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Women in Event Production: Janet Taylor

May 15, 2018 Author: admin Category: Event Production Tips, Slide, Women in Event Technology  0 Comments

Janet Taylor is a powerhouse Event Producer, traveling the world to put on shows for corporations, associations, and nonprofits. Here at Technisch, we’ve loved working with her on a touring show for a cosmetics company over the last five years, and we look forward to many more projects together! Let’s get to know a little bit more about Janet.

Back in the day…

How did you get started in the industry?

I have been in theatre since I was a teenager, but I promised my father that I would get a degree “to fall back on” – so I got a B.S. (how appropriate) in Journalism with an emphasis in Radio/TV/Film.  I’ve essentially outlived the radio industry and have been able to make a living in business theatre.  I tell my friends who are still in “legit” that I usually have the advantage of much bigger budgets and the challenge of much shorter rehearsal schedules.    I’m still performing, but in a different function.  My lines are “yes, let me check on that,” and “of course, I’ll update you on the budget impact as soon as possible.”

I began my life in business theatre in 1984 when I came off the road from a tour with a professional theatre for young audiences based in Boston and took a temp secretarial job to keep the bills paid at home in Chicago.  My boss for this assignment was a national Director of Corporate Programs for Arthur Andersen & Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).  When she discovered that I had been touring as a Company Stage Manager, her eyes widened, her smile got very big and she informed me, “Your temp job ends Friday.”  Before I could ask her why she continued, “If you give me first option on your time, I’ll give you 20 hours a week at $20 an hour (I was being paid $12 by the agency), a phone, a desk and a computer.”  She taught me corporate production and I never looked back.

I’ve always seen myself saving the day.

What has been your biggest challenge as a woman in technology?

My biggest personal challenge was to respond with humor and a smile when the inevitable on-site issues/muck ups/snafus occur. I was very lucky to learn those coping mechanisms early in my career.  Now, I pride myself on that skill set.  Practicing yoga helps.

How do you think women have an advantage in the technical world?

Because we are trained from childhood to be fearless, save the day and enjoy multitasking. My internal soundtrack is often the William Tell Overture or the Sabre Dance.

What is your favorite tech tool?

Either my smartphone or my netbook – I don’t know how I did my job for ten years without them in my hands at all times and I can’t really separate them – especially when the phone is my only source of wifi.

On the job!

What advice can you give to young women who would like to begin a career in production?

Keep doing it.  No matter what.  Now especially is a terrific time to join the industry and ride the upswing in business and jump in with both feet.  Find a company: an agency, a supplier of gear or services, an association, a corporate events department and begin to learn the business by doing the job.  As far as I know, the only training available is either through university theatre departments or for-profit technical schools, neither of which really teach you corporate production.  My industry-specific training was all OTJ.  I bring a great deal of added value to my projects because I have been a stagehand & technician, an event manager for a venue, and a producer/technical director/stage manager for experiential marketing agencies so I know all sides of the business.  I love mentoring with new PA’s.  My number one goal with them is the same as any show I take on — work to foster collaboration for the best show product.

 

 

3 reasons to bring your own A/V team for a hotel event

February 26, 2018 Author: admin Category: Getting Technical with Event A/V, Slide  0 Comments

It’s a little known secret in the meetings and conventions industry: meeting planners don’t have to use the hotel’s in-house provider for their audiovisual needs when holding an event. Major convention hotels have in-house providers, outside companies who keep equipment at the hotel for use during meetings, and many think these companies have a monopoly on A/V for hotel events. But that’s just not true. As a meeting planner, you have the choice of your own A/V provider and can select one of your own for equipment rental, A/V production, and stage management. When you work with Technisch Creative, we help you determine your requirements so you can decide whether the in house A/V or an outside company is the best option for you.


Reason 1: Modern Technology.

Many in-house systems are dated and well-worn, with uncertain reliability. Just because a microphone and PA or projector is convenient for the A/V company to set up, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your event. Often times the maintenance schedule of the in house equipment is not as current as an outside company with quality control processes in place. At Technisch Creative, we invest in the latest technology for our clients, so we can bring in the best equipment to execute the job with the highest standards.

Reason 2: Service. 

Generally speaking, in house A/V companies exist for the meeting planner’s convenience. Their model is to provide easy access to the most commonly used pieces of equipment. The model of an outside A/V company is to provide the equipment you need to do the job right. At Technisch Creative, we take the time to understand the goals and objectives of the event and we plan accordingly. We become part of your team. When something glitches, we’ve got your back!


     

Reason 3: Value.

It’s hard to make a decision on numbers alone. Often times, the in house company has a higher retail price of the equipment rentals, but can offer added benefits like free wifi or rigging fees. An outside A/V company can offer added benefits, as well, that may not appear as a line item. Include services can vary from creative design work, stage management, and directing the show. When you are evaluating supplier contracts, consider the value of piece of mind and working with a team you trust.

Hiring an Event Management Partner

March 18, 2017 Author: admin Category: Event Planner Tips, Event Production Tips  0 Comments

So you’ve decided to have an event, and you’re not sure whether or not you need professional assistance. A good event management company should be an asset to your event, not a liability. They will bring knowledge and experience to the table which can help you save time and money. But not all event managers are created equal. Here are a few tips to help you find the right professional.

Ask about their experience. Event planning sounds like a glamorous job, which is one reason why event planning and management companies are popping up all over the world. However, there is no licensing or education required for one to call themselves an event planner, so ask to see examples of past jobs. And if they have beautiful pictures to show you, make sure they explain what their involvement was in the event pictured. Did they actually manage the event, or were they a volunteer helping with a small portion of the event?

Ask for references and follow up with them. It’s invaluable to find out what a past client’s experience was like. Make sure that you get a list of past client references and not personal references. Also, does the company have a list of repeat clientele? Consider checking with these clients, because repeat business is a testament to the quality of their work.

Ask about the company’s relationship with venues that you are considering for your event. An experienced professional should be able to work in most environments, but it can be an added bonus if they are experienced working with a particular venue. This can help save you a lot of time and expense with labor scheduling, site visits, and any union issues that could arise.

Ask how the company will charge for their service. Is it an hourly charge or is it a percentage of the event? Are they contracting and paying the vendors or will you be responsible for payments? If the company is responsible for paying the vendors, do they have good credit terms? If they are not responsible for contracting and paying the vendors, you will need to make sure that each vendor is properly licensed and insured.

Ask if the company owns/operates their own equipment. Some event management companies are able to provide services such as audio/visual production, decor, rentals, etc. in house, which may help reduce the end price. If they do not own or operate the equipment themselves, find out who are their partners in service.

Ask about the company’s network. Do they have access to unique ideas and services for your event? Are they current on industry trends?

Ask the name of the individual on staff that will be in charge of your event. After the contract is signed, will you work with an event coordinator throughout the process? Will that individual be on site for the event? If there is an intern or assistant coordinating the details during the planning phase, how are they being supervised?

Ask if they will be responsible for assuring the load out and clean up will be completed according to the facility’s requirements. Every event has an ending, and the clean up is an important part of the production. There may be fees involved if anything is left behind, so someone needs to be in charge to be sure the job is complete.

Ask for an example of how they’ve handled an emergency. If there’s one thing all experienced event managers will agree on, it’s that things never go exactly as planned. A good event manager will be able to analyze the situation and make quick, informed decisions to keep the event on track. The ability to make good decisions is what makes a good event manager great.