I went to a wedding recently for a close family friend. It was a beautiful ceremony with wonderful food, music, decorations, and sweating party guests in the reception. That’s right, during the reception everyone commented that the temperature was much higher than is desirable. In the happy couple’s defense, they had rented out the lobby of a hotel in Miami, so you would hope the hotel would be on top of that. The problem is they chose a date during summer, at 5:00 PM, and the lobby of the hotel had floor-to-ceiling windows. There were about 150-200 guests gathered on the third floor of the hotel. So if this happened at a fairly popular hotel, where you would expect them to be prepared with the capabilities to handle this volume of people, imagine having an event in a tent in this very same weather with no air conditioning or air flow at all. I cringe at the mere thought of it. Here is a list of things to check to make sure your next event is what people are talking about… for the right reasons.
Where And When Is The Event?
So the first thing we all do when planning an event is deciding the venue and the date.
-Are you the outdoorsy-type?
-Do you want a tent with open sides and/or a clear roof?
-Would you prefer an indoor event at your home?
-Do you want it at a hotel, in a banquet hall?
-Will it be during summer, the hottest and most humid time of the year?
-Will it be during spring or winter?
-Will it be during the day or after sunset?
All of these are questions you have to answer to determine what you need and how you should prepare. We at Cooling Power have done a full range of events; from venues that require very little work, to locations and situations that caused the wedding cake of a newlywed couple to melt before they had a chance to cut it. I can tell you that planning ahead for these things can make or break your event. Also remember, with high heat comes some perspiration. I’m of the breed that sweats profusely while sitting for a few minutes in temps above 80 degrees. Those temperatures coupled with high humidity, which is the staple of Florida life, can cause ever the most tightly sealed pores to practically burst open. So ask yourself, do you want people complaining that they are too sweaty, too hot or too uncomfortable to enjoy the event? Or do you want them to say “Wow, I could go all night!” The choice is yours, so plan accordingly.
How Many People Will Be Attending?
You may not realize this, but the human body is basically a small furnace that produces quite a bit of heat. The number of people you have invited or plan to invite is a very important item on your list.
-Will it be an event where people will be sitting and talking, or listening to a presentation?
-Will there be a DJ playing the most popular music to get people moving?
The heat load caused by these different choices plays a huge role in how much A/C you will actually need. Make sure to have at least a rough estimate of attendees, and if you’re unsure, aim high, because you can always shut down a unit or two.
Where Is The Power Coming From?
I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it is to be talking to a customer and ask “Do you need power for the units?” to which they respond “No, we have power available”, only to show up the day before the event with the equipment and see the outlet or breaker they said they had either isn’t enough power, or is taken by the DJ, caterer, etc. Ask us to come and check the location, we know what we are looking for, and what questions to ask to make sure this doesn’t happen. If you need a generator, ask for it, it’s better to be safe than sorry. With our systems, you don’t need to worry about hiring an electrician, we have everything ready to go. We have generators big enough to power your whole party if you need it. Always ask for a quote with and without power so that you can plan accordingly.
If It’s A Tent, What Kind?
Clear Or White Canvas Sides/Roof?
You may be saying, “Steve, all tents are created equal, right?” to which I say “Nay, Nay”. When preparing an event, size, walls, and roof type are very important. The standard White canvas tents actually reduce the amount of heat absorbed from sunlight, while clear roof/walls, magnify that heat. Where a certain sized white canvas tent may need about 15 tons of A/C for a few hours to be comfortable (tons is a thermal unit, not the weight of the machine), a clear top/sided tent of the same size will require at least 3 times that amount. If the event is during the day, good luck, that sun on the clear tent is like the kid burning ants with a magnifying glass.
Will The Tent Be Closed Or Open?
If the walls are closed, and only open to allow caterers to pass, guests to come and go, etc, no worries. If it’s going be open, that’s a whole different situation. While the process of how A/C’s cool the air is boring and technical, the thing to know is when the unit is able to recycle the same air in a room, it’s much more efficient. If the walls are open, you are basically trying to cool down the entire planet. So if the view of nature is your thing, go for it, just remind people to wear shorts.
You want people at your event focusing on the important stuff, not on the pit stains they have. Make sure your event is exactly as you have it in your mind. If you and your group don’t mind a little heat and sweat, great. But if you’re like me and are a bit more sensitive to the Florida climate, call us here at Cooling Power. Our job is to make sure you can focus on everything else, and know that your A/C and Power needs are all taken care of.