Top Questions to Ask a Facilities Manager Before Your School Event
Before planning and putting deposits down on party rentals for a school event like a Fall Festival or Spring Carnival, be sure you discuss some details with the Facilities Manager or other administrator about the building and school fields. The biggest problems that we see customers run into on the day of the event, come from failing to be aware of certain restrictions ahead of time. Here are the top questions we recommend you ask before it’s too late!
Where is the nearest source of power?
Most food trucks, inflatables and rides require access to power within 50 feet of the set up location. If that is not available, generators can be used, but often at an additional cost to the customer. Discuss the location of outdoor outlets with the facilities manager. This will help you to allow for the cost of generators in your budget if needed.
Where is the nearest source of water?
Many water slides, handwashing stations and rain barrels for securing tents and large inflatables require access to water within 25 or 50 feet of the setup location. Ask the facilities manager where access to water is and what length hoses are available for use at the event. This may impact where you set up certain types of rides or rentals.
Are stakes allowed to secure inflatables or tents in the grass? Is there any concern for irrigation lines being damaged?
A common problem when setting up a tent on a sport field, is damage to irrigation lines. This can create costly repairs that the event planner will need to cover. Most rental companies will not accept any liability for damaging irrigation lines. Ask the facilities manager about the irrigation in the field ahead of time to prevent this. Instead of staking tents and inflatables utilize water barrels. This adds cost so, it is necessary to be aware of these needs in advance.
How do we ensure we have AC/Heating going in the building during an after hours school event?
Most schools will have a procedure for requesting air conditioning or heating for a school building after hours. Just be sure to follow the process and get the HVAC running a few hours before the event so that everyone is comfortable no matter the weather. Ask an administrator or facilities manager about this to get started.
How do we ensure safety/security during the event? What is the safety plan?
Some schools require hiring security or safety officers for events occurring on school property. They may also require some booster club/PTO volunteers to be aware of and named in a safety plan. This makes it clear who will be in charge of what in case of an emergency. Discuss with a facilities manager or administrator to ensure you have the appropriate coverage of these duties. Also, share the plan with any committee members so that appropriate action can be taken as needed during the school event.
What other rules might I not know about if it is my first time planning this school event?
One of the best things you can do is schedule a meeting with the facilities manager or administrator who helps with the school event. Sit down and ask them what it is you might not know. Or, what problems have they had in the past? Knowing this information can help you plan, avoid confusion the day of the event, and help you reduce the chance of a costly mistake.