Dear Weather, you are invited. Sincerely, Event Planner

runningYou and your crew are rushing around putting the final touches on The Perfect Outdoor Event.
And then…
The weather shows up. Without an invitation. What do you do?
The short answer is that your planning thoroughly prepared you for this contingency. If you are in the planning stages right now, we’ll go over 10 planning tips about weather for your next great event.

• Embrace it! Embrace rain and wind. Especially if you promoted your event as rain or shine. Except for truly frightening weather, your show must go on. Every May, golfers of the HP Byron Nelson Championship endure wind gusts of 25-30 mph – these can affect play on the Four Seasons Resort Course. Its planners pressed on every year and winds are now part of the Championship’s fame. Broadcast meteorologists even refer to “Byron Nelson weather” that week.

• Keep your focus. Your aim is still to provide your guests with a memorable and positive experience. Weather doesn’t have to change that. Stay upbeat and encourage your team to do the same.

• Even with a smaller crowd, you can still come out with great promotional photos for next year’s fete! (By the way, your photographers will LOVE those overcast skies because they offer some of the best lighting.)

• Appeal to your participants’ sense of adventure. If weather for your annual event is a consistent inconsistency, it is time to re-position! Officially invite the weather as a guest. It could be your event’s biggest draw. The ColderBoulder in Boulder, Colorado, a December spin-off of the popular BolderBoulder, attracts runners who LIKE running in snowstorms.

• Did you book a few good bands? Have them play a couple of rain-themed songs to keep the mood light.

• Make sure you have tenting options and that you provide safe cover over outdoor electrical sources. You know what’s next, right? These must be ordered in advance so plan for it.

• Rope off slippery areas quickly with your Banners On A Roll®. With your logo on these highly-visible and portable banners, Banners On A Roll® are an effective way to send foot and auto traffic to where it is safest at your event.

• Consider your guests’ adverse weather needs. The Hotter’N Hell Hundred Endurance Ride is purposefully scheduled in the August swelter of Texas’ Wichita Falls. This wildly-popular mountain bike ride is 100 miles in 100 degree heat (or cyclists can dial down the sweat quotient with the HHH’s Trail Run or 10K). Planners make the experience sweeter with indoor camping, hot showers and free childcare at the Downtown Y … and medical units at all rest stops. Still wondering why this is the largest single-day 100-mile bicycle ride in the US?

• Have an umbrella with your event logo on it to hold over your keynote speaker or star-studded guest. Provide extra umbrellas in bright colors for the crowd.

• If it’s a small event, flip the agenda. Serve the indoor meal first, then move outdoors for the three-legged races if it looks like the rain shower is fleeting.
Smart event planning means knowing who makes the judgment call on weather cancellations and when. That person considers high winds, slippery areas, and outdoor electrical sources not under safe cover. For those borderline decisions, be sure to know the costs associated with canceling, moving or postponing your event versus going forward with a smaller attendance. If you decide it’s not a rain-or-shine event, be sure to advertise one of these options in your advertising: a later start time, a new indoor location (if possible), or a ‘may be cancelled due to weather’ clause.
With rain in the forecast, it may be time for your event to shine!


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