On solid footing


Despite the surprisingly large crowds, I decided to take a brief walk through the grand opening celebration for the new shopping center in my area. For whatever reason, the event organizers had set up the vendor booths, music and other festivities in a nearby park, rather than at the shopping center itself. This would have been fine, except for one little problem: it rained before the event, turning much of the grass into a muddy mess.

As I walked past various tents and tables, my desire to avoid spending the rest of the day cleaning mud off my shoes greatly exceeded my curiosity about the remaining exhibitors. I also saw that someone had put a flattened cardboard box on the grass as a makeshift standing area, so I clearly wasn’t the only person who noticed the issue.

Ironically, the same park has ample paved walkways that might have provided a better, mud-free location for the booths. And of course, the adjacent shopping center itself has paved areas out front, plus indoor space. Any of these locations would likely have been a more practical choice than placing a large event on a big patch of grass. So if you’re ever given the opportunity to plan an outdoor event like a grand opening, trade show or art fair, it’s probably a good idea to locate it somewhere where the ground won’t turn into mush if it happens to rain beforehand.