It's raining...What is your Plan B?
Summer events under an open sky certainly count among my favorites.
Unfortunately, it’s not just Spring that can bring showers. Even Summertime can result in a downpour – with thunder and lightning often accompanying the show.
So what do you do when you’ve planned an event, often times more than a couple months in advanced, and you see that rain is on the forecast? Cancel? Doubtful.
Instead, you make sure you have a sound Plan B that will prepare you and your employees for the worst.
Below you’ll find what we have encountered to be the best back-up tips in the business that surprisingly often go forgotten:
1. Party Tent
Chances are, you have expensive audio, lights, and some form of technical equipment either set-up or planned. These won’t last long under the rain and it will cost you more than you likely want to acknowledge to replace…and lets not to mention the cost of unhappy guests. Instead, either bring along or have pop-up party tents readily available for set-up before you and your team, guests, and electronics are soaking wet with irreversible damage.
Pro Tip: Get creative and make them decorative by hanging fairy lights and bunting.
2. Even Ground
Imagine guests, dressed to the 9’s, standing outside in the mud thanks to the rain. Now imagine guests’ high heels and leather shoes, soaking wet or worse, muddy! It’s not hard to imagine the rest - grumpy, cold, and miserable guests. Even with a tent, make sure you think of the ground as well. Organize wood chips and hay to help you soak up the mud.
Pro Tip: Communicate early on that the event will take place outdoors – that way guests know the consequences to wearing high-heels early on.
3. Provide Essentials
If you’ve set-up the tents and now can assure that your guests and your equipment is safe, you may want to think about how to make the event even more comfortable. If the rain brings the cold, offer your guests blankets and install heating lamps. If there’s any part that isn’t covered (smokers lounge?), provide branded umbrellas. If the temperature drops drastically, offer guests hot drinks. Think about the potential of bringing in more “fun” with different props and make the best of the rainy situation.
This one is simple and requires little to no common sense – choose options that work in any element – whether its sweltering hot outside, or freezing cold. You don’t want to serve up ice cream when the rain hits.
5. Backup Location
If your event is bigger than what a couple party tents could salvage, you’ll want to make sure you have a backup indoor location. It sounds quite obvious, but we’ve had quite a few clients that hadn’t thought to find a location nearby should the weather turn for the worse. Important here is to always read the fine print in your contract with your backup location – talk to them only and see if you can come to an agreement that you do not get charged in full unless you actually use the space.
6. Evacuation Plan
Let’s hope it’s not necessary, but I’ve seen it and experienced it all and there is nothing worse than not having an evacuation plan. Make sure you have an evacuation plan to get everyone away from the elements to a safe and secure location and have a detailed rundown/ checklist for everyone working the event – from hosts to event managers.
If you have a Plan B but no one knows about it, you might as well not even bother. Make sure you prepare and communicate the full plan with your event team before the chaos begins – whether you expect rain or not. In doing so you’ll save yourself extra the chaos by scheduling an emergency meeting minutes before the event begins.
So, don’t let that summer storm chase you from putting on your perfect outdoor event. Simply plan for it and hope that you don’t have to execute your Plan B.