Outdoor Event Planning Checklist 

In Addition to the basic event planning checklist, here are items which apply to targe outdoor events.


Rain/Wind Contingency Plan

On the West coast, between October and April, outdoor events can be affected by rain or wind. We recommend Indoor events during those months, but if you must party outdoors, we recommend a contingency plan, with an alternate location,  and keep a close watch on the Weather Channel.

Landscape/Parking lot cleanup before and after event

A once-over with a blower or sweeper truck is recommended before and after outdoor events. Your guests deserve a clean party site, and you don't want to leave a mess.

Turn off sprinklers (outdoor events)

When outdoor events are held in grassy areas, watering before the event can result in mud puddles, soggy spots, muddy shoes, and stuck delivery trucks. The water should be kept off until all rental equipment is removed, and then should be generously applied to freshen the grass up after the event.

Tents (outdoors, or patio/smoking areas)

 Tents are great for outdoor events and there is rain in the forecast (or sun in the forecast). Swagged ceilings or tent liners can provide a sophisticated look.  Clear ceilings and side walls are also available.

Fees and Permits

Your coordinator can handle all the local rules and regulations, including fire permits for tents. The coordinator will supervise all permit inspections.

Tent and stage flooring/carpeting

Carpeting and subflooring is absolutely essential for formal events in tents. High heels do not work well on sod or asphalt!  Carpeting is a must for tent floors and indoor or outdoor stages.  Rental companies offer Astroturf in black, white and green.  They can also lay plywood down under the carpeting.   Better event carpeting is also available for upscale events.

Heaters/Air Conditioning

Good for events in tents, and for buildings where there is no HVAC, or where it is inadequate. The best heaters are LP Gas with high speed blowers -these are placed outside and ducted into your tent. Air conditioners are generally supplied with their own generator and are also ducted into the tent.

Portable Restrooms

Use “VIP” restrooms with lighting, air conditioning, and running water. These restrooms are clean, and are maintained by attendants during the event.

Temporary Fencing

For outdoor events, temporary fencing is a must for the security of your guests. It keeps party crashers out, keeps little ones from wandering away, and gives your security force a perimeter to protect.

Crowd control

Stanchions and railings are used to direct traffic flow and keep guest check-in in orderly lines for processing.

Traffic Control

Required for large parking lots, and also to keep vehicles and pedestrians separated.

Security (before/during/after event)

Security helps keeps uninvited guests out, assists the invited guests if they have questions, and is just a good idea for a lot of reasons. Choose  a security company that specializes in events, and one that is discreet, well-dressed, courteous and professional. You can also use lower-cost contract guard services before/after an event, to make sure that rental equipment and supplies are not stolen before or after the party.

EMT/Paramedic (large outdoor events)

A registered EMT/Paramedic is essential at large outdoor events.

Drinking water (outdoor events)

Particularly in the summer, guests can be overcome by the heat if they do not have fresh water to drink.


These tamper-proof bands are available in many different colors, and can not only identify authorized guests, but can be used to differentiate minors from drinking-age adults if alcohol is being served. The bands can be punched, marked or cut off if you want to impose a maximum drink limit.


Use multi-channel two-way radios, or cell phones with a push-to-talk feature  to allow event staff to communicate with each other. If there is a problem, the right personnel can take care of it immediately.

Trash Cans & liners

A must for outdoor events, conventions, trade shows.  Temporary staffing can be used to empty cans and replaces liners throughout the event.

Trash Bins

A commercial roll-off bin is used to empty the trash can liners, and also handles trash from catering and the bar.

Cleanup crew

Cleanup staff picks up all trash and throws it in the roll-off bin, and restores the venue to its previous condition

Servers and Event Support Crew

Caterers and Bartending services usually include serving personnel  At larger (and outdoor) events, additional help may be required to clear tables and empty trash cans.