Hosting a party inside an event space has its own unique challenges. However, hosting a party in the open outdoors presents a new set of challenges that you may not be able to control.
The weather is the most obvious factor, but there are several other factors that you must consider before the actual party day. Today, we are going to cover five things you should consider when planning your outdoor kids party that aren’t weather related.
Tip 1: Set Your Standards
It’s obvious that you want the client to be happy. However, planning an outdoor party will make you have to have hard conversations with your client about what is actually realistic. If your client has been scrolling through Pinterest and planned the perfect outdoor party at the community park owned by their HOA with zero shade cover and wants to play the best music until midnight, you need to have a hard conversation. (Did you know your DJ’s speakers can shut down if exposed to the sun for such a long time? Protect your vendors!)
If you require a tent or a shaded area to protect yourself and the guests, be upfront and say it. Maybe you require the client to do a site visit with you because there are things you need them to see and understand about the layout of the event. Tell them and be firm in why you require these standards be met. If you need a confidence boost to have this conversation with your client, check out this article.
Tip 2: Communicate Everything
Communication isn’t just for the client; it is for your vendors as well. Hosting an outdoor kid’s party at a local park will require strategic planning around parking. Can the vendors pull up to the party location and park? Or will they need to park in a lot and haul their rental items to the party location? Knowing this ahead of time will allow them to have a dolly or other wagon to move the supplies back and forth.
You should also communicate with your client about things that are behind the scenes. Setting up a backdrop for photos will need some additional staking down so the wind doesn’t blow it over, but you don’t want those ugly ropes running from the top of the backdrop into the ground. Letting your client know where these lines are located will help them guide the kids away from that area; especially if you are just setting up and leaving.
Tip 3: Audit Your Supplies
With the right tools, you can make any outdoor party beautiful. You have to keep tools in your kit that focus on safety and function. Tools for safety will help you secure large props that could tip over.
Functional tools are things like decorative rocks used in a centerpiece to keep it from being top heavy. Check your tools weekly and after every party. You never know when you might have to McGuyver something together to make it work!
From string to fishing line to glue dots to cinder blocks and velcro command strips, you can never be too prepared for an outdoor kid’s party. Even carabiners, clear zip ties, and bungee cords can come in handy at certain times. Being prepared is about learning from what you previously experienced.
For instance, linens are always going to move around every time the wind blows. Corner weights seem like a good idea, but after failing to keep the linen on, you may want to try double sided tape around the edge of the table in addition to the corner weights.
Tip 4: Learn from Previous Experiences
The more you host outdoor kid’s parties, the more you will learn about what you do and do not like. Aside from the heat you endure while setting up, you also have wind gusts, insects, and additional rentals all affect the party experience.
You have to transport all your decor, supplies, and essentials from your storage location to the party site. Transportation, setting up the event, and restocking your items are all labor costs that affect what you charge for the party and the profit you are able to make.
It seems easy to just “go and do it,” but the reality is that you have to work harder because you don’t have a controlled environment, and you may not even have bathrooms in the party space. Keep notes of what does and doesn’t work, and make sure you make adjustments to what you offer and what you charge for the next one.
Tip 5: Focus on Logistics
Planning the logistics is more important than the decor for an outdoor party. The location of your DJ’s table needs to be close to the electrical outlets. Are there even electrical outlets available in the party space? If not, are you asking the client to rent generators to power the party?
Don’t think any question is stupid; ask them all. Get information from your vendors so you know their needs before you do a site visit and plan with the client. Knowing what your vendors need will help you guide the client from their Pinterest inspired vision to a better reality that will work for the party and the outdoor space.
The client is focused on the visual look of the party. Your responsibility is to the logistics and safety of all your vendors and party guests. Don’t test your liability insurance for a vision that might cost you your business.
Considering the weather is very important. You need to have a backup plan if it rains. Your food needs to be temperature controlled and maintained by licensed professionals. Your cake and candies might have to be a last minute add because they could melt just sitting in the sun.
Permits and contracts give you access to public spaces when you are supposed to have them even if other people are in the space. Securing gate codes for private communities can save you a lot of stress when you arrive.
PIN FOR LATER!
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