Business Risks for Outdoor Venues

May 1, 2020 | by BMI Staff


The key to a successful and low-risk outdoor venue is to know that venue like the back of your hand. Appreciate the location for both its beauty and its hazards. Put yourself into the mindset of your typical clientele, and walk the entire area as though you are a first-time visitor. Understand the climate of your location and research weather patterns of the recent years. Plan events in accordance with those patterns, with a margin for unexpected weather along the way. Outside of weather risks, there may be risks associated with your venue’s structure. If the land is choppy or there is a nearby body of water, consider the possible hazards associated. Be creative when identifying your venue’s risks so that future occurrences do not catch you by surprise. All potential liabilities, no matter how outlandish, should be considered when developing your risk management plan.


Evaluating the risk of carrying on regular business at an outdoor venue should be constant and adaptable. When managing a business while simultaneously battling the unpredictability of weather, the evaluation stage must be specific to each type of event carried out at your business. Rain or snow, in enough quantity, may force your event indoors, but the likelihood of this varies from event to event. Consider an outdoor wedding during spring. If precipitation of any kind occurs, it may be too much of a distraction to carry on outdoors. However, a slight drizzle or a light snow may not completely shut down a marathon race. The race may simply need to change course to accommodate. Use this evaluation stage of your risk management plan to consider all possibilities and determine a backup plan for any weather-related road block.


Some things, like the weather, you can’t change. But during the prevention stage of risk management, it is important to focus on elements of risk that are within your control. Consider the potential ways in which your particular venue lends itself to mishaps and danger. If your venue features a body of water, think about the security measures you must take to prevent drowning. If there is choppy land or cliffs on your venue, consider the likelihood of a trip-and-fall injury. Hiring security to manage the crowds during events, or roping off areas of heightened danger will decrease the chance of injury. 


Each new event should include a plan, specific to the weather forecast and clientele present. When planning for an event of any kind, parking must be sufficient for the prospective number of guests. Minimize the risk of collision on your property by clearly marking the parking area and the path that each guest should take upon arrival. Make sure to also clearly mark the areas in which guests are allowed to roam. When purchasing and installing venue equipment, ensure it meets all safety guidelines. Hire professionals, when necessary, to install and repair equipment. For events that stretch into nighttime, make sure there is sufficient lighting throughout the guest areas.

Developing a risk management plan is essential for any business owner, but it is almost more important for outdoor venue owners. Make sure you are prepared for absolutely anything by utilizing these steps in your risk management plan.