Logistics to Consider When Planning Outdoor Events in Fall & Winter
As we head into winter, the reality is events of any size for all occasions should remain outdoors as we continue to fight surging COVID-19 infection rates in the US. With the holidays and winter months approaching, we’re sharing logistics to consider for gatherings in colder weather, may it be in your backyard or a micro wedding with family and friends.
Depending on where you live, weather is sometimes predictable but oftentimes unpredictable, especially if you live in Los Angeles like us! Check the weather forecast on several platforms 6-8 weeks out from your expected event date and more often as the day approaches. It’s possible the weather will change to gusty winds or raining 2-3 days before your event and you certainly want to have a plan B or rain plan in the works. Some reliable weather apps we use are accuweather.com, weather-us.com, and weather.com.
As event planners, if we see a strong likelihood of inclement weather months or weeks out from your event date, we’ll work with our preferred tenting vendors to reserve a rain tent in order to be best prepared for the unexpected. A tenting specialist will want to survey the event location weeks out to consider how the tent will be tightly held down (concrete blocks, water barrels, or stakes) and if there are load bearing or tent height concerns. Typically, a rain tent can be cancelled if unneeded 5-7 days out without any cancellation fees.
During COVID-19, some cities/locations may not allow tent walls as it basically creates an insulated indoor space and the purpose of being outdoors is fluid air circulation. We’ll touch on heating next, but this is important to keep in mind, especially if you’re organizing events with more than 10-15 guests.
Our preferred tenting vendors are Bright Event Rentals and Sperry Tents as they offer an array of beautiful tents and have a reputation of professional, low-impact installations.
Referring back to tents, patio propane heaters are not allowed under tents - the rising heat/fire is a fire hazard! Speak with your tenting specialist about installing overhead infrared tent heaters which are fastened to the frame of the tent.
In addition to heaters, we suggest fire pits outside the tent for guests to gather and cozy blankets and slippers in baskets if budget allows.
With the mention of overhead infrared heaters begs the question of power. If you’re renting an event location, ensure the heating company checks the venue’s power grid can support the power draw, in addition to event lighting, catering needs, entertainment needs, etc. If you have an outdoor event in an open field, it’s likely you’ll need to organize generators to supplement power needs.
Depending on the type of terrain (dirt, grass, hill, etc.) where you’re hosting an event, subflooring may be a worthwhile investment if not essential. Subflooring avoids potential tripping in dirt holes or slipping on grass especially in dewy/rainy weather. With subfloor, you also have the option of installing a design friendly carpet or astroturf. Ultimately, subfloor provides a safer leveled floor for you to kick off your shoes and party the night away! The last thing anyone wants is an ambulance appearance. :)
We strongly believe if you clearly communicate event details (attire, parking, time frame, inclement weather if applicable, and COVID-19 protocol), it greatly helps manage guests’ expectations before arrival ensuring more comfortability and relaxation during the event. Life tip: expectations are the root of disappointment and frustration, so do your best to communicate to your guests beforehand without giving away the ‘wow’ factor of the experience!
We hope you found these logistical tips helpful - stay healthy, cozy, and rested this holiday season.