As I’ve pointed out in a previous article, it is increasingly possible for anyone to hold an event in a non-physical space. With the almost-daily rise of new platforms and technologies, a redefinition of what an “event” is offers a whole range of new opportunities in thinking about events and how to bring groups of people together. For the most part, however, a physical event still has its many, many advantages.
That, of course, requires many elements. These include, but are not restricted to, a venue, furniture, sound systems, facilities, and amenities. Sometimes, therefore, hosting and organizing an event requires the use of temporary structures. As the term implies, these structures are brought to a place and are set up for a short period of time – just enough to fit the purposes of your event. In this article, we will think about just how temporary structures can help you achieve the targets for your event that you want. To help make it easier, I will split it into two main sections – 1) temporary structures as an alternative, and 2) temporary structures as an active choice.
The instinctive way of thinking about temporary structures is as an alternative to something. One avenue with which they can be used is in an overcrowded city like the one I reside in, and like one that many of you live in too. As I can testify, in areas like these, venues are hard to come by simply because there aren’t many spaces just lying about ready to be appropriated by you for you event. What may be available, though, are spaces that can be used in the short term. In that, erm, event, temporary structures are a great way of staging an event. It is a useful alternative in a land-scarce world.
The other thing to note about the point above is that where demand is in short supply, then costs go up. These costs pertain to rental, utilities and the short term renovations that must be done to shape a space for whatever use you have in mind. It is quite possible to find tents or shelters for a reasonable price and the limitations that these temporary structures have can also help you to streamline the kind of furniture and “interior” designs that you will use. In other words, this is an opportunity for you to reduce costs both directly and indirectly.
But that doesn’t mean that the word “temporary” should restrict these alternative structures to the role of emergency backup options. Actively choosing to house your event under these can be a very imaginative decision that allows you to explore things that “traditional” spaces disallow.
Depending on the product or agenda of the event that you are organizing, hosting it under a tent or transparent marquee could be so much more suitable than an indoor ballroom. There is a certain feel and atmosphere that can easily be generated from a surrounding like this that cannot be translated to a traditional space. To think about it in a different way, it is in many ways fashionable at the moment to have outdoor festivals for products of all shapes and sizes – from coffee to music to technology. Intentionally choosing a temporary structure and venue helps you to target certain demographics better and more easily and lend a certain, if offbeat, elan to proceedings.
The last point is one that I’ve always tried to allude to – and that is the essence and spirit of things. Unless you are bumping in for an event that is going to last 5 years, then in essence what you are doing is a temporary measure. Celebrate the fact that events are by nature transient and temporary things and what better way to do that then by deliberately sourcing out a venue, design, and structures that are meant to be temporary. You can further espouse this by only using perishable materials, like recycled products, for the layout and furniture. This will contribute to a holistic concept that is satisfying both for the products you are trying to sell as well as philosophically and intellectually.
Details on where and what sort of temporary structure to get can be found anywhere, but what I’ve tried to do in this article show you just how these can be useful for your event. Whether it be a last-ditch alternative, an active choice or a last-ditch measure turned into an active choice, what is certain is that you can use these things to benefit your event. Even where there are limitations, those can be quickly turned into positives!