Tips for Outdoor Events Straight from Audio Visual Professionals
Summertime is full of opportunities for nice evening dinner events, morning sporting events, and everything in between. Outdoor events can be magic. Is there really anything better than a nice evening celebrating under the stars?
In theory, outdoor events go off without a hitch and in beautiful weather conditions. But in reality, things can be much different than if you were planning an indoor event.
Specifically, your event technology plan can change in a hurry!
What do the pros have to say?
Oklahoma’s most experienced audio visual team at Cory’s Audio Visual compiled their tips for making your outdoor event even better for your attendees, your vendors, and your own sanity.
“Our team has seen all kinds of weather here in Tornado Alley,” said Andrew McQuade, Operations Manager at Cory’s Audio Visual. “Being prepared for any kind of weather with a plan A, B, and possibly even a plan C, can go a long way in the success of the event.”
Sometimes simply moving an event inside shouldn’t be your plan B. Why? It isn’t a always good plan because the audio visual systems and staging that work outside don’t always apply inside. Outside, the lighting and sound technology, like line arrays, work differently when used in an indoor space with different acoustics and basic lighting.
It is easy to see why rain and wind can affect your event technology, but other factors like heat and sunlight can also take a toll on the effectiveness of technology as well.
At minimum, your audio visual provider should have extra sandbags and tarps to keep their equipment and your attendees safe.
If there is a chance of bad weather, have a conversation with your audio visual team about a communication plan to your attendees. This will be vital if you need to take cover or if the event is delayed.
Light It Up
Moving an event outside, especially at night, can lead to many more lighting needs. Don’t forget the little details to help ensure the safety of your attendees. Remember to light pathways, seating areas, dance floors, etc.
In addition, the plans for outdoor events don’t always translate inside, especially on stage. Your presenters may find themselves blinded by the light if adjustments aren’t made to transition inside.
While on the topic of lighting, particularly for safety, remember to have lighting for the set up (if early in the morning) and the strike, or teardown, of the event. Your vendors will need as much light as possible to get everything wrapped up in the dark.
Knowing how many vendors need power and how many circuits they will require will start you out on the right foot at an outdoor event, but it doesn’t stop there. You also need a backup generator if you are pushing the limits of available power circuits.
“If your event’s location isn’t specifically designed as an event venue, it can be challenging to incorporate the needs of a live band, projectors, lights, and more to the space without some power complications. This is where backup generators come in very handy!” said Elizabeth Newton, Live Events Account Manager for Cory’s Audio Visual.
Some events also require portable restroom units, portable climate control, and more. Don’t forget to account for those power needs before it brings your event to a dreaded complete halt with power loss.
Another thing that sometimes gets overlooked when planning an outdoor event is sound.
When hosting outdoor events we recommend using an audio speaker system with more output and coverage than you would use for a more controlled environment. That means that event planners should expect to budget more for an audio system that is sufficient to cover the area and attendance numbers for an outdoor event than one that is in a more confined space.
If you aren’t sure what that budget should include, an experienced audio visual provider can help you in determining what kind of sound system is right for your event.
If you’re thinking about hosting an event in one of Mother Nature’s event venues, you’ve come to the right place. Cory’s Audio Visual has been working to make event visions become realities since 1953.
Let’s talk about your outdoor event plans!