In the first part of this article, See Event Support Part One, we started talking about supporting events, and how (unless proven otherwise) you cannot assume that the people who want to put on the event actually know what they are talking about when they communicate their needs.
Another important aspect of hosting events is to make sure your facility can support the event before committing.
Can your church facility support the event?
There are two aspects of this I feel is important to cover:
The first is that it's important to have the technical production leadership, as well as the facilities leadership review the needs of the event, and not merely the department head. If And, you are considering hosting a professional event, such as a concert tour or speaker who does this sort of thing often, they will have a "rider".
The rider is a list of demands and/or requests, ranging from hospitality expectations to technical needs for the performance. This will include power requirements for the tour's equipment, and safety information such as how much weight the ceiling or floor can support.
Ignoring these can put the performers, support staff and attendees at serious risk.
At the church I worked at, a rider for a major Christian tour we were hosting was approved by management without the technical director or facilities director ever seeing it.
The rider specified that a stage disconnect (a way for a tour to connect into a large source of AC power) must be available.
It turned out that in the original plans for the church's auditorium a stage disconnect was to be part of the facility, however, it was cut during construction for cost-savings reasons.
The manager involved was either unaware that it was cut or had forgotten. Because the contract was already signed, the church had to quickly install the stage disconnect before the concert, which was a considerable and unplanned expense, all because the rider was not allowed to be reviewed by those who had the information to evaluate it properly.
Second, it's important to consider how an event will affect other aspects of the church's staff, volunteer, and ministry.
Who is going to prep the facility for the event?
Who is going to clean up after the event? What sort of security might be needed before, during, and after the event? Will food need to be provided for any visiting performers/speakers? Housing? Transportation? If staff is going to invest a significant amount of time into the event, how will that affect the weekly ministry of the church?
Events can be great things to host, but often churches significantly underestimate the amount of work or financial investment that will be needed. Careful pre-planning can help ensure that your event runs smoothly and reduces the chances of unexpected surprises.