Safety First: What to Ask for From Your Event Venue Builder


In the aftermath of the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse, insurance companies and permitting officials are taking a much harder look into the safety and structural integrity of experiential marketing and entertainment venues. They want proof that your structure is as sound as a permanent building, even if it is a temporary installation. So, what do you need to have in order to receive permitting and satisfy permitting authorities, code inspectors, and insurers?

When you build a house or an office building, you need to obtain municipal approval and the proper permits. Your insurance company will have a laundry list of requirements, from fire safety to accessibility. Increasingly, authorities are applying these types of standards to temporary structures as a way to promote safety and mitigate liability. When you hire a company to build a structure, whether it is a shipping container, tent, or stick-built assembly, you’ll receive a variety of documents. Among the most critical are:

Wet Engineered Stamped Drawings.“Wet” means that the plans have been signed or stamped by the engineer and not electronically signed and printed. This shows that the drawings have been quantified and qualified by a certified engineer. An investigative report, conducted after the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse, recommended that licensed professionals should design event venues. This is a step that Boxman Studios already builds into its processes to ensure that the highest quality and safety standards are maintained.

Life Safety Plan.Owners should always have a Life Safety Plan, which details critical building features as they relate to applicable codes. While municipalities have different requirements, these plans typically include information on the fire alarm, emergency exit strategies, occupant loads, power and fuel shutoff locations, and more.

Quality assurance specifications.If they are not currently, insurers nationwide will start asking for information on the specifications that you are building to. For instance, they might want to know how materials are welded together and whether the employees who constructed the structure have certification and training.As a result of the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse, the rules and guidelines around temporary structures have grown more stringent, and authorities are taking a hard line on permitting. Does this make it more difficult to design and build your marketing activation? Not with Boxman Studios it doesn’t. We have been proactive in taking these steps; safety is ingrained in every step of our process.

No matter who builds your structure, make sure that they provide you with these important documents and have a system in place for quality assurance. Not only will this help you get insurance policies and permitting, it will ensure that you, your staff, and your audience are safe throughout your campaign.

Ready to do something amazing with Shipping Containers? Contact Us Today.