If you are planning to hold an event with a large number of attendees, then parking is going to need to be one of the major considerations in your preparations. Whether you are holding something at a venue that already has an adequately sized parking lot, or you have to create a makeshift one in a field, controlling where people park and how the space is used is something that needs to be considered to avoid chaos on the day. Everything from weddings to conferences, street parties to fairs needs somewhere for attendees to park, and it needs to work logically and make it easy for them to get out when the event is over. Frustrations with parking can ruin someone’s experience of an event, so make sure you think things through, get what you need and make things as easy as possible for your guests.
Do You Need Parking Attendants?
You may decide that the parking lot is adequately marked and people can park where they like on a first come, first served basis. That may be the only decision you make regarding parking, and that is fine, as long as you have checked things out and are sure this is sufficient. In other cases you may decide you want to fill certain parts of the lot first, or want certain types of vehicle in certain places, and in this sort of situation you will need personnel to guide people as they enter the parking lot, field or area.
Parking attendants will need to be sourced, either from paid staff or volunteers (depending on the kind of event you are holding), given reflective clothing to make it safe for them and obvious to drivers that that is what they are there for, and briefed in full on what the strategy is for parking. For really large parking areas, you may even want to put someone in charge and make sure the parking attendants are all able to talk to each other via walkie talkies or other means.
Do You Need Markings or Cones?
Again, if your venue’s parking lot is pretty much ready to go, this may not be a consideration for you, but if you are using an area where parking spaces aren’t clearly marked, or creating a temporary parking lot in a field, you will need to mark out areas and spaces somehow. For street type parties you may need to paint or at least chalk them on the asphalt, whereas in a field or dusty area you’ll want to use cones and tape. You can get cones from a traffic safety equipment & supplies company, and use these to designate where people should be driving and parking. Setting this up takes time, so make sure you have people ready to come and do this the day before or several hours before the first cars are likely to start arriving.
With the right planning, people and equipment managing the parking at an event needn’t be a nightmare, and you should be able to find a system that is convenient both for the event itself and for the attendees as they arrive and leave in their vehicles.
This post has been contributed by Travis Finn who is an employee at Bo Phillips, a company dealing in safety equipment since 1965. He enjoys going on camping trips during his leisure time.