1- Find the right venue
As we all know location is everything! Make sure you find a venue that is not only in the right location but is also the right size for your crowd.
2- Make a production schedule/timeline
The best way to stay on schedule and keep your vendors in synch is to produce a production schedule and run of show. Don’t forget to leave some time in your schedule for the unexpected: traffic, mechanical failure, lateness. Your success relies on layers of activity. Leave enough time to have delays.
3- Schedule your vendors to finish setting up at least 1 hour before your event
It is important to give yourself some time to do finishing touches and breathe before guests arrive. If your show ready time is right before doors, you might not have an opportunity to fix or prevent problem areas, welcome early arriving guests or get a photo of your work!
4- Create a contact sheet with key vendors and players.
It’s a best practice to gather contact information for your team and vendors onto a one page contact sheet (paper or digital). Be sure it’s at your fingertips and be sure to distribute the information to other key players.
5- Plan for truck offloading.
Check to see if your venue has a loading dock area. If they don’t, make sure you have a designated area for your vendor trucks to off load.
6- Avoid congestion between vendors.
Try to schedule vendors at different times as to avoid congestion in the loading dock for load in and load out. It will make the setup process much smoother.
7- Don’t forget about load out.
What goes up must come down. While strike and load out are must faster than set up, it’s important to allow enough time for all your vendors to access their equipment and your layers are considered in reverse.
8- Check for obstacles for setup
If your event is on a second floor, on grass or has tight access to get to make sure your vendors are aware so they can plan accordingly.
9- Prepare for rain but hope for the best
Scrambling at the last minute is inevitable but if you can avoid as much scrambling as possible it will make you less stressed. Make sure you have a backup plan in place a head of time.
WRITTEN BY: LAURA GORSKI