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Organizing a live event production can be challenging. Creating a memorable event can be exhilarating! You need to be prepared for any number of contingencies, both good and bad. The keys to success include pre-planning, organization and assembling a team of talented professionals.

Let’s examine seven secrets for pulling off a successful and memorable live event.

1. Know Your Client

As the event producer, you need to be able to communicate directly with your client. Every aspect of producing an event, from budgeting, booking the venue, technical requirements and logistics revolves around the needs of your client.

If, for example, you are organizing a speaking engagement and your client is an author or business leader, they will generally have a team of handlers and communications staff, management and public relations people who represent them. There may be layers of staff between you and the end client.

Try to get an advance meeting with the appropriate parties in order to discuss logistics, staging and the presentation to save time. Creating a memorable live event production begins with understanding the needs and expectations of your client.

2. Know Your Audience

Once you know what your client expects, you need to understand your audience. Connecting your client to their audience is the main task in live event production. You need to understand how to reach your target audience, what methods to use to get them to act and then create a memorable event that will move, entertain, educate and excite them.

It is important to place your message where your audience will see it. That means understanding where the go for information. Is it social media, online news services, email, TV, radio or print?

live event production

Production Design – Gray Matter Visual

3. Know Your Venue

Understanding and knowing the intricacies of your venue is your best defense against failure. Assess the room. Check the dimensions, ceiling height, capacity, and logistics like loading dock access, noise levels, lighting and sound.  Meet the venue staff, managers, technical crew, etc.

Every venue has its own unique policy and way of doing things. Some will let you bring in your own crew; some will require you to work with their staff. Some venues may have exclusive agreements regarding audio and lighting.

Make sure to make friends with the venue management. Remember, you’re in their house and they can be important partners in creating a successful event. Your site survey has two main objectives – to gain an understanding of the venue and to build relationships with the staff.

If you are responsible for finding and booking the venue, conducting a site survey will help you to match the venue to the event. You don’t want to book a punk rock concert in a classical recital hall (or maybe you do!). Understanding your client and your audience will get you to the right venue.

4. Build A Team

Mounting any successful live event  is a team effort. Public relations, banquet staff, security, bartenders, wait staff and technical staff all play a major role in the success of any event. Hiring and working with a the right technical event production company is paramount.

A technical event production company can handle all of the technical aspects of the production. They will survey the site and provide the right stage, sound and lighting systems to fit the venue and the needs of the client. Prior to the event, they will work to design the event lighting. On the night of the event, you will have qualified sound and lighting engineers and a production manager in house to make sure your event is coordinated and coherent.

Your technical event production partner will also handle all of the set-up, operation and tear down of all of the technical equipment needed, freeing your time to handle the other critical tasks necessary for pulling off a successful event. Working with a professional technical event production company is a smart move.

live event production

Photography – Derek McCabe

5. Make Safety A Priority

Safety should be a priority at any live event. Working with professional security and a technical event production company will ensure the safety of your guests. Understand the limitations of the venue, including capacity and technical specifications. Your technical event production company will know the layout and logistical issues of the venue and will work to ensure safe placement and operation of the stage, sound, lighting and overhead rigging.

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of all of the safety regulations for the location of your event. Do you need a paid police detail? Do you know the fire regulations and capacity for your venue? Do you know that all the equipment you are bringing in is up to code?

Running a successful live event production includes taking the safety of your performers, staff and guests into account and making it your top priority.

6. Prepare, Rehearse And Have A Plan

Every live event requires planning, organization and preparation. This holds true for marketing, pre-production and on the night of the event. Make sure you’ve outlined, organized and delegated tasks for each aspect of your event. Create a timeline and stick to it.

On the day of the event leave plenty of time for any rehearsal, sound and light checks and pre-event technical preparation. If you’ve hired and are working with a technical event production company, they will have this portion of the event under control. Make sure to coordinate with them and provide your talent, staff and client with a detailed schedule, call sheets, and checklists for the day and evening of the event.

live event production

7. Stay Within Your Budget and Deadlines

Proper pre-planning can go a long way towards keeping your live event production on time and budget. Set realistic timelines and deadlines. Be aware of adding extras and their effect on budget. Adding extra microphones, lighting, video feeds or cameras can add up quickly. So can underestimating the time it takes to set up for your production.

Always plan for contingencies. Labor costs can quickly escalate if you’re not prepared. Plan for additional labor costs well in advance of the event. Keep your staffing ratio in balance. It’s crucial to staying on time and on budget.

Mounting a successful live event production can be a thrilling and fulfilling project. Proper planning before the event, building a team and hiring a professional staff can help you to achieve success. Going into any production with an organized detailed plan is the key. With prior planning and preparation, you’re sure to pull off a memorable successful live event that your guests and client will be talking about for a long time!