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    How to plan an outdoor event

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    Summer may still feel like a distant dream, but this is the perfect time to start planning for events in the great outdoors to make the most of those warmer days.

    Liz Young, head of events at Historic Royal Palaces, shares her top tips to conquer the added challenges that outdoor events can bring:

    Make sure your event is weatherproof
    The great British weather is completely reliable in its unpredictability so you can never count on a summer event being perfectly temperate. Always ensure you have some covered areas available to protect guests from the elements, whether it’s rain or strong sunshine.

    Trust your partners
    Few events go without a hitch, so it’s vital that you work with trusted partners to ensure you can all pull together to respond to whatever comes your way. For example, we always have a wet weather plan for any party that takes place in the outdoor spaces, making sure everything can be transported indoors. This means flexible lighting and staging schemes to work in both spaces, and close communication with our suppliers and contractors on where to deliver equipment.

    Comfort is key
    For outdoor events of any capacity, make sure you have provided enough food and drink to satisfy your guests. Food stalls work really nicely for informal festival events as a way for guests to pick and choose between the offerings. It’s also vital to provide enough accessible toilet facilities to ensure guests don’t risk spending their day in a queue.

    Consider your neighbours
    During large events, the added volume of people and traffic in the surrounding area can be a real strain on residents and attendees alike, not to mention the possible noise from outdoor music. Make sure your venue is large enough to absorb this and provides enough parking to accommodate the number of attendees.

    Light the way
    For events held into the evening, you can use the loss of natural light to your advantage. We find that battery-powered lights are a pretty and practical way to form clear walkways around the space, while spectacular up-lighting of our stunning palace façades always creates an unforgettable atmosphere.

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    Jade Burke

    Jade Burke, Editor for PA Life

    All stories by: Jade Burke