Hosting a successful event requires meticulous planning, attention to detail, and a reliable team that can handle various logistical challenges. At SOS Group, we specialise in providing comprehensive printing solutions for events, catering to the unique needs of our diverse clientele. In this blog post, we will take you behind the scenes to explore the journey of an event from initial customer inquiry to flawless execution.
Where it Starts
It all begins with a customer inquiry. When a potential client reaches out to us, we engage in a thorough discussion to understand their needs and logistics. We delve into the specifics such as event volumes, venue details, and dates. We also pay close attention to any unique requirements or desires the customer may have. By gathering this crucial information, we ensure that we are fully equipped to meet and exceed their expectations.
Once the customer places an order, our internal processes swing into action. We start by logging the event dates and device requirements on our calendar. This step allows us to identify any potential clashes or installation conflicts with other events. Approximately two weeks before the event, we begin preparing the machines that will be used.
During the preparation phase, our team conducts a comprehensive assessment of each device’s copy quality and functional operation. We thoroughly examine engine reports, paper trays, duplex capabilities, accessories like finishers and document feeders, and check for any external panel damage. If any parts require replacement or servicing, they are promptly attended to.
A full internal clean is then carried out, removing any accumulated dust or paper residue. We employ compressors to ensure a thorough blowout, and all necessary parts are either replaced or cleaned as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Once reassembled, each machine undergoes extensive testing to ensure all functions are in optimal working condition.
To maintain quality control, a senior technician conducts a cross-check of the machine’s performance. After passing these rigorous tests, the device is bubble wrapped and securely identified for transportation. In addition, we provide advance delivery of print drivers and any technical information to the event’s onsite technical staff.
Delivery and Commissioning
When it comes to delivery and commissioning, we strive for efficiency and timeliness. Depending on the venue’s location, we may initiate device dispatch the day before they are due to arrive. However, in most cases, we deliver the machines up to a week before the published event dates. This allows us ample time to carry out the necessary setup and preparations at the venue.
Upon delivery, our team places each device in its designated spot and conducts comprehensive testing to ensure everything is functioning correctly. Only after we are satisfied with the setup and performance do we hand over the machines to the local IT or technical staff. We take care of removing all packaging materials from the site, leaving behind a clean and organised setup.
Ideally, we try to capture marketing photos of the venue and device placement, but this depends on the customer’s agreement and preferences. Our goal is to provide a seamless and hassle-free experience, ensuring that our clients can focus on the event itself, while we take care of the printing requirements.
Who Are Our Clients?
Our expertise in event printing is highly sought after in the sporting world. We have had the privilege of working with prestigious organisations such as British Swimming, UK Athletics, Riding Disability Association, British Taekwondo, and many more. Our devices serve multiple functions, catering to the needs of competitors, coaching staff, officials, and organising personnel.
At various hotel locations, we set up competitor reception areas that act as a combination of a reception desk and concierge service. Facilitating registration of competitors, assigning their accommodations, and providing them with relevant local information through maps or pamphlets. In the media arena, our devices primarily handle event results and press statements. Depending on the event’s scale, devices can print as few as a few hundred prints or scale up to hundreds of thousands of prints.
One of our most remarkable achievements was managing the IAAF World Championships in London in 2017. This eight-week event comprised both able-bodied and para-athletics events. We shipped a staggering 114 machines and had staff on-site for 13 weeks. To support the event, we set up a full reprographics room that produced nearly 2 million prints over the duration. In addition to offices and services in 24 hotels in and around London City, we installed machines in temporary “tents” for events like the marathon and outdoor cycling events. To accommodate the diverse international audience, our machines were configured with different languages on their control panels.
Another notable client we have served is the Labour Party. Having re-secured them as a customer in the autumn of 2022, we now play a crucial role in assisting with managing all their events throughout the electoral cycle. This includes general elections, local elections, by-elections, annual conferences, Scottish and Welsh conferences, regional conferences, and national party forums. With event durations ranging from a few days to two weeks and device requirements spanning from 2-3 devices to up to 40 devices at the Annual Conference, we ensure a seamless experience. During the Annual Conference, our repro area alone can produce approximately 1 million prints in just six days.
Trust Is Essential
To earn and maintain our clients’ trust, we leave no room for error. With a 20-year history of successfully executing events, we have honed our expertise and built a reputation for reliability. All our staff members undergo enhanced security clearance, ensuring the utmost security for both devices and personnel. Additionally, our ISO 9001 and 27001 accreditations further attest to our commitment to process efficiency, consistency, and security.
Hosting a successful event requires meticulous planning, logistical expertise, and a trusted partner who can deliver on promises. At SOS, we take pride in being that partner for our clients. From the initial customer inquiry to flawless execution and beyond, we provide the highest level of service. With our dedicated team, reliable devices, and proven track record, we are ready to take on any event challenge and deliver exceptional results.