Monday, February 6, 2012

The Art of Loading In

Many people don’t realize that most of our work on events is done way before the party begins.

It’s easy to conjure up the ultimate fantasy for an event, but if you can’t fit it through the door, we have problems. How do you park your truck on an uber busy NYC street in the middle of the day without getting a zillion tickets or even worse, a tow? Parking Permits, are like a gift from heaven, but they ain’t free. Its like playing tug of war with the city to obtain these golden gates to the parking world, but it’s real gratifying once you get them and they are essential to almost any event in a busy city.

We have written about how to choose the perfect venue for your event in the past, but lets talk about how to load into that venue without having to lose the elements that are important to your big day.

As I am writing this, my team is loading into an empty retail site located in SoHo. This space has seen better days and we need to make it look Mac Daddy within three days in time for an opening VIP reception. The floors look like a rat family did a “dance off” in there, so we are going the carpet route to create some warmth and sound buffering to the space while covering up its imperfections.

How do you get three thousand square feet worth of carpet into a space through a 6-foot wide doorway? You roll it, cut it and bind it all within the space onsite.

Many folks don’t realize that most of our work is onsite. We have a fab studio in the Fashion District for our East Coast office, but often most of our work is done everywhere else but there!

How do you build 14-foot walls when once again you have only 6-feet to get them delivered into the space? Easy, we build our walls in 4x8 panels and steam seal them on site. Our toolbox is always flowing with plenty of gaffing tape, spackle, touch up paint, steamers and box cutters. How do those walls stand up without toppling over on some unsuspecting guest? SAND BAGS!

Huge floral arrangements are such a great accent to any event, but do you really think they would survive a bumpy delivery process across streets filled with pot holes? Most often not... We do a lot of our large floral pieces on site as well. We can easily create smaller floral pieces in our studio and pack them accordingly for an event, but if any piece exceeds two feet most likely we are jamming these puppies out at the venue.

We also have a large drop cloth budget around here!! Coming into a venue and making a huge mess of it, is not desirable amongst our colleagues for sure!

We are also sure to travel with a massive amount of industrial size garbage cans and contractor strength garbage bags. What about recycling? Well, we all love our planet, so we also pack clear recycling bags just for kicks in hopes that the venue pays attention to this sort of stuff.

How about that cool ceiling installation of shining votives or fabric to soften up the industrial corners of a venue space? How do you achieve that if you only have an hour to set up for the event? We go the graph route! My team creates a great rigging system created out of fishing or spool wire—whichever disappears to the average eye. We quickly create our own ceiling that is strong enough to hold whatever we would like to hang and situate it in the areas we want to concentrate on. Watch out for those sprinkler pipes, that is a “no! no!”

What I am saying here, is don’t be surprised if you need to rent your venue for more than the day of your event. A lot of your production may have to be achieved on site and your team will need the extra time in order to rock out a perfect experience.

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