The ongoing evolution of an event Technical Director
The role of an event organiser is becoming increasingly more complex as the number of individual services required to produce a successful event increase exponentially.
These days one needs to contract Broadband suppliers, Network engineers, Health & Safety officers, Risk Managers, and a host of other specialists simply to provide the basic services.
What is required therefore is a working methodology whereby the event is broken down into manageable areas of responsibility, each with its own project head responsible for the planning and management of their operation from the initial briefing through to the completion of the project.
Often the most complex aspect of an event is the technological requirement; a mix of disciplines ranging from the audio visual systems, video broadcast, interpretation, IT, Internet services and a recent requirement, a temporary power infrastructure installed in the venue to facilitate charging of delegate devices.
All of these services require the employment of individual specialised companies and all must be dovetailed into a single seamless technical supply to the event.
On an average event this will require the management of any number of separate companies, each with their own working methodology and requirements, therefore it is essential that there is a single operational plan presented to all of the suppliers in order to implement a logical and trouble free technical service.
Because of the increasingly complex nature of the technical infrastructure it is often difficult for an event organiser to manage not only the non-technical aspects of an event but also the Audio Visual content, and unless they have an in depth knowledge of the technical aspects, can often result in a less than perfect service.
Therefore it is advisable to contract the service of an independent technical Director who will facilitate the technical suppliers on your behalf and provide a single point of contact between yourself and the service providers.
It is also advisable for the Technical Director to be included in the initial planning of the overall event because the service should include, assistance in the venue selection, production of the floor plans and the design of the technical infrastructure, evaluation and recommendation of the technical suppliers and production of operational timeframe schedules, as well as the management of the technical budget.
However, there is an increasing expectation from clients to provide an added value service and so the role of the Technical Director is now changing to that of a Production Director.
This role not only includes the management of the technical aspects of the event but has also developed to include services such as, the creation of the overall event theme, recommendations on the entertainment and the management of the entertainers during the event. Liaison with the Décor suppliers regarding the practicality of the suggested design. Interaction with the venue and the design of the seating layout:
And should include a comprehensive knowledge of current health and Safety legislation.
It is therefore advisable that the Technical or Production Director become an integral member of the core team managing the event and is present at all of the post-event planning meetings and site visits.
The role, if contracted wisely, will have a positive impact upon the overall success of an event and help reduce the work load of the event organiser and hopefully their stress level and whilst incurring a direct cost to the client, should be seen as an essential role in the ever increasing complexity of an event infrastructure.
David Gladwin – Technical / Production Director since 1994 (Directed events across five continents)
Tel – +27827880234
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