SoCal Tents & Events LLC, South El Monte, Calif., is no stranger to large-scale productions and big-name events. Established in 2007, the company was acquired by PRO EM National Event Services in 2017 and does business as URS (Universal Resource Supply) nationally. Along with its California clientele, SoCal Tents & Events’ reach stretches across the country with recent event partners that include U.S. Open Tennis, NASCAR, the United States Golf Association (USGA), the Oscars and the Oprah Winfrey tour.
In February 2020, PRO EM’s Southern California-based branch, SoCal Tents & Events, found itself tasked with a unique and challenging project that would be one for the history books: tenting and setup for the 2020 United States vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence of Indiana and Senator Kamala Harris of California.
The event was held at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Oct. 7. SoCal Tents & Events was awarded the contract on Feb. 14 and had its first on-site meeting on March 17 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Judy Garcia, SoCal Tents & Events vice president, “There were many changes, many Zoom meetings and things were very touch and go because of the pandemic.”
SoCal Tents & Events provided small canopies for walkways as well as working tents throughout the college. The most challenging part of the project included two 20-by-15-meter multi-level tents atop three levels of deck built by Rock City Staging, North Little Rock, Ark. The tents were used by media and cameras facing Kingsbury Hall where the debates would be held. The tallest part of the stage was more than 20 feet tall and the installation required an 80-ton crane on site.
The tenting and setup on campus at the University of Utah took three and a half days. “This particular job could not have been accomplished without our entire SoCal team,” says Garcia. “The client was satisfied and was very happy that we could pivot and make any changes necessary because of the pandemic.”
By the numbers
- Two 20-by-15-meter multi-level tents
- Multiple canopies, walkways and working tents
- One 80-ton crane
- 3 ½ days for installation