January 17, 2015

Outdoor Events In Arizona: How to plan for any time of year (almost)

Those living, vacationing or visiting in the Valley of the Sun — Phoenix, Arizona get to enjoy outdoor events, parties and celebrations for the majority of the calendar year. With the exception of a few sweltering months during summer, the weather in Phoenix is splendid and ideal for an outdoor gathering.Planning an outdoor event in Phoenix can be fun, but also time consuming and daunting if you’ve never done it before. Big AZ Promotions has been the Arizona expert in outdoor advertising and event rentals/planning for many years, and we’ve got tons of tips and advice for making your outdoor event truly special.

Determine which services your venue provides

Outdoor events are trickier to plan than events at established indoor locations. Often, areas will provide certain services: bathrooms, parking, etc. However, it is absolutely essential that you double-check with the venue to determine their policy is on providing services and event assets. It may be surprising, but we’ve heard from people who were dismayed to learn that their outdoor venue of choice did not, in fact, provide tents for events.

“But… I saw pictures on Facebook from a friend’s party and they had tents so I just assumed!”

It is catastrophic to learn on the day of your party or gathering that your guests have no shade from the often-unforgiving Phoenix sun. Check with your venue to see what they provide, as well as pricing. In many cases, locations will give you the option of bringing your own event rental items, which is usually a more economical option. If you’re wondering how your prospective location’s rental prices stack up for things like tents, tables, chairs, silverware etc. give us a call today and we’ll help you make the best decision on what to bring, and what to have them provide.

Book your venue in advance

Never, ever plan an event based on the logistics of a venue you haven’t secured. We hear all too often from people that they planned their dream wedding or mother’s 60th birthday party, often well before the event is scheduled to take place, only to find their desired venue was booked 6 months prior. Having to change venues last minute can seriously throw a wrench in your plans, causing a last minute scramble to adjust logistics. Switching to a bigger venue can mean more seating and necessitate renting more chairs and tables last minute. This scenario is clearly one you’ll want to avoid, and it can be with proper planning. Our rule of thumb: always inquire about booking your venue twice as long before as you think you need to, just to be safe. However, if you find yourself in a bind with an 11th hour venue change, Big AZ Promotions can help you adjust on the fly and get what you need to make your new venue shine.

Check the angle of the sun

This may seem like a primitive recommendation, but it’s absolutely critical to ensuring your event goes to plan. With over 220 average days of sunshine per year, Phoenix is absolutely a city which necessitates considering the sun’s path throughout the day when planning outdoor events. Think about it this way, if you set up the focal point of your event without taking into account the timing of the sun during the day, you may be faced with less than desirable photos, which is the last thing you want! A good idea is to have a photographer, and/or an experienced party planner help you scout the venue and make recommendations for placement of things like tents, stages, podiums or whichever area will be the main focus of the event. With an indoor gathering, lighting can be manipulated to a photographer’s liking, but when you’re planning to be outside, you’re (somewhat) at the mercy of the sun’s path through the sky.

Plan for inclement weather, even if it’s unlikely

It’s true that Phoenix is one of the best cities in America to plan an outdoor event, and the weather in the valley is spectacular almost 100% of the time. However, if you’ve smartly booked your event in advance, it’s typically not feasible, or even possible financially, to back out in the rare occurrence of bad weather. As you’re planning for your event, create a contingency plan for how you’ll proceed with the event and keep guests happy should a haboob roll in or rain decide to fall on your special day. This way should meteorological disaster strike you’re prepared, and trust us; a little bit of rain or dust storm at a formal outdoor gathering can be quite disastrous!The common theme with hosting all events, outdoor included, is thinking ahead and proper planning, If you need help with party rentals or any part of event logistics, give us a call today!