1205, 2017

Keeping the House in Order

The value in bringing order to the chaos of backstage.

In the process of delivering shows within the live events industry, the backstage has traditionally been considered this elusive and hidden space where all the ‘magic’ happens. The reality is that backstage can be a very dangerous place, especially for people unfamiliar with a show site environment. For many years, the importance of the backstage look and layout was ignored compared to the front of house and show stage. Today, a new trend has emerged where the design of the backstage has become a great concern. […]

1002, 2017

Unsung Heroes

Understanding the True Value of Technical Directors to Ensuring a Successful Event

Live events come together in many ways. Some firms bring in their own internal teams, while others employ a professional known as the technical director to facilitate the process. Essentially, the job of a technical director (TD) is to make a show run efficiently. From beginning to end, the TD plays a pivotal role in ensuring the event is executed not only successfully, but also in the most efficient way for the client. The benefit of a TD can sometimes be undervalued because it can take solving a problem for their role to be recognized, when the true value of what they do is minimizing any issues on show site. But, whether an event goes off exactly as planned, or experiences challenges, a good TD is well worth the investment and the value they can provide pays for themselves, significantly more than the cost. […]

501, 2017

Vetting the Crew

The Critical Importance of Choosing the Right People for the Right Job

In the wild west of live events, it’s clear that the technicians rule the world. They transform black boxes of miscellaneous gadgets and gizmos into these amazing displays and moving experiences for the audience. Whether a small, medium, or large show, it is critical to have a talented crew to ensure a successful outcome. The team in place can either make or break a show, and it is extremely important to take the proper measures to place the right people in the right jobs for your next event. […]

111, 2016

The Comfort Zone

What is the Catalyst for Change When Using Legacy Technology Providers?

Many events take place year after year using the same technical providers and crew. A successful show can often lead to the show producer developing a trusted relationship with the technology provider, and a certain comfort level is established. As a result, the same team will often end up in the fortunate position of supporting that show every year. There are benefits to having that level of trust and familiarity with your team. There is less risk involved supporting an event with a time-tested crew, technology, and staging approach that has proven to be successful in the past. Given that, why would a show producer ever change staging providers? What is the catalyst for a change? […]

1410, 2016

Creating Cohesion with Collaboration

Engage the staging company early in the creative process to maximize results

There are many players involved in developing the creative elements for a live event. The initial idea may come from someone in executive management at a firm, and then either an internal creative services team or outside production company develops the vision and messaging to bring the idea to fruition. There are also the people doing the actual presentations at the event. […]

3006, 2016

An Ounce of Prevention

Preparing to Navigate and Negotiate the Pitfalls of the Venue Contract

When planning a live event and trying to budget effectively, meeting planners may not realize what they can do to prepare on the front end to save time and money. During the planning process, companies commonly talk about equipment discounts, shipment costs, providing local labor and/or using in-house audiovisual to save money for the overall event budget. Although important items to consider, these types of savings occur much later in the overall planning, after the most important step in the process has already transpired – the execution of the venue contract. […]

2904, 2016

Delivering the Message

How do you choose the right mix of technology for the right audience?

The fundamental essence of live events is driven by a group of people coming together to receive, understand and communicate a message. Whether in a hotel ballroom, arena, convention center, or any other type of gathering place, companies that put together these meetings are trying to create an experience for the audience. […]

802, 2016

Losing Proposition

Everyone Loses with Current Paradigm of In-House Hotel Audiovisual Services

A hot button issue right now within the live event industry is the current state of in-house hotel audiovisual services. Twenty-plus years ago, audiovisual departments within hotels offered reasonable commissions to the venue, which allowed them to provide a quality service to the customer at a reasonable price, and were able to make a profit. It was synergistic relationship between the provider and hotel, and it presented value to the customer. Today, the majority of in-house hotel audiovisual companies operate on a model with highly inflated commissions going to the venue, resulting in prices that have skyrocketed to rates well beyond market pricing. The value in this proposition for the customer is virtually nonexistent. […]

1012, 2015

Commanding the Code Red

Ensuring Your Staging Provider Has a Plan to Expect the Unexpected

A phase commonly heard in the event staging industry is, “you are only as good as your last show”. This motto originates from the idea that despite having 10, 50, 100 or whatever number of previous successes on a show, people will only remember what happened the last time, especially if there was a problem. Clients expect to experience a perfect show as recognized by the audience. When problems or failures occur, these unfortunate circumstances can make an impression and overshadow any of the other successes. In order to avoid technical issues taking center stage during the event, it is critical for the event producer or planner to work with a staging provider that has a plan in place to deal with any challenges. […]

910, 2015

Fostering Growth

Identifying and developing new talent in the challenging industry of live events.

Let’s face it, among the current generation of millennials entering the workforce, there is most likely a very small percentage that dream of becoming an audiovisual technician. Working in dark ballrooms, unloading trucks, and pushing cases does not attract the younger generation to the live events business, as opposed to other more mainstream industries. Within a growing industry that depends on a large pool of talented technical people to drive the success of each event, it is critical to attract and invest in a new generation of human capital that will take the world of live events into the future. […]