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How to Plan an Outdoor Event in Paris


Where should I start?

France’s capital is renowned for its cultural attractions, fantastic baked delicacies, and scenic views. Often referred to as the City of Love, the ‘cultural capital of France’ offers a range of events and activities for locals and the 30 million tourists who venture to the capital every year. Each of the 20 different districts, or Arrondissements, offers a unique character, with various features, public spaces and parks spreading across the city. Connected by the river seine.

With the 2024 Paris Olympics on the horizon, the tourist flow will certainly increase. But aside from such large events, Paris is home to hundreds of small-scale music festivals, fayres, and street markets. Planning an event in such a large city with so many locations to offer can be overwhelming. This is a quick guide to where to get started, and how OnePlan can help optimise your event planning.

Paris is host to an array of outdoor events, markets and festivals, being dotted across the whole city. Though the most common tourist areas reside in the central 4th, 7th, and 8th arrondissements of Paris (home to the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, and Arc de Triomphe respectively) the plethora of small streets and large outdoor parks offer prime spots for event planners. Typical events include outdoor music festivals and open-air gigs, street markets, food markets, and sporting events. There are also no shortage of food events and fayres across the city, displaying some of the finest French Delicacies. Popular food festivals include the Fête du Pain (French Bread Festival) in May on the plaza in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, as well as many small scale food vendors and markets.

Famous attractions include the Fountains Night Show at the Palace of Versailles, Fête des Tuileries and Fête de la musique held across the city throughout the summer, and the famous Tour de France, seeing cyclists cross the finishing line on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. With Paris Fashion Week taking over the city twice a year, and the Carnival de Paris bringing together musicians, carnivalists, and spectators, there are no shortage of events to host and attend in Paris.

1. Getting started with OnePlan

By looking at the first and second quarter of 2021 and 2022 respectively, we have seen the number of event items placed by OnePlan users in France has almost doubled. But where should you get started when planning an event in the City of Love?

A good way to get started with an event plan is utilising OnePlan’s mapping tools. Offering satellite, map and street view, with 3D plans of the city coming soon*, with 5 x zoom, users can plan events in close detail. In choosing a location when you create an event, you can easily scan the local area to assess whether the location is right for your outdoor event. Our map views also offer clear views of roads and public transport routes, which is perfect for building an event plan around public accessibility.

In the Studio, we have options for both satellite and maps so you can visualise your event but also look at the roads around. Plan your marquees on the grass and then your travel on the street view, planning couldn’t be easier! On top of this, we also have a Black and White and an OS map option.

The array of open gardens and parks are prime locations for hosting outdoor events, especially open-air gigs. These public recreation areas are open to the public yearly but will require grounds permits to host specific events. Popular locations include Parc Flora which hosts a variety of open-air music festivals musically in the summer months, and Parc Bagatelle – la Roseraie, located just outside the centre of Paris, with views of the Eiffel Tower. 

Public bandstands are also prime locations to host a small music performance or event. With 34 still remaining throughout the city, you can find them in almost every arrondissement, both in popular parks such as the Buttes Chaumont, or the Eiffel Tower’s gardens: the Champ the Mars and in lesser known areas of the city. A handful of them commonly host free entry music and performance events. You can see these clearly on OnePlan’s accurate mapping system!

2. Crowd Management

Having a crowd management plan is essential for ensuring a smooth running and safe event. OnePlan’s crowd measurement tool offers centimetre accuracy precision, enabling you to calculate the capacity of an outside space, allowing for any distancing requirements necessary. Calculated in one click, this is hugely valuable for quickly assessing the capacity of your outside space. Rulers, Grids and Triangles are also now in the OnePlan studio and are the ideal method for measuring while drawing lines or adding objects to a site plan, ensuring every item or infrastructure is accurately lined up.

Measure your crowd area using our Crowd Management tools! Select how many people per metre squared you want in your crowd and watch it calculate your capacity- so you can see exactly how many people you can have on your dance floor 🙂

Our routes and flow tools are useful for calculating the predicted time and distance between locations, and have proven particularly useful to clients planning street events or street markets, enabling a one-way flow system to be accurately planned for.


3. Permissions

Depending on the type of event and your event location, you will need to apply for public land use permissions. It is important to consider noise, alcohol service, and street and traffic disruption when thinking about the types of permits you will need.  For music events especially, noise permits and crowd flow plans will be necessary to supply your local council with. Applications can be found here, and here, and applications for any parking permissions for suppliers and vendors can be found here. OnePlan’s bill of quantities will further be a useful tool for assessing vendors and suppliers, and whether you will require permissions for these. 

4. Hygiene

With any event, whether it be a music festival, sporting event or market, it’s important not to skip out on toilets and garbage! OnePlan’s Event Management Form is the perfect tool to ensure you have one comprehensive event checklist, including placing of toilets and waste disposal. You can plot out where toilets and bins will go in OnePlan using our hygiene tools, to help create an enjoyable experience for your event goers.

With so many unique and beautiful places across Paris to host an array of events, OnePlan offers one simple, effective and easy event planning tool to help you deliver successful events.

"It's an amazing piece of software - such an asset when planning and delivering outdoor events."

LA Wild

Andrew Matthews

BMX Australia

Sign up for free today and start planning in the City of Light now!

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