How to Pull Off A Short Turnaround Event

By Tennile Cooper

This is the final week to apply for the Artscape Daniels Launchpad Community Access Program (CAP).

Actually, there are only three days left to apply—today, tomorrow and Friday, September 18th—right up until the clock strikes 11:59 PM.

Therefore, we caught up with one of our Events Managers, Meagan, to help you plan and plot the logistics of how to pull-off a short turnaround event.

1. So Meagan, what does an organization need to have in place prior to their event date? Can you list timelines too?

The more lead time the better!

The sooner you sign off on your venue contract, the sooner we can get to work making sure you’ve got the venue support you need to have an amazing event!

A General Timeline to keep in mind:

  • 1 month out – venue, date, vendors chosen
  • 3 weeks out – contract executed, insurance purchased, logistics planning
  • 2 weeks out – staff scheduled and confirmed, technical requirements and load in/out times confirmed
  • 1 week out  – finalized Itinerary (small changes), confirmed vendors/catering
  • 3 days out – event briefing sent to the client, staff, and all applicable parties

This allows for changes to your event with minimal impact on the venue and staff. If your event is in less than 3 weeks, here are a few things you must have in order for your event to move forward:

  • Signed Contract & Event Costs – No event takes place without a signed contract. All event costs not covered by the CAP funding are due prior to your event.
  • Insurance –  All events at Artscape must be covered for up to $2 million in special event liability insurance, we work with DUOO for quick and affordable service. You can speak to your event rep for details and specifications required on the certificate. Any other permits required (Special Occasions Permit if serving alcohol) should also be purchased at least 3-4 weeks in advance in order to be approved on time by the AGCO.
  • Confirmed Itinerary/ROS/Production Schedule – We use the client’s itinerary to schedule staff, coordinate deliveries, and load in/out of the building. All external deliveries must be made aware to the venue, and all required elevator use for load in/out must be requested and booked in advance.
  • Confirmed AV/Tech Requirements – We schedule event staff and technicians to help with the setup, operations, and tear down of all in house technical equipment. All audiovisual requirements should be confirmed in advance of your event so that staff on-site can be briefed and can execute the event within the scheduled time frame. Last-minute technical requests and changes can damage the integrity of the event, and can often lead to frustrations on all sides.

2. That is a detailed rundown! What are the must-haves for a successful event?

Key Must Haves:

One (1) main point of contact – if you have a large team with many moving parts, having one lead person who handles all the coordination is a huge time saver. It reduces miscommunications and ensures no mixed-messaging or broken telephone. (If you have one tech contact and one logistics contact, that works too, anything to streamline communications!)

A team – while only one person should be calling the shots, an event or production team is essential to the flawless execution of an event. From greeters and registration to ushers, personal assistants, and stage managers—it takes a village!

I recommend having a group chat (like Whatsapp) for easy communication between teams and designating a meeting place for check-ins during the event.

The venue will provide a Venue Supervisor to assist with set up and coordination between your event and the venue, but having your own team with a vast knowledge of the schedule and needs of the event is crucial.

Firm Itinerary/Run of Show – small tweaks and running behind schedule are to be expected, but abrupt changes to speaker or performance schedules, set up times, and deliveries can impede the overall flow of the event and lead to frustration for all involved. I always recommend leaving buffer time for load-in & out to avoid any unforeseeable issues and scheduling breaks!

3. Now that we know the priority must-haves, who are the key people that should be in place?

The client will need to provide a point person for each element of the event, but we’ll take care of some of the staffing too. Some of the key people you’ll want to have in place:

  • Greeter/Registration (client – you) – FOH
  • Main Contact (client) – roaming & meeting place
  • Security (venue) – Doors and Exits
  • Venue Supervisor (venue) – roaming & meeting place
  • Technician (venue) – tech booth in event space
  • Venue Support Staff, if applicable (Venue) – set up & tear down support
  • Catering Lead, if applicable – Kitchen

4. What are the common hiccups you’ve seen from past events that organizations should avoid?

The most common hiccup is the key information of rules and procedures from the venue does not make it to all vendors or client contacts involved with the event.

Any surprise deliveries, or external vendors and sponsors setting up displays in the lobby, or event space that have not been pre-approved can lead to fines from building management and disruption of our shared tenant and member spaces. To avoid this, confirm as many details as possible in advance.

5. Finally, what’s another piece of advice you would provide an organization to ensure things run as smoothly as possible?

Come into the day with the understanding that things may not go exactly according to plan.

Events typically have many moving parts and some vendors and delivery schedules are outside of your complete control. All you can do is ensure your team is prepared by having a run of show, checking in regularly, and leaving loads of buffer time for the setup and tear down of the event (especially for set up!). However, with our skilled staff on hand, we help to minimize some of the unforeseen hiccups.

Thank you to Meagan, our Events Manager at Artscape for this behind the scenes insight.

Full article available on the Artscape Venues website here

Artscape Daniels Launchpad Launchpad Event Grant Call Flyer 2020*HERE’S AN EVENT IDEA: Consider having a hybrid event (in-person & online) that is a live streaming of an art show. The possibilities are endlessCLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW Or share this article with a friend/associate who is looking for an event space.

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    About the Author: Sarah Bobak

    Sarah is a content contributor for artsUNITE/UNITÉ des arts. She enjoys travelling, learning new languages and tossing a frisbee.

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