Any event organizer will understand the sheer complexity of putting together an event that checks all the boxes – from convenience and comfort to top-notch refreshments and entertainment. Throw an outdoor event, and you’ve got a serious feat of organization on your hands—a challenge that is only compounded by the expectations of your attendees (a factor that cannot be forgotten).
Today, the organization experts at Action Storage are breaking down some key considerations for the smooth running of an outdoor event where the attendee is placed at the heart of every decision.
Plan for inclement weather
Every summer, we’re treated to helicopter footage of mud-bound festivalgoers, staggering around flooded tents in a display of pure chaos. Even if the forecast is wall-to-wall sunshine, it’s important to have plans for wet weather or muddy ground. If a freak raincloud does make an appearance, soaking your attendees, there’s always a possibility that they’ll pack up and go home. To prevent this, consider investing in rain ponchos, duckboards, and plenty of areas undercover to make sure your event soldiers are on through the rain.
Even planning for snow can be worth it in the long term – particularly if you’re holding an outdoor event in the winter months. A few small-scale, path-clearing snow ploughs could have saved the recent Lincoln Christmas Market from its disastrous and ironic cancellation, which cost organizers thousands of pounds in lost revenue. Remember: failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Deliver an inclusive menu
Picture this: you’re at an outdoor event, having the time of your life—sun shining, music blasting—but then thoughts of lunchtime begin to flood your mind. You venture over to the catering area, only to find an incredibly limited selection of edibles, which do not include any gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan food options. This kind of disappointment can negatively impact the whole experience. By investing sufficient money in catering and making sure that getting food is a seamless, inclusive experience, you can avoid the wrath of TripAdvisor reviews from dissatisfied customers and instead attract complimentary Instagram tags from snap-happy foodies.
Choose your location with care
Simply put, the location makes the event work. That’s the reason why festivals such as Green Man, set in the ancient beauty of the Brecon Beacons in Wales, are so attractive. It’s the prospect of escape from daily life – of being completely cut off from the outside world. Of course, there is a trade-off involved here – you need a location to be accessible for both traders and attendees, particularly for events such as food festivals and business-related gatherings. There would be little point in organising an urban food fair in the depths of a forest, for example – the key is to find a happy equilibrium of relevance and accessibility.
Provide storage for peace of mind
With smartphones being a constant feature in the lives of most attendees – particularly those of younger event-goers – it’s no surprise that your guest list will be looking to capture every element of the experience and share it with their friends. And so they should, as social media tags can help to amplify an event’s profile.
However, some events put your expensive, fragile devices in peril – at a water fight, a colour run or even amongst the bodies and mud of a music festival. The peace of mind provided by the strategic placement of some high-quality outdoor lockers enables attendees to cut loose and enjoy themselves, safe in the knowledge that their possessions and devices are completely safe.
Offer essential amenities for all
It’s absolutely paramount that all aspects of your event are accessible to disabled people, and that there are accessible toilet facilities, ramps and handrails wherever applicable. It’s also important to make sure that disabled attendees aren’t having a second-class experience, which can often be the case if the necessary provisions aren’t made.
It shouldn’t need to be stated, but making an event 100% disabled friendly is crucial to attracting what has come to be known as the purple pound – the combined purchasing power of the UK’s 11.9 million disabled people is worth a whopping £249bn per year. There’s no doubt that providing a first class experience for all attendees should be one of your event’s main focuses – but universal accessibility is a perfect place to start.
With these golden rules in mind, any outdoor event organiser should be able to create an unforgettable experience for all attendees – whatever their tastes, needs or expectations.