Over thirty years I have met with many people planning a summer event and many walk into it thinking this will be easy, after all the weather will be sunny and everyone loves a back yard barbeque!
Back it up, Sunshine!
Some things you should think about before putting that simple event in your back yard, weather being too hot, afternoon pop up storms, where will people park, restrooms, is your property ready for this event. Your responsible for your guests the minute they step foot on your property, so be prepared and have your insurance updated to add the event.
Let’s talk weather. It’s not just about whether it will rain, it’s about the heat of the day. The hottest point is just before sunset, let that sink in. If your property is in full sun then at the least have large patio umbrellas for people to escape under and have sunscreen available. If you decide to do a tent, make it solid top. If your property is shaded most the day, then a clear top could be used, but remember it will be warmer in a clear top no matter what. Consider fans either free standing or hung in the tent. This will circulate the air and help cool down guests. It also adds a design element. During the summer you can get pop up thunderstorms, which generally come with lightening. NO one should be in a tent or out in the elements when there is lightening involved. Be prepared to move everyone inside your home if this occurs. This applies as well if you do not tent and a pop up thunderstorm roles through.
200 people=100 cars. Simply thinking through where parking will occur can save you from a hot mess that evening. Check your HOA, if you have one, on parking cars on the street, ask neighbors if you can use their driveways, or find a place nearby, like a church or school to park cars and shuttle people back and forth. A small donation and an insurance liability handed to them goes a long way. You should also place signs at the point of parking stating that you are not liable if the cars get broken in to or anything stolen during the event.
DO NOT hire the neighborhood kids to valet!
Also alert your local police department that you are having a home event and give them your phone number. If a complaint happens they can easily call you about the issue rather than showing up and becoming the “event” of the party.
The Oh so needed restroom facilities. Some homes cannot accommodate a large group when it comes to restrooms so bringing in a restroom trailer can be the best money you spend for your event. They come in varying forms from simple to very elaborate, from one person each, to many guests at the same time. Also take into consideration having all those people walking through and around your home. Come on, you know they are looking around, not just going to the restroom. If you go for the in-home use, make sure anything valuable is hidden or removed from the home, any family heirlooms put away and stored for the evening. You could also consider hiring security for inside your home during the event.
Twisted ankles and icepacks.Take a walk through your back yard, if you’re falling in to small ruts or having to watch where you walk, then guaranteed your guests will be falling and twisting their ankles as well. A little prep will save you trips to the hospital and your insurance agent. Having someone, or do it yourself, leveling for your lawn is important for the event. Start months out filing in small ruts and planting grass. Clear sidewalks of overgrown plantings and remove any dead plants replacing them with something in full bloom. That will enhance your home and also decorate your event.
With any event lasting impressions are what you want your guests to have, so take some time and think it through.
Have a question? Email me, firstname.lastname@example.org I will post my answer on my blog