One of the most common questions we get asked here at Skylight is ‘what if it rains?’. There is no doubt that outdoor cinema brings with it the possibility of wet weather and wet guests. However, if you plan ahead and think of all eventualities, there is no reason why a bit of drizzle can’t be accommodated for as part and parcel of the cinematic experience.
Having delivered nearly 300 screenings last year alone, we’ve put together our top tips for a successful event (whatever the weather)!
1. Plan ahead
It sounds obvious, but thinking ahead can be the key to success. Although we can happily accommodate last minute screenings, we recommend planning your event a good few months in advance. Visit your venue in various weather conditions, using it as an opportunity to think through how to make your guests comfortable come wind or shine.
2. Venue access and egress
The first thing that may become difficult in wet weather is guest arrival and departure. Dependent on your venue, you may have to think about providing a temporary platform to protect the roadways and walkways from a build up of mud. If your event is in a field, this may be a matter of having ground mats or timbers to hand where vehicle or pedestrian bottlenecks may occur.
3. Covered food and drink
If you are providing refreshments at your event, we recommend putting up some covered areas towards the edges of the venue. This ensures the screen view is not obscured, and provides some shelter for your guests whilst they are eating. We suggest offering wet weather appropriate food and drink that is easy to consume whilst standing up, so as many people as possible can be sheltered.
4. Sell ponchos and other accessories
As well as being helpful for guests, having wet weather gear for sale at your event provides you with another potential revenue stream. Whilst umbrellas aren’t the best for outdoor screenings, ponchos, hats and waterproof clothing are the perfect accessories. In the summer months, it’s also a good idea to have suncream, fans, seats and picnic blankets available. Here a few ideas for create your own Wet weather clothes!
5. Don’t overprice yourself
The last thing you want to do is disappoint your guests. Whilst we know you need to host an event with a good profit margin, you also don’t want to overprice yourself should someone have a rainy experience. We also recommend taking payment in advance, and putting a weather clause into the ticket information to save being inundated with refund requests. For more advice on how to price and ticket your screening, speak with a member of our team.
6. Communicate with your audience
Keep an eye on the forecast, and let your guests know in advance if weather extremes are on the horizon whilst recommending the most appropriate clothing, footwear and seating choices. If guests are informed of the worst case scenario, they will be pleasantly surprised when the weather holds off.
7. Most importantly, keep your guests entertained
Even if the heavens open, your guests will have a fantastic time if they are well entertained. From pre-show performers and acts to live music or a free drink, think of some special finishing touches that will keep spirits high whatever the weather.
Any questions or enquiries please do not hesitate to get in contact with us;