Production and Logistics
Following the hard work and preparation that has gone into organising your Community Games the focus now turns to ensuring a smooth set up during the critical last few days and hours.
An overall event site plan is useful to communicate the layout of any marquees, pitch markings and access routes etc for your event.
- What should be included in your plans?
- Who needs to see the plans?
An alternative option is to produce a hand-sketched site drawing site plan created from a photo image downloaded from website maps. Traditional measuring and marking out of a site is required in conjunction with producing plans. An example drawing such as this is detailed below:
Top tips: Site plans are extremely useful for suppliers and also volunteers during briefings
You may wish to hire equipment or contract in services. The following details will help you select and communicate with these companies.
- Who can I approach for equipment hire and supply?
- How much will it cost?
- Will contractors provide their own risk assessments?
- Can existing infrastructure be used?
Investigate contacts within your own network, or talk to the manager of your Community Games venue as they may be able to recommend trusted or preferred suppliers.
You will want to ensure the best possible deal from your contractor(s) considering price and terms. Consider also your contractors’ experience, health & safety policy, quality and standard of equipment and references and testimonials.
When requesting quotes for any equipment, be sure to provide the company with the following information:
- Event overview
- Dates and times
- Delivery details
- Equipment specification
You can also include a checklist of items you wish your contractor to include within the response i.e. risk assessments and copies of insurance certificates/licences.
Top tip: Obtain quotes from more than one supplier to compare costs.
If you are staging an outdoor event you might consider providing marquees for information points, participant registration, participant bases and general weather cover. It will be useful to understand the types of marquees available to hire and general considerations.
- What type and what size do I need?
- How do you secure a marquee to concrete or hard-standing ground?
- Do I need permission or licences for marquees?
A marquee contractor will be able to advise you on the type of marquee and size required calculating the required capacity or the activity.
An alternative option would be to consider purchasing gazebo type units which can be found at garden centres or large supermarkets. These will be cheaper than hiring in marquees as they are more lightweight, but generally not as hard wearing as pop-up marquee structures. When hiring equipment, always take into account the delivery costs that may be applicable.
Liaise closely with your venue contact to determine where your marquees will be located. Where possible, try to opt for grass areas but ensure permission is granted to secure marquees down with pins and stakes. Where stakes or pins are not permitted, or for structures located on a hard standing ground, weights are used to anchor the structure securely.
If you think it is appropriate, consider inviting the company to a site visit to discuss marquee positions, anchoring and delivery vehicle access.
Top tip: Consider the hardness of the ground if fixing marquees. You may need extra equipment such as a sledgehammer.
Audio-visual equipment and staging
Consider hiring a public address system (PA) and a small stage, particularly if you are organising an opening and closing ceremony or have a requirement to play music or stage cultural events/shows. PA systems are also useful to communicate messages and instructions to participants and members of the public.
Discuss your requirement with the venue managers as they might be able to provide you with contact details for recommended local or approved suppliers or, in some cases, may be able to provide equipment themselves.
- What equipment is required?
- What size stage is needed?
- Can someone help install or operate the equipment?
- Where will the electrical power come from to activate the equipment?
- Is insurance required?
- When will the equipment be tested?
An audio-visual contractor/supplier will be able to advise the type of system you require considering the audience size and number of microphones required. Audio-visual equipment may require an electrical supply and your contractor will advise, supply cabling and in some cases may be able to additionally supply a generator for outdoor events. You may only require a small PA system, ideal for court-side announcements or speeches, for which a self-powered speaker system is sufficient. The contractor should be able to provide this also.
Staging companies can advise what size stage you require, if they have all the relevant information, such as what activities will be taking place.
Top tip: If holding your event in a park, investigate if there is a natural area to act as a stage – such as an elevated area or a bandstand. This will save you money.
It is possible that you and your volunteers will be located across a large area on the day of the event – however you still need to ensure that you are able to communicate to everyone effectively. Communication is important, not just to run the events to time, but also in emergency situations.
Answering the following questions will help you create a useful and effective means of communication.
- Is the size of the venue large enough to warrant radio communication?
- Do we require two-way radios or are mobile phones sufficient?
- How do I contact the right person and how do they contact me?
- Who should be included in the communication plan?
If your Community Games venue is large, it may be advantageous to use two-way radios. The benefits are:
- Quick and easy to contact other people at other areas of the event site
- No cost attached to making calls
- Do not rely on mobile phone networks for coverage
- Simple to use
- Others using the same radio channel can hear and understand messages at the same time. There is no need to relay the messages
Simple to operate with a range of dedicated radio channels, you can allocate a radio to:
- Team leaders
- Key volunteers
- Competition officials
- Venue representative
- First Aid
Relying on mobile phones to keep in contact is an adequate alternative but do consider the frequency of calling, call costs and how busy a single main event mobile phone may become.
Publishing allocated radio channels or mobile telephone numbers, and ensuring all event staff receive a copy, is key to ensuring clear lines of communication. For example:
Team Leader 1 Ch 3 Event manager 0770 123456
First Aid Ch 4 Venue manager 0771 123456
Officials Ch 5 Car park 0772 123456
This schedule details every single movement and action on the event site from the moment that the event manager arrives at the venue, to the moment that they leave site at the end of the event and after all of the equipment has been cleared away.
The reason for the production schedule is so that copies can be printed and given to anyone helping to set up the event is able to know exactly what is happening and when. Details such as arrival times of suppliers making deliveries, volunteer arrival times and key event timings, such as opening ceremony and competition start times are examples of the type of detail that should be included.