Powering Events

8 Tips For Savvy Event Managers

“The Active Air team are always willing to come up with a solution whenever we present a challenge. They are so responsive to our needs.”

Luke Cuthbertson
Project Manager, Chameleon Touring

Event managers have so much on their minds that it’s often easy to let the more mundane but necessary things, such as powering the event, slip to the bottom of their to-do list. It’s also sufficiently complicated that less-than-honest suppliers can bamboozle even the savviest event organiser.

Dom Cook, Senior Electrician for Active Air Rentals outlines the top 8 tips every event manager needs to know about powering their events.

Check out the infographic above or read about it in more detail below…


Tip #1 – Make a list of what needs power

Think about what needs to be powered for your event; this dictates the entire event power set up. Remember to let your supplier know what types of plugs your equipment has, i.e., single phase (like the ones at home) or three-phase (they look like giant plugs with 5 pins).


Tip #2 – Save money by scheduling installation at the right time

Where possible, avoid after-hours and peak traffic times when scheduling in installation. And make sure to work with your supplier to determine the exact bump-in / bump-out schedule, to keep costs to a minimum.


Tip #3 – Consider what power is already onsite

What power is already onsite? Does the event location have mains power? If so, does it have single phase or three-phase power? This helps your supplier specify the correct power distribution equipment.


Tip 4 – Give your supplier a detailed site plan

Next, consider the event layout. Give your event power supplier a site plan, which includes details such as vegetation. If you need generators, they should be placed well away from trees (their exhaust can damage them) and on TrakMats to protect the ground. They also need to be placed so as to minimise crowd flow and noise disruptions.


Tip 5 – Beware of cable hazards

Cable runs from the power source to the end points can cause two serious problems:

  • Black outs – when power travels over distance it experiences ‘voltage drop’; essentially the loss of power. To avoid power black outs your supplier will need to calculate the power requirements and distances very carefully.
  • Trip hazards – will there be thousands of people at your event walking all over the power cables? If so, the cables will need to be strung above the crowd. If not, then they may be laid on the ground and protected by cable covers.


Tip 6 – Allow for power usage costs

The longer you use power the more it will cost. If you’re using generators, then allow for the equipment hire as well as fuel consumption, refuelling, and servicing. Generators used for more than 250 hours (around 10 days) must also be serviced.


Tip 7 – Don’t forget overnight power requirements

If your event requires refrigeration units, then don’t forget to factor in overnight power. Switch to mains power overnight if possible.


Tip 8 – Looks matter

You only get one chance to make a great first impression at an event. Cables and generators should not be in obvious view. It is extremely important that your supplier understands this and designs your power distribution accordingly.

“The Active Air Event Power team are very professional and accommodating. Nothing is a problem and they go above and beyond what is required. They always make sure it all runs smoothly.”

Kain Jones
Special Project Manager, TDC

Do you need power for your next event?

Time To Get Active.