Planners often think about inclement weather and commonly come up with back-up plans for tents or awnings or seek facilities that have existing outdoor venues and perhaps indoor back-up space. But that may just be the beginning of things you have to consider when planning an outdoor event.
Planning an outdoor event can be a monumental task when all the typical amenities you may experience at an indoor facility suddenly become something that you need to seek out and place on your to-do list.
Let’s assume you have the tent covered! Here are five things that shouldn’t be overlooked.
5-Step Checklist for Planning Outdoor Events
Portable Power Generation
Access to power is commonly limited at outdoor venues. When it is available, it’s generally insufficient to power a stage with sound production, video projection, stage lighting, LED TVs and video walls.
“So we rent a generator.” Well yes, but not all generators are created equal! Calculating voltage and amps is one thing but most generators that you may be familiar with are built for industrial use and typically insufficient for your power needs or they’re too loud, overpowering presenters and audio systems.
What you need is a generator that’s both powerful and quiet! Entertainment grade power generation! Your production company should be able to calculate your power needs and make a recommendation for an appropriate size. They should additionally provide power distribution to make sure your power current is stable and the need for lengthy extension cords limited, creating a safe outdoor environment.
LED Video Walls and Displays
There have been more advances in video technology in the last decade than in the last 40 years. And while high definition projection screens and laser video projectors firmly hold their place as the favorite choice for indoor events, it remains a challenge to use video projection for outdoor event applications, even in tented environments.
The best solution for outdoor events is LED Video Wall and mobile, large format LED displays. These bold and bright displays are clearly visible to audiences for both daytime and nighttime events. Mobile displays provide a quick and easy set up solution with up to a 19’ diagonal HD LED Display and can be set up just about anywhere you have a 10’x 25’ footprint on asphalt or firm dry ground. They’ve also become super affordable and have minimal labor needs!
Need a larger display? No problem! LED Video Wall panels allow you to build displays as large as you can imagine. These displays can be hung from mobile stages and lifted into the air with truss and motors. They do require a fair amount of labor for engineering, installation and rigging but they are the only solution for outdoor displays that exceed 20’ diagonal or 17’ wide.
Outdoor Sound Systems
Outdoor events not only require sound to fill your event space but it also requires a system powerful enough to deliver crisp, clear audio so everyone can easily hear what is being said and every discernable nuance from your musical talent.
Careful planning is key and selecting the right outdoor speaker system for the job from brands like QSC KLA, JBL Vertec and Meyer Sound Mica makes all the difference. Your sound production specialist should also be able to make the right recommendations for high performance wireless microphone systems like Shure ULX-D and digital mixing consoles and stage boxes from brands like Yamaha and Allen & Heath.
Outdoor Stage Rentals
Visibility is key when it comes to planning the stage for your outdoor event. Consider where your audience will reside and how far and wide your audience will be dispersed in the COVID-19 era.
Making sure your talent is elevated and can be seen requires careful planning outdoors. Access to staging areas, level placement and firm ground or asphalt are all important factors in determining the best stage and size and should involve a production professional to make the best recommendation.
The choices are many from assembled stages requiring stage hands to install, level and stabilize stage decks to mobile stages that are brought in on trucks and trailers that require power and a couple of technicians to erect a fully outfitted stage with video, sound and lighting in just a few hours.
Experienced Outdoor Event Producer
Even with the technology tips listed above, there are numerous logistics to address when planning outdoor events. From permits, to parking, insurance, stanchions, seating, security, sanitation and more, any oversight can mean the difference between your event being a huge success or an abysmal failure.
Planning an Outdoor Event? Let’s Talk!
Working with a team of professionals who have the right experience in producing live events outdoors with all these moving parts and a penchant for AV production and technology is a must. Talk to our outdoor event specialists today to learn more about planning an outdoor event.