Countdown to the Brit Awards

This year’s Brit Awards is set to open at the 02 Arena on Wednesday this week. We spoke to Spaceworks, the furniture supplier to the event, about its countdown preparations. Chris Page (18 Feb ’13)

RC - What level of stock is required for the event- and when?

Kelly Baker, Sales & Marketing Director, Spaceworks Furniture Hire & Well Dressed Tables - Quite a lot of preparation for the basic line items of furniture. We are supplying 2,700 chairs which are being resprayed through our Membury workshop. We are delivering all the stock on the Sunday. It includes chairs, tables and all the table top stock: china, cutlery and glassware.

Payne and Gunter, the caterers have ordered the stock for the Arena and Marquee, Suites and Artist bar. Our stock is usually the last to be set up but at all events it needs clearing ASAP so that other contractors can get on with their own work.

Access to the Arena is via the Piazza Area which has time restrictions for deliveries. It’s open to the public from 0900hrs til 2400hrs approx. So the plan is to deliver 1,400 chairs, 140 tables and two lorry loads of CCG between 0700hrs and 0830hrs, in all 2* 40’ trailers and 3*18t HGVs.

How does the Brits contract affect Spaceworks’ overall schedule?

We need the table top stock for our day-to-day business which serves around 8,000 contracts a year. These contracts are quite often last-minute; 10% of orders are taken the day before and 5% on the same day of delivery which means we have to be set to deliver at any time. Of the 8000 contracts 75% have a timed delivery or collection. The table top stock will be ‘picked’ from Wednesday onwards since Thursday is one of our main delivery days for the day-to-day business. The stock is allocated to lay-up, kitchen or bar for each area making everyone’s job easier.

And other event challenges?

Past challenges have been a relatively late change in the colour of chairs for one of the areas. As mentioned, once on site we are usually in the last phase of the set-up and so rely on other contractors being on time. At another event last year there was a last-minute change in carpet colour which had massive impact on our delivery plan.

For this job we will have to remove 800-1000 chairs and associated tables from the marquee for the set-up of the aftershow party when the actual show begins. This has to be done as quickly as possible so that the caterers have as much time to set up. With limited vehicle movements during the event, one person saying ‘you can’t move that lorry!’creates a knock-on delay for everyone.

We are due to be clear of the O2 by 0400hrs on Thursday 21st so that the venue can start its next build and we can get our lorries home, unloaded and ready for the Thursday’s work. We are quite reliant on our agency staff for overnight jobs like this. We will have two managers running the team at the O2 ensuring our customer requests are met.

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