General event information abut radios and radio communucation...
Edit me

Radios are a great way for your team to stay in contact during an event. If your venue is more than a single room where your crew can all see each other, radios will be helpful when you need a information quickly, need to locate someone, or need help.

Rent versus Buy versus Borrow

You have a few options if you need radios for your event. You can choose to rent them, buy them, or borrow them.


There are rental companies that will rent you radios for your event. Like any rental, give yourself some time before the event to figure out how to use them and test them.

Donation to a non-profit? Loan? Sponsorship?

(Note about / link to sign-out procedure)


You may want to buy a pack of radios to provide for your crew.


Sometimes you don’t want to rent or buy radios, so there’s always borrowing. Depending on your circle of friends and your Maker Community, you might be surprised how many people have a few radios. We’ve seen events where a “call for radios” went out and the producers ended up with over a dozen programmable radios on loan for the event, and a volunteer who was willing to program them all to work together. If you only do your event once a year, or aren’t even sure if you’ll make it to the first annual, borrowing radios might make sense.

Radio Procedures & Etiquette


If you’ve got a crew office there’s a good chance someone will always be in there, so it can be a good location for your dispatcher to be as it’s typically the center of operations for your event.

Dispatch serves as the “operator” for your radio communications. The person who servers as dispatch doesn’t need to know all the answers, but should be know enough to make decisions, provide answers, and most of all, try to help during the event. Don’t be afraid of not knowing everything! As radio dispatch, If you don’t have an answer, it’s your job to try to get an answer. You won’t always be able to answer every question, and you might find that often issues get resolved, or stop being issues as others get involved. Sometimes you’ll get a call for help moving tables. It’s not your job to run out and move those tables, it’s your job to let others know that tables need to be moved, and if you have crew or volunteers available, to let them know where the person who needs help is located. We typically locate the dispatcher in or very near the crew office, as they’ll either need to interact with the crew and producers constantly during the event. If you’ve got enough people, don’t be afraid to give the dispatcher a helper who can get answers for you while you stay on the radio.

Radios are for who? Crew? Volunteers? Others?





Venue Radio

It’s common for the venue to have their own radio system. In some cases the venue manager will give you a radio to keep in the crew office that can be used to call security, or EMS, or deal with issues a level above your own event. Typically one of the lead producers is assigned to the use of this radio to prevent just anyone calling the venue staff for non-emergency issues.

Radio sign-out

If your radios are not numbered or individually labeled, add a piece of tape to each with a number and have crew members sign them out when taking one for the day. We’ve seen more than once that someone just “grabs” a radio to use, then puts it down or leaves it somewhere, then grabs another. It’s best to know what radio is assigned to what person so there’s a sense of responsibility around them.

How to call someone

Example: Pete to Chad, Pete to Chad…

Code words


Make sure the venue is okay with you using your own radios. Many venues will have their staff use radios and the last thing you want is to be on the same channels the venue uses.

Reference Card

Example of MFO card, with generic info…







Spectrum & Licensing

Issues around what channels you can use, etc…


Distance, travel through walls, etc…