Most people know that OTW Safety makes really awesome crowd control barricades, but we also support events and organizers through our event services division. We work behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly and safely.
Our approach is comprehensive, considering the needs and desires of event producers, participants, sponsors, attendees, and stakeholders. Our events team leader has over 20 years of experience planning and running festivals and events as large as the Utah Arts Festival, which draws over 80,000 people in 4 days! No matter the size of your event, we are able to walk you through all of the details from permits to insurance. Here’s an overview of the process:
Event Planning & Site Mapping
We take the long view when partnering with festivals and events. Not only do we provide barricades and custom signs, we also offer insight, logistical support, and marketing ideas to help expand your audience and increase your sponsorship revenue.
Planning for an event or festival often starts nine months or more in advance. In fact, we generally find ourselves starting to plan for the next year while the current event is still happening!
The plan’s foundation is always the site map. It sounds simple but initially you need an aerial view of the the site you’re working with and then a sketch of how that area will be enclosed. Not only does this establish how many barricades you’ll need, it also gives a clear understanding of the layout and how to create a good flow of foot traffic through the space.
When you’re building a house, you start with a drawing — the same thing goes for building an event. You need a site map! Once that’s in place, there are questions that need to be answered to establish the framework and add the supporting components, including:
- How many people are expected?
- Is alcohol being served and if so, where and how?
- Do VIP and bar areas need to be separated from other areas?
- Where are the entrances and exits?
- Will local police and fire departments be involved?
All these questions are important and the answers will have an effect on how the event is orchestrated and how many staff members are needed. Our team can guide these conversations beginning in the earliest stages so once the event date rolls around, everyone is on the same page and the separate components come together.
Venue Design & Facility Coordination
Once foundational plans are established and a site map is in place, designing the venue and making use of available resources becomes the focus. Our team works closely with event producers to ensure the design meets their logistical needs and promotes the best overall experience for the participants and attendees.
Designing an efficient space for operations while delivering an amazing experience for event-goers is really where our team shines. Some of our tactics include putting essentials like bathrooms, trash cans, recycling and first-aid tents in easily accessible places, creating bright signage for information booths, and preventing access to prohibited areas. When we’re working to establish a temporary space, we think about the components of a permanent space and we know we’ve succeeded when the infrastructure vanishes into the background.
Do you have the proper insurance for your event? There are many factors to account for and one size does not fit all. Insurance is a piece often neglected by organizers who are busy talking to sponsors and generating buzz. However, as with most things, it’s better to be prepared than to be caught off guard when something serious happens. Our team has experience recommending necessary coverage and we can steer you toward the right insurance.
Sponsorship Consulting & Management
Often, the biggest missed opportunity for festival producers is their ability to leverage their audience and drive sponsorship. Partnering with so many festivals and events over the years, we have learned how to attract opportunities to deliver the revenue needed to sustain a festival year after year.
To keep sponsors interested and coming back, unique opportunities need to be delivered to marketers. It’s important to know how best to promote and activate their businesses and products. We offer consulting and management services to shape cooperative sponsor relationships — from creating custom development strategies and negotiating contracts, to helping design activation areas and capture media content that marketers love.
Event Graphics & Signage
One of the features that sets OTW barricades apart from related products is the integrated display panel. Our barricades were designed with advertising in mind. The panel is recessed slightly and includes 4 bolt receptors on either side of the barricade. Signs are printed on heavy duty PVC and measure 36” wide by 28.5” inches tall. They adhere directly to the barricade with bolts and washers. These signs are a perfect size for sponsor logos. When we start working with a new festival or event, we review the sponsorship packages and recommend adding custom signs as another component.
Think about the amount of display space you would gain if you could advertise along the entire perimeter of your event.
If you happen to be utilizing 200 OTW barricades, you’ve got 1,425 square feet of available advertising space! You’d be surprised just how valuable that real estate is to sponsors.
Learn more about the Billboard Barricade
When you add custom signs to your event, you’ll be able to work with our in-house designers to gather all of your sponsor logos in the correct format and design any informational signs needed. Your signs will be printed on a high-end flatbed printer with attachment holes pre-drilled and hardware included.
We can also help with your other display graphics and branded collateral since we know the best printers and merchandising specialists around!
Logistics & Event Operations Infrastructure
When your event day comes, things have to be in place for your event to run smoothly. Water, ice, communication equipment, sound systems, trash bins, recycling services, toilets and first aid supplies are must-haves. We have fostered relationships with a variety of reliable service providers to get these items lined up and delivered to you at the right price.
When OTW manages the infrastructure and logistics, you can focus on your people!
Stake & Strike
When it’s finally time to stake the site, our team gets the event space ready for action. Following the site map, we place all the stages, toilets, barricades with sponsor signs, trash and recycling cans, tables, and set up food and beverage areas. During the event, we manage food and water stations for volunteers, ensure equipment works properly, and assist with coordinating event and security personnel. When the event closes, we strike all of the barricades and signs and coordinate pick-up with equipment providers. Watching an event come down can be a bit sad, but when the site is efficiently returned to its original state, happy memories are all that remain!
Operations Management & On-Site Security
Our on-site operations and security crew are there to make sure the venue stays clean, the bathrooms are easy to find, trash cans are accessible and never overflowing, first-aid stations are visible and staffed, waiting lines are not a security risk, and 21+ areas are safe, secure, and meeting requirements of state and local laws.
Safety and security at events and festivals has become an even higher priority for organizers in recent times. You want participants to be and feel safe and your liability to be minimal. We can help you understand best practices for on-site security, provide training for your team, and help you find appropriate security personnel.
We hope this has been a helpful introduction to the basics of event production and the supporting role that OTW can take in helping to plan and execute your event.