Recently we observed Memorial Day, a special holiday meant to honor America’s fallen military men and women. At Blue Ribbon, we remember and appreciate the service of all of our veterans. Of course, Memorial Day also marks the beginning of summer and summer means outdoor festival season. Outdoor events are tons of fun, but planning a successful outdoor event has its challenges.
Here are some tips for planning a successful outdoor event with minimal stress (and who couldn’t use less stress, right?):
1. Double-check permits and ordinances.
If you want to use a public space, research which permits you need based on the city, municipality, township, and neighborhood where will hold the event. Start looking into the specific rules governing the outdoor event space that you hope to use as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that the type of permit needed and rules that apply will depend on the type of event you are hosting. For example, if you would like to plan a successful outdoor event on the National Mall or any other National Park units in the Capital Region, you will need a permit for the following:
- Special events such as recreational activities, musical performances, and celebrations;
- Demonstrations such as speeches, picketing, vigils, and other activities designed to communicate a message;
- Special uses including any sport activities, weddings, and ceremonies; and
- Commercial filming and photography.
Unless you want your event shutdown, you will want to get all of your paperwork in order well ahead of time. Once you believe you have filed all of the necessary paperwork, double-check with the local authorities to be sure everything is in order.
2. Take your time with logistics and layout.
Some outdoor event venues are easier to use than others. Is there an existing structure, like a pavilion or an outdoor stage? Great! That cuts your work in half. But if you are staring down at a blank canvas of an outdoor space, advanced planning and coordination are crucial. You will need to arrange for everything—power, toilets (may we suggest luxury restroom trailers?), equipment, food, etc.
Start planning your layout by taking tons of photos of your venue. You can even make a sketch (or, if you have mad graphic design skills, a digital reproduction) and test out different arrangements for vendors, sound equipment, booths, etc. Consider how the equipment will be loaded into the space. Schedule a meeting at the venue in advance with your suppliers, to coordinate setup and teardown. Additionally, don’t forget about parking. Where will your vendors park their trucks? Where will guests park? Is your event easily accessible for people with special needs?
3. Provide for the proper health precautions.
Summer weather makes planning a successful outdoor event, especially difficult. If your event involves spectators standing or sitting out in the sun for long periods of time (e.g., a charity race, parade, or music event), make sure to provide plenty of water and places for overheated people to cool off. Set up cooling tents with fans blowing misty water.
Have medical personnel on standby with first-aid kits to monitor anyone feeling dizzy or lightheaded. This is especially important for events taking place in remote areas. Prepare a list of local hospitals and healthcare service providers including directions for how to get there.
4. Prepare for communication and crowd safety.
First, make sure you can communicate with your vendors and staff during your event. If you are in a more remote area, cell service may be spotty, so it may make sense to use walkie-talkies to communicate.
Second, make sure your event coordinator and performers can easily communicate with the crowd. Communication with the crowd is key both for ensuring the enjoyment and safety of any successful outdoor event. In the event of inclement weather, fast-moving storms can present serious safety hazards without much warning. Be prepared by having a plan and communicating that plan with your spectators in the most efficient manner possible.
5. Don’t skimp on the sanitation.
Last, but certainly not least, having the right number of appropriate restroom facilities available is an absolutely crucial element of a successful outdoor event. Trust us. Mistakes in this area will ruin your event faster than greased-lightning. Above all, make sure you have enough sanitation equipment both for guests and for the crew.
It’s also important to take into account your audience’s sensibilities. For crowds of a certain type, not just any ol’ portable toilet will do (but if that’s what you need, our friends at Don’s Johns are happy to help). That’s why at Blue Ribbon Restroom Trailers, we have a wide variety of luxury portable trailers that are sure to impress even your most discerning guests. Our portable trailers can accommodate crowds of all sizes and our friendly experts are always happy to discuss the best options for all your sanitation needs.
At Blue Ribbon Restroom Trailers, we’ve got you covered! Contact us for a quote today!