There are so many different types of live events in the world. From fancy dinner fundraisers, to music festivals, to political fundraisers, to corporate training meetings. The list goes on and on. And the options, looks and feel of every event scenario out there, can vary widely. However, we’ve narrowed down a short list of elements that make up most perfect shows. Your event might not look like your colleagues but we’re willing to bet the process to making it happen looks an awful lot like this:
1. The Concept – Your event concept should be created early on. This will guide all other decisions from this point forward so a little time thinking about this is a good thing. Some groups know exactly what they want. But for others that are a little unclear on the Concept Phase, here are a few pointers.
- Develop your overall vision – You usually need to know where you want to end up before you start the planning process. The good news is that you are actually starting this planning process early, right?…OK, maybe you could have a little more time than you currently have, but some planning is better than none.
- Outline your overall goals – It’s really important early on, to outline what your overall goals are for your event. What are you trying to say? What do you want your attendees to walk away with? If it’s a concert, you will probably want to focus on entertainment value. Each attendee should feel like they had a good time with the group they came to see. Some special connection was made. T Shirts were bought. Songs are now stuck in heads. It was a good night…
For the Corporate general session meeting, you’ll probably be aiming at communicating the 3 main company objectives for the year, or something similar that is important to company leadership. Each attendee should be able to tell you this important company info when they leave. And if they were entertained while learning those objectives, all the better. Humans like to enjoy things.
- Determine an acceptable ROI – Define early on what acceptable results from the event will be. How can your team know if they did a good job if you didn’t determine what successful results look like? This is a huge part of the Concept phase, as it drives decisions later on by outlining what is really important.
2. The Creation – We consider elements of the Creative Phase to be services like: set and stage design, lighting design, content creation like videos, animation, slide design and other graphical items, renders, and drawings thru Vector Works or similar, and Producer planning and oversight. This is where having a dedicated Creative Services team can really come in handy. In the Creation Phase you will take your Vision, Goals and ROI focus and turn them into a working plan. While keeping budget in focus, a Creative Services team can create an event that revolves around your event’s purpose while providing the most engaging experience for your attendees. And don’t think that the Creation Phase is a “premium” option only reserved for those with large production budgets. It’s really more about the old adage “work smarter, not harder”. A little creative planning means you get a fresh set of experienced eyes on your event that can then suggest many ideas and scenarios that you might not have thought of. We’ve often seen Creative teams take an existing idea that a client had and then develop a concept that, with more impact, was more entertaining and creative but ultimately cost less money to execute than the original idea would have needed. Win-win.
3. The Execution – So here you are with a great concept and plan. But it doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t execute. Your best friend at this point is a seasoned AV Production Company. You’ll need a partner to provide all of the Staging, Lighting, Audio, Projection and Video elements that your Creative team worked so hard to develop. Great equipment is a must but also the right technicians to execute the concept with efficiency and precision. A little note on precision. If you ever wondered why large shows never “miss a cue” like some smaller shows, there is a secret. A show producer (director, show caller, etc) is a magical crew position. they are the ones that are usually sitting at the rear of the room directing every other show position over an intercom system. They are the coach, if you will, that keeps the technical team moving forward on schedule, and with precision. The use of a seasoned Producer will make a dramatic difference in the “crisp” execution of an event. There’s a saying in Live Production: “you’re only as good as your last show”. Make every event fantastic through proper execution and leave a great impression on every attendee.
The truth is that Live Event Production will always have its share of challenges. But that’s why we love to do what we do. The key is to plan a great event and then respond efficiently in real time as your event unfolds. The “perfect” event is rare, but you can get pretty close every time following these steps. Good luck out there!