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  • Mary Windham

The 10 Essential Steps of Outdoor Events

From the Desk of Mary

Event Manager - Entrepreneur - Adventurer

outside table dusk

Summer is going strong and there’s no better time to host an outdoor event!

Whether it's a music festival, community fair, corporate picnic, or a charity fundraiser, the key to success lies in meticulous planning, creativity, and proactive flexibility. To help, we’ve put together these 10 essential tips to help you throw an unforgettable, fun-filled, outdoor event:

1. Choose the Perfect Venue

To start, you’re going to need the perfect outdoor spot. Consider factors such as accessibility, parking, and capacity. Parks, open fields, beaches, and gardens are popular choices, but also think outside the box—unused urban spaces or historical sites can add unique charm to your event!

2. Define Your Event's Theme and Purpose

Everyone loves a good theme! Make sure that it aligns with your event's purpose and resonates with your target audience. Whether it's a whimsical carnival, a nature-inspired festival, or a lively food fair, a clear theme will make planning your event's overall design, entertainment, and marketing more fun and engaging.

3. Plan for All Weather Scenarios

Mother Nature can be unpredictable, so plan for various weather conditions. Rent tents, provide shade structures, and have a contingency plan in place for unexpected weather. Let attendees know what to wear and what to bring (umbrellas, sunscreen, etc.), and give them an easy way to stay updated on weather-related changes.

4. Curate an Engaging Entertainment Lineup

Entertainment is the heart of any event, and outdoor events add even more opportunity to secure a diverse lineup of performers, musicians, and/or DJs that align with your theme and appeal to a wide range of attendees. Interactive outdoor games, kids’ activities, workshops, and photo booths are also great ways to add to the overall guest experience.

5. Offer Delicious Food and Beverage Options

Food trucks, stalls, and beverage stations are integral to any outdoor event's success. Offer a variety of options to cater to different dietary preferences, such as vegetarians and vegans. Collaborate with local vendors to showcase regional cuisine and add a unique flavor to your event.

6. Prioritize Safety and Security

The safety of your guests should always be a top priority. Hire trained security personnel, set up clearly marked emergency exits, and have a first aid station on-site. During the hottest days, make sure free water is available and strenuous activities aren’t planned in the afternoon. Communicate safety measures to both attendees and employees, and provide clear guidelines for responsible behavior.

7. Create Creature Comforts

Amenities like clean restrooms, comfortable seating areas, accessible charging stations, and water stations make all the difference at an outdoor event. A well-thought-out layout will help attendees move around easily and enjoy the event to the fullest, and make it easier for them to enjoy all of the awesome activities you’ve lined up.

8. Implement Effective Marketing Strategies

You’re putting all this work into making a great event, so make sure people know about it! Social media, local newspapers, radio, and partnerships with influencers or local businesses are all great ways to get the word out to potential attendees. Create engaging content, use eye-catching visuals, and offer early bird discounts to encourage ticket sales.

9. Facilitate Smooth Traffic and Parking

Sitting in traffic is a great way to make sure people show up to your event grumpy. Avoid this by arranging shuttle services, public transportation partnerships, timed entry tickets, or designated parking areas to prevent congestion and ensure attendees can arrive and depart with ease.

10. Plan for Waste Management and Sustainability

Sustainability is a growing concern, so consider implementing recycling and waste management programs to minimize your event's environmental impact. Encourage vendors to use eco-friendly packaging and provide clearly marked recycling bins throughout the venue.

It might seem like a lot, but with the right preparation and dedication your outdoor event can become the highlight of the year for attendees of all ages!

Already sweating in the heat? Occasions, Inc is here to help. We have decades of experience planning outdoor, indoor, and hybrid events, and we can’t wait to help you make your next event a success. Email us today at


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