By Jim Davey, Managing Director of Redwood Event Solutions

The summer’s event season is fully underway, and Team Redwood is already five events deep in to what is set to be a busy and exciting year. When you’ve got a back to back calendar of events running one weekend after the other, the beginning of the summer can feel like you’re at the starting line of a marathon, and like all endurance tests, planning and timing is key to success.

At the beginning of the summer, like at the beginning of a race, everyone is full of energy, anticipation and positivity – but keeping that momentum is what’s important and most difficult. Here’s some thoughts from the Redwood HQ to surviving the hectic summer months and the long days on event sites and getting past the finish line with your sanity and health in check.

Eat, sleep, work, repeat

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There is no need and really no excuse for a 24/7 work ethic, especially on an event site.  While we all expect to pull in longer shifts onsite (usually somewhere around the 16-hour mark) – it is more important than ever when you’re walking tens of miles every day and having to be ‘on alert’ for long periods of time, to make sure that you look after yourself. You need to be as close to fighting fit as you can be when you’re being expected to make important decisions. Eat regularly, sleep as much as you can and try to take breaks, we all know you’re not you when you’re ‘hangry’, tired or broken – don’t get to that point.

Fail to plan, plan to fail

It’s that age old but very true point that planning is key to success. We have a summer filled to the brim with events that each need to be carefully planned out – by going to site with the planmeans that everyone knows what to expect, there’s a system to everything and everything is happening for a reason. Avoid wasting yours and others time and energy (when both are already stretched to their limits) with processes that have been devised and explained before even stepping on site – have you and your team seen the shift rota, do they know who to report to, what the H&S policy is on site and what to do in case of an emergency? If not, these are all things that can be dealt with before arrival to avoid questions and delays further down the line. We like to think it’s 80% planning and 20% execution.

Tip top team

Behind every great event is a great team – there’s each company team working together to create their element of the show, but on a bigger scale, each supplier team is part of the overall event team all working together to deliver the best event possible.

Picking the right suppliers and them in turn picking the best individuals to deliver their services makes for an overall great team. You need to be surrounded by people that you can trust and that you have confidence in to perform to a high standard and often under pressure. Not everyone is cut out for the events industry which is why those that are, need to be looked after to ensure they keep doing what they do.

It’s in the bag

There’s nothing worse than being on site and needing something you didn’t bring…. which is why we have our Redwood event box that (literally) gets wheeled onto every event site we work on. It’s teeming with all the event must haves that we’ve gleaned from over 30 years in the industry – here’s what we pack for every event:

  1. Redwood’s reporting, auditing and operations systems Weather Station
  2. The trusty iPad
  3. The best boots you can get (and dry socks, lots)
  4. A multi tool (leatherman or gerber)
  5. Sun cream
  6. Excellent wet weather gear – coat and trousers
  7. Coffee machine!
  8. Multiple phone chargers

In closing, look after yourself and each other – we are all firmly in the business of creating incredible and beautiful events that people visit and attach moments of their lives too. That’s a pretty special vocation.

Redwood Event Solution is an event production company specialising in event architecture, health & safety, operations and site management.


Jim Davey, Managing Director of Redwood Event Solutions has been working in events for more than 15 years delivering health & safety, event design, operations and event management solutions to events & venues both in the UK and internationally. This year, Redwood’s portfolio includes CarFest North and South, four Pub in the Park events and The Big Feastival amongst others.

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.