Jim Davey, managing director, Redwood Event Solutions talks testing the feasibility of an event site for either a new event, or the expansion of an existing one

Do you know what lies beneath?

Quite often when it comes to new events or the growth of more established ones, our clients look to us to guide and advise on the choice of site or how their current site can be expanded and developed to grow their event.

There is no question that finding the right site for a new event or relocating an existing one is a big decision. Through our experience of building events from initial concept, we’ve created a feasibility report to minimise risk and identify potential issues long before committing to a site.

No matter what the timeframe, by asking certain questions of your site and its strengths and flaws, you give yourself the best chance of success.

Whilst a site may look like the dream location initially, drilling down into the nitty gritty can often throw a few curveballs…which are obviously better dealt with during the early planning stages!

A feasibility examination of the site is an extremely useful tool, we conduct these regularly and have done so for the likes of CarFest, Pub in the Park and RunFestRun, an exciting new running event at Bowood House to ensure that there are no unexpected ‘surprises’ once we move onto event planning.

Through a full feasibility study, we assess everything from the drainage, soil type, existing services and the all-important hard standing / road networks through to larger commercial concerns like local demographic and travel logistics. This in-depth analysis means that we can give clients a clear and practical assessment of the proposed site – offering solutions to any issues that the report uncovers.  At this initial stage we can clearly outline the site’s strengths, weaknesses and challenges. In short if it will work or not.

When considering an unfamiliar site, here’s a few areas to spend some time analysing, so that you have a clear picture before you make a move…

How does the land lie?

What is the drainage like on the land and what soil type is it – are you likely to have flooded areas and can you avoid them if possible. By drilling down and looking at the suitability of land and site specifically for the type of event you’re planning, will highlight specific requirements that you’ll need to plan for – this could be being prepared for excessive water logging in particular areas of the site due to clay soil. This pre-analysis could help budgeting and site design to avoid unwanted issues.

Will the show fit?

How will you work around existing buildings, land laws and licenses?Any existing facilities, infrastructure or services available on site could make life a lot easier in the long run. If there are any hard standing and road networks, incorporate them into your site to make it more easily accessible.

What might the event look like?

Initial site design at this stage will help inform your final decision to move or grow the site.

What are the challenges?

Identify challenges of your potential site early to create operational plans that factor in these challenges and make them work for your event.

Make an informed decision

Once all this information is pulled together, it makes the decision process of re-location, expansion or a brand-new site for your event as easier one and will offer some peace of mind that the new site is the right one.