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Producing High-Profile Events: When You Have One Chance To Get It Right

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Jay Taylor

Jay Taylor

Vice President, Client Solutions

Freeman AV

Tips for combining analytical and creative for event marketing success

Article Summary:

  • 2:55 minute read
  • Discover three tips for success for live events, when you have only one chance to get it right
  • Learn how a combination of analytical and creative thinking can solve any challenge
  • Get advice from the teams that work on high-profile events like political debates and network television broadcasts
  • Find out how to translate high visibility into high impact 
  • Learn from five additional resources 

Executing a high-visibility event like a political debate or some other network television broadcast can provide a unique set of challenges.

From staging for the TV cameras to being prepared for extreme unpredictability, anything can happen during these types of programs. But high-profile events can also magnify some universal best practices that make the event industry the ideal blend of analytical and creative thinking. Here are three tips for success when planning a high-visibility event. 

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It's not just about the attendees in the room

Most event organizers freely admit to focusing on the physical audience at corporate events and trade shows, and taking care of their needs. At a high-visibility event, however, this type of personal attention grows dramatically because of one word: television.

Case in point, a high-stakes political debate may seat a few thousand people in an arena (the average attendance of a standard trade show). On the other side of the camera lens, though, this same event might be watched by millions of viewers.

With any sizable remote audience, the level of the attention to detail and observation rises. One can add to this an intense media and press presence not present at standard events.

A high-visibility event, therefore, becomes a complete psychological shift and not so much a process shift for event producers. Put simply, we change our perspective to worry about the same details that preoccupy the television networks. For example, a wrinkled tablecloth is less of a factor in a televised event than a standard event, while in a televised event, the focus is how the entire stage flows around and accentuates the participants. 

The goal is to deliver a great experience for the audience — whether they are in the room or they are watching from the comfort of home. 

It is about problem-solving, always

Every event presents distinctive tests, regardless of the visibility or size. At a recent event my team produced, the challenge was actually the setting. The rural location didn't have any hotels, and the closest airport was a two-hour drive away. We stayed in bed and breakfasts and produced an event without the usual resources of cities or larger metropolitan areas.

As an illustration, we had to stop all the tractor trailers coming into town because it couldn’t accommodate the amount of traffic! We staged our vehicles outside of town and worked from there to gradually import materials. That’s the kind of issue that only appears when you’re in the midst of it. Then it’s all about the problem-solving.

I like to say that success can be described as an on/off switch working, regardless of the visibility or scope of the event. A seasoned event producer taps into his or her resources and intuitive knowledge to ensure a smooth and successful production. After all, in the events industry, everything under the sun is largely about problem-solving.

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It is about both the journey and the destination

Creating a high-visibility event is the type of work that many in the event industry live for. The crazier, the better, as they say. Extreme unpredictability simply means event organizers need to elevate their problem-solving skills. Being outside of a comfort zone forces one to raise his or her thought process to levels not encountered at standard events.

My advice is simple: If you have the right team from the beginning, apply creative and analytical thinking to any challenges you face, and don’t lose sight of the details, no matter how small — any event of any visibility should go fine. 

Try not to forget straightening that wrinkled tablecloth, though.

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