As an event planner, you do a lot of, well, planning. You coordinate the marketing and advertising efforts of your event, manage vendors, deal with staffing, and even handle the marketing and advertising strategy for your event. You may feel like you’ve tackled every meeting, thought of every little detail, and considered every security flaw, but did you plan for rain?
A few raindrops can bring your whole event splashing down. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 tips that will help your event reign supreme in the rain.
1. Choose the Right Venue
Planning an event requires a ton of meetings, and one of those meetings will be between you and venue owners. You should immediately address the question of rain. Does the venue have any features that can help you on a rainy day? This could be an indoor venue that has tarps to keep guests dry while they’re purchasing at-the-door tickets. Or, maybe the outdoor venue you’re looking at has a large indoor area where you can move the event in case of an emergency.
The venue you pick should be able to meet ALL of your needs, not just some of them. Only 5% of event planners even consider the WOW factor of their event venues. You can be picky. If the event you’re looking at has no rainy day support, and it’s rain season, pick somewhere else! It doesn’t even have to be a traditional venue. Over 50% of event planners admit to working with “weird“ venues and nontraditional spaces. Check out these nontraditional event spaces that planners love working with!
The best way to strategize for rainy days is to address them upfront. Weather happens. Make sure you discuss your options with venue owners before signing any contracts.
2. Bring Out the Rain Goodies
If you’re looking at rain as a negative thing, adjust your mindset. Rainy days can make your event picture-worthy. Bust out the bag of goodies (e.g., umbrellas, ponchos, raincoats, etc.) to turn your entire event into a rainy-day photo shoot. The aesthetic of rain with umbrellas and raincoats is hard to pass up. And your guests will almost certainly be snapping some pictures.
Plus, handing out free rainy day goods doesn’t have to cost you an arm-and-a-leg. You can get disposable ponchos for $0.50 a piece and you can loan out umbrellas, collecting them on their way out. Better yet, sell some rainy day goods at your merch counter to bring in some cash while you’re at it and get some free advertising. A raincoat or umbrella with a logo is a great way to brand yourself, make some cash, and turn your rainy day into a photo-fest. That’s a win-win-win.
3. Give Staff a Plan B
Dealing with rainy days requires ample planning. But all of those plans aren’t worth anything if your staff isn’t in on it. Strategizing with staff is a critical component of being prepared for those first raindrops. Everyone should know when and where to go. You’ll probably need people handing out rainy day goods, people manning the booth and selling merchandise, and extra security and safety procedures if the grounds turn to mush.
4. Define Your Refund Policy
We all know what the first thing your guests are going to do as soon as a single cloud comes into view or is predicted on your event day — they’re going to ask for a refund. But, let’s be honest — you probably can’t afford to give them one. You planned your event around how many tickets you sold, and you can’t exactly resell their ticket when it’s pouring. You need to make your rainy day refund policy clear.
Usually, this policy goes something like this — no refunds! Your guests may not understand why they can’t have a refund. In fact, they may even accuse you of being greedy or stingy. Don’t worry! We have a post outlining exactly why they can’t have that refund. Send them on over to learn.
5. Make Sure Tech Remains Rain-Free
This part is essential — keep your tech protected. 59% of event planners plan on using more tech this year then any other. That means more TVs and definitely more audio equipment. And all of that can quickly become the most expensive trash you’ve ever had in your possession. There are a few ways to protect that equipment during rainy days.
- Make sure that everything is grounded. Wet people are conductors!
- Put bags over audio equipment that must be in the rain.
- Move as much equipment indoors as possible.
- Wipe off and dry ALL equipment after the event.
- Find or bring a portable shed to store your equipment in
- Invest in waterproof accessories and equipment
The easiest way to avoid rainy equipment is to move it indoors, but that may not always be possible. At the very least, prepare bags and other equipment to protect that equipment during rain.
If you hear that your event might see bad weather, it's not the end of the world. There is still hope! Just plan accordingly.