fact is, if you conduct the site visit on a beautiful day, it’s easy to believe that your event day will be just as sunny. However, case in point, look at this past weekend – it poured. So be sure to look at your outdoor event space and consider what would you do in the event of rain, hail, wind – and let’s face it – in Calgary it could even snow. Remember to ask yourself “what is my plan b?”
It’s my experience that you can never underestimate the value of your plan b. You need to consider the following:
- Can you construct a tent close by?
- Is there an alternate covered location you could use in the event of uncooperative weather?
- Would my audio / visual requirements work in inclement weather?
I highly recommend that if your heart is set on working outdoors that you have a plan b and you are able to quickly communicate that plan to all of your guests in advance of execution. This will ensure no one is left out and everyone is prepared for the change in venue.
Now back to plan a. Let’s say that having a plan b, is not an option. That’s fine but then it’s important to ensure the safety and comfort of your guests. If rain is a potential issue, you could make your guests’ experience more enjoyable by providing the following items or suggesting they bring them along themselves:
- Disposable ponchos
- Bug spray
- Cloths to dry chairs that may get wet in the storm
- Coffee and hot chocolate
These are just some ideas and you may have other ideas or ways that will help to ensure everyone has a great time – rain or shine.
Since we would never intentionally want to put our guests in harm way, it’s important to work with professionals. Surround yourself with event planners and people with the appropriate expertise who can assist you with options for your plan b. There is more than just the exposure to the elements to consider. For example, what is the risk of having certain audio /video equipment getting wet or being exposed to certain weather?
This is good food for thought as you plan your next event. I hope these tips will help ensure you and your guests are safe and enjoy your next event!