Planning an outdoor event for the first time can skyrocket anyone’s nerves. There are so many elements to consider to make sure you plan an unforgettable event. Things like the weather and permits can easily dampen your event planning spirits.
Luckily, we’re here to help guide you through your outdoor event planning. Follow these tips below and ensure your event is a success!
Tip 1: Familiarize Yourself with the Venue Beforehand
When you look at venues online, there’s a lot of things that can go unnoticed. For example, a picture can have the result of making an area look larger than it is. Going to the venue before your big outdoor event is good practice to ensure there aren’t any surprises on the day of the event!
Parking is another crucial element to take into consideration when you’re planning your outdoor event. Ask yourself, “Does the venue have parking or offer valet parking?”, “Is there security for people’s vehicles?”, or “If there isn’t parking at the venue, is there other parking areas available nearby?”.
Another thing to consider when looking at the venue is the capacity. Is the venue big enough to hold the number of people you’re planning on having at your outdoor event? Nobody wants to attend an event if they can’t have their personal space to enjoy the event.
We suggest that you physically go to each venue before making a booking and checking to see if it contains everything you need for your event.
Tip 2: Choosing the Menu
Choosing the correct menu which is suitable for your event is key. Whether you’ll be providing catering yourself or making use of a catering company, there are various factors to take into consideration. Is your menu options flexible? Will it be fit for a rainy day? Will it be fit for a warm, sunny day? Does it include halaal options?
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Deciding when you’ll provide the food to your guests is the next step. Will, it just be breakfast or lunch, or will it be an event where you are going to serve three meals for the day.
Is the food you’re providing halaal? Are there vegetarian options?
Many people have food allergies or religious requirements which won’t allow them to eat a certain food. Good practice would be to ensure you know the special needs your guests will have to avoid people going to the emergency room or being offended in any way.
Plated or Buffet
After all this, you still need to plan how you’ll serve the food. Will it be a buffet or prepackaged? The plated option is commonly used for relaxed events where there is a meeting. A buffet, on the other hand, is a great option for breakfast and lunch for any type of event. A buffet also requires less time to prepare than plated food.
Tip 3: Getting Permits
Do you want your event to be dampened by receiving a fine or being shit down? No! Ensuring you have the necessary permits and permissions is crucial to prevent disaster.
If you’re hosting a large outdoor event, the following few requirements must be met:
- Gas installations
- Structural Engineers
- Electrical connections from your generators
- Fire retardant draping
- Food stalls (if there are any) need permits
- Serving alcohol
If you’re planning your outdoor event to be at the beautiful venues Cape Town has to offer, then you’ll have to apply for an events permit from the City of Cape Town.
Tip 4: Be ready for Changing Weather
Do you have shelter for when it rains? Do you have shelter for guests to escape the scorching sun?
The weather is unpredictable at times, especially in a place like Cape Town. You’ll want to be prepared for both rainfall or sunshine. You don’t want guests to get wet or burn, so shelter such as a tent is good to have available.
Also, if you’re serving food outside, the food can stay in the shade, helping prevent it from spoiling in the heat.
Tip 5: Equipment & Staff
To help your outdoor event run smoothly, ensure you have the proper cooking equipment and sufficient serving plates, dishes, and glassware. Also ask the catering company you make use of if they have a “return dirty” policy, saving you from washing all those equipment after the event yourself!
Having enough staff to prepare and serve the dishes is also important to take into consideration. Staff will help prevent extreme queues when people want to stack up their plates and will also ensure people don’t take too much that there’s nothing left for the rest.
In the end, it’s these few elements which can make or break your outdoor event. Once you go through all the proper steps, your event has a bigger chance to run smoothly.
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