On-Street Activations: How to Budget with your Budget

On-Street activations are a well-known, efficient and impactful way of getting your brand message to the masses. But they can carry a fairly large price tag, unless you’re smart about it.

In our experience, the initial reaction from clients is to strip line items from the budget to reduce the final cost. We advise against this– staff and crew are invaluable and don’t make a huge impact on the overall budget, so it’s worth keeping as many feet on the ground as possible. Smaller items like decoration, branding and props etc. are what adds to the experience. Losing these elements means compromising on your message and vision.

At Flying Elephant, we work across design, fabrication, permits, planning, install and live event management, so we like to think we get a holistic view of the entire activation process. We’ve identified some key areas that can help you when it comes to keeping your budget from multiplying beyond control and have you running for the hills.

In the interest of frugality, we’ll give you these tips free of charge ;)

Liffey Valley Shopping Centre turns 20

Caution: Your activation date is closer than it may appear

Get your ducks in a row and then call in your production team immediately. The sooner you loop the activation team in on your plans, the sooner they can pinpoint any possible problems and resolve them.

Most production companies will need to hire in more crew if they are facing a tight turnaround and this will impact your costs.

Don’t be a Permit Hermit

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Permits cost money, prepare for this. It all depends on a few varying factors such as location, material on site, samples handed out etc. Prepare to put between €1-2K on your permit.

Also remember that a permit generally takes around three weeks to turnaround. It will cost you a lot more in management hours and rental fees if you have to hire from a private venue.

Another thing to note that rather than spreading your activity across 2 days, you can activate in more than one location on the same day under the same permit fee. This will half your fees instantly.

If it’s not bang on, sure it’s near enough.

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Try not to sweat the small stuff. Sometimes there can be an alternative material or shape to your structure that won’t look exactly how you envisioned it, but it will cost a whole lot less. Consider making curves into angles or going with a cheaper timber. Have a chat with your production team about this in your initial meeting.


Flying Elephant