For an event dubbed the “party of the century” in downtown Columbus, Ohio, the Columbus Metropolitan Library hired Lasting Impressions Event Rental to put up a clearspan and fill the tent with all those extra special details. Lasting Impressions considers itself a one-stop shop, so making the event special would not be a problem. Doing the entire setup in two days, however, required a little extra planning.
The client needed enough space to house a 500-person dinner, with a large stage, a dance floor and more than one bar. “Within the footprint of the tent, we had to deal with four light posts that were 13 feet tall, a 16-foot-tall fountain and two large hedgerows with flower beds that could not be disturbed,” says general manager Ted Repasky. When Lasting Impressions visited the site on an initial sales call, the company stood out from the other bidders by offering to place tents over the natural layout to create one continuous space. “We were very enthusiastic and confident about what could be done at this site,” Repasky says. The offer, along with an established relationship with the client, helped cinch the deal for Lasting Impressions.
The plans were set for Lasting Impressions to provide a 25-by-45-meter (82-by-148-foot) clear-top, clearspan structure, along with clear frame tents for walkways. “We had several months’ advance notice that we would be working on ‘the party of the century,’ but final decisions were not made until two weeks out from the event date,” says Repasky, “and we had only two days to install the structures, flooring, carpet and everything in between.” As the date for the install crept closer, the client decided the event needed something more.
“The biggest issue to tackle came a week before the install,” Repasky says. “The client wanted to add space to the tent, and we were all booked up in both clearspan and flooring, as we had two other similar events occurring in Cleveland at the same time.” Lasting Impressions had to ask its suppliers for some special favors. “The team over at Anchor Industries was great in getting the extra tops made for us at a moment’s notice,” he says, “and Granite Industries trucked in stage decks from Houston to meet our deadline.” Repasky says that having the ability to ask so much of your suppliers is crucial. “It is imperative to have good relationships with suppliers who understand this industry and the short lead times that it often requires. We couldn’t accommodate our clients without someone meeting our needs as well.”
As the new materials arrived and were eventually placed on site, the somewhat difficult installation began. First, the site’s location in downtown Columbus made it challenging to truck and load in the equipment. In addition, Repasky says, “The clearspan could not be built in the conventional manner. The arch assemblies on the ends were the only ones that could be built in standard format. All other trusses had to be assembled up to 150 feet away, lifted by one of our large forklifts and ‘flown’ into place.” This careful construction helped the team at Lasting Impressions avoid all the obstacles on the site. For anchoring, the team staked into the ground and also bolted some tent frames directly to the concrete.
“Due to the small installation window, we had to have about 14 guys on site,” he says. The crew tackled the installation of the tents, flooring and carpet, while the company’s equipment division delivered the other event items. The event team included an event planner and a florist, people whom Lasting Impressions has worked with closely for many years. “We feel that building and maintaining relationships with event professionals such as florists, event planners, lighting companies, design firms and caterers is essential to being successful in the event business,” Repasky says. “Our goal is to make our clients look good. We do just that.”