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Training, Strategic Planning & Five Pillars of Simplicity  

by Andrew Fulton

We are now several months into dealing with an uncomfortable and unprecedented job climate. And aren’t we feeling “enough is enough” and looking forward to getting back to work—providing excellent services once again for our partners and clients? In the meantime, there’s the exceptional online rigging courses from Industrial Training International.

ITI’s training helps you understand your managing riggers’ thought processes and their rigging needs. This is a big deal. Take a regularly occurring on-the-job scenario, for example. It has to do with a very simple yet very important piece of rigging hardware, the eyebolt. Almost all tradeshow booths incorporate suspended scenic pieces—suspended by eyebolts. Competent riggers know these need to be forged shouldered eyebolts (from reputable manufacturers such as Chicago Hardware, Crosby, Campbell, Columbus McKinnon). And if that isn’t what’s been provided, a project comes to a standstill because the rigger knows not to use anything but the approved hardware.

What happens next? The job’s schedule and work flow is compromised. But if you and your team were rigging educated and knew that only forged shouldered eyebolts are the approved standard for suspension and rigging, then you’d never have this scenario arise on any of your projects. Putting it simply: Rigging education improves the safety, time and profit on your jobs and supports what I call “strategic planning.”

Strategic planning is based on the Five Pillars of Simplicity. Here they are:

PREPAREDNESS! You can get this by pairing your rigging education with that of a professional rigging designer. He can relieve any anxieties by heading off unnecessary problems and glitches. The rigging designer goes through every element to be rigged, ensures only correct hardware is onsite, and oversees how those elements are rigged. The preparedness pillar guarantees the desired timeline is maintained so your project is completed on time or ahead of schedule, all suspended elements are rigged in the safest manner, and that the project comes in on or under budget. This pillar of simplicity is the smartest way to operate and every client appreciates this.

SATISFYING! When you have specialists in place at each facet of your project, you can feel satisfied that business is being handled well—that whatever situation may arise, you have the expert to handle that scenario.

COMFORTING! Tremendous comfort comes from having a meticulously-designed rigging plan and an accurate timeline for completion. Worries are minimized and a frenetic work environment is avoided. You and your client can be comfortable knowing the work flow is being properly and safely managed and that there’s positive energy on the job.

UNDERSTANDABLE! It’s a truism: “We don’t know what we don’t know.” Your own rigging education can mitigate some of this, but bringing a rigging leader onto your team fills in the gaps. Back to the above-mentioned eyebolt example: You and your team would understand exactly what’s required for your project to be executed properly, safely and on time. No sub-standard hardware or gear on your watch.

SUSTAINABLE! Sustainable processes, sustainable procedures, sustainable successes. And it all stems from sustainable relationships with clients. While you can contribute to this through your own ITI rigging education, your rigging leader is the one who guarantees this sustainability. Rigging leaders make us look good because they work from an asset protection perspective. They’re experts at protecting the production company, the client, the venue, the rigging team and the event attendees. This is sustainable. It’s the ultimate pillar of simplicity. When we finally get back to work, we can hit the ground running with increased rigging education.

Andrew Fulton is a 23-year member of IATSE Local 720 and is currently the lead production rigger at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center. He manages projects for the Las Vegas PRG office and is also part owner of Rigging International Group, a rope access training and services company established in 2015.  He offers rigging training & education through his entertainment rigging school RIG FOR SUCCESS. Contact him at andrew@rigforsuccess.com

This story originally appeared in the July/August issue of Exhibit City News, p. 38. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_july-august_2020


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