Event Rigging: What You Need To Know

Posted by Abby Wolfe on 07/17/2017

With hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of pounds hanging over an audience, event planners and venues can’t afford to take chances when it comes to rigging at an event.

Before we dive into rigging safety, let’s get the definition out of the way. 

Rigging: “The temporary suspension or attachment of materials and equipment to a building or structure (including temporary structures built specifically for the purpose) by means of wires, cords, slings, chains or lifting appliances and related equipment.”

Like most industries, there are regulations dealing with rigging at an event on the federal, state, and city level. Many companies also follow broad industry standards. Most of these regulations and standards pertain to manufacturing designs, load capacity, weight restrictions, etc.

And while certifications are not legally required at this time to rig at events, experience is must. At Cory’s Audio Visual, we think it is important for the person in charge of the safety of your rigging to be very experienced AND certified.

Fact: The only two ETCP-certified riggers in the state of Oklahoma are on the Cory’s Audio Visual team—one in theatre rigging and the other in arena rigging.

The Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP) hosts rigorous assessments for professional technicians focused on the health and safety of crews, performers, and audiences for arena riggers, theatre riggers, entertainment electricians, and portable power distribution technicians.

Certified and experienced riggers have completed a specific number of rigging hours, have passed a comprehensive ETCP certification exam, and have received training like the Tomcat Rigging Workshop in Knoxville, TN. You can find ETCP certified technicians here. 

Rigging safety begins with the event venue. Some venues take extra steps to ensure your audience is protected by requiring specific certifications and detailing their building’s ceiling capacity to ensure your plan can be implemented.

What can event planners do to ensure rigging safety?

Hire an audio visual company who is competent and certified in rigging. The company you hire should have a plan for rigging including drawings and rigging documentation charts. Because of the importance of rigging safely, this process should not be done  “on the fly.”

With more than 60,000 events under our belt, the Cory’s Audio Visual event team is a great place to start in planning your next event. Contact us today!