Technical Specification for Equipment and Logistics
The first step in the technical design of a show is to determine the client’s
goals and expectations. The next step is to determine the challenges involved
in fulfilling those goals. Most venues and facilities have their own idiosyncrasies
and characteristics. A show designed for one property is not necessarily
the best design for another property.
an experienced show producer, I can inspect and assess the venue to determine
the most effective options to achieve the client’s desired results.
Throughout my career, I have responded to hundreds of Request For Proposals.
It is obvious that the majority of the people writing RFPs have little
or no knowledge of the technical gear or logistics that go into producing
a successful program. Different vendor companies have different equipment
inventories and technical support that are equal to or superior to the
specifications of many RFPs. Also there are hidden costs that can be covered
up by vendor companies and especially hotels that will hit the client
with the “Gotcha” at the end of the show.
written, and ideally reviewed, by a professional will give the client
a true apples to apples comparison of competing vendors and a true final
cost of these services.
When the budget is no option, it is usually advantageous to hire a company
with the latest and greatest state-of-the-art equipment and the best technical
staff available. When working within budget constraints, it is best to
contract the best-valued vendor for the project. The best value is not
necessarily the cheapest, because at the end of the day the program has
to have run perfectly and the client has to be happy. On the other hand,
it isn’t always necessary to hire a Steven Spielberg to film a family
are many vendor companies in the southeast and throughout the U.S. While
many of these companies claim to be a One Stop Shop, they usually have
a particular strength in one or two areas of production. The same company
is not always the best solution for different projects. Hiring a producer
who is familiar with these companies and who has a long history in the
industry can be an invaluable asset when choosing a vendor to represent
your company or organization. A lot is usually riding on that choice.
All too many times, event set-ups can be challenging. Especially when
the banquet staff, the caterers, the decorators, the florists, the stage
people, the audio, video, and light techs are all trying to work over
each other in order to get the show up and running in a short amount of
time. It is of the utmost importance to be working with a producer who
understands that every aspect of the show needs to work in order to have
complete success. That sometimes means working with an aspect of the show
that is not a direct responsibility of the producer’s. A “whatever
it takes” approach needs to be applied to all projects.
In order for a show to run properly, everyone needs to be on the same
page. Literally. A run-of-show script, that accurately represents the
timeline and events of the show, needs to be produced and distributed
to all production staff. Although many times the presenters and talent
on stage seem to have their own agenda, the production staff needs to
have a good baseline understanding of the show. A good producer will have
control of the production throughout the event. When the talent fails
to adhere to the run-of-show script, it is up to the producer to provide
technical support in a seamless manner to keep the show moving forward.
This involves making quick decisive decisions and communicating those
Cost is always a factor in every show. Often a streamlined budget going
into a show can be blown apart by on-site add-ons, pop-ups, and hidden
costs. I have a long history of tracking show expenditures from the concept
of the show until the final truck is loaded and leaves the loading dock.
This attention to the financial details of a show can avoid sticker shock
at the end of the show.