I seem to be doing a lot of gigs lately where I have to set up in rooms that are already occupied and being used. On the weekend I did a show at a club in a multifunction room that was half full of patrons, eating, drinking, celebrating birthdays, watching sport etc.
This was a really difficult room with hard floors, low ceilings and floor to ceiling glass all round (so the patrons can enjoy the view - it was right on the water). I really needed a lot of time to notch out the resonances and it would have been much easier if I had the room to my self. In the end I managed to get a half decent sound but I know I could have done much better.
During sound check one of the patrons asked me whether the speakers really need to be up on stands - it was blocking their view of the Keno (TV monitor)!
How do you guys deal with similar situations?