Running a SunSmart event

If you're running an outdoor event from September to April it's important to include Sun protection in your health and safety planning.

Simple plans can help protect your event attendees, workers and volunteers. This is particularly important if your event is during the months of September through April, between 10 am and 4 pm.

When planning your event:

  • Consider scheduling your event in the early morning or late afternoon/evening to avoid peak UV radiation times.
  • Choose a location that provides natural shade like trees or existing buildings or quality shade structures. If the site you choose does not offer natural shade make portable shade structures like gazebos and large umbrellas a must-have feature that can offer shade for staff, volunteers, and participants.
  • Train staff and volunteers around sun protection using the SunSmart steps  - Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap.


Hato Hone St John and the Cancer Society are working together to make holding SunSmart events even easier, read more here.

Make your event SunSmart

On the day 

Check the UV radiation level on the day, if UV radiation levels reach 3 and above everyone needs to be SunSmart. Check the levels for your location by downloading the UVNZ app or check out the times you need protection on the Sun Protection Alert.

Create shade

  • If there isn’t much existing shade, provide it. You could use marquees, awnings, tents, and/or large umbrellas.
  • Contact your local Cancer Society or council to see if they have shade structures you could borrow.

Provide sunscreen

  • Supply broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that is at least SPF30 for visitors and workers to use.
  • Apply 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every 2 hours.
  • Keep the sunscreen in a shady spot (so it doesn’t overheat).

Remind people to be SunSmart

Encourage people coming to your event to:

  • bring their own shade, such as umbrellas or pop-up tents
  • protect their skin and eyes from the sun – remind them to Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap.

Protect your people

Make sure your people, including staff and volunteers, are SunSmart by:

  • wearing long-sleeved collared shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and wrap around close-fitting sunglasses
  • using, and regularly reapplying, sunscreen at least every 2 hours.

Rotate the duties of your workers between shaded and non-shaded areas. If possible, ensure they have breaks indoors (this could include a building, shipping container, caravan, or a tent with sides).

Use your MC

  • Use MC announcements to remind people to be SunSmart.

Sell SunSmart gear

If you have products for sale, include SunSmart items such as:

  • wide-brimmed hats
  • sunglasses (wraparound offer more protection)
  • broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30
  • portable shade, such as tents, awnings, gazebos, or large umbrellas.