Written by Catherine Douglas, general manager at Alcom Communications.
Whether an event is big or small the event organiser has a wide range of elements and people to plan for and co-ordinate. Successful execution of the detailed planning that goes into every event relies on having a clear communication strategy. It is especially important if there is an accident or medical mishap that communications will direct help where it is needed without delay.
A communication plan which uses two way radio communication integrated with a combination of other methods eg cell phone, email, P.A system etc will ensure operational effectiveness and safety are maintained with minimum stress.
Large event companies may decide to purchase their own radio equipment but it is often more cost effective to hire equipment.
So what are the benefits of hiring equipment and how can you build a communication plan for your next event?
Benefits of using hire radio
- It can provide coverage across areas where cell phone/other methods is not available or effective.
- It provides push to talk/instant communication with many team members.
- A system can be tailored with talk groups and functions according to your needs and budget.
- Alcom can provide expert advice and technical support during the planning stages and at the event if required.
- You do not need to worry about channel licensing as these will be taken care of as part of the hire.
Building a Communication Plan
- Objectives: Clearly identify the objectives you want to achieve with your overall communications and specifically how radio will help achieve these.
- Advice/Expertise: Include your radio provider early in the event planning process to get advice and discuss the options available, any limitations and the costs involved. Equipment may include a combination of radios (portables, in-vehicle or base station) chargers, ear-pieces, spare batteries and other accessories, use of repeaters etc. The location, size and nature of the event will determine, which mix and type of equipment you require.
- Comms Director: Appoint a communications director/co-ordinator who will be involved in the planning and take charge during the event at a designated control base station.
- Talk Groups/Functions: Clearly identify how many talk groups you may need and how many team members require a radio. Some events will only require 1 group while others may require several eg operations, medics, transport, hospitality etc
- Test, Test, Test: Radio performance and coverage must be tested prior to the event so that any potential “dead spots” can be avoided and other possible technical difficulties resolved.
- Team Training: Make sure everyone understands the communication plan objectives, which talk group they should use, how to use the radio and also basic radio call language & etiquette
- Equipment Check Out/In: Have a check out/in system so that radios can be monitored and returned safely post event
- Review: Carry out a post event review to discuss any issues and make recommendations for improving communications for your next event.
As an event manager once you have a comprehensive communications plan in place you will have confidence that everyone can get on with doing their job on the day and that should the need arise contingencies can be communicated and activated swiftly.
Alcom Communications hires radio equipment for many events in Bay of Plenty and across the North island. We are available to discuss your event needs and offer free advice on the options.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to know more about radio communications for your next event.