As the planning for your event evolves, your site layout or site plan will start to take shape. Your site plan will visually show (to scale) the general layout of your event and should include the following:

  • Entry and exit points
  • Parking (onsite and offsite options)
  • Main attractions (stages, stalls, food etc.)
  • Amenities such as toilets, ATM’s, first aid etc.

The following information will provide important considerations to help you plan your site layout, which will also help you manage the event effectively on the day

Temporary Infrastructure

This includes any infrastructure that is erected onsite for the purposes of the event such as marquees and staging.

You will need to ensure that infrastructure complies with the relevant Australian/New Zealand Standards and that it is erected and secured appropriately. You should seek permission from the landowner prior to erecting temporary infrastructure and where necessary use a professional to do so.

Make sure when planning your site layout that you allow adequate access for temporary infrastructure to be installed (including vehicle movements), look at proximity to services (for instance locating cool rooms near power sources), and also consider the length of time it will take to install and dismantle, as this will affect your hire period of the site or venue.

Make sure you consider underground services, a lot of temporary infrastructure will need to be secured with pegs and where pegs are to be inserted into the ground at a reasonable depth information should be sought with regards to the placement and depth of underground services such as water, power, communications, and gas. The owners of these assets should be able to provide this information or contact ‘Dial before you Dig’ on 1100.

Attractions

It is a good idea to treat the main attractions and high demand areas of your event as anchor points to help disperse the crowd throughout the entire event site. For example, if you anticipate the food and bars to be popular areas, it is likely the toilets will be in high demand, so don’t place them next to each other. Apart from hygienic reasons, you will successfully balance the crowd across your event site by having busy areas spread apart.

Also consider your program of events, and where they will take place, if you have multiple stages or presentation areas, be sure to plan your site with adequate space between these areas to prevent noise cross over, and again it will help with crowd management.

Egress

Make sure when planning your site layout that you allow adequate egress in and between areas (for example the space between stall holders), and particularly to and from entry and exit points, and any emergency access points.

A minimum width of 3m should apply to any egress path.  This will allow comfortable space for event visitors to flow through areas, and if required, an emergency vehicle can drive through this space.

Signage

Signage is important factor in creating strong links between your marketing campaigns and your event activation on the day. It is also an easy way to deliver value to your sponsor with logo and brand recognition.

Once your site plan has been established it is good practice to also create a signage plan that can overlay your site plan. Try and imagine walking the event site as if you were visiting it for the first time, starting from the entrance and needing to navigate to various areas of the event – this will help you determine what sort of directional signage may be required.

Clear and strategically placed signage will assist in coordinating both traffic and pedestrian movements in and around the event site. Below are some common signage points to consider:

  • Parking/no parking areas
  • Main entrance / welcome
  • Exits including emergency exits
  • Conditions of entry
  • Toilets
  • First aid
  • Lost children
  • Accessible facilities, including entry/exit points
  • Meeting points
  • Sale of alcohol
  • Information points

If you are placing temporary advertising signs for the event on public land like footpaths, parks, and road verges, you will need Council approval and for signage on private land you must obtain the approval of the land owner.

Power

Your initial venue selection process will have evaluated power availability on the site. In some cases you may need to hire in additional generators to supplement power, and almost always you will need to run power leads from power sources to vendors, stalls and stages.

In many cases power surges are caused by vendor equipment. It’s a good idea to have your vendors complete a Power Usage Form and inspect vendor’s usage on the day to ensure they are complying.

All leads should be tested and tagged, and either suspended at least 2.4 metres above the ground, or appropriately secured and covered to ensure they do not pose a trip hazard to patrons. It’s a good idea to have an electrician on board to assist with your electrical needs.

Lighting

Lighting will need to be considered if your event runs into the evening or if the bump in and bump out is taking place early in the morning or at night.

For your event visitor’s safety, sufficient lighting will need to be implemented where entries, exits and corridors are not sufficiently lit.

Furthermore your Risk Assessment should address the possibility of a power outage and the measures put in place to safely manage the egress of patrons in the case of this such as generators, torches and public address systems.

Placement of lights on site will also need to consider the impacts on nearby residents and amenities.

Bump-In / Bump-Out

During the event Bump-In and Bump-Out (the period where your event is setting up and packing up), the site is considered to be a ‘Worksite’. Therefore visitors to your event should not be permitted to enter or remain on the site until the Set-Up and Pack-Up has been completed. All third parties including vendors and contractors should be made aware of this.

It is helpful to allocate designated times for certain suppliers to set up. A coordinated approach to setting up infrastructure followed by vendors and smaller suppliers will help ease congestion on your event site, and minimise the risk of incident with moving vehicles and people.

At times it can be difficult to distinguish the difference between your event visitors and suppliers and vendors etc. To help safely manage the Bump In and Bump Out of your event, consider allocating all staff, and suppliers working on site a hi-vis safety vest to wear during these periods.