It’s the very rare event that doesn’t draw a significant amount of power. Catering equipment, lighting, A/V, computers, and a huge number of other potential devices will pull on the power source your venue — or, in some cases, you — provide. If your draw exceeds the capacity of your venue, you’ll have to find an alternative power source. Most often, that means renting a generator. Here’s how to know where you stand:
Ask EVERY Vendor about Their Power Needs
Each vendor should have — or be able to easily figure out — what the total peak power draw of all of their equipment is. It’s important to get their peak power draw, which is often double or even quadruple their base power draw, or you could still end up blowing a circuit if multiple venders ‘go peak’ at once. Never assume that a particular vendor isn’t going to be plugging in something. Even a table with some Eagles Club or Boy Scout representatives might have a popcorn machine or a cotton candy spinner or some other unexpected toy that hasn’t shown up yet — ask every time.
Ask EVERY Venue to Provide a Circuit Map
Electrical circuits are almost always counterintuitive — never assume that just because two outlets are far apart, they’re on different circuits. If one circuit starts to reach its capacity (usually 20 amps, but ask your vendor — some older circuits are 15, and some industrial circuits are 30 or even 60), make sure you provide a way for other vendors to reach other circuits. Extension cords work.
Ask EVERY Venue to Provide as Much Power as Possible
When you sign a contract with a venue, be direct: ask them to provide as much power as they can as part of your package. (This means asking them to turn off anything optional that is on a circuit that could also be used by vendors.) If they can’t, or if they don’t have enough amperage even after everything is devoted to your event, you’re going to have to rent a generator.
Ask EVERY Rental Store to Provide Cabling, Spider Boxes, and Other Necessities
When you rent a generator, do it with a map in hand that shows how far the power needs to stretch, and again, be direct: ask them to provide as much of the equipment you need to make use of their generator as they are willing.
Display Group can, upon request, survey an event site with a client and ensure that your power needs are met — not only the ones we will bring to the table with the event rentals you get from us, but those of all of your other vendors as well.