The Winter months are almost here, and for anyone looking at holding either a children’s party or and adult celebration or event, there a number of big decisions to make. The biggest one of all is also the riskiest: do you play it safe with an indoor venue, or take a gamble on Melbourne’s notorious weather and roll the dice with an outdoor venue?
The Great Outdoors
While choosing an outdoor event with Melbourne’s fickle weather can be a daring choice even in the middle of Summer, only the most optimistic of event planners would plan an outside event without planning a number of contingencies and ‘in case of emergency’ details.
· Keep people warm: Ensure that all participants are dressed appropriately for the conditions. Other options such as hot drinks, marquees for shelter or portable heaters can all help create a warm and welcoming environment.
· Move baby move: Try to avoid long periods of inactivity for your guests. Even in only slightly cold weather, lack of movement and activity can create a chilly and uncomfortable scenario for your guests.
· What is Plan B: If you are planning a group activity that must be done outdoors, such a game of golf or a session of paintball, and no immediate ‘wet weather’ alternative is available, look and plan for a nearby hotel or restaurant that can serve as a substitute in the event of severe weather and a required cancellation.
· Don’t be afraid to pull the pin: As the organiser you are heavily invested in your event and are more than likely willing to go he extra mile to ensure its success. Be sure to see the situation from a regular guest’s perspective as well. While you might consider waiting out a hailstorm for 30 minutes a small wrinkle, most of your guests would rather be anywhere else. Either during the event, or even before it has begun, don’t let your enthusiasm blind your judgement.
While an outdoor winter event is not impossible, unless it is absolutely vital that it takes place at that time it may be prudent to reschedule for the warmer months and plan an alternative celebration instead.
An inside job
Holding a winter event indoors is certainly the safest option, but there are still a few details that you should consider to get the best result for you and your guests.
· One stop shop: Try to find a venue that has all of your needs – food, drink, entertainment etc. While travelling to multiple venues is never ideal even in Summer months, in Winter it is downright painful to leave the comforts of a warm venue to have to relocate in the cold to somewhere else to have your food and drink.
· A warm guest is not always a happy guest, but a cold guest is NEVER a happy guest: Make sure that your venue of choice has plenty of room to accommodate your event, and that you are clear on the area you will be located. While the courtyard heaters will help to keep the immediate guests warm and cosy, an entire evening out there will give your guests the chills both at the party and in their memories.
· Food warms the heart: Keep your guests happy and warm by providing a selection of hot food items. The coldest guest will feel much better after eating some delicious hot food items to fill their stomachs.
· Plan the getaway: Go the extra mile to look after your guests and ensure that there are plenty of transport options at the end of the event. From car-pooling, taxis and Ubers, to traditional trains, trams and buses, make sure that your guests are covered, and no one is left freezing outside while waiting for a ride home.