Now we have hit the main festival season, (and were blessed with a dry Glastonbury!) we take a moment to look at the less glamorous aspect of events – ensuring organisers have the right help when they need it. Whatever the event, be it in a muddy dry field on Pilton Farm, a hotel in central London or a conference hall in San Francisco, having the appropriate levels of technology support is critical to success.

Identify your critical elements

What is going to have the largest effect to your event if it fails? This sounds like a simple question and one that typically forms part of a risk assessment, however sometimes things get missed. Nothing happens without power (in most cases!) but if the internet connection drops can you continue to process bar transactions? Or scan tickets? Or monitor crowds through the CCTV system?

The Thinker

Confirm support expectations

With a plan including critical elements in hand, how easy is failure to work around? If nothing can be done then make sure you have a clear agreement about getting help if you need it. Weekend or out of hours suppliers can be expensive at the last minute. Can one of your team be trained to fix a basic problem? Can you get onsite or standby support?

Document and prepare a plan B

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail”. If the worse happens what can be done? What could be lined up as a backup plan? Can you revert to a manual system and if so can that be prepared in advance? Running through failure scenarios gives you an option if the worst happens and means if it happens then the plan can be activated whilst others work on fixing the main issue.

The world of support isn’t glamorous and one of thousands to be considered when planning and executing an event but when things go wrong it can save a lot of stress and potential pain.