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Size of access to venue - lifts and doors

Updated: Jul 6, 2020



“ We love your venue space.  It’s going to be perfect for your event.  Holds the right number of delegates, great for rigging a good show and plenty of ceiling height.  You’d like a 12ft high set that is 40 ft long.  No problem!”  So how are we going to get that to the third floor through the 8ft high passenger lift?

Many fine venues have appalling access.  This is often because the venue is quite old and was not originally designed to put on events.  Those old grade 1 listed building are a grand show piece for your event with the main ‘ballroom’ looking just as grand as it did back in 1885.  They didn’t put on large events in the ball room in those days.  Lucky we have a lift!  It barely takes one flight case and with a truck load pouring off quickly before the truck gets a parking ticket it becomes a bottle neck getting the kit up to the right floor.  As for that set, it had better fold away in a box or panels will have to be walked up the grand staircase through the front of the hotel.  Not popular with the hotel management. On this occasion our 12ft high set panels came in two parts: an 8ft panel and a 4ft panel.  Hmm!!


With flight cases and set panels being rushed through the kitchen  there was bound to be an incident.  An angry chef wielding a meat cleaver is not a pleasant sight.

Access challenges come thick and fast, especially in the cities where the trucks have no place to park and the kit has to be off in ten minutes.  Challenges include:


- Small doorways

- Narrow corridors with tight turns

- Lifts too small

- No lifts

- Rooms ‘miles’ from the access

- Passing through public areas

- Passing through working kitchens


One of our favourite venues had great access to the event spaces through large doors and straight into the rooms.  Perfect, if it was not for the fact that the main doors were accessed through a public multi-storey car park on the 2nd floor with a 6ft height limit.  So we can get the kit, staging and set in through the main access but we can’t get the vehicles to the door unless we used a number of small vans. The impact here is on cost with more vehicles required to transport the equipment.


The main doors were accessed through a public multi-storey car park on the 2nd floor with a 6ft height limit.

Our all-time favourite is when we had to derig and remove all equipment through the kitchen.  At the same time the kitchen is in full swing.  We had to manoeuvre around trays of food.  With flight cases and set panels being rushed through at the outrage of the cooking staff there was bound to be an incident.    An angry chef wielding a meat cleaver is not a pleasant sight.

We don’t expect access issues to be your concern especially when the access for the delegates is a grand stair case through an expensive looking venue and we have and always will be able to find a solution to these problems.  They just require a bit of lateral thinking and may slow things up.

If you are thinking of using a venue that might have access issues give us a call on 01634 841663 and we’ll discuss how to get that large square peg through that small round hole.

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