Running events is a multi-faceted, electrifying and challenging business as I’m sure any of you event managers out there will already know. Any of you who haven’t seen behind the scenes of organising and running events, in particular variety events, let me divulge.
First comes initiating a boom sauce idea that gets your own toes curling in anticipation. Then comes setting up a date with a venue, meeting with them, convincing them that you’re night is gonna be MA-HEGA and all of the liaison around that. Next comes gathering the fabulous artists to make your show a real extravaganza! As you can imagine, this process can take anything between days, weeks and months, depending on the size of your show, the amount of people in each act, whether Dave from Cardiff, who’s still in the band, happens to be in your ends that weekend or whether the reduced band still means that they are comfortable to play.
After booking your myriad entertainers, you have to make sure your space and facilities accommodate for them so next comes accumulating all of their widespread needs, wants and desires. In particular technical requirements, spatial needs and other miscellaneous requests. Whilst you’re thinking, oh wow this show is gonna be UH-MAZING, you’re also pondering how on earth is this night going to run smoothly? So next comes recruiting your team. Your team may include door staff, security, set-up and take down crew, co-hosts, folks with vans, people to cover social media at the event and even some people to engage with the audience.
Then you’re thinking, WAIT! I want people to remember the show in HD, so you book a sound technician (please never consider running a music event without one of these experts, this will be the difference between your night sounding like an awkward village fête and a truly memorable gig) and of course a photographer and videographer if you wanna capture the magical wonderment!
Okay, so now you have a pretty strong team and you pray to all of the gods that your large crew show up on the day. Next comes logistics, how, who, where, what time and WHY did you sign up to organise this mayhem?! I jest, you still writhe with excitement at the prospect of this legendary show! You knuckle down to some of the most fervent admin wizardry you can muster and disperse it to your newfangled team. Be prepared to answer every single question under the sun; the more information you can prepare initially, the less stress you’ll feel when you receive this magnificence of queries.
Be prepared to answer every single question under the sun; the more information you can prepare initially, the less stress you’ll feel when you receive this magnificence of queries.
SOUND THE ALARM!!! One vital element you must not bypass is promotion. Of course, you may have the raddest, most dynamic spectrum of a variety show in history but if no-one is there to witness it, it will never go down. Your decision here lies with streamlining your promotion, which ways are best for your audience? Where will you distribute posters and leaflets? Who will design them? Who will print them? Who will collect them? Who will distribute them? Will you write a press release? Will you try get a slot on a radio show or a piece in the paper? Will you send your event to local events’ listings? Will you share your event across social media channels? Into local online groups? ARE YOU EXHAUSTED YET? Just take one step at a time, you really can never do enough promotion so just make informed decisions about which routes to follow, know your budget and remember to delegate wherever possible!
A lot of these facets will overlap and continue up until very close to the event day/s. A verbal or mental walk through, even a role play, can help with combatting each and every to-be-hiccup or issue. You might realise, oh wait! We need 5 more hangings as this venue is bigger than last time! Or my usual van guy just broke his foot, WHO HAS A VAN? Freaketh thyself not, things will come together in the end. Remember, people are your resource and if you’ve got an issue, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Someone will know someone who knows someone…
In short, leading such a multi-dimensional operation brings a variety of challenges and knowing where best to invest your time and energy is vital. Along the way you learn how to multi-task and be the most productive, how to build a strong core team of people who truly care, how to build business resilience, to delegate and how to make sure everything gets done. Having organised events over the last 5 years for House of Verse, new investments have had to have been made to support our growth. These things include storage space for our expanding gear, insurance to cover our escapades and financial support – thanks to the fantastic Pro Active Resolutions – to help keep track of our records.
And just incase you wanted an extra insight into how the costs for House of Verse are broken down (for a single show), check out the beautiful info graphic below, made by the fabulous EM Design Studio.