When our client the British Fashion Council (BFC) announced that the 62nd edition of London Fashion Week (LFW), a global highlight on the international fashion calendar, is moving to Brewer Street Car Park in the heart of Soho, it hit home how incredibly varied the venues we work in are. Also, how all present unique and exciting challenges.
The reality is event organisers are on a mission to stage events in increasingly unique and imaginative locations. The challenge for service providers is delivering a consistent and high standard of service regardless of environment and location.
We were delighted when the BFC confirmed the move. Brewer Street Car Park is an iconic art deco building that is fast becoming one of Soho’s most dynamic creative spaces. Event Advantage Solutions (EAS) are best placed to deliver this for LFW, as our technology is totally flexible, its compact yet reliable, and can be run on line and off line if required.
We have plenty of experience in working within conference and expo venues but really enjoy, working in venues that offer a challenge. A straw poll among fellow event service suppliers has revealed we are not alone. Creating innovative events within unique spaces is the very essence of our industry and being part of the team that delivers those events is exciting and satisfying.
Over the years client events have taken us to deserts, fields, museums, listed buildings, boats, piers and now a car park. We are more than up for the challenge and relish the opportunity to create and deliver cost effective and efficient solutions.
Essentially these venues are often a blank canvas. Where facilities and services you take for granted in expo venues are non-existent, key considerations need to include:
- Internet access – systems are live 24/7 so uninterrupted online connectivity is an absolute priority.
- Power – consider all our power needs, not just to run the registration area but all the facilities at front of house as well.
- Managing the traffic flow into registration and the event – preventing un-authorised visitors from entering the event is one aspect. Actually ensuring your authorised visitors enjoy easy access and are guided into the event efficiently is another.
- Multiple registration areas – by their nature events in unusual venues are disparate with several registration areas in the main venue and offsite in other venues. This presents a challenge when ensuring that all the data syncs within the system.
- Forward planning and close and regular communication with the client event organiser is standard practice for most but when it comes to unusual or challenging venues then this activity needs to be stepped up. Being prepared for every eventuality and contingency planning are the keys to this process.
The same applies to site visits. As a company we are very familiar with the major expo and conference venues we regularly work in, as I’m sure many service suppliers are. Site visits are non negotiable and extremely valuable in the planning stages of an event being held in a non-purpose built venue. Sourcing the right suppliers and partners to assist in unusual venues is a challenge in itself too. It’s important to ensure the company you are looking to appoint or partner with has the relevant experience and expertise necessary to handle the needs of the project and venue space.
London Fashion Week takes place from 18 to 22 September 2015. The provisional schedule will be announced w/c 20 July 2015.
Guest post by Peder Berg, managing director of Event Advantage Solutions.
Leading international event accreditation and registration company, with a focus on anticipating clients’ needs and harnessing tech for events.
What do you think #eventprofs? What are your experiences with unusual or challenging venues? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts, or tweet us at @weblogevents.