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Communication helps tented event run smoothly

December 1st, 2007 / By: / Project Briefs

Keeping communication lines open helps Creative Events & Rentals throw a stellar last-minute bash.

In September, Creative Events & Rentals pulled off a public event on Sanibel Island in Florida, despite having only a couple of months’ worth of planning time. A huge construction project had just finished, creating a brand-new causeway between Sanibel Island and Ft. Myers, and Lee County officials wanted to mark the road’s opening with a proper celebration. Creative Events does most of the public events in the county, so getting the job was no big surprise to president George Ghanem. But managing the timing and execution of the event did involve a little finesse.

Key challenges

The sands of Sanibel. The unique fill island has a soft ground that requires extra staking, and the ground cannot be disturbed by heavy machinery. The team also had to protect the island’s ecological balance.

Ghanem’s team used a special machine to avoid disrupting the sand, as well as a Bobcat to lift the center pole, and the installers generally took extra care to be environmentally sensitive. Each line and strap was staked multiple times to ensure stability in the sand.

Tight timelines. Due to fluctuating construction deadlines, the causeway’s opening celebration couldn’t be booked more than a couple of months out. At the last minute, logistics like a certificate of occupancy and an essential tollbooth threatened to derail the event. Up until 24 hours beforehand, the team didn’t know for sure whether the event would take place as scheduled.

The team simply had to be prepared for a change in the event’s date. Communication during the planning stages helped guarantee a smooth-running event. “What we’ve learned—what we keep on stressing—is communication with our clients,” Ghanem says. “It really guarantees success.” Clients should be kept in the loop from pre-planning to execution. Outlining everything in writing is essential. “The larger the event, the more things that can go unnoticed or slip through the cracks. We’ve avoided that by putting everything in writing, including updated load lists and plans.”

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