Do you have a smartphone with a calendar? Do you check it each evening before bed, or each morning at breakfast, to determine what your day will look like? Now imagine the same calendar, but you share it with your co-workers and cross reference it with their schedules. It’s one calendar, but multiple people’s schedules are all in one place. It allows everyone to know exactly what is happening in the office at any given point, throughout any given day.
In simple terms, in the event world, this is basically the same as a run of show. A detailed timeline of the entire event, outlining all the key elements of the key players. A run of show is something you would share with your vendors, venue, speakers, and event staff to ensure they are all on the same page. It gives them a snapshot into the entire event, so they can anticipate the next important action item before it happens. Rule of thumb: anyone that has anything to do with the success of running your event should have a copy of the run of show. It’s kind of like a program, but with more information than when to anticipate the next intermission.
A production schedule is basically the equivalent of a script. It is every single detail broken down to the minute, from the moment your Emcee takes the stage until the closing remarks. It includes every audio-visual queue (lighting, sound, video, PowerPoint slides), the exact verbiage that will come out of each presenters’ mouth, stage entry & exit instructions, when to cue the confetti cannon; you name it! If something, anything, needs to happen during this timeframe you put it in the production schedule. If it is not written here, it basically does not exist. It can take many hours and sometimes days to create a complete production schedule. The biggest mistake many first-time events make is trying to create one of these beasts on their own without the help of a professional planner. It is highly unlikely you will be able to effectively anticipate all the needs of your event, especially from a production standpoint. A professional planner will be knowledgeable in how to communicate to multiple different people all in their own industry based language simultaneously. They can visualize the event unfolding in their head as they write, much like a movie unfolding, and can anticipate and troubleshoot timing and logistical issues ahead of time; so that you do not encounter them on your event day.
The take away here is, the more organized the communication on the expectation of how your event should flow, the better you set yourself up for success. Determine all your key players, how much information they need to execute their tasks, and provide them with the proper tools to get the job done! Most importantly, know your limits and seek out professional help when the program gets too complicated.
Multi Day Conferences, Special Events and Fundraisers