Last weekend there were 4,000 registered participants in our local marathon and the race started in a public park and finished on the campus of a local university. Fortunately, the weather was perfect before and after the festivities. The event ended at 3pm, however around 7pm a storm developed bringing rain, lighting, and 50mph wind. I am guessing the marathon organizers were together celebrating their well-deserved success when the storm arrived. They must have thought how fortunate the storm and threating conditions did not come earlier in the day and disrupt the race and festivities.
What the marathon organizers do not realize they were fortunate there was not a wind gust of 25mph or higher during the festivities that could have blown over the trusses and caused serious injuries.
This photo is one of the four truss structures exhibited on campus for the marathon. The truss structure pictured is appropriate inside the school theater, but outside additional ballasting is necessary to accommodate wind loads. Collaboration between the event organizers and a vendor who is familiar with designing a truss structure specifically outdoors can solve the staking or ballasting problem. Without collaboration, the same truss structure will be erected next year and again potentially be an accident waiting to happen.
As a vendor, you may determine “No blood, no foul.” However, when an unfortunate mishap occurs the future of any event becomes scrutinized by officials who have the responsibility of keeping events safe in their jurisdiction. If we pay no attention to or admit that we could have or should have solved the problem before an accident occurs, demonstrating this lack of effort can threaten the integrity of our industry. To say that repairing this damage could take generations may be a bit dramatic, but memories last a long time and lack of trust is not easily reversed.
Combining collaboration with an evacuation plan regardless of the size of the event trump’s litigation.