OUTDOOR spaces are fantastic for summer entertaining and many corporate groups prefer to host their Christmas party outdoors. But, as we were all reminded on the weekend, summer weather can play havoc with outdoor events.
Liz Rivers, managing director of Coolum-based Wicked Wolf Events, has these five tips to minimise having bad weather ruin your office Christmas celebrations.
1. Choose a venue where an all-weather option is available in addition to the outdoor space in case the event needs to be moved inside, and negotiate for the venue to hold that space as part of your contract.
2. Create a Wet Weather Contingency Plan as part of your event timeline and budget development. As part of that plan, map out every action you'll need to undertake to move the event if need be. Consider how this move will affect your catering, decorations, speeches, entertainment and other event activities.
3. Ensure your chosen outdoor space is "wet-weather-ready". For example, organise carpet or matting for marquee floors, install rubber mats for slippery areas, place "wet floor" warning signage in relevant places, and ensure all objects are bolted or weighed down.
4. Make sure anything that requires electricity is suitable for outdoor use and rigged in an appropriate way, including use of all-weather power leads. A light rain shower may not be enough to require that your event be moved, but it could mean that the electricity will need to be turned off if you have not properly prepared. This could leave you in the dark, without a PA system, with no entertainment, and maybe even without food.
5. If the event really does need to be moved due to inclement weather, then make the call early on the day of your event. For example, if your event is an evening outdoor party, decide at 10am if the event needs to be moved to give you and suppliers ample time to create a fabulous alternate space. In these cases, produce signage that directs guests to the alternate venue space.