10 Tips for Hosting an Outdoor Event During the Pandemic
Thinking about surprising a loved one with an outdoor birthday party? Getting married? Looking to host a concert or movie night for your business or organization? Planning a race? Working on finally having that family reunion?
If you have an event in the works or have planned an event before, you probably know how difficult it is to coordinate every little thing. There are so many moving parts–food, venue, entertainment, music, guest’s needs–and there’s almost always some sort of unplanned hurdle, like bad weather, a picky eater, or technical difficulties.
What’s more, hosting a safe, fun event during the pandemic is tricky. You want to be able to connect and celebrate, but you don’t want to compromise the health of your guests, friends, or loved ones. That’s why many people have turned to outdoor gatherings as the ideal way to stay socially-distanced while still being able to meet in-person.
With spring just around the corner, there’s no better time to make sure you’re up-to-speed with the logistics and possible hang-ups you could face as an outdoor event planner. Whether you’re a seasoned expert or this is your first time planning an event, follow along!
1. Visit the Venue in Advance
This may seem obvious, but many people try to “just wing it” based on positive Yelp reviews or Instagram photos. Don’t be that person. Scope out your chosen venue in advance. Examine the geography of the space–Is it hilly? Windy? Muddy? Exceptionally dark? Nobody wants to get married in the shadow of a building! Feel free to measure or draw on paper where you will place things. Making sure you have the perfect spacing of tables, buffets, chairs, bathrooms, bars, parking spots, etc. is especially important during Covid.
2. Check Permits and Ordinances
Certain outdoor spaces, even in public parks, require paid permits or preliminary reservations. Do your research before showing up. Make sure there are no restrictive curfews, seasonal regulations, party size limitations, or conflicting events happening in the same space.
3. Plan For Accessibility
Making sure your event is inclusive and accommodating for those with disabilities, dietary concerns, or certain physical needs is very important to consider. Do you have wheelchair access? Have you met everyone’s dietary concerns or removed certain allergens from the menu? If you’re showing a movie, video, or on-screen presentation, do you have captions, large print, or an assistive listening device? If you need more information, check out this Accessibility Checklist by Cornell University.
4. Get Electrical
If you’re hosting an event with music or entertainment of any sort, chances are you’ll need plenty of electrical outlets. Many outdoor venues don’t have electricity, so bringing extension cords or a mobile power inverter may be necessary.
5. Who’s Going to Make It Happen?
What kind of staff will you need to make your event happen? If you’re hosting a tiny family gathering, you can probably manage as a party of one, but in most circumstances, you’ll need help! Will you have an entertainer, like a DJ, musician, or band? Do you need a catering staff to serve food or beverages? Need maintenance assistance to set up the space and keep the venue clean and orderly? Want vendors to sell wares? Considering a collaboration with a professional decorator or florist? Did you think about hiring a photographer to capture your precious memories? Do you need security if you have VIP personnel? … Maybe you just want a private event manager to handle it all for you! We’d understand.
6. Rain Check!
A rainy forecast doesn’t have to ruin your outdoor event. Many outdoor spaces can easily accommodate covered areas like marquees, patios, and tents, but should be coordinated and confirmed in advance. Otherwise, consider choosing a backup space to move to in the chance of inclement weather.
7. Where Do I Sit?
People care about their comfort, and you should too. Make sure to have plenty of adequate seating, especially if you’re serving a meal. Assigned seating can be a great idea to keep large parties settled. Elderly people in particular will need a space to rest. If the weather is especially hot, people will want somewhere to cool down.
Food builds connection between friends and family, establishing a shared experience. Making sure you have a great selection of food is vital. Have you met the needs of gluten-free guests, sugar-free guests, vegans, vegetarians, or those with an allergy? Consider the age range and demographics of your party–a child’s birthday party will have a very different menu than a lavish soiree. Coordinating the meal is also important–will it come out in courses? Is it a buffet? When will it happen, before or after the presentation? The planning, preparation, serving, and cleanup of food is far more complex than you’d think!
9. Figure Out Your Covid Plan
Adhering to social-distancing and Covid safety guidelines is a crucial concern. Seating guests in reasonably-separated spaces, providing plenty of room for walk-ways and lines to gather, limiting party size, and making sure you’re on the same page as your event staff is important to consider. If you’re going to require masks or proof of vaccination, be sure to let your guests know far in advance. Also, have a way of properly and discretely enforcing these policies–nobody wants to attend a superspreader event!
10. Secure The Sanitation!
If you haven’t thought about your bathroom situation, now’s the time. Making sure your guests have access to pleasant, comfortable restrooms is vital. Nobody wants to wait in line–make sure you have enough units to accommodate your party size. Having hand washing or sanitization stations may be advisable as well.
Portable Restroom Rentals in Kentucky
At Moon Portable Restrooms, we offer a variety of restroom rentals for every kind of special event. Choose between our standard, flushable, and handicapped portable restrooms, or explore our 11 luxury restroom trailers including Porta Lisa, Comfort Elite, 24’ and 28’ trailers, showers, and more.
Our luxury trailers include offerings such as sophisticated design, heating and air conditioning, stainless steel sinks, flushable toilets, private cabins, full size vanities with faucets, wood grain floors, and more! Plus, we have hand washing and hand sanitizer stations available exclusively through Moon Portable Restrooms.
If you’re planning a special event in Lexington, Louisville, Southern Indiana, or anywhere in-between, look no further than Moon Portable Restrooms. We have decades of experience serving the region and take pride in our personalized, high-quality service. Our portable restrooms and restroom trailers can be rented daily, weekly, or monthly depending on your needs. Give us a call at 502-776-2199 to get started today!