5 Things to Consider Before Buying Event Truss Structures

Streamline your build and quote process by answering these important questions

You know you like it. You know it looks cool. But if you’re not an engineer, it’s tough knowing where to start when deciding on the right size and configuration for an event truss structure.

Asking yourself the right questions before you shop cuts down on sticker-shock and a lot of tedious back and forth. Start the conversation with answers to these top things you need to know:

What’s your budget?

Truss structures typically cost about $45 per linear foot with basic entryways starting in the neighborhood of $2,500 and more elaborate truss structures running in upwards of $15,000 and more. This doesn’t include shipping or the cost of the flags, banners, and/or backdrops you’ll need to get your message out there.

For banners, figure about $5 per square foot. For backdrops fabricated with special photo sensitive fabric, $10 per square foot. Confused already?

For people who like easy math, Britten makes budgeting less of a headache with a catalog of over 20 prefabricated structure kits that include shipping, banners, and flags as part of the package.

What is the width of your road or desired entrance area?

Truss structure entrances should be highly visible, help build hype, and aid—not hinder—security monitoring and the flow of cars, emergency vehicles, or foot traffic into your venue. Too narrow hinders traffic flow. Too wide or not tall enough and you’re looking at costly modifications to get the structure to fit your space.

Can stakes be put into the ground and/or will you need internal weight structures?

Is your structure being placed on grass or in a parking lot? Will only foot traffic or cars be passing through? How and where a truss structure entrance will be used is key to determining size, which then determines how to anchor it.

Regardless of size or location (indoors or out), your truss structure will require ground spikes and cables or an internal weight system. For the cleanest look possible—one that delivers the greatest stability in unpredictable weather—water crates are the way to go. If you have access to water source (and a suitable place with good drainage to empty the tanks when your event is over), water crates can be easily hidden behind your banners and print. Each crate is capable holding over 400-gallons of water for rock-solid stability.

Do you need install assistance or do you have the team that can put things together?

A selling point for modern, truss structures is the snap-together simplicity of putting them together. But what does that really mean on the ground?

Even the smallest, most basic truss structures require some time and a team to do the work. The real difficulty lies in leveling the larger structures and staking or weighing it down. Whether you hire a crew of your own or tap the expertise of pros from Britten’s nationwide team of installers, figure a bare minimum of two to three people and a lift for building smaller structures. Five or more crew members and a lift for more complex arrangements. Setup times vary from six to eight hours for larger structures and as few as two to four hours for smaller structures.

Will you require an engineering stamp on the structure?

An engineer’s professional stamp says that everything in the drawings and specs is correct and appropriate for the project. It’s basically an added layer of insurance that says the structure is weighed/anchored properly and can safely withstand things like wind load.

Building codes adopted by local municipalities don’t offer much guidance on temporary structures. And for indoor truss structures, stamps are almost never needed. While the requirement is not very common, having to obtain a stamp can increase your bottom-line cost to anywhere from $2,500 to $7,500 for larger projects.

Higher visibility, Greater versatility. Strong and lightweight. Use these tips to better manage your next event structure project, and get the modular, EventTruss™ advantage.