How do you make sure your event crew has the kind of experience with your company that makes them want to work with you again – and again?
The live events industry is small. Word travels fast. If you are dedicated to delivering quality productions for your clients, you need to attract the best AV labor and freelancers – and keep them. So if you develop a reputation for poor live event crew management, you could find yourself in trouble.
It’s not enough to hire the best AV labor in the business. You need to schedule and manage your event staff in such a way that sets them up for success. Even the best production crews can’t perform up to standard if your crew management strategy is inadequate.
We know event production can be chaotic. But that doesn’t have to spill over into the way you manage your production crew. Even when the pressure of live event production boils over, you can block and tackle for your AV crew and staff with some simple strategies for better crew management.
Provide your AV crew with transparency & predictability
Or, as one labor coordinator we interviewed put it, “Always keep it one hundred.” However you phrase it, enabling your AV staff to anticipate the specifics of your live event is the only way to ensure they’ll be able to do their jobs properly.
“[Companies] need to provide the tools that are necessary to do the job right, not put us in a ‘make it work’ situation,” explained one sound engineer we spoke to. “We see that a lot. And that in turn has an effect on the companies we’d rather work or not work for. If a company doesn’t give you the tools to do a job right, then that’s a big problem.”
If you can’t set your production crew up for success, they’ll be reluctant to work with you again.
Read all the 7 Deadly Sins of Event Crewing & Staffing
Transparency and predictability are essential to give your AV crew the tools they need for success.
Predictability is the easiest part. Give your production crew generous notice of the fundamentals: dress code, call times, floor maps and more.
Transparency is the harder part. Sometimes you’ll have to deliver less-than-ideal news. Your AV freelancers and staff may have to work with imperfect conditions. They may have fewer hours than it would normally take to strike a set. They may need to “make do” with an older piece of equipment. There will inevitably be situations like these that are out of your control, and you’ll have to pass the unfortunate news on to your crew. But you do have to tell your crew.
DON’T: Try to hide bad news
One of the biggest mistakes event crew managers make is not letting the production crew know their limitations and challenges. Failing to deliver bad news out of fear of upsetting your crew is the surest way to upset your crew. Soften the blow of whatever obstacles may arise by letting your crew know as soon as possible, because given enough notice, the best AV labor will thank you for your candor and use the intervening time to devise ways to overcome those challenges.
Learn more about the solution.
Use tools like a crew management app to make life easier for your AV crew
One AV tech-turned-labor coordinator we spoke to was able to give this perspective from both sides. “Number one for me is communication… I don’t want to be in a crew of thirty that gets on site and says, ‘Who am I supposed to be checking in with? Who’s in charge here?’”
Sound familiar? It’s easy to dispense advice like “Communicate to your production crew for enhanced transparency and predictability.” It’s harder to figure out exactly how to do that to avoid situations like that one.
If you had the budget of a larger company, you could hire a massive team of labor coordinators. In lieu of people power, you can make technology work for you.
Technology is already available to help you do the work of ten people. Don’t avoid it out of fear of change!
Read all the 7 Deadly Sins of Event Crewing & Staffing
DON’T: Be afraid to use new tools
One study found that people spend 90% of their time on their phones using apps. In this day and age, your AV staff expects you to use crew management apps. Meet your production crew where they are at with simple tech solutions that make your production crew’s lives easier.
LASSO is one such crew management software that empowers event producers to share crucial live event information with their AV staff and freelancers through an easy-to-use mobile app, in real time. Learn more here or watch the video below.
The LASSO app makes live event crew management so much easier for coordinators and crew alike.
Successful crew management translates to customer satisfaction
Making sure you are employing the right crew management strategy is not only about ensuring you retain the best AV talent – it’s also about ensuring your clients are satisfied.
As event producers, we also know that labor coordination is not an exact science. One AV freelancer or AV tech may be perfect for one kind of show or client, while another may be suitable for a different kind of job.
With crew management software that tracks historic crewing data, you can make sure your customers are satisfied every time – and keep coming back to you instead of your competition.
DON’T: Make the same mistakes twice
That’s where managing your historic crewing data is so important. When you’re able to easily reference an AV freelancer’s work history to see what events they worked and what ratings you gave them for which positions, you can easily staff the right production crew for the right shows, and ensure that your clients will be satisfied with your AV staff – and vice versa.
Learn more about the 7 Deadly Sins of Event Crewing & Staffing – and more importantly, the solutions you can use to remedy them.