Organising an outdoor event takes more planning than one might initially expect. It may well be almost winter, but event marketing teams plan months in advance, which means many of them will start planning their strategy for outdoor events in late spring and summer. Having a stand in an indoor exhibition centre is one thing, but hosting outdoors poses a whole host of other factors you’ll need to consider. Here are some tips if you’re planning an outdoor event for the first time:
Never Underestimate the Weather
Planning a fair way in advance means that you’re not going to be able to realistically predict what the weather is going to be like. In places like the UK, you could face almost weather at any time, so you really need to be ready for anything. Flexibility is key; being warm and dry is arguably your greatest priority, but if you set yourself up to be completely wind and rain-proof you might find your stand or marquee is too hot and enclosed in decent weather. Companies such as Neptunus that set up marquees can ensure you get this bit right.
Most events will supply you with power if you’re going to a major gathering, but it’s imperative that you ascertain whether or not you will: this is not always the case for outdoor events, and you may also find that you don’t get priority or exactly what you need. For this reason it can be quite useful to take your own generator. Compact, portable ones are widely available to buy or rent if you’re only putting on something small. This also means you can reduce the number of wires trailing about the place, and only pay for what you use.
One of the surest ways to keep people hanging around your exhibit is to offer a Wi-Fi connection, because chances are that if you’re outside, the venue will not offer one. It’s not always easy to get a stable connection up, but if you can it’s a fantastic finishing touch to the experience. Encourage visitors to liveblog their visit, or create a hashtag for your event and suggest they contribute.
Keep Guests Comfortable
Comfortable guests are far more likely to stick around and absorb your message. We’ve already mentioned the weather – make sure that everyone is warm or cool enough. It’s also good to have seating and places for people to relax, as there’s every chance they’ve been on their feet all day. If possible, refreshments are also very welcome – it’s better to bring them and not use them than it is to provide nothing and for people to wish you had some. Check out Pinterest for inspiration.