‘I don’t think I need a Producer’
3 October 2022
I’m Simon Read, a Technical Producer in our UK team. A strange title to start a blog I am aware, but a statement which I hear quite often. So, to unearth what some may see as a dark art, and others as an unexplained role, I thought I would take you on a journey of understanding, to show you what the fuss is all about when it comes to Producers.
We’re a special bunch, with many different hats that we wear daily (sometimes these can change by the minute); jumping between ideas, turning problems into solutions, filled with energy and enthusiasm, the aim is to make sure that every experience is a memorable one, filled with excitement, intrigue, and meaning.
Our role spans a multitude of areas related to your event. We’ve usually worked in a breadth of roles to expand our knowledge, covering aspects from Project Management to Production, with a thirst for information, new ideas, and opportunities to excite us, this also keeps us busy outside of the day-to-day work we do on our projects. We also love to share information, seeing a room light up by an idea which in turn can change the shape of an event.
As a group, we tend to be focused on creative ideas but remembering to be realistic in our delivery. You’ll hear us talk about the red thread, which is our way of making sure that every touch point, from your first email, through to the dressing of your dinners and the final close of your meeting is cohesive, on message and brand, and tailored to your ideas.
So, what is our special skill? It’s simple, we listen. You see, our job is to translate your words into ideas; to translate your descriptions to tangible solutions; to understand how the logistics, production, and design feed directly into the content and message of your meeting and in turn how this compliments everything your audience experiences throughout their journey. And this starts with listening to all stakeholders across the meeting.
As you can imagine, my weeks are pretty varied, but let’s take a snapshot of my last few days…
“Why are you involved in staging?”….Well this is the first thing your audience sees when they enter the room….I have a sharpened pencil which I wield like a wand, but that’s where my sketching ability ends, but as with most aspects of my role I know where to turn, to bring together our Production and Design teams as well as liaising with the Logistics team to understand the contracting of the space. You see we look at everything holistically to make sure that we bring the message to life, that our Design team can utilize the staging to the optimum, to make sure our Production team has the time to install the solution, and most importantly, to make sure that the idea that ‘we’, my client and I, have talked through, can be brought to life.
“Why are you involved in branding?”…Do you see a trend in these questions…well before we reveal an identity we look to build intrigue and excitement from the outset, our Designers just ‘get’ the identity and I am fortunate to have a Design team that is second to none. I’m not here to take over the design but to listen to the ideas and make suggestions, tease out client discussions, and help the team to compliment the messaging. Our branding this week took a journey with a client where we looked at having our onsite event staff change clothes during the meeting, keeping the identity a surprise until after it had been revealed in the room. We turned our team from a group clad in black, bringing the client’s brand to life and also making it easier for us to be identified by the audience.
“Why are you…” You get the idea… So here the entertainment forms a vital part of the event, so we need to make sure that everyone leaves with a memory, a thought that resonates and stays with them, and what better place to do this than where you meet for dinner? This week was an internal event, but we take the same process when we look to Healthcare Practitioner (HCP) attended dinners, with a knowledge of compliance and a flair for creativity we cannot only bring your internal dinners and engagements to life but also how activations and experiential treatment can be used to enhance your HCP dinners as well…I’ve even been known to query why certain cutlery is being used when it doesn’t fit into the theme…
The points above are a little tongue-in-cheek, but what I am trying to convey is we look at all aspects of your event through a slightly different eyeglass. We’re not tied to one space so we will prod and challenge to get the best for our clients and their audience. We’re also here to challenge our clients – not in a bad way, but we want you to have the best experience and will utilize our years of experience to elevate your ideas. We’re the people who hide in the shadows, but we will jump out at a moment’s notice to make sure a speaker has a microphone to hand to present to that audience member no one knew was coming on stage. We’re eagle-eyed and have one modus operandi – to make sure that you and your speakers look good, and your audience walks away talking about your event.
Hopefully, this gives a brief, but enlightening look into why we get involved and where we get involved, but obviously our jobs stretch across all aspects of your event. We’re like an orchestra’s maestro making sure each note is played at just the right level; at just the right time, and with just the right je ne sais quoi.
We’re driven by what we do; building engagement and disrupting the status quo, so next time you’re planning for your event, don’t say “I don’t think I need a Producer…”, ask the question, “…where is our Producer…?”, because we’d love to share our ideas and musings with you.
No matter where you are in the world or whether you’re delivering a face-to-face or digital program, we provide services for every eventuality and requirement.