This has been covered before, but I am going at it from a different angle today, and for different reasons. First, let me share a story about one of my events a while back:
It was rush hour on GA 400, and I was stopped in the exit lane, waiting for traffic to clear so I could advance to the exit ramp. I looked up in the rear view mirror, and noticed a big Lexus SUV coming at me at a high rate of speed. Given how Atlanta rush hours are and how crazy the drivers can be, I did not think much about it. That was, until, the SUV was parked in my back seat and the front of my van was buried in the car in front of me.
Luckily, a police officer on his way to work witnessed the entire thing and rendered immediate assistance. I was ok, but in some major pain.
Three days later, I had a prom to play for in midtown Atlanta, but there was no way I would be able to set up, tear down, or assist with much other than mixing the music. Being the prepared one, I already had one roadie/assistant. The call went out, and I had another roadie/assistant ready to go.
The day came, and everything went like clockwork. The system was set up, effects lights were providing a dazzling light show, the music had already been selected and programmed in their custom event, and packing was a breeze when the event was over.
The reason for the success of that event, and all events our companies do was the prepwork that went into organizing and preparing everything from the cables to the equipment and the music.
How does one prepare for something? The primary question should be, “What can be done now that will make the task easier?”
If you are handling equipment, look at wrapping/storing power and signal cables, storage that offers easy access/loading/unloading, and the order the items are set up to determine packing/unpacking/storage. If you are organizing or running an event, look at the smaller tasks that go into it and see what can be done before the event to make the day of duties at the event go much more smoothly. Add information to the planner instead of waiting for it. Have materials pre-filled out and ready to deploy. If you are entertaining, have your music lists completed, organized, and mp3/4 files in folders, ready to play. Have your cords wrapped and matched to the sound system.
Another element in prepwork is to develop a checklist for common tasks, and use it. Add any task to the checklist you wish to include for prepwork and follow it.
The last element is after the end of the event, place everything back as you found it. Start when packing up items from the event that will be used again. That will make it available for the next event with a minimum of trouble to get the item ready again.
There is no right answer as each person, company, and situation is unique. With a bit of forethought, you can see what needs to be done to make your event duties much easier and more efficient. Preparing before it is time to worry about the event will make it go much more smoothly.
Filed Under: Business, Performing
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