MARKETING PERMITS and Why Secure Them
Ensure your experiential marketing event activates without a hitch
Reserve spaces to ensure you reach your ideal audiences
Secure event permits for large scale, required for elaborate marketing activations
Essential for events where your inviting the public, influencers, and press
What are event marketing permits?
Event marketing permits are required for elaborate experiential activities on city sidewalks, streets, beach boardwalks, and pedestrian plazas. The permit process is additionally needed to activate your event inside malls, transit stations, public parks, and outdoor private property locations.
If you desire to use a site-specific location (e.g., sidewalk, pedestrian plaza, park, beaches, etc.), large freestanding structures (e.g., tents, stages, installations, etc.) or certain event assets (e.g., amplified audio, generators, truck parking, etc.) then permits are required.
Each city offers different marketing permit options. For example, in New York City, you can secure public street and sidewalk event marketing permits, while in Boston, it is not possible to secure either.
ALT TERRAIN assists you with the marketing permit process, from submitting applications to event layout drawings to onsite pre-event walk-throughs with city officials.
It is best to start the marketing permit process 60+ days before the event date as in large cities (e.g., New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc.) as the best outdoor event spaces get reserved by companies far in advance.
Marketing Permit Services
1.) Assess your marketing event permit needs
2.) Share a list of event locations where you can achieve your vision
3.) Reach out to venues to ask about availability, feasibility, and rates
4.) Submit application, correspond with cities or venues, and schedule site visits
5.) Be onsite during your event from load-in to breakdown to oversee all permit-related elements
Types of event marketing permits
Sidewalk Marketing Permit
Sidewalk activation permits are needed if you plan to place objects on public sidewalks (e.g., signage, tables, etc.) or if a specific city block is essential to the success of the marketing activation.
For example, if activating on a particular city block in New York City’s financial district is necessary to the success of your activation, it is best to apply and secure a permit (otherwise there is a chance of being asked to leave by property owners, police, or other city officials).
Promotional Vehicle Parking Permit
Parking permits are recommended if you desire to park in a specific parking space on a particular day.
It can be an event marketing vehicle that complements a street team sidewalk activation or a mobile billboard that needs to be parked outside near a particular building address.
Public Park, Plaza & Beach Marketing Permits
These are needed if you like to utilize public outdoor spaces for event marketing purposes.
Typically outdoor spaces can be reserved for 12-24 hours, although certain cities allow for longer engagements. Each public park, pedestrian plaza, and beach boardwalk have their own unique rules when it comes to event marketing elements, hours and availability.
Tent & Freestanding Structure Permits
Structure permit requirements vary by city, although are typically needed for tents larger than 10′ x 10′ and freestanding structures over 9.5′ in height (e.g., event entrances, stages, kiosks, step & repeats, etc.) to ensure they safe to utilize in outdoor environments. Note that engineer and city building department permits are required for large outdoor freestanding structures.
Amplified Audio Permit
Required for stage performances, protests, or other events that involved an amplified audio speaker set-up.
Fire Code Permit (also known as Flame Retardant Certificates)
Often required for certain custom and fabric structures placed inside venues to ensure they be safe when exposed to lighting and won’t quickly incinerate if there is an accidental fire.
In most cities, generators permits are needed for outdoor event activations.
These permits are not typically required if it occurs inside the footprint of your event; however, if you are shooting outside the established boundaries with equipment (e.g. tripods, lights, etc.), they are recommended.
Health Department Permit
Health department permits required for most outdoor activations that involve serving unpackaged foods or hand-made drinks.
One of the most common questions is - do we permits to sell products at an event? Yes, a vending permit is required if your company plans to sell products to consumers at the marketing activation. Cities generally don't like issuing temporary vending permits for individual brand activations. Although, they often issue them for broader events like a music or food festival that takes place on city property.
Securing marketing permits is necessary for medium to large scale brand events.
It can be a complicated process, involving a variety of city departments, and may require months of lead-time.
Permits are also recommended when you're promoting a specific place for people, press, and influencers to visit your event.
Play it safe and get permits!
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