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Contractor Management for Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

The number of contractors used for a large festival can go into the hundreds with possibly thousands of people involved. Managing this number of contract suppliers and all their staff can be challenging for festival organisers. What are the key considerations for achieving a smooth contractor management process.

Having good processes and procedures in place for contractors is key to successful event management and needs to be carefully planned at a very early stage in the event planning. Most organisers use event management software to manage the contractors and their crews. Anyone still using spreadsheets and other manual systems may struggle to manage everything efficiently and accurately. Here are some the considerations that festival organisers should incorporate into their contractor management.

Critical Path Planning.
Creating an accurate critical path of tasks and actions required in the festival planning is crucial to knowing what contractors are required along with when they need to be contacted, prices agreed, contracts signs and schedules issued. This ensures that a festival site is built up over time in a logical sequence and ensures that basics facilities like security fencing, power, water and toilets are installed before stage construction starts. If the critical path planning is affected by one step it's easy for organisers to immediately see the impact on other tasks and any contractors involved can be sent an appropriate communication.

Contracts and Specifications. 
Every requirement of the festival site that requires external contractors needs to be fully specified and shortlists of appropriate contractor suppliers contacted to obtain detailed quotes for work. It is essential that specifications are accurate as any changes later in the process could cause delays and increase prices. Once contracts are agreed by all parties and signed these need to be securely stored electronically for reference. Similarly, any specifications for work need to be stored electronically and be accessible to anyone who needs them.

Calendar Scheduling. 
In line with the critical path planning every contractor will know when something needs to be delivered and installed. Organisers need to manage a dynamic calendar to schedule site deliveries and collections along with specific instructions on dates, times, access gates and other relevant logistical information.

Crew Accreditation. 
A key part of any contractor management is having a robust system for managing all their crew members to ensure that the correct people are authorised accurately. A good software system can manage contractor's crews and issue access passes before they are required. This is usually done with QR codes which can be checked at entrance gates to ensure that only those who should be on-site are. At any time, organisers should be aware of who is on their festival site and why as this has implications for on-site health and safety as well as the security of equipment and other valuable materials.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics including full functionality for contractor management. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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