Outdoor events are always a lot of fun, but they can also be affected by the unpredictable British weather. Rain, wind, and extreme temperatures can all become an inconvenience for your event and make it uncomfortable for guests but that’s not to say it will ruin it all.
With a little preparation and the right mindset, you can beat the elements and have a successful event. In this blog post, we will be sharing 8 tips for beating bad weather at your outdoor event. From planning ahead and encouraging guests to dress appropriately, to getting the right gear and being prepared for the worst, these tips will help you ensure that your event goes off without a hitch, even in bad weather.
So, whether you’re planning a wedding, a large party, or any other type of event, read on to learn how you can make sure that your event is a success, no matter what the forecast says.
Our top tips for your outdoor event
1. Plan ahead: Although your event will have been booked for some time, make sure you check the forecast and make a plan for how to handle bad weather. From the moment you start planning your event, consider what you may need to add right from the start. When planning I’d always recommend planning enough space so that everyone can sit inside. If it’s glorious weather the space will likely be used as shade instead.
Sometimes, the weather can change unexpectedly. Be prepared to adapt your plans and make adjustments as needed. For example, if it starts raining in the middle of your event, quickly move tables and chairs to a covered area, or shut down certain activities until the weather passes.
Make sure you have a plan in place for communicating with guests about any changes or updates due to weather. This could include sending out text or email alerts, or making announcements at the event.
2. Encourage guests to dress appropriately: Remind guests to dress appropriately so they can remain comfortable during the event. Although sunshine is perfect for an outdoor event, no one wants to be in heavy layers with the sun beating down on them all day. Encouraging guests to dress for comfort is an important part of planning for a change of weather at an event.
By providing guests with information on the weather forecast for the day of the event..
Have extra gear on hand for guests who forget to bring their own. This could include umbrellas that you can give out at the event for guests to use for extra shade.
3. Get the right gear: Make sure you have the right equipment on hand to deal with a change in the weather. A couple of examples include:
- Marquees/tipis: These can provide cover from rain and sun and can be used to create a designated rain or sun shelter area.
- Walkie talkies: For larger events such as small festivals, corporate events or large celebrations, consider bringing in walkie talkies to help communication throughout the day.
Most outdoor event companies like ourselves will always come prepared with the right amount of gear for you to use. For example, we always ensure to use outdoor sockets to avoid any potential weather issues and water ingress into the electrics. All of the correct equipment is included in our generator rental packages.
4. Be proactive: If you notice that bad weather is approaching, take action to protect your guests and equipment.
Bad weather can include scorching hot days, everyone likes chilled drinks in these instances. Plan ahead and ensure you have refrigeration on site, in the busy weeks many festivals, caterers and sadly breakdowns take place.
We all love outdoor stages – but consider having an indoor one too. Or perhaps the stage inside playing to outside, so if the weather changes or you need to amend the set up after the venue has been built you can simply rotate where the artists are playing from.
Think about keeping guests occupied, even if the weather is putting people off being outside. Outdoor wedding drinks receptions are lovely in the sunshine but they can be just as much fun if the rain clouds sadly roll in. Giant jenga, connect four and kubb can all be played in bar areas on the dancefloors. Why not even consider getting a limbo set and ask your DJ to compare a round to see who can go the lowest…
Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be aware of any potential storms or heat waves that may be predicted. Have a plan in place for what to do if the weather turns bad, and be ready to implement it quickly.
Keep guests informed about any changes or updates due to weather.
5. Communicate with guests: It’s important to keep your guests informed about any changes or updates that are affected by the weather.
Outdoor weddings are unique and special, but do remember to plan ahead for the evenings, in May, June and September the evenings can be chilly, consider some heater hire from the outset. After you’ve spent thousands, even tens of thousands, it’s worth investing a few hundred on ensuring your guests are comfortable into the evening and keep them wanting to stay on that dance floor partying on with you.
Use multiple channels to communicate with guests, such as email, text message, social media, and announcements at the event. This will help to ensure that guests receive the information, even if they are not able to check one specific channel.
Be transparent with guests about what’s happening with the event and what steps you’re taking to keep them safe. This will help to build trust and keep guests calm and reassured.
Provide guests with contact information for someone they can reach out to if they have any questions or concerns about the weather or the event.
7. Prep, prep, prep! :
Bad weather isn’t all about the rain and storms, wind is a major factor in outdoor events. Marquees and tipis have certain wind tolerances as restrictions on both how much can be open, directions or the wind against the structure and occupancy speed limits.
Grizzly Bear Events’ director, Ben, used to be the operations manager for a giant hat tipi company for several years and recalls having to amend the direction of the tipi and shapes used, the amount of raised sides allowed and on several occasions having to amend the build and take down for days to allow for calmer weather. This is why being aware of the weather prior to your event is important, it allows you to be prepared.
When we’re running events, be it weddings or parties, we also suggest clients have a template ready to send an email the day before reminding guests of the weather forecast, that it’s outdoors, and any access details they may need if it’s an outdoor event in a field or similar.
It can also be a good idea to send out reminders to book taxis well in advance as if your event is in the middle of the countryside, it can be difficult to get a taxi booked home at the end of the night and no one wants to be staying overnight stranded in a field!
8. Have a contingency plan: Have a plan in place in case the event needs to be rescheduled due to bad weather.
If the weather is too bad to hold the event as planned, consider rescheduling the event for a different day. For large scale events, procedures should always be in place during the build incase of inclement weather. It may be worth asking key suppliers for a copy of their risk assessment, especially marquee companies for their wind policies.
A change in weather can be a big challenge when planning outdoor events, but with a little preparation and the right mindset, it’s possible to beat the elements and still have a successful event.
By planning ahead, encouraging guests to dress appropriately, getting the right gear, being proactive, communicating with guests, embracing the weather, having a contingency plan and being prepared for the worst, you can ensure that your outdoor event goes off without a hitch, even in bad weather.
Whether you are hosting a wedding, a small festival or a large party, at Grizzly Bear Events, we are very happy to serve all of your outdoor equipment needs. We are here to get you the support you need.
If you are an event planner, wedding planner, wedding venue, or party planner, please get in touch and find out how we can help you.