It’s spring time a good and bad time of the year for event planners. The weather is nice enough for a beautiful outdoor event but at the same time pollen is kicking up and allergy season is upon us. With over 50 million people in the US affected by hay fever you best believe someone will be sneezing and hacking throughout your outdoor soireé.
Responsible for both the venue and menu meeting planners must think ahead and plan with strategy to ensure both are as accommodating as the rest of your event. Airborne food allergies as well as pollen and natural elements all must be taken into consideration.
1. Despite common belief, evenings are no more likely to have a lower pollen count than mornings or midday. Seasonal pollen drift is a problem and there’s no way to tell how much of it or how intense it may be the day of your event. During the peak season pollen levels shoot through the roof especially when it’s dry regardless of time of day. So unfortunately there’s no time of day more or less likely to irritate those with allergies.
2. When you have flexibility in your specific selection location you may want to consider exact placement of your event. The radius of things that surround your location can make a significant difference even when the weather conditions are against you. For example having an event placed closer to a body of water like a lake, river, pond or ocean can reduce pollen levels significantly. Other options to consider are rooftops, stone or brick terraces which help to keep pollen down but can quickly hit a brick wall “no pun intended” 🙂 when the wind kicks up. Think about wind barriers and good cover whenever you can.
3. If you’re trapped and forced to have an event in a grassy area, ask the venue to provide temporary hard surface platforms like portable dance floors to cover as least the area when your guest will be the most. Shoes constantly kicking up irritants is not a good look.
4. For floral selections avoid lavender, gerbera daisies, wisteria, jasmine, baby’s breath, zinnias, pussy willow, and sunflowers. Better alternatives for pollen-sensitive attendees include azaleas, lilies, begonias, crocuses, cyclamen, hydrangeas, orchids, peonies, roses (non-fragrant), tulips, and violets.
5. Make sure all attendees are clear that some or all of the event will be held outside so any hard core sufferers can plan ahead, pre-medicate and bring medication with them.
These are our top 5 tips on how to deal with outdoor allergy challenges. Apply them and let us know if you have any other tips and tricks that can help us outdoor planners.