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High-profile fundraiser requires “presidential” details

Event Production, Project Briefs | August 1, 2013 | By:

A fundraiser with a former president requires a flawless tented installation.

A Very Important Person, a high-profile fundraiser, and a valued client all add up to a tented event that must be carried out at the highest professional level—without a hitch.

“The client knew that EventQuip has never let them down in the past, and was confident that we were the right company to ensure that their venue would meet the expectations of the event planners, coordinators and guests,” says Carrie Bloesch of EventQuip, Lansdale, Pa.

The VIP was former president George W. Bush, and the fundraiser was the 10th anniversary celebration of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, which provides youth with educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. Held in conjunction with the 113th U.S. Open golf championship, the event brought 500 guests to a nearby conference center.

“They made it clear that they wanted to look good, and we always make our clients look good,” says Ed Knight, EventQuip owner.
For the main tent, EventQuip installed a 25-by-35-meter Losberger P-3 profile structure with two sets of doors. Other tenting included:

  • Catering: a 20-by-70-foot Aztec frame tent with white top
  • Registration: a 9-by-6-meter Losberger P-7 profile structure with white sidewall
  • Green room: a 20-by-20-foot Aztec frame tent with white sidewall
  • Walkways: a total of 340 feet of 9-feet wide Aztec gable-end frame tents with sidewall

The main structure was located over a double tennis court, which could have easily been damaged by installation equipment.

“EventQuip used Sur-Loc flooring to cover the entire footprint of the tent,” Bloesch says. “Serving as the event floor, it also provided protection to the courts during installation. We also used our pneumatic-tired Moffett loaders instead of traditional forklifts to move our equipment on-site. Equipped with special turf tires, these machines minimized the impact of tire tracks on the site.” Black turf-type carpet was laid over the flooring.

The EventQuip crew was afforded three days for installation, but they did it in two, with only one hiccup along the way. Secret Service required opaque sidewalls on the long walkway so that no one would know when the president had left one tent and entered another. The sidewall, however, was left off during the install so that vendors wouldn’t have to walk all the way around the walkway to get in and out of the other structures. A “well-meaning” individual noticed the bagged sidewalls sitting around and returned them to the EventQuip truck, and they were mistakenly returned to the EventQuip warehouse 20 minutes away, Knight says.

Shortly before the event start, Knight received a call asking about when the sidewall would go up, and the situation came to light.

“I called the office and said, ‘I need this much sidewall immediately and I need enough people so we can hang it in about 15 minutes,’” Knight says. “So it was probably not the most efficient thing we did, but we recovered quickly and were done ahead of schedule.”

Meet client expectations they did—and the event exceeded its fundraising goal as well.

“We made the general manager and the place that held the event look good,” Knight says. “It all went incredibly well, and they were super happy.”

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