eps international GmbH a name venues swear by



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When it comes to executing live events, eps international GmbH, Germany is a name by which venue operators swear by. Moreover, it is also the world’s leading company for temporary event flooring and crowd control solutions. eps supports around 3,000 events annually.

In an exclusive to ‘Coliseum’ at the Coliseum Online Week EUROPE Worldwide – held in March 2021 – Sebastian Tobie, COO, eps International GmbH, Germany describes step by step how eps make holding of live events a cakewalk for venue operators, promoters and producers.
 

eps international GmbH modus operandi:

  • Since 1996, is active in the field of temporary overlay for event, construction and public contracts;
  • From turf protection systems to crowd control equipment to seating and VIP camping, eps is regarded by venues as well as event promoters and producers as a solid and reliable partner; and
  • Over 3,000 live events and festivals are successfully executed annually.

 
Sebastian Tobie starts off by stating, “We are doing temporary infrastructure for the events, the construction and the public contracts industry. We started 1996 in Germany in Munich and in Cologne. We have grown so fast that some private investors came in. We quickly realized we did not want to be ‘slave of the monies’ because we are a service orientated company. So, in 2006 we did the management buyout and since then we are on a steady growth path – from a German national company to a global company with permanent subsidiaries and representations in several countries of the world.”
 

Tailor-made solutions for venues

Tobie spoke extensively on the event side of things, especially on the works the company is doing in stadia, “A stadium has lot more uses than only the purpose it has been built for is the sports to be played whether it is football or American football or baseball. But you can use it for all kinds of other applications and back to the days when you had an event on your pitch which is not the biggest space in your stadium. But, nowadays we do not see small pitches anymore. These days, a modern event in a stadium boasts lot of temporary overlay and temporary infrastructure being put on to the pitch and inside the stadium to accommodate the event to be held.”
 

Product portfolio

He added, “We at eps offer you the full spectrum: Materials, knowhow and the necessary amount of passion.”

  • Event floorings;
  • Crowd control;
  • Site materials; and
  • Seating solutions.

 
Remarked Tobie, “You have different types of flooring – heavy duty or lighter flooring, different types of crowd control solutions, different types of site equipment, signage, cable management, and ultimately seating solutions as well for your audience.”
 

eps services

eps works with venues’ production team to provide the best turnkey solutions for their needs:

  • CAD drawings;
  • Project management;
  • Installation and removal; and
  • During the event.

 
As he puts in, “All these products come with a certain amount of service, of course, starting from the planning to the computer-aided design (CAD) drawings to the concepts. The CAD drawings will then be utilized for scheduling, budgeting and also for applicational approval by authorities for the event to be held – the entire project management, yet again starting with the budgeting, cost control, scheduling, and the logistics to the installation removal onsite with the entire logistic chain, supervision onsite, labor and machinery and then services during the event in regard to callouts, maintenance, or cleaning when it comes to sanitation for example. Everything is handled by eps when a live event is being held.”
 

Research & Development

eps operates research and development (R&D) and production centers in both Italy and the United States.

Tobie continued, “To round this up, we have a R&D Department in the company to react at short notice for customized needs of our clients with design, engineering and production in-house for either the products we are doing in our rental portfolio and also for customized needs. At the Munich Olympic Stadium, we had concerts – a whole bunch of trucks coming in on to the pitch to take away the products that just had happened. The next morning the stage gets dismantled on one end while on the other hand the next stage is immediately built. In that particular year, the Olympic Stadium in Munich was a very busy place with events happening back to back making the most of the time given to use the stadium space, the stadium floor. So, we worked together at the time with the venue, with the different concert promoters and the different concert producers to make it worthwhile and make sure that the bookings go back to back in the venue.”

He continued, “To this end, we decided to come up with a flooring solution here that would allow for heavy-duty vehicles like cranes, trucks and forklifts to use the entire stadium space without causing damage to the surfaces underneath and that turned out to be very valuable for the stadium itself so because like that they could have more events in a shorter timeframe coming through their venue and hence bring more business to the venue and more utilization ultimately leading to the timeframe between the concert we have just seen up until the very moment the next concert to happen – just being 48 hours – making the best of the utilization you can have in that stadium. So, that was a very successful concept we realized with the Olympic Stadium in Munich.”

The 69,250-capacity Munich Olympic Stadium is a stadium located in Munich, Germany. Situated at the heart of the Olympiapark München in Northern Munich, the stadium was built as the main venue for the 1972 Summer Olympics.
 

Usability of stadium interior spaces

The top gun maintained, “When it comes to the usage of a venue outside of its standard sports – teams that did a home in your facility, we decide not to be between using the infield and the inside of the stadium and exterior surroundings. Classic users would be there – concerts but also sports events for sports that are not typical for your venue. For example, having ice hockey games in a stadium in the winter or a variety of motorsports events from Monster Truck to Dirt Bike to Race of Champions and also for example, cross-country skiing in winter, and biathlon.”
 

Event flooring

Talking about event flooring, he informed, “Our product range now comes to play with various floors again, heavy duty for the areas where heavy machineries are required to avoid damage to the pitches irrigation system, dredger system, sprinkler system as well as heating system making sure all these heavy machines like cranes and trucks and all the heavy structures can move on the pitch without causing compression to the ground underneath or just lighter pedestrian system for the audience to come in and dance and party and stomp and jump without damaging the grass and being able to play football match the next day. This comes to play when looking at a floor covers in a stadium.”
 

Crowd control solutions

Tobie further said that crowd control solutions initially started as the health and safety and security measure for the audience. Soon, it also became part of the Ticketing Department making it possible to segregate sections on the floor with different ticket categories and making better packages for “venues’ audience or VIPs and VVIPs and then nowadays also to fill the demands of hygiene concepts which we are facing currently with COVID-19 being as active as ever”.
 

Event seating

Tobie added, “Next up would also be the seating solutions either for more up to date or ever, ensuring social distancing is kept in a venue, traceability of people moving, who sat where, if there was a coronavirus positive person you can basically contact the people that sat next to the infected individual but also then grandstands in a stadium is also an option to create more intimate and more narrow spaces in the vastness of an open air stadium.”
 

Site material

Last but not the least, furnishing with additional food and beverage, amenities, sanitation signage, table management, and so forth.
 

Pandemic use

Said Tobie, “This last 12 months (since COVID-19 dealt a severe blow to the world) we saw a shift from the traditional usage of an inside of the stadium to new concepts. For example, we had plenty of general meetings in arenas, to move from indoor to outdoor events, making the aeration possible, making the social distancing possible, lots of drive-in events, concerts, comedy shows, cinemas, and so forth.”
 

Usability of stadium exterior spaces

What happens to the exterior spaces of a stadium when it’s not being used for its design purpose like for that football match or for that baseball match? eps provides solutions for everything.
 

Classical use

He puts across, “You have various amenities being in the exterior like sponsor presentation surfaces, food and beverage, more sanitation, and the entire crowd control management is different.”
 

Ingress and egress areas

Tobie explained that when the stadium is not being used for its intended purpose, the flow of the crowd, the flow of the audience is different – “One if you have to fill the infield of the stadium with people instead of all the stands or if you have different ticket categories and people have to use certain entrances. Or in a major sports events like UEFA, FIFA, IOC where you have the secondary security ring for the outside of the stadium this leads to problems.”
 

The challenges

 

Event safety:

  • More security checks;
  • Not enough space around stadia; and
  • Separate departments usually set up line-up gates and emergency.

 

Gateway to safety

He added, “Like most of the space is limited in the exteriors for all these extra line-up gates and security checkpoints. We have been contacted by our partner company Companeer from Munich. If there is a hardware solution to create a lineup and checkpoints scenario at the push of a button can become an emergency exit as well. So, together with Companeer we created a gate type of system that allows people to move in having checkpoints but at the same time at the push of a button the middle section goes away and creates an emergency exit approved to most European regulations with the width of one meter. Twenty-five additional add-ons with turnstile gates collapsible, ticket scanners, and so forth to make the system more complex. We have very encouraging feedback from venues that it takes lots of spatial problems away for the alternate usages of the stadium.”
 

All-in-one-solution

  • The ‘Smart Gate’ (GIGS IO Gate) is central elements to all ingress concepts;
  • The double line-up gate turns into an emergency exit at the push of a button;
  • Provides full emergency exit capacity from the start of ingress; and
  • COVID-safe: Digital ticket scan solutions are compatible with all ticketing systems.

 
He concluded by stating, “eps provides all-in-one-solutions which is safe and sound for COVID and the data as well.”

Be it staying safe during the times of the pandemic, smooth ingress into the venue as well as smooth egress – eps makes the worry lines on the foreheads of venue operators vanish while organizing a live event with its ingenious solutions.

Continue to follow Coliseum for latest updates on venues business news. Coliseum is dedicated towards building the best global community of sports and entertainment venue executives and professionals creating better and more profitable venues.

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