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Common Outdoor Event Issues and How to Solve Them

Event planning can be a lot of fun, but it can also be undeniably stressful too, and even professional event organisers may find themselves feeling overwhelmed as the big day draws closer. From weddings, to birthday parties, festivals, business conferences or baby showers, there are many varied occasions which call for a celebration or gathering and it’s important to plan in advance to help reduce stress.

With the summer months fast approaching, many events make the transition from indoor to outdoor locations to make the most of the warm weather, but hosting an event outdoors comes with specific problems of its own. From unpredictable weather to ensuring you have enough lavatory facilities, organising an outdoor event does involve a certain level of forward thinking. It’s always best to be prepared for every scenario, so with this in mind, read on for some of the most common issues that can arise and how to solve them.

Bad weather

Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather, and the British climate is famously unpredictable. While there is less chance of rain during the summer months, it doesn’t mean that your event is guaranteed to be 100% dry. Even if the rain holds off; windy conditions, cloudy overcast skies or morning frosts can still disrupt your outdoor event in ways you may not have planned for.

It’s important to always have a bad weather backup plan when hosting an event outdoors, whether that’s in the form of a second indoor venue or a temporary shelter that can be erected at the last minute. Many venues offer both indoor and outdoor spaces, so speak to the venue owners and make sure you can use the indoor space if necessary. Alternatively, arrange to bring your own backup shelter such as a large gazebo, tent or tarpaulin, or provide plenty of rain ponchos and umbrellas for guests.

It might seem like a lot of extra work but it’s vital to be prepared for both an indoor and outdoor scenario and make sure you’re happy with both plans (especially if it’s a very special event like a wedding). If it’s looking like wet weather in the morning but dry later on, consider laying down wooden boards to create pathways or a dance floor under a marquee. This will prevent guest’s shoes from getting muddy and reduce the chances of slipping on wet ground.

Mosquitoes and other pests

The height of summer can bring glorious sunshine but the warm weather also attracts some unwelcome visitors too. Insect pests like mosquitoes, wasps or flies can be distracting and unpleasant if you’re trying to enjoy yourself outside, but there are preventative measures you can take. Candles or essential oils in scents such as lemon, lavender, orange or basil can help keep mosquitoes at bay, and they’ll ensure your event smells nice too!

If you’re really concerned or hosting an event in an area that’s prone to attracting a lot of bugs, consider hiring a professional exterminator to spray the site a few days beforehand.

The temperature

Rain, wind and other bad weather is often the most pressing concern when hosting an outdoor event, but a temperature that’s too hot can also cause issues. It’s best to have some preparations in place in case a heatwave hits, to ensure all guests stay as cool and comfortable as possible. Make sure there’s a sheltered space away from the glare of the midday sun, even if it’s just a few large garden umbrellas or a small gazebo. Keep plenty of chilled water close at hand to keep people hydrated and consider installing large electric fans if possible. It’s also a good idea to have a backup supply of sunscreen, especially if the event is something like a wedding or children’s party.

It might be less common, but outdoor events do happen during the colder months too, so have provisions in place for when the temperatures drop. Space heaters and blankets can go a long way, especially if you’re using an outdoor structure that’s uninsulated, such as a tent.

Bathroom facilities

It may not be the most glamorous aspect of event planning, but adequate bathroom and toilet facilities are absolutely vital if you want your outdoor event to be a success. No matter what type of event it is, it’s vital to ensure that all guests and employees have access to proper lavatory facilities that are both hygienic and easily accessible. As a rough guide, it’s best to have one toilet for every 35 guests, but as a general rule it’s better to hire too many than too few to cut down on queues.

Toilets blocks have come a long way since the days of unsophisticated festival portable toilets and nowadays you can rent facilities that have everything you’d expect from indoor bathrooms. Deluxe toilet blocks are available for hire that come fully equipped with WC’s, urinals, large wash basins, hand dryers, mirrors and running hot water for you and your guest’s comfort. If your event lasts more than one day, you can also hire practical and hygienic toilet and shower blocks to ensure everyone stays clean and comfortable.

Crowd control

A sold out event and large crowds sounds like every event planners dream, but proper crowd control is essential if you want your event to be successful and safe. There will be occasions where the crowd is far larger than you may have anticipated, so it’s essential to have crown control strategies in place to ensure all attendees stay safe. Keep a strict track of how many people will be attending the event (or as close to an accurate number as you can) via RSVP’s, engagement in online event groups and/or ticket sales and enquiries.

It’s essential for any event organiser to educate themselves on the dangers that large crowds can bring and have appropriate measures in place to manage this. An outdoor event like a gig or a festival will need strategies to manage the flow of people and keep everyone safe, such as barriers, signage throughout the site and security to help control crowds if necessary. You’ll also need to ensure you have a safe exit plan in place in the event of an emergency and that the entry and exit points are clearly signposted for attendees. If your event has sold out weeks or months before it’s due to take place then you may have time to move it to a bigger venue to accommodate more guests.

Technical issues

The majority of outdoor events rely on generators to power their lighting and electronic equipment, and while this option is generally reliable, it’s always wise to have a backup just in case. A power cut can quickly ruin your event in seconds, so have measures in place to ensure that things can get up and running again as soon as possible.

The most reliable backup method is to hire two generators that run simultaneously in case one cuts out. This is highly effective but it can be expensive and it relies on hiring a skilled operator to oversee the use of the generators. Another option is to use products which are powered by solar charged batteries. This is much better for the environment, but it does depend on making sure the equipment is fully charged, and it may not be as powerful as generator-powered electronics.

Manchester Cabins - Practical and Affordable Shower and Toilet Facilities

If you’re looking for toilet block hire units at great prices, get in touch with the team at Manchester Cabins. We understand that having the right facilities is one of the most important aspects when planning an outdoor event, which is why we’re proud to offer high quality, affordable toilet and shower blocks for your next occasion. Our units are competitively priced, hygienic and reliable, and can be delivered straight to the site for your convenience.

From regular toilet blocks, to deluxe options with even more space, or shower units for weekend-long events, we have everything you need to fulfil your requirements and keep guests happy. For more information about any of our toilet or shower units, don’t hesitate to give us a call today or visit our website.

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