The great Australian summer is fairly predictable as far as the weather is concerned. After all, it's not Great Britain. Yet this doesn't mean that you can expect wall-to-wall sunshine every day. If you're planning a fairly large outdoor event in the middle of the summer, you've got to be prepared, weather-wise. What do you need to bear in mind?
Don't Be Complacent
Many people do take the weather for granted when they are organising a complex event. After all, there are a myriad of things to consider such as food and drink, invitations, entertainment booking and so on. Often, a backup plan to be used in the event of bad weather is the last thing on the event planner's mind.
Have a Plan
Heavy rain on the day does not have to wash out your plans, though. You need to have a plan in place and be ready to grin and bear it. Remember, that even the most desert-like environments can – and do – encounter rain when it is least expected.
Protect the Equipment
You must be ready to cover everything up. If you've got some type of entertainment booked, then you will almost certainly have lighting, speakers or other audio equipment around. This is certainly not going to work if exposed to water. Make sure that each item of technical equipment has its own cover that is designed to safeguard it against the elements, just in case. You should also have general tarpaulin that can be pressed into service to cover a number of items at the same time if needed.
Make sure that everybody on your team is aware of your rain plan and knows what to do in the event of a sudden downpour. In a larger event you won't be able to do all of this by yourself, especially as you will have other things to take care of and need to interact with your guests. If the rain truly is unexpected and a thunderstorm suddenly pops up, you will have to work pretty quickly to ensure there is no damage. Allocate individual jobs to individual people, so everybody scuttles away in their own direction as needed. The most expensive and most vulnerable equipment needs to be addressed first.
Look at Weather Warnings
If that thunderstorm turns out to be really nasty, then you have to have an evacuation plan. All of the people working with you on the event need to know where this safe location is and how people can get to it safely. If lightning becomes an issue, then you need to make an announcement that people should go to the designated safe place, which should be clearly identified as such.
Take It inside
Sometimes that rain simply won't stop. If that is the case and you just cannot have your event outdoors any more, then you need to have a backup location just in case. While the whole theme of the event may suffer, your attendees will understand that there's nothing you can really do about the weather. You'll be able to make the best of the situation and score extra points from your attendees for your organisational abilities.