Organizing at Outdoor Festival? Before You Begin, Go Camping.

Why on earth would you take a camping trip?

For starters, camping* is fun! More importantly, the very basics of camping are much like organizing an outdoor event. The camping experience will put you in the right frame of mind to begin planning your festival. Keep reading…

Camp Site
You’re likely going to need to make to make a reservation and then pay for a camping permit.

The same thing goes for a festival, you’ll need to talk to the folks that own the land you want to use for your event and then fill out an application or permit. Sometimes fees are involved.

Tents
You’ll need to make sure you’ve got enough tents or floor space for everyone who’s headed out into the woods.

The same holds true for an event. You’ll need a tent or tents for the concessions, merchandise sales and VIP area.

Tent Poles & Stakes
Don’t forget your hammer to drive the stakes into the ground (the tools to change your car tires are not recommended). If you can get the bright yellow stakes all the better.

Tent stakes are things people can trip over, making them a liability issue. Think insurance. You’ll also need to check with your venue to see if you can put holes in the ground, asphalt or concrete pavement.

Coolers
Let’s see that’s two for adult beverages and another for meals, right? Start figuring out what kind of food you’ll want for the trip.

Ask your vendors to serve easy-to-prepare foods that can be turned quickly for the crowds. The vendors will probably need to bring coolers or refrigeration units during the event. Looks like you’ll need to pull power from somewhere. This will require an electrician and most likely another permit.

Ice
Blocks or cubes? And how long will they last and where can you get more when it’s gone? Guess that all depends on how much you’ll be raising the lid, how hot it is and if you can keep the cooler in the shade.

Your vendors are going to need a lot of ice, especially if they plan on selling soft drinks and water. How can you secure an endless supply, where can you store it, who will deliver it and can you charge your vendors for it?

Cooking
Ahhh the open fire. You may want to use the campsite’s grill or plan on bringing a camp stove with fuel. Having everything prepped at one time, may be trickier with a two-burner stove, especially if the wind keeps blowing out the fire.

Are your vendors going to cook over an over an open flame, need fryers, grease tanks and fuel? Guess this is a pretty big commitment for a concession. If this is what they do regularly, they’ll have the equipment.

To learn how the basics of camping are similar to organizing an outdoor event, continue reading next week.

NOTE:  *This exercise does not work if you rent a hotel room and throw your tent in the corner of the room.


To learn more about event and festival management, check out “Secrets to Successful Events:  How to Organize, Promote and Manage Exceptional Events and Festivals.” For those with event planning experience, consider, “Secrets to Successful Events Resource Guide: 42+ Easy-to-Use Tools and Resources.” Both are written by internationally known author and speaker Lynn Fuhler and are available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

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