In my estimation any pagan ritual held for a group should be evaluated beforehand as though it is a party. Once you do that, and take into account a few extra pointers… it becomes pretty simple.
Read more for advice on public gatherings, as well as gatherings in general.
See that’s where the “think of it like a party” helps too. You check the propane, get the extinguisher checked, test the grill a few times, make sure the cooler is good… Etc. A good host prepares for their guest’s lack of prep.
I set a soft deadline for the stragglers. If you arrived after the primary purification you got set outside the “circle” to help the gatekeepers/ritual guardians. Some people are always late because the actual ritual isn’t their thing (but they don’t consciously realize it or know how to express that) So they can chill and drink at the after party and help clean up. Different strokes.
Part of what I have seen is pagans not treating ritual events as real. Not doing the same prep they would even for a child’s birthday party. That just wiggs me out.
Do a full walkthrough of the rite. Make plans in case it moves indoors. Make a script and memorize the fucking thing. Speak with passion and love - rewrite a ritual if it doesn’t move your emotions. Assign someone the position of watching for fuckups so they can help make changes on the fly.
Explain and contextualize unfamiliar elements so everyone knows what the fuck the deal is with the bowl of herbs or the dish of salt half the people are snagging grains from and half are eyeing with suspicion.
Its not hard. It is work though.