Last week, I was fortunate enough to snag some last minute tickets to Live! with Kelly and Michael in New York City.
A 4:53am train ride took us into an eerily quiet Manhattan for a morning of live television, something I have never experienced. Little did I know I would be inspired to write a blog post based on events (ok, not that I’m really surprised). Live TV and Events are actually very similar, bottom line is: you only have one shot to get it right the first time.
Here are 4 takeaways specifically for event planners from my studio audience experience:
Cater to Your Audience
Every episode, Kelly and Michael have a dancer from the audience come on stage during the trivia portion of the show. This person is selected by competing in a dance off with a few other members to see who comes out victorious. One girl was breakin’ it down like it was 2am with her girl friends trying very hard to earn herself that on-air spot. Unfortunately for her, the show was looking for more of a PG type of twerk. Because she ignored to adapt her favorite dance moves to what was best for the show’s audience, she got the boot back to the audience. When pitching a new client or even networking, the same rules apply. Know exactly what your potential client would want to focus on, and cater to their needs, not what necessarily what you think would be best.
With every live show, there are a few commercial breaks when hosts are able to get up, touch up makeup and linger with guests. But just because the cameras are off, doesn’t mean the watchful eyes of the studio audience are as well. I feel like whenever everyone meets a celebrity, their first order of business is to decide whether they are down to earth and nice, or stuck up and rude. I was impressed with Kelly and Michael’s ability to stay “on” with the audience even after cameras were off. As event planners, our clients can always be watching or listening, so even though you are done with your welcome intro speech, they totally saw you yell at the florist, and that will stick with them much longer.
TV production crews like to get things done fast. So when the live show was done and it was time to film a pre-recorded episode for late december, it was time to transform the set. Within a matter of 2 minutes, the stage was completely decked out with everything and anything holiday. How? The second the crew was sent out, each person had a very specific duty, completed it, and exited the stage. This method allowed a very quick and clean setup, with no confusion or communication issues in front of the studio audience. The set up for your event should run just as smoothly. By making very specific delegations and preparing your team appropriately, things will get done efficiently and quickly.
Make Info Easily Accessible
When we arrived to the outside of ABC studios at about 6:15am, a group of girls had already been outside. ABC security came out around 7:30am to check our tickets, when they explained they were standby attendees, the security guard told them they needed to come back at 8:30am, when all standby’s are allowed in. The girls pleaded they have been standing there since 4am and didn’t want to lose their spot in line – but protocol is protocol, especially at something as large as an ABC production. To ensure something like this doesn’t happen to your event attendees, make sure important information such as parking info, directions, timing, is posted on your website, social channels, and any other event collateral.
What other life experiences have made a connection to event planning in your life? Share your stories in the comments below!