Summer Events: Keeping Your Crew Cool and Your Setups Seamless

Summer Events: Keeping Your Crew Cool and Your Setups Seamless

Aug 9, 2013

Professional event managers should add “Magician” to their title. If you have been involved in an event setup, you know unexpected issues always come up, finishing on time is challenging and there is at least one great “if only you knew” story the client never hears about.  Event setups are even more intense during the summer when temperatures are high.


Here are Five “Keep it Cool” Event Setup Tips:


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Staging and Mapping – Map out everything! Create a map that designates staging areas, where supplies and tools will be, where deliveries should drop off and ultimately where everything goes in final setup. Distribute the map to the crew with emphasis on supply and tool areas. Nothing heats up frustration more than being assigned to a task and not being able to find the tools you need to complete the task. Be sure to have the right quantity of tools based on workers required to complete assignments. Instruct the crew to return tools and supplies to designated areas when they are done with them. This will also make clean up easier.

Dress for Success – Consider the Four C’s: Causal, Comfortable, Cotton and Colored-Coded. You want your crew to be comfortable, cool and safe. They should be dressed in casual clothing that allows effortless movement throughout the setup. Comfortable shoes with support are a must. If any of the crew are staying on for the final event, make sure to allow for time to change their clothing so they are not wearing final outfits in setup. If budget permits, supply colored cotton t-shirts to represent different aspects of the team. Imagine how much easier it will be to say to someone, “Find someone in a yellow shirt for a construction work…”and/or “The director is wearing a blue shirt.” Leave a visual impression of your advanced professionalism and organizational skills by adding your company logo to all shirts. Avoid black and dark colored t-shirts in the summer.

Ease of Equipment – Whenever possible use equipment that cuts down on intense labor especially when you know setup will be taking place on a hot summer day. If you are transforming an indoor space with space dividers and scenery, many venues will not have proper rigging for the construction. Standard pipe and base comes in long and awkward sections with heavy bases. One solution is Grosh’s Backdrop LIFT. Setup is easily managed by with a simple telescoping LIFT using a hand crank to raise the weight of a drape or backdrop to the desired height.

Rotating Crews – If indoor and outdoor setup is required, schedule times to rotate crew so no one is working all day in the sun.  Productivity experts recommend switching tasks every 90 minutes.  Estimate the time it will take to complete each project for one person and then divide total time by 90 minutes to determine how many team members you need on each project.

Little Things that Count – Treat your crew well and they will work well for you. Schedule breaks throughout the setup. Acknowledge their good work. Looks for ways for the crew to experience a taste of the event they are setting up. Set up a themed refreshment table, play themed music and/or arrange talent from the event to make a special appearance for them. Imagine the impression a smiling crew will make on your client.