How to Host the Ultimate Summer Fair
Hosting the ultimate summer fair is the dream for most people who love entertaining guests.
Since summer is almost here, you will want your guests to delight in every event that they can attend. This guide will assist those who are looking to organise summer fairs and aims to give advice, and information, on how to make the most of using marquees in this environment. We will discuss having a clear grasp of health and safety, ensuring you have all the necessary permits, and developing a wet weather strategy as needed.
Find a Location for Your Summer Fair
Finding the perfect location to host your summer fair is a crucial step to its success.
The following are a few things to consider when looking for the right location to host your event: You’ll need to choose a suitable area that has good visibility from all directions, is well lit, and is protected from rain or excessive heat in order to achieve successful outcomes with your outdoor event.
If you plan on having any music, live bands, or special guests perform at your event, you should look for a location that is somewhat flat and has enough space to accommodate furniture, such as tables and chairs, as well as extras, like dancefloors, or a stage, if you plan on holding any raffles or competitions. To enable you to move forward with these things, you will need to ensure that the location has access to a power source.
If you’re planning on having quite a few people attend your summer fair, and you want to sell alcohol at your event, then you will need to apply for the appropriate licence from the local authorities, being sure to follow any rules and regulations so that you can fulfil all of the conditions. If you are unsure how to do this, then you can contact the local council and speak to the licencing department or the environmental health department—both of these departments will be able to help you with obtaining the alcohol licence and any additional permissions that may be required.
You should also ensure that the location is convenient for guests and is easy to find, as well as safe and secure too. Especially if you plan on allowing children or people with pets, such as dogs to attend your summer fair. You can try to find all of this information out beforehand by getting in contact with local sources to make sure that your venue is easily accessible, and visible to passing motorists and members of the public.
You will need to have space for any guests’ parking vehicles, but also keep in mind any companies that will be delivering and collecting your event equipment. Be sure that there is sufficient space for them to manoeuvre.
As you can see, there is a lot to take on board when you’re organising a summer fair, but when you have all of this information to hand, then you will know that your summer fair will run smoothly and ensure it is a great success!
Plan Activities and Attractions for Your Guests
Planning what activities and attractions to include at your summer fair can be a lot of fun, but it can also be quite a daunting task because you want to make sure there is something for everyone of all ages to enjoy.
Many summer fairs focus on a specific theme, or set of activities, and then feature those activities as the main attraction. Options for summer fair activities can include fair rides, games, music, cooking demonstrations, or even demonstrations of other products related to the theme or activity.
You could also feature other attractions such as petting zoos, or magicians and ventriloquists to keep the children entertained. Having a theme for your summer fair will make it easy to plan activities around that theme.
For example, if you are organising a summer fair with a focus on a music theme, then you could run competitions, or provide prizes related to music or instruments, such as guitars, or drums.
There are many themes that you could incorporate, but whatever you decide on doing, planning the activities so that the guests will enjoy and remember them is key, and of the utmost importance when planning a summer fair.
Decide on a Date and Time for the Event
Deciding on a date and time for your event can take careful consideration and can help you plan.
Summer fairs usually take place when the weather is sunny and warm, so an event on a cool day or in bad weather can be a disappointment for many visitors. Summer fairs are also popular on bank holidays as people will have time off of work and can attend during the day. Bank holidays also appeal to some businesses in the local community who may be eager to feature their business or products at your summer fair.
You should always make sure to get permission to hold the event, especially if you decide that you want to host the summer fair at your local school grounds. Perhaps your local school has a sports field or an outside space that you could use for the event. You may need permission to erect marquees and stalls, so be sure to check with your school board first.
Recruiting Vendors to Participate in Your Fair
Summer is one of the best times of year to host a fair, which draws in a large number of visitors to enjoy the delicious foods and rides available, as well as purchase something special at the market or the gift shop, where vendors can bring their best products to sell.
That’s why so many fair events are so popular among locals and out-of-town visitors. This is your chance to get local businesses or locals involved, so that they have an opportunity to sell their products or offer their services, and can be used as a great marketing tool, so make sure to reach out to them so that they don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity!
Advertise the Event to Potential Guests
There are many ways for you to advertise the event to any potential guests.
You could place an ad in the local paper, or on any number of radio, or television channels. You can even advertise the event for free on social networking sites, or by posting flyers and posters around the town.
Friends and family also make great forms of advertising power for your summer fair, so try to get them on board to help spread the word about your amazing event!
Understand the Health and Safety Requirements for Marquees
When marquees are erected, make sure that this is done with great care, and that all of the necessary health and safety regulations are adhered to at all times.
You should also make sure that rigorous checks are being carried out to ensure that the equipment is in working order, and also make sure that all of the staff are familiar with any health and safety procedures and requirements. By making sure that all members of staff are fully trained and well versed in health and safety procedures, as well as security procedures, you will be taking all the right steps to ensure the safety of your guests and the general public.
Health and safety regulations are strict when hosting festivals and events. The requirements are numerous, and many organisations are unaware of potential pitfalls which can cause severe problems if ignored or overlooked. Rigorous checks are carried out to ensure equipment is in place, and in good working order, and that all staff are familiar with the health and safety requirements.
This includes checking the accessibility of toilets and other facilities for people with disabilities and making sure the equipment being used is fit for purpose and suitable for the event ahead. Experienced event organisers know that the logistics behind event management require constant updating and monitoring to ensure all regulations and conditions are met – the last thing you want on the day is a health and safety breach, which could result in you being sued for negligence.
It might be a good idea to keep a log or a short description of all the work that has been carried out on the marquee. This will make sure that it is documented for the health and safety records; it will also confirm that the marquee has been maintained and checked regularly throughout its use, complying with the health and safety requirements as outlined. Another thing to consider is placing signs in prominent locations around the event and the marquee, not only to ensure the safety of all guests and attendees but also, to highlight any dangers.
A first aid box should also be kept on-site and stocked with a range of first aid essentials, such as plasters, as well as bandages, and antiseptic wipes, as standard. Signs can also make sure that all fire exits and exit routes are clearly marked and in clear view.
All electrical equipment should also be checked before use and signed off, and keep records of testing to show that the equipment is maintained and up-to-date. Make sure that electrical items are PAT tested and fully compliant with all governing standards, including health and safety and risk assessments.
Make Sure you Have all the Necessary Licences
You will want to take extra care in making sure that you have all of the necessary licences needed for your summer fair event. This typically involves several permissions and permits.
You can check what type you will need by getting in touch with your local authority, who will be able to advise you on which licences you will need for the type/s of event you are hosting. If local permits are required, then you should ensure that you inform the relevant people and other relevant departments who will be cooperating with you for the event.
Your local council will also be able to advise you if there are any other licences required – some permit applications are made online, but some will need to be submitted by post. You will need to provide plenty of notice to get all of the licences required, so be sure to bear this in mind before organising your event.
If you have already secured a venue for your event, then you will need to be aware of the terms and conditions set by the venue holder. For example, some venues will require an environmental health permit, which will need to be applied for before an event can take place. It is also a good idea to check with the event organising team, or the venue holders, on what is required for the event that you are planning to host so that you do not turn up on the day having not realised that you need to carry out certain actions or need to apply for certain permits, which could affect your summer fair event plans, delay the event, or worst-case scenario, stop the event from going ahead altogether.
Plan for wet Weather Conditions
Although it might be unlikely to happen when planning your event in the summer, you should always have a backup plan for wet weather conditions.
If you have a plan b in place, then you will be able to carry on as normal with your event and avoid any negative impact on your summer fair event plans due to bad weather. Although the Great British weather can sometimes be unpredictable, spending a little extra time planning your event before the big day will give you peace of mind knowing that you have everything organised.
Having a backup plan will ensure that your summer fair event plans are a success and, most importantly, that your event runs smoothly and without a hitch.
Set up Your Marquee Correctly
Depending on whether you intend on doing it yourself, or if you are going to hire a professional company to do it.
You’ll want to make sure that you set up your marquee correctly so that your event is successful. If you’re setting up your own marquee, it’s important to remember a few things.
Firstly, the marquee should be set up on an even surface. If it’s on a hard surface, you will need to anchor it with water or concrete weights. You will also need to consider the number of people that will potentially be attending the event and factor that into choosing the right size of the marquee so that you can ensure that you have enough room to place tables, chairs, and any other furniture or equipment needed for your summer fair event plans.
If you’re using a professional company to set up your marquee for you, then they will likely offer a service where they will set up and take down your marquee for you as well as provide extras such as chairs and other furniture if required. This may come as an additional service or fee. Make sure that if you’re hiring a professional company, you are aware of whether or not they have any special rules or regulations that they need to follow or any additional equipment that is required, such as generators, toilets, etc.
If you’re planning on holding your summer fair event where the temperature outside the venue is expected to be above 25 degrees, then you will want to consider if there is going to be an additional supply of ice available to keep your drinks and food cold or if there are going to be any fans or air conditioning units available to cool the guests down in the heat. Most professional marquee companies will know exactly what they are doing and will have years of experience under their belt, but if you’re planning on doing it yourself, then make sure that you have all of your bases covered before the day of the fair to make sure that everything runs smoothly and to plan.
Contacting a professional marquee company can help you plan the best event possible without having to suffer the stress of not knowing what to do. They can also provide you with quotes, or expert advice that will ensure you get your marquee set up on time without having the stress of dealing with any complications.
Personalise Your Marquee
We all love decorations to make things look more appealing and to stand out that little bit more, and the same goes for your marquees at your summer fair events.
You can use a variety of decorations, such as bunting, balloons, and other various decorations, as well as lighting, such as fairy lights, to make the atmosphere at your event more welcoming and cheerful. Get creative with it and decorate the marquee in summery colours and designs to make people feel welcome and at home, as well as make things look more appealing to the eye.
When choosing a company to set up your marquees for your fair, try to look for a company that offers additional services and equipment that you may need, such as lighting and decorating services. Be sure to check with the company first if hiring a marquee, as they may not allow decorations to be put up on the marquee. On the other hand, they might be able to point you in the right direction and may suggest another equipment rental company that you can go through for decorations if it isn’t a service that they offer themselves.
Make a Menu for Your Event
Hosting a summer fair can be a lot of work. One detail that is often overlooked when planning a summer fair is the food menu. If you have all of your guests’ favourite food vendors participating in the event, you can be sure that you’ll have a lot of hungry guests—and you probably don’t want to be cooking all day! Planning your menu with vendors who have experience with summer fairs will not only alleviate some of your stress but also ensure that you serve great food to your guests.
Here are just some of the considerations to keep in mind when planning a catering menu for your summer fair.
- Cultural and Dietary Factors: Different clients will have different religious beliefs and dietary restrictions, and some may even be vegetarian or vegan, so it is worth asking lead vendors what options they have available for dietary requirements.
- Allergies: Some people may be allergic to specific ingredients, such as nuts or shellfish, while some may have allergies to artificial colours and flavourings. While choosing amongst catering menus tends to be a daunting task, this is a fairly easy decision to make once you have a list of allergies that your guests have.
- Budget and Expected Sales: It is important to plan a menu that is not overly expensive or too light in sales and revenue. Clients may be willing to splurge, but the catering company must understand their budget and other considerations when planning a menu for the event.
- Suppliers: Sourcing Ingredients: Hosting a seasonal fair can lead to some difficulties when sourcing ingredients from suppliers. Sourcing fresh ingredients can be difficult, particularly if they are seasonal items. If possible, try to find vendors that source locally and seasonally for their ingredients.
- Refreshments and Drinks: Deciding on refreshments and drinks will not necessarily require the expertise of a caterer, but consider which drinks you will serve and whether they complement your menu. You will also need to consider whether or not you will need to hire a bar service or buy some alcohol in bulk. The time of day can also help determine what types of drinks will be best served to your guests. Of course, the caterer can help you out with determining the types of drinks that will suit your guests’ tastes and your summer fair budget.
- Hired Help: If you have decided to hire a catering company, or perhaps some serving staff, you should decide early on what menu and products you will offer. The caterers can then consider what products will be more cost-effective and what food products will be easier to serve to your guests. Your caterer will pair you up with the best products for your summer fair and make sure that they fit your budget and other considerations.
- Your Venue: The location of your event is going to make a big difference in how you plan the menu for your summer fair. If the event is being held in your school or community centre’s gym or field, then you likely won’t have the room for elaborate barbeque stations as you would at a large event in a sports field or park. On the other hand, if you have a large venue with lots of room for food vendors and your guests to walk around, then you should think about offering a variety of different foods, both sit-down and casual fare.
- Seasonal: Summer fairs often take place when the weather is getting warmer and guests are out enjoying the weather in outdoor areas. This often means that they are hungry and are looking for lighter fare that is easy to eat and is refreshing and that pairs well with a cold beer or lemonade. When planning your summer fair’s menu, consider which foods would best complement the weather and your venue’s location.
Source Entertainment for Your Event
Sourcing entertainment for such an event isn’t always easy, but there are plenty of options to consider.
You can hire a DJ to play music throughout and to keep the event lively, or you can have bands play live during the daytime or evening of the event. Other options include live performers (who might have a sketch, comedy act, or acrobatics routine) who want to perform at the event.
You might want to consider setting up a photo booth for guests to take pictures at your event. Photo booths are available to rent and are a great way to keep guests entertained and ensure that they take something home with them to remember the summer fair.
Other entertainment might include a petting zoo or pony rides for the children, or perhaps you can hire some bouncy castles and slides for younger children to enjoy. If there are going to be toddlers or young children, then you might consider opting for performers such as a magician or puppeteers for a live show or even getting the DJ to play music with dance routines or games to keep their attention.
Make the Most of on-Site Facilities
Depending on the location of the event, you might be at a location that provides some facilities, from indoor spaces to outdoor spaces, that you can use for various aspects of your event.
When you do this, be sure to take advantage of these spaces as much as possible to ensure that the event is a success with guests enjoying themselves as much as possible. This means setting up areas where guests can purchase food or merchandise from vendors, as well as having designated areas to play activities or games such as football, cricket, or darts, or to set up children’s rides or bouncy castles.
There may even be some toilets and amenities that you can use. Review the facilities for your event location to make the most of your on-site facilities.
Take Down and Pack Away Your Marquee Correctly
This can be the most stressful and most daunting part of the event, and you will likely need to do some careful planning about who will take care of this for you.
If you are dismantling your marquee yourself, then plan this well to ensure that you do not leave it too late. Some locations might have a restriction or a time limit on when you have to be finished by, and when you must be off the site. If you are hiring a marquee from a company that provides this service for you, be sure to speak to them in advance about this as well, then they will take everything down for you at the end of your event.
Marquee hire can be a great solution for you to not have to worry about all of the hassles that come with packing up after creating a successful event at your location and will help you to make sure that it is a lot easier for you to manage.
Marquee hire can be a great option for events of all sizes, but it’s important to understand the health and safety requirements as well as the licences needed before you start planning.
Make sure you set up your marquee correctly and decorate it in style—it will make your event look that much more professional. And don’t forget to plan your menu and source some entertainment!
If you need any more advice or help to organise your marquee event, don’t hesitate to contact us.