Managing Event Risk


The following is a guide of good practices to ensure a successful event. If at any point in time you have any questions about these methods, please do not hesitate to call one of our event consultants.


Several methods exist to reduce the risk of set-up errors, equipment failure, or a change in event conditions. These items include proper planning, completing set-ups during vendor business hours, providing safety time before the event, duplicating critical equipment where a single point failure would stop the event, adding professional service to tend the equipment, and placing a contingency order.


It is an age-old concept that may not get the respect it deserves today, but good management is key to event success. Management starts with determining the event strategy, followed by design, communication, and logistics. Event strategy will be developed based upon the client’s purpose, program, guests, and budget. This leads to the determination of venue, presentation method, food service, and more. Once the strategy is in place, appointing an event manager gives the event team a central point of contact, enhances communication, and speeds up decision-making. And while some do-it-yourselfers have the ability to get this job done, the experience is a major factor in avoiding pitfalls in the multi-tasked, time-sensitive nature of event production. The ideal event manager will have the ability to visualize the end product, have a blend of event planning, catering, and rental experience, good verbal and written communication skills, determination, and a commitment to lead others toward success.

Plan, Plan, Plan

We cannot stress enough the importance of good planning.  In particular, several areas need to be addressed to ensure the functionality of the event.  First is the layout or physical plan, second is the lighting plan, third is the environmental control plan, next is the power plan, and last is a schedule.  Not all events will need detailed plans for each segment.

  • Layout Plan
    The layout is driven by guest count and the activities being planned for the event space.  The layout ensures that everything needed for the event can fit in the event space.  Also, a good set-up plan communicates to the set-up crew the proper placement of the equipment.  Interior plans need to identify where each table, bar, buffet, stage, dance floor, or other significant item is located on the event site. Exterior plans need to identify site features such as entrances, trees and fountains, tents, walkways, restrooms, and parking areas.
  • Lighting Plan
    A good lighting plan starts with a layout drawing. In short, the locations and number of lights need to be planned for the event.  Lighting plans take in multiple design choices and these are presented in more detail in our Lighting & Décor brochure.
  • Environmental Control Plan
    Depending on the size of the event and time of year, this can range from no equipment to an air conditioning or heating plant requiring its own separate generator power.  Your event consultant will walk you through this part of the event plan.
  • Power Plan
    Once the previous plans have been established, the current draw for each piece of electrical equipment needs to be identified and grouped in circuits.  One of the most common causes for failure of equipment in the field is due to loading too much electrical equipment on a circuit and causing a power breaker to trip.
  • Production Schedule
    The last critical element is set-up and strikes schedule. This will become one of the most useful documents in the planning and production process. Elements of this plan must consider the time available, access to loading docks, and obtainable manpower.  With multiple vendors and large events, sufficient time and manpower must be given to complete the set-up, while the job tasks need to be sequenced in a specific order. If time is constricted, the labor for the event must be sized to get the job done in time.

Safety Time & Set-up Verification

The first line of defense is to insert a time buffer into your schedule, and provide the proper resources to check-in and test your equipment during Special Event Rentals’ business hours. This practice allows the necessary time to respond to your needs without additional rental costs.

Duplicated Equipment

If a piece of equipment is so critical to the event that a single-point failure would ruin the event, the best method to ensure performance is to duplicate those equipment items. Most often, this is done with generators so that if one generator fails, a back-up takes its place without interrupting the event.

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