Logistics for National Circuit Shows Guest Author: Laurie Paetz. Power Sport Services.

“Life is a Highway” (Tom Cochrane)

Having a circuit of shows held over an eight week time period, in 6 different cities across Canada means that planning from A-Z and everything in between is necessary.

Here are three helpful tips for success when you have multiple events in multiple cities:

1. “You’re Simply the Best” (Tina Turner)

Working with the Best Suppliers is key, in fact it is vital for any successful event.

No matter how simple or complex your event might be, ensuring that you are working with professional service providers makes all the difference.

How to find the best suppliers for your event or show? Research any new supplier that you might want to work with, ask for references, ask other show companies that have worked with the supplier for their experience. Always ensure that all suppliers are certified, experienced and insured. They may charge a bit more, but it’s not worth the risk to your event to work with uncertified or inexperienced suppliers.

Can a supplier provide more than one service that your show requires ie: decorating, material handling, transportation, pre/post event storage or tenting requirements, it may ease the overall logistics by having one supplier and possibly save on the operating costs.

Other things to keep in mind; does the supplier employ year round employees or hire temporary workers, are they non-union or unionized, are they exclusive or preferred suppliers in the venues your events are in. Keep in mind what will and will not work for your event/show needs and your venue requirements.

Once you have an established working relationship and are comfortable, is your supplier able to provide multi-year agreements? Multi-year agreements can be an advantage for both the event organizer and supplier as cost increases can be negotiated, and both parties can budget accordingly each year.

Most importantly, having confidence in your suppliers will allow for the staff to focus on other aspects of the event or show.

2. “With a Little Help from my Friends” (The Beatles)

“There is no “I” in team” is a popular mantra for organizations and for good reason.

As mentioned above, working with suppliers is extremely important as they become part of the team of people working towards the overall success of your event.

External: companies such as; decorators, material handling companies, transport companies, media partners, creative agencies, PR agencies, display houses, ticketing companies, security companies and ultimately the venues and their staff are all part of the pieces necessary to come together for a finished puzzle or “masterpiece”.

Internal: Working long hours for multiple weeks in a row in a compressed show season, means having a good working relationship with colleagues is fairly important, that and a good sense of humour!

The most important element that connects the entire “Team” together is Communication.

Ensuring that everybody has all the correct information in a timely manner means that everyone is on the same page and all are working collectively together for the same end goal: a successful Show/Event!

3. “The Show must go on” (Queen)

Plans were set and reviewed over and over again, yet things can still go sideways and ultimately impact your show.

Inclement weather, highway closures, transport trucks breaking down or getting into an accident, goods not getting approved to cross the US/Canada border, last minute cancellations by exhibitors, feature celebrities falling ill/getting hurt and not able to attend, power outages, technical issues, public protests, union strikes, someone leaves the organization just before the event and so on.

Any one of the above listed setbacks can have a negative effect on the event, unless you have a thought out Crisis Plan in place. This is a working document that incorporates the Venue’s crisis plan and is shared with the internal team and any necessary external team members.

The ability to quickly come up with solutions to adapt to any challenges or changes that may occur is also an asset!

“Livin on a Prayer” (Bon Jovi)

To sum it all up, the things to take into consideration for planning multiple events or shows in multiple locations or cities in a short time span……Plan, Plan, Plan and use the four C principles:

  1. Contract with the best Suppliers
  2. Collaborate
  3. Communicate with both the internal and external “team”
  4. Crisis Plan for any scenario that may come along

And the most important thing is to enjoy the ride and turn up the tunes!

Superior Show Service is proud to be the official event supplier for the Vancouver Motorcycle Show. We thank Show Manager Laurie Paetz, of Power Sport Services, for being our guest author of 3 key messages on Logistics for National Circuit Shows. Laurie works on the Motorcycle Shows in Western Canada.

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Photos provided by Power Sport Services

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