The cat’s out of the bag … lifting the lid on Event Essentials!!

firstaidkitLast week I was asked what goes into our standard event kit box….we take at least one or many boxes of stuff and the components of those boxes remain a closely guarded secret!  Well not really but to some it seems like magic when, for almost any situation, we have the materials to deal with it.  There are of course the usual things of gaffa tape and cable ties and extension leads and black sharpies but also a few surprises:

Bar tool – let’s avoid that moment when the client wants to open a bottle of beer or a bottle of wine and we have nothing to help and have to attempt to do it with our teeth…..aside from the damage to one’s teeth, it’s also inelegant and gives an impression of being unprepared.

Universal phone charger – it’s always your number that is on the supplier’s contracts or the event plan so being without it is an epic fail. And there is almost always someone else who needs to charge their phone, often the client!

Lip balm – when I am standing at the reception desk or on the radio or outside a lot, my lips get really sore and it not only looks horrible, it hurts quite a bit too! It’s really important to look after yourself on event, especially when you are working a lot of days back to back.

Personal hotspot – in today’s technological world, we need to be contactable via email, twitter, facebook and phone when we are onsite and not being able to get to emails can be incredibly frustrating when you need to print off the guest list or the parking permits or a sign that has been emailed over. So having a personal hotspot on your phone can be a lifesaver. Warning: it does hit your data allowance quite a bit!

Correx – this is corregated plastic board in case you didn’t know and it is invaluable for creating signs that look a bit more substantial than laminated paper which is then vital for getting the audience to where they need to be.

Dog – I wasn’t going to include our dog in the list but then I did an event last weekend where he was an essential part and I realised that his chilled out attitude keeps the rest us calm and he is great for barking at people you don’t want around!  Our dog is a Labrador and when it gets stressful in the office, he does something silly and the tension disappears or simply having him around means you need to get outside and get some fresh air.

Rigging kit – knife, pliers, marlin spike….a standard boat rigging kit that sits on your belt so it’s to hand.  It may not be top of the list but it’s surprising how often I use mine. It might be moving a bit of heras fencing or opening an exhibition delivery or taking signage down but definitely a useful bit of kit.

The reality is that it’s not just about the tangible resources to fix or solve problems, it’s about having the nouse to know how to use it or who to call in to help or actually when the obvious is not the solution at all and there is a more effective and elegant way to address the situation. So the last and final essential bit of my event kit is my brain.  No kit box will be sufficient if you are not present and engaged in what you are doing.  You need to be on it to make it all work so don’t leave your brain behind.  A perfect example is last weekend when an artist had left his contact lenses behind in London and needed replacements in order to perform. This is a nightmare – you can’t get contact lenses without a prescription; it was 5pm on a Saturday; his last eye appointment was March last year….but I know someone who knows someone who could call in a favour or two and he got us those contact lenses.  He even brought them to site and handed them over with 20 minutes to go before the artist went on.  Result!

Claire Eason Bassett, Managing Director, Mackerel Sky


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