By Lindsay Griffin
The new year brought changes to how we produced the 2023 MMRF Team for Cures Walk/Run spring event series. And now, just like that, we’re seven months in with seven events behind us! Read on to hear how we transitioned from last spring’s “5K Lite” series to this year’s trucking system.
First, a little backstory…
Before the pandemic, MMRF had made strategic investments in acquiring event assets such as generators, truss, and supplies to decrease costs in the long-run (as amortized assets are ultimately less expensive than yearly rental costs). As they returned to live events in 2021, we relied on a trusted trucking company to transport these assets across the country from event to event. However, the pandemic disrupted the freight industry, making it unreliable for transporting these assets from city to city. (Wasn’t that fun?!) In response, we devised a strategy known as the “5K Lite” event, where vendors provided the infrastructure while we shipped essential supplies from market to market. After each event, we’d pack up 3–5 bins and ship them to the next city before our staff headed home. It was a good solution for us at the time, but we couldn’t wait to get back to trucking.
Luckily, our wish was granted! Being attentive to the freight industry’s fluctuations, we closely monitored its stability and reliability. After observing positive signs, we confidently recommended returning to trucking assets for MMRF’s events in the fall of 2022 and spring of 2023. To ensure a smooth transition, we procured additional assets such as branded pop-up tents, barricades, and an inflatable. We also refurbished existing assets, organizing them in a trailer with shelves designed for efficient supply management and off we went!
Returning to an asset ownership model brought remarkable improvements to the production elements of the event. With reduced reliance on external vendors, our team achieved significant streamlining of the event load-in and breakdown processes. When the truck arrived at each event site, our team efficiently installed the event infrastructure, allowing us to focus more on other crucial aspects of event execution. Another key advantage was the substantial reduction in unexpected vendor hiccups and wait times, maximizing our staff’s time on event. Music to our ears!
While the initial cost of purchasing new assets is an upfront cost, we were delighted to see the swift return on investment for MMRF. As an example, consider barricade rentals, which would typically cost at least $1,000 per market. By purchasing a set of 20 barricades for $5,000, customized with MMRF’s colors (an added bonus), the organization experienced a return on investment within the first six events which will continue to decrease costs over the next few years. This financial success extended to other assets as well, affirming the soundness of our investment decisions.
As with any strategic decision, there are pros and cons to consider. On the pro side, asset ownership and trucking solutions offer long-term cost savings, increased reliability compared to shipping, and fewer rental agreements. However, with all things in life, there are also some drawbacks. Purchasing more assets will lead to a higher upfront cost and the possibility of missing out on newer equipment that rentals or vendors may provide.
As we head into the fall events for MMRF’s Team for Cures Walk/Run, we’re taking all we’ve learned over the last year to make this season even better. We’re proud of the production innovations we’ve implemented and can’t wait to see what’s next.
See you in the fall!
Lindsay joined Event 360 in 2021 in a production role and has since had the pleasure of joining the accounts team, leading the MMRF Team for Cures Walk/Run events. In her free time, you might find Lindsay at her axe throwing league, pretending to be a concert violinist, or traveling around the world as often as possible.