Are you getting ready to host an event during an unpredictable season? The weather is a huge factor, especially for outdoor events.
Building a foolproof contingency plan for your autumn event can mean a lot of work. Yet it’s a true art, and when you get it right, your guests will have a great time no matter the weather.
Here are some ways you can work around unexpected problems, from temperature changes to inclement weather.
Hot or Cold?
Hosting outdoor events in the fall is a gamble because you never know what the weather is going to be like. In some geographical areas, it can be 40º at night and 80º during the day.
That means you’re sending your kids to school in beanies and warm coats, but they’re sweating at recess unless they have layers to shed. This problem affects events, too, because you’ll need the provide all seasons of temperature control.
When It Feels Like Winter
Consider putting up a tent for your event. Putting up a tent can help you control the temperature no matter what the weather does. Keep your guests comfortable during cold weather when you put outdoor heaters under the tent.
Check the manufacturer specifications to ensure the heaters have enough height clearance. You can extend their usefulness if your tent has side walls. When the weather turns chilly and you turn on the heaters, drop the sides to hold the heat in.
Help your guests stay warm with other party essentials. If you’re having a wedding, perhaps every place has a set of hand warmers with a fun message. You can provide your bridesmaids with pashminas to keep them warm during outdoor pictures.
Style a coffee bar guests can enjoy during the appetizer course, with toppings and flavors. Add hot chocolate, tea, and other hot drinks to include all tastes and preferences.
When It Feels Like Summer
If the weather gets hot and your guests start taking off their jackets and sweaters, they may need relief if they are going to stay and enjoy the rest of the event. Bring fans to help them cool off.
You’ll need plenty of extension cords for the fans if the electric plug is far from your tent. Make sure to cover cords so that guests don’t trip over them. If you’re having outdoor lights, you’ll have to plan to get electricity to these, too.
Gaffer tape won’t work on grass and dirt, so you’ll need to get creative with other safety measures. You can use tubing to run cords through, or you can cover them with rugs.
Provide party essentials for guests to cool them off. Set up stylish water bottle stations all around the tent by filling up tubs with ice and water bottles.
Wedding programs can be put on a wide popsicle stick and made into paddles or hand fans. Alternatively, you can provide fancier hand fans as party favors for guests.
Inclement Weather Contingency Plan
Hot and cold events aren’t the only types of weather you may have to dance with. Rain can ruin any outdoor celebration unless you are prepared ahead of time.
The tent you used for hot and cold weather is a great way to keep guests dry. Even if you’re not sure you’ll use it, get a tent big enough that all your guests can crowd under it if it starts raining. You don’t want to have guests leave because they can’t fit under the tent, or worse, have to choose who gets shelter and who doesn’t.
Extra party essentials for a rainy event include providing umbrellas and volunteers to help guests get to their cars. If it’s raining while guests are arriving, offer plastic umbrella bags to store wet umbrellas while shopping or enjoying the event. No one likes to haul around a wet umbrella while trying to stay dry.
If you have bathrooms, whether permanent facilities or a bathroom trailer, include toiletries to help handle rain. Extra towels to help guests dry off, hairdryers, and other hair styling products can help fix the mess made by rain.
Remember that rain and thunderstorms can turn into more dangerous weather issues. Come up with a plan to keep guests safe in case you have severe weather, like tornados or floods. Your guests should have a way to find more permanent shelter and safety, or you should reschedule your event for another time.
Have a plan to communicate cancelations to your guests, as well as incoming severe weather. Even if they can’t see the storm coming yet, if you can see it on the radar, it’s a good idea to have a way to let everyone know what Plan B is.
It all comes back to who you have planning the event with you. All of the above strategies require many hands to pull them off. From the setting up of different equipment as the weather changes to informing guests of new plans, your team is essential.
Gather a group of thoughtful individuals who are invested in making the event happen. You want them to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, and commit to seeing it through.
It’s okay to have committee members who don’t have the same mindset as you. Good teams thrive when they have many ideas coming together. As long as your team can get behind the final decisions after they’ve given their input, you’ll have a great group to help you pull off the event.
A Beautiful Venue
The art of forming a contingency plan is a many-sided die. When you plan for all types of temperature and weather, you’ll be prepared for anything. With a good team behind you, your event can go off without a hitch.
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