Earlier this year, I visited the Reptile Fest in Chicago. The event was held in the UIC Pavilion. The facility is not well lit.
Thankfully, I brought my tripod and a Nikon SB-900 flash unit with me. This enabled me to shoot at relatively slow shutter speeds--which in turn allowed me to lower my ISO setting for higher image quality. The slow shutter speeds were also made possible by the subject matter. The reptiles in these images remained almost perfectly still during the exposure.
This photograph of a Nile crocodile was captured at 1/8th of second, f/11, ISO 160
This image of an African spurred tortoise was captured at 1/40th of a second, f/9, ISO 500
In my opinion, a tripod is one of my most important pieces of equipment. It enables sharper images and higher image quality. The tripod also allows me to make more precise decisions about compositions.