Planning for an event or production in the current climate is complex, with no guarantee that things will go ahead in the way that you plan for or at all. This, coupled with the predicted 'pent-up' demand of consumers to attend events, be it festivals or theatre, means that it is essential that you have a good and well-prepared communications infrastructure ready to go ahead of time. We've put together some simple yet practical tips to ensure that your event and two-way radio comms run smoothly.
Plan your comms set up and what you may need.
Whether you've finished planning your event or are still in the early stages and looking to move to the next steps, it's never too late or soon to consider how your walkie talkie comms fit in with your event. This includes; checking sight-lines across the location, any large buildings or structures that may hamper signal. If either of these is the case, you may need to use a repeater to ensure there is consistent coverage. Lastly, it's worth spending time thinking about where you should set up a base-camp for your comms. Ensuring that your walkie talkies (mains and spares), charging stations, repeaters, and accessories are in safe and accessible locations will help every part of your event run like clockwork.
Consider capacity and functionality from the outset.
There is nothing worse than an event that gets hampered by poor comms, which often happens when capacity or functionality is not considered. Even if staffing numbers change, your two-way radio hire company will likely be flexible and can increase or decrease numbers with enough notice. Understanding what walkie talkie and accessories are the most suitable for your event is essential to plan. For example, if you're in the theatre industry and require two-way radios for the backstage team, you'd want to supply them with something light yet long-lasting and with a headset to allow for discreet and clear conversation between them. However, if your load-in team require walkie talkies, you'd want to give them something more rugged and possibly with an emergency button in case of any accidents. In these scenarios, we'd recommend a MOTOTRBO DP3441e with a headset for your backstage team and DP4800 handsets for your load-in team, if you're inclined to use digital walkie talkies. If you prefer analogue - Motorola GP340/640 handsets for your team will give you outstanding reliability and easy functionality.
Think about licensing requirements.
Not only does an Ofcom radio licence allow you to operate your radios legally and securely, it provides you with a unique frequency on which you can run your comms. This means you'll be free from interference and will have a range of channels to choose from during your hire, meaning you can dedicate lines of communication to different teams or for various purposes. You may consider hiring our radios with our pre-programmed short-term hire frequencies. These frequencies are safe, legal and secure and included as standard, but if your event comms are slightly more complex, the cost of a license is a no-brainer.
Document and distribute processes, channel list and key contacts.
On to the last tip. What use is it planning a great event if nobody knows how to get in touch with each other? Ensure you've prepared and distributed the following. Trust us; it'll make everyone's workday stress-free.
Channel list - everyone using comms should have one, and teams know where they can communicate together or go back-to-back. Ideally, with a channel list on a lanyard or the back of a walkie talkie, everybody can be in touch.
Call sheets - make sure you include where and when your team or staff should pick up their two-way radio equipment. Distributing this information ahead of time makes it smoother for them and yourself as an organiser.
Who to contact - whether it's on the back of a call sheet or the other side of the channel list, identifying critical contacts for different teams and where they're stationed. It's worth detailing clear and recognisable names (nothing special, you may be able to leave it at first names, but if you've got two John's, you need to distinguish this!).
Sign-in sheets - it may be basic, but not getting all the kit back correctly or accounted for is not good for anyone. All it takes is for users to sign equipment in and out during the day. If people are swapping, or you're short on radios, this should not go unchecked.
The comms room - ok, so you might not have a dedicated room! However, if it's not clear where spares, batteries, accessories and, if applicable, base stations/repeaters are located, it's going to get annoying.
We're looking forward to helping a range of businesses return to normal throughout the year. Chat with the team today for a bespoke quote on how we can meet your two-way radio needs. Email firstname.lastname@example.org