Powering Events – 8 Tips For Savvy Event Managers

What’s a facility manager to do?

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 or read about it in more detail below…

‘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


Tip 1

Firstly, what do you need to power? This dictates the entire event power set up. Remember to let your supplier know what types of plugs your equipment has – single phase (like the ones at home) or three-phase (they look like giant plugs with 5 pins)

Tip 2

Secondly, 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 3

Third is installation timing. If you can avoid after-hours and peak traffic times you can save some serious money.

Tip 4

Next, consider the event layout. Give your event power supplier a site plan, including vegetation. If you need generators then 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

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

Power costs – obviously 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 be serviced.

Tip 7

If your event requires refrigeration units then don’t forget to factor in overnight power. Switch to mains power overnight if possible, if not, look at tip 6 for other considerations.

Tip 8

Finally, don’t forget looks. 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.

About Active Air Rentals

Active Air Rentals is Australia’s leading sustainable temporary power and air conditioning rental company. Some of our biggest event clients include The Australian Open, Masterchef, Taste Of Sydney, Taste Of Melbourne and more.

Founded in 1972 by Managing Director, Jim Sweeny, Active Air Rentals has grown from humble beginnings as air conditioner installers and sheet metal manufacturers, to an all round national cooling, heating and power rental company.

Today we are a multi-faceted business with four branches, two distribution centres and employing over forty permanent staff across Australia.

Active Air Rentals is renowned for providing outstanding service, excellent customer relationships and addressing difficult, unusual or specialised projects.

Active Air Rentals has over 40 years experience installing temporary air conditioning into every conceivable location. From crane towers to coal mines, from war ships to entire inner city villages, from emergency civil defence camps to enormous events such as the Australian Open and thousands of offices and server rooms along the way.

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