Outdoor Event Planning | Outdoor Event Planning Checklist | How to Plan An Outdoor Event | Planning a Large Outdoor Event | Planning An Outdoor Event

With warmer weather right around the corner, you may be considering taking your next event outdoors. An outdoor event can bring a more casual atmosphere, but they require deliberate planning.

To ensure you are always set up for success, we’ve made an easy to reference outdoor event planning checklist.

Outdoor Event Planning | Outdoor Event Planning Checklist | Outdoor Event Floor Plan | Outdoor Event Site Plan | Outdoor Venues Buffalo & Rochester NYFind the perfect outdoor venue.

Your venue will have a significant impact on the logistics of your event. That’s why it’s important to tour it beforehand to get a lay of the land.

Make sure to notice any perks and quirks. Are there any natural photo backdrops? Any trees to hang lights from? What’s the terrain like? Are there bugs? Is it windy? Is it in a low-lying area that pools water? After you access, develop a plan to highlight any unique perks or create a plan of attack for any shortcomings.

At St. Bonavenue, we offer five outdoor event venues that boast cozy firepits, ample space and incredible views. We will happily host your wedding, corporate picnic, family reunion, youth camp or whatever else you might dream up!

Get the right permits.

Depending on the location, outdoor events may require permits from the town or city authorities in order to lawfully operate. These could include zoning permits, food and beverage permits, and gathering permits for the appropriate number of participants.

Make sure you are aware of the permits needed for your locality and give yourself enough time to get them approved before the big day.

Outdoor Event Planning | Outdoor Event Planning Checklist | Accessibility for Outdoor Events | Guide to Accessible Festivals and Outdoor EventsConsider accessibility.

Your outdoor event should be as accessible as possible for everyone present, including those with disabilities.

Generally, you should provide:

Be smart about catering.

Most events are made better with refreshments of some sort. For outdoor events, choosing the right food and beverage options is critical. If the weather is hot and muggy, you may want lighter options such as salads and grilled vegetables or kebabs.

In addition to the food, you’ll want to consider how it’s served. Will your guests be under a tent? Are you planning for plated entrees, a buffet, or stations? Will there be enough seating for knife-and-fork meals, or will your guests be eating and mingling?

Finally, food safety at an outdoor event is critical. Your caterer should be prepared to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot, and be able to recommend options that ensure food doesn’t sit out for too long and is refreshed as needed.

Source the right equipment.

If your event includes dancing, presentations, or music, you’ll need audio/visual equipment. But when you’re outside, it isn’t as easy to just plug it in. Make sure to choose a venue that has experience hosting outdoor events because they can offer expert recommendations on equipment for your event.

Our on-site technician can build a package around your unique needs to ensure your guests are always engaged and entertained.

Ensure your attendees can be comfortable.

With an outdoor event, you need to account for bathrooms early in the process.

Based on your total guests, calculate the number of bathrooms you’d like to offer. If you’re using portable toilets, make a plan for where to put them because you will want them to be easily accessible but not in the middle of the action. If you plan to use indoor bathrooms, make sure there is clear signage showing attendees where to go.

Rain Plan For Outdoor Event | Contingency Plan For Outdoor Event | Outdoor Event Emergency Plan | Severe Weather Plan for Outdoor Events | Outdoor Event Rain PlanPlan for weather.

Unfortunately, no matter how meticulous you plan – inclement weather is always a possibility.

A good precaution is to have an indoor option close to accommodate your guests in case the weather becomes extreme.

With St. Bonavenue, our spacious campus offers plenty of alternative indoor locations for rent to give you much needed peace of mind during your event.

Don’t Forget, We’re Here to Help!

If this outdoor event planning checklist seems like a lot of responsibility, that’s because it is! But St. Bonavenue is here to help! Our dedicated event management team can guide you every step of the way. We offer on-site catering, A/V services, equipment rentals and lodging for a seamless event experience.

Talk to us about your event today! We will work hard to bring your unique taste, style and budget together for an event that leaves a lasting impression on your guests.

Take This Resource With You!

Download “Your Outdoor Event Planning Checklist” as a PDF for easy reference or printing.

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