Inside Facilities: Hosting External Events

On the third Wednesday of every month, a member of the Facilities and Operations staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming Monday: Academics

This past weekend, Georgia State hosted the 32nd annual Peachtree Men’s Invitational for gymnastics. This was the third consecutive year the event has been hosted at the GSU Sports Arena. Although a lot of work goes into the actual event itself, much of the work occurs in the pre-planning stage. This requires a facility walk-thru with the gymnastics event managers; request forms for equipment, parking, and building access; signing a legal contract; and approval from the Georgia State Athletics Compliance Department. Once all of these components are completed, the event timeline and logistics can be finalized.

The event itself started on Friday with our Facilities and Operations Department setting up the arena in preparation for the gymnastics personnel to load in their equipment and ended on Sunday with our staff cleaning up our equipment. For our part, we lay down sections of carpet across the gym floor in order to prevent scratches and any kind of damage that may be caused by the gymnastics equipment. After the floor is carpeted, we begin to set up designated areas with tables, chairs, and coolers for their hospitality, registration, and awards areas.

For rental events, we have someone from our Facilities and Operations staff serve as the Manager on Duty for the event. We usually do not have a direct event management role for an event like this, but we are there to answer any questions about the arena and troubleshoot any facility-related issues that may occur. Following the event, our staff is on site to break down our equipment and reset the arena back to its pre-event status to get it ready for practices.

For gymnastics, the hand chalk used by the participants gets everywhere throughout the gym. This requires a detailed cleaning of bleachers, basketball goal systems, padding, and especially the gym floor. Then following the event, we do an internal recap and address issues as needed with the Peachtree event managers so that we can improve the event operations and our services to rental groups.

We have hosted a variety of events in addition to the Peachtree Men’s Invitational, including celebrity basketball games, high school and college graduations, concerts, cheerleading competitions, and other miscellaneous events. Each event is unique relative to its purpose, size of crowds, staffing, and set-up. Although we work with a lot of different groups, we have one overarching goal: provide each group with the best customer service and hospitality we can!

See you at the game and Go Panthers!

–Thomas Howard

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