We all want a great venue to host a celebratory event, or even an official soiree. And if the venue is alongside a beach, a lot of us are even willing to compromise on certain set-up ideas. Don’t. While there are several challenges with working with open venues, with the help of an experienced event planner, one can still achieve the desired theme, so long as – there is enough set-up time and budget allocations are done smartly.
Even before we get into designs and layouts, it is important to consider certain factors while finalising a beach venue. Here’s a list of some of the bigger points we must be aware of. A detailed check-list would need to be made once you’ve narrowed down on the venue.
- Independent venue or part of a hotel – While a venue that is part of a hotel property will take care of catering, housekeeping, etc, an independent venue may not necessarily offer these services. It’s critical to have a detailed checklist of all of the venue’s offerings to better plan your budget allocation
- Proposed event time – Checking out a venue in the evening for a brunch event could be a disaster. The layout and decor of an outdoor event depends on natural factors like weather conditions (hot/ humid/ pleasant/ possibility of rain) , sunlight and even angle of the sun. It is critical to conduct a thorough tour of the venue at the proposed time of the event to understand these conditions and then plan the entire event accordingly
- Nature of event – Is it a wedding/ similar social celebration, or is it a business soiree? Will there be live performance? Do you need a stage? Any kind of live performance will require a bigger technical set-up, especially for sound and lights. And if there is a screen involved, then space requirement for just the stage area increases. Special care also needs to be taken to protect the equipment from sand and moisture from the sea breeze
- Uneven ground – If your party is on a lawn or directly on the beach, your guests, especially women will have a tough time managing their heels. An easy solution for this is setting-up of platforms to make the grand event. However, if you’re not looking at doing this, let guests know about this little detail in your invite so they’re better prepared. Alternatively, beach slippers in varying sizes can also be stacked up in corners for guests to help themselves with a pair
- Access to washrooms – Usually the rest rooms will be at a bit of a distance from the lawn/ beach, except smaller ones that are near the pool if you’re at a hotel. If the distance is too much and you have a lot of children or senior citizens, alternate arrangements may have to be made with mobile washrooms
- Security & Safety – If you’re hosting a party with an open bar, be rest assured that at some point of time, some people will want to hang out by the shore. Furthermore, if there is a direct access from the beach, you may even encounter some uninvited guests. While barricading is an essential part of the set-up, some amount of security needs to be deployed to ensure guests don’t venture too close to the water
- Parking – Where is the parking lot and how many cars can it accommodate? Another crucial aspect is the power distribution. If there is heavy lighting and sound, an external generator needs to be brought in, and parked closest to the venue. If there isn’t enough space for this anywhere around, then one will have to go easy on the technical set-up
- Permissions – Depending on the city that you’re hosting in, there could be a list of specific permissions & licenses that need to be procured. These are usually for performances and music. If you’re planning to use fireworks, first check if the venue allows it and then ask for the necessary licenses that they need. Also, in case you wish to use drones for photography, written permission should be taken first from the venue
- Theme – Most beach-side venues have an easy vibe with a casual set-up with pastel and floral decor. However, if you have something more elaborate in mind, enough support needs to be provided to withstand the windy conditions that may occur not only at the time of the event, but also during set-up. Existing support options like trees and light poles may help make this a little easier
- Back-up plan – This is the most critical aspect and also the most overlooked. Unfortunately, we’re living in a time where we see some pretty crazy weather fluctuations. Nonseasonal rain have become a frequent phenomenon and can completely wash out your event. A back-up venue needs to be discussed to see where the guests can safely be transferred to and how soon an F & B arrangement can be done here
Planning and styling an event is no small task and it is always advisable to seek help from event management professionals and wedding planners to minimise surprises. While the aforementioned points are just broad factors, keep checking in for detailed suggestions and tips to help make your celebration a grand success.