• Lorie Grooms, CMP

planning for… an outdoor event

Updated: Dec 15, 2019

An outdoor event can be a fun and unique addition to a 'typical' conference. Attendees may even appreciate being outside after spending the entire day in a classroom setting of educational and professional development sessions. Whether it’s a stand-alone event or a portion of a larger conference, here are some questions to consider when planning an outdoor event:

  • What is the typical weather pattern for the time of year and location?

  • Will the event be held rain or shine?

  • What is the rain back up location, if any?

  • How many hours before the event is a final decision made on whether the event will proceed or not, due to weather?

  • Is cancellation insurance in place?

  • If the event is canceled due to weather, will there be a make-up date? What is refund policy for attendees?

  • What is the event layout, to allow for the best flow?

  • What type of catering will work well with the outdoor temperatures? Are food trucks or other unique options possible in the space?

  • Will alcohol be served? Is a liquor license, separate from the venue, needed? Who is responsible for verifying the age of attendees?

  • Would the addition of tents help provide relief to attendees (sun or rain)?

  • What types of décor will enhance the event (special lighting, trees, balloons, photo area, etc.)?

  • Is lighting needed?

  • Will there be special performances that need permits?

  • What type of music (live, DJ, or venue provided) or sound (announcements, introductions, award presentation, sponsor thank you, etc.) does the event need?

  • Are there electrical needs?

  • What types of barricades, gates, or stanchions are needed?

  • Is security needed for crowd-control?

  • What is the maximum capacity?

  • Is the event ticketed? If so, what type of ticket is being used (digital or printed)? If not, how will attendees be identified and granted access?

  • Are there enough restrooms for attendees or do portal toilets need to be rented?

  • Is available parking sufficient?

Need help planning an outdoor event? Send me an email, I’d love to help!

…until we meet again.


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