Always prepare for the unexpected and have an emergency plan — you never know what could go wrong!
Don’t think your event entertainment has to stay on a stage! Let them mix and mingle with the guests!
A guide to the proper care and feeding of your production team
By Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM, and James S. Rota
Originally Published: September 18, 2013
From the Beauty:
Regardless of what you’re planning, it’s key to know your audience. Today we put a spotlight on the backbone of almost all productions: the production crew. These are the men and women who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that everything runs seamlessly from a production standpoint. Their hours are long, usually starting before the sun rises and finishing long after it sets. They often go unnoticed, but they should not be forgotten.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Have a food allergy list for your crew as well as your attendees.
- Set up a beverage station with hot and cold beverages that are refreshed throughout the day.
- Offer food selections that can be eaten hot or at room temperature. The crew may eat in shifts.
- Offer healthy options that keep energy levels consistent.
- Treat your crew as you would any valued attendee or staff member.
- Properly feeding the crew creates solid morale, which translates into more motivation to work hard.
From the Brain:
The production team is in the spotlight if a projector fails, sound quality is poor or if any number of other technical snafus occur, so you want the best of the best at the helm.
Dedicated crews arrive earlier than most and are often last to leave. Installation and tear down requires physical and mental energy and, while the show is running, these folks are the nerve center of your operation.
It’s ironic that people who are critical to successful content delivery are often overlooked, if not ignored. Here are a few ways to correct that while improving your show quality:
- Contract enough time for load-in and strike and avoid overnight load-ins. If something goes wrong during setup, there are few options for replacement equipment. Speakers likely won’t have time to rehearse and your program is at risk of starting late. Additionally, your cue-to-cue rehearsal may be cut, which means you have no dry run for your program.
- Overnight load-ins have the crew up all day, loading in overnight and likely working the next morning. Depriving the people responsible for key timing and execution of sleep is bad for everyone.
- If you have a 15-minute break, the crew has about eight minutes to hit the bathrooms and return. They rarely eat as they have neither the time nor the opportunity. Have catering bring food to the crew during breaks. It should be able to be eaten without a fork and only drinks with lids should be offered for equipment safety.
- Strongly encourage speakers to submit slides at least 24 hours before the event. Put them in a PowerPoint deck in presentation order and put them on a jump drive. Include title slides and walk-in/walk-out slides or still stores. Hand the drive to the production team so they can load the presentations into show computers. Make time to sit with the graphics op to make sure there are no unseen glitches. If you want walk-in/walk-out, play-on/play-off music, let them know that as well as what type of music you prefer.
- Provide the names and titles of speakers and a pronunciation guide for anyone who requires a VOG (voice of God) introduction to the stage.
Production teams work tirelessly to make your event run smoothly. Treat them with the kindness they deserve.
Want more tips on the proper care of your production partners? Email me at: Christy.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, remember that smart is beautiful!
Thank you to Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM of Strategic Meetings and Events for reprint permission.
The Free Dictionary says to Make Waves means to shock or upset people with something new or different and to change an existing situation in a way which causes problems or upsets people. At Technisch Creative, we think to Make Waves means to keep changing the way you do events so your audience stays engaged and also, to give your event’s mission a voice outside of the parameters of time. Like a ripple. Like a sound wave. A wave of emotion. We encourage you to be brave…Make Waves.
How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? Now the only way to answer that question is by being an intern at Technisch Creative and attending our weekly “Fun Friday” meeting! Each Friday, we interns gather together to share which projects and events we have worked on throughout the work week and keep everyone informed as to what is occurring throughout the entire company. However, the fun part of Fun Friday is what comes next: each week, an activity is presented to us that we must complete. The activities are designed to get our creativity flowing and dissolve all mental boundaries that we feel standing in our way of projecting innovative ideas. For instance, one week we role played according to the celebrity name that we received on an index card. We were then put in groups of three and asked to create a fundraising event combining each of the celebrities’ talents and present our ideas to the rest of the interns while embodying our celebrity’s persona.
During another Fun Friday, we established which aspect of life we were each an expert on and we presented our expertise to the other interns. These activities not only foster creativity, but allow each of us the freedom to express our ideas no matter how ridiculous they may seem. The only way to develop a truly winning marketing strategy, or award-winning event is to expand your mind to reach the highest limits and feel free to experiment with ideas that may seem far out of reach. Each of Friday’s activities throws such imaginative curve-balls at us, that when presented with another problem at events or throughout other careers, we will certainly be ready.
To better accomplish goals, we are split into Team A and Team B based upon the type of work we specialize in: audio/visual or business. Each team works individually throughout the week before coming together on Fridays, and this extra time is used to do individualized projects to better prepare for each weekly meeting. Beyond “Fun Fridays,” we interns are also responsible for contributing to the planning, set-up and strike of events. Events range from small business meetings, to events like the annual Jingle Ball fundraiser at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing.
The interns here at Technisch Creative all have diverse interests and tastes, yet we were united through the internship in order to dive head first into what the event industry offers. The industry certainly requires a lot of planning, and requires a competitive nature in order to demonstrate the utility of Technisch Creative to potential clients. The internship program concludes with a trip to Chicago for “The Special Event” expo, where we will have the opportunity to network with other companies in the industry before being sent off in the world to “make waves” thanks to the experience we received from Technisch Creative.
by Jenny Piatkowski, Marketing Intern