The logistical challenges that event planners may need to overcome this summer 

We are sharing our insights into some of the most common logistical challenges that event planning teams may need to overcome this summer.  

We have already been involved with the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the British Open this year, and we love getting involved in the intricacies of event planning logistics. We want to share our advice as events teams throughout the UK and Europe start preparing for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, as well as the 2024 European Championships in Berlin. 

Our MD, Darryn Flynn, says, “This summer will see hundreds of events take place all over the UK as well as further afield into Europe. We can expect to see everything from music festivals to sporting events, and there will be huge potential for events teams to put on large events that may require temporary seating, stadia or even short-term buildings. For instance, if the men’s football team manage to match the Lionesses’ feat, we could see short notice for large events in many parks or public areas, which could require several logistical challenges that may be tricky to deal with.” 

To help events teams in their planning stages, we are outlining some key pointers that could help the event organisers this year streamline their logistics here in the UK and further afield while also minimising stress levels.  

Think about high-volume shipments 

A key consideration is to think about the number of vehicles you might need when setting up temporary seating or buildings. Events teams will be picking up items in bulk, so they’ll need multiple vehicles that can work cohesively to arrive at a required destination at the same time. 

This takes considerable planning, but working with an experienced logistics team will allow you to have real-time tracking of where your shipment is from start to finish.  

Work with an experienced out of gauge cargo partner. 

It’s also essential to realise that temporary seating or stadia will almost certainly be considered oversized goods. Finding suitable vehicles that can transport your goods is more than just finding a standard-sized truck. You’ll potentially need to work with a team that can manage out of gauge cargo – which is specifically designed for oversized goods or abnormal loads. For example, rather than relying on a curtain-slider vehicle, you could need a series of flat-bed trucks that will match the specific dimensions and sizes of the items you need to transport.  

Registering as a temporary VAT importer could save you £££  

If you are planning an event in Europe, you may need to think carefully about the VAT implications of exporting goods abroad. For those heading to the Paris Summer Olympics, the regulations state that you will not need to pay VAT on goods headed to France if those items are returned to the UK in their entirety within 24 months.  

For those looking to export temporary structures as part of your event plans, this could be essential to improving your bottom line. However, to manage the HMRC paperwork, you need to work with a customs team that knows how to maximise your profit margins.  

Darryn says, “No one wants to pay a penny more than they need to on VAT, so it’s about being prepared and understanding the specific regulations for each country. This temporary export legislation is tailored to the French authorities, so it’s ideal for the upcoming summer Olympics and Paralympics Games. But there could also be similar rules in place for other European countries – which is why you need to talk directly with teams who are used to exporting goods from the UK to establish the best ways to streamline your transport logistics.” 

Find an experienced customs agent who can communicate in multiple languages 

Another consideration for any European events teams is the complexity of liaising with different contacts in different languages. If you’re importing or exporting goods for your event, you need to have a strong relationship with a customs agent who can act on your behalf. Adding to the complexities of any logistics are the language barriers that may occur, especially if the customs agents are not confident in their English language abilities.  

As part of your planning processes, event teams need to factor language restrictions into contingency plans because any miscommunication could result in delays during the transportation processes.  

Lead times depend on the information you have available 

Finally, we want to remind planning teams that any lead times will depend on how much information you have available.  

Having detailed insights such as item weight, volume, and dimensions will make it much quicker for logistics planning teams to find suitable vehicles. The more information you have available, the faster the times can become. 

As Darryn says, “Our network of vehicles means that we can be extremely responsive to requests. If something happens and you realise that perhaps something has been left behind or you need something extra for your event, we can arrange rapid dispatch, even on the same day if necessary. Having a responsive team behind you is crucial for your contingency planning, so you need to know that your transport logistics team can back you up in almost any scenario. That could be from paperwork and documentation to additional shipments or even contingency planning for alternative routes.” 

“Having that knowledge and trust behind you will almost certainly make your event planning processes much easier to manage.” 

We offer specialised services for event logistics teams arranging events in the UK as well as across Europe.  

If you want to find out how we can help you with your events this year, please get in touch and we can support you throughout your planning and preparation.