Episode 6: Corralling The Chaos On Show Sites feat. Mike Aubry and George Flores

by | Aug 25, 2022

Angela Alea, and special guests Mike Aubry and George Flores unpack the chaos on event sites and what measures leaders can take to help their crew and clients avoid it.

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Angela Alea:  Welcome back to another episode of Corralling the Chaos Podcast. We wanna talk about the chaos that often occurs at show sites and what we can do to minimize that. So we have a couple of guests joining us. That’s gonna help us dive into that. Who’ve not only lived that chaos, but they’ve been some of the leaders to take measures to help their crew and clients avoid it.

Today, I wanna welcome Mike Aubry director of field operations who spent the last 25 years in the industry, spanning everything from building sets in a warehouse to sales, to running full shows. So I’m pretty sure he’s seen a few things. I also wanna welcome George Flores, who has. Spent the last 12 years living and breathing shows, he’s done everything from providing his technical expertise to coordinating labor.

And now he’s managing crews full-time all across the country. So welcome George and Mike. I appreciate you joining us.

Mike Aubry: Thank you for having us. Good morning.

Angela Alea: All right. Well, today, like we talked about, we wanna dive into the responsibility that we all have. In creating this chaos, you know, I think it’s everything from the clients who are doing the shows to the event, production companies, to the crew, that’s working it.

We all have a role that we play in either adding to the chaos or minimizing the chaos. So I wanna start with one question. Why are things so chaotic?

Mike Aubry:  I’ll jump in first. Part of the reason is that a lot of times you have a lot of different companies working on a singular event. So you have multiple companies, you have technicians from, you know, three or four different companies, all with different disciplines, all dressed in black, they all look like they’re there to do the exact same job we’re there to do.

And it’s hard to distinguish between who’s on your team. Who’s not on your team who you’re taking, uh, you know, instruction from and who, you know, who is working in a completely different area than you are.

So when you get there, you know, you’re walking around and you’re looking for where you need to be. It’s, it’s often tough just to distinguish, you know, who you’re working with that day. If you. Already had experience with that company.

Angela Alea: Yeah. So it’s kind of like the goal is to blend in. Right. But at the same time, be distinguishable, right.

Have a distinct skill set. And how, how do you blend in, but stand out at the same time. So curious, George, what, what do you, what do you do at show sites that help you manage crews? Who all look the same? Right? They’re all dressed the same. How do you identify who’s in lighting versus audio? Like, you know, how do you do that?

George Flores: Well, you know, with, with these events at that I’m on. And they typically are very large events. It’s really a matter of just, you know, communication, uh, you know, letting the crew know, Hey, this is gonna be our meeting point every time. You know, when we check in, in the morning, when we get ready to go on break, we get ready to go on lunch.

You know, this is gonna be the area that we wanna meet in. So that there’s no confusion when we’re getting mixed up, because yeah, we do oftentimes cross over with other crews. Uh, it happens on the same event. Even you may have another sourced, uh, you know, uh, labor group that’s there. And so you’ve got a mix of all these people.

So really just communication and trying to, to have one place where everyone meets each other at the same.

Angela Alea: Awesome. Well, what piece of advice? I mean, so much of our industry left and then a huge portion of our industry is retiring at the age where they’re, looking to wind down. Right. So we’ve got to figure out how do we groom this next generation of event professionals.

And so what one piece of advice would you give to someone new entering our in.

Mike Aubry: I am going to steal a line from, uh, one of our marketplace specialists. She had a great line that she used when talking to some new guys and gals coming into the industry and, uh, It has nothing to do with your technical abilities or anything like that.

It’s just every day is going to feel like your first day for a while. When you get to show site, you might have parked in one place one day and the next day it’s completely different. You know, one day there’s food next day, there isn’t, every show is different. Every crew is different. You need to be prepared for that, that it’s not going to be easy to settle in.

Right. In the beginning, you’re going to feel like the odd duck out for a while and just get, just know that that’s what’s gonna happen. It’s not bad. It’s not. You know, anything that you’re doing wrong, it’s just something you have to get used to. And once you, once you get used to it, then it, then it becomes second nature.

But those first, those first few shows are gonna be, you know, a little bit of a struggle, but you’ll get through it. That’s

Angela Alea: where the personal growth happens. Right. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Yeah. That’s that’s great. What about you, George? What advice would you.

George Flores: Well, just to kind of attach to what Mike said, you know, going out as a crew chief for us, you know, I, I feel like that some days too, like it’s the first one learning every time, whether it be technical things that I’m learning or learning, just interactions with different people.

Uh, in my advice to somebody entering the industry would be don’t believe that you’ll ever reach a day where you will know it. You won’t ever, ever, ever, uh, come mind hungry for knowledge and ask a lot of questions. There are many great technicians that are willing to help you. Uh, and the amazing thing about our industry that there’s just always room to grow.

Angela Alea: That’s great. Well, what do you think our industry needs that it does not have right now?

Mike Aubry: This goes back to a lot of people being new in the industry, but I think we need more mentors. People that are willing to share their craft, take someone under their wing, you know, be it one person, be it 10 people.

I had a mentor. He took me under his wing, showed me the ropes, gave me enough knowledge that I could go out and find the rest on my own, but just somebody that was there for me and someone I could like bounce things off from was very important to me. And I think we need more of that.

Angela Alea: Agree. How about you, George? What do you see?

George Flores: Yeah, absolutely. You know, with, with speaking of mentors, you know, that leads right into training. I think, you know, we really need more accessible and I say the word accessible opportunities for technician training, you know, just, just helping technicians get more knowledge, you know, grow their skill sets, be more marketable.

And really when a train crew arrives on site, Everybody wins. Like every single person on site wins when you have a trained crew. So I really do hope for more opportunities for technicians to get training. Yep.

Angela Alea: Both. Great, great, great observations. Yeah. It’s always, I’ve always had such respect, you know, especially these large shows that, you know, you’ve got 50 people that you’re responsible for managing and, and understanding who’s showing up to do what so.

Any tips from either of you on, on things that either the crew can do or the production companies can do to help you further distinguish which of these 50 people should be working in my breakouts versus the others. I mean, many times, sometimes people are familiar, right? And sometimes it’s brand new people that you don’t know who to look for.

You don’t know their name, you don’t really know their skillset. So any tricks that you all have used to, to kind of help you speed up that familiarity process.

Mike Aubry: Well, one thing that that’s important for the crew to. To do that. They can, uh, take some of that chaos away from themselves is to read their notes and their job description very carefully.

Mm-hmm , you know, a lot of times people show up and they don’t even know what job they’re there to do. They know they’re there to work for this event, but they don’t know if they’re in breakouts or if they’re in lighting. Because, you know, they have multiple disciplines, so they could do a lot of different things and they don’t even realize that they’re supposed to be working in the breakouts versus, you know, helping hang lights.

And I think George has a very good example of something that he’s done, uh, in the past that helps, you know, distinguish those people. Right, right. From a glance. So I’ll

Angela Alea: Yes. Do tell

George Flores: George. Yeah, absolutely. Well, I I’ve been very fortunate to, to have worked with some clients in the past that, you know, oftentimes they send a lot of their own leads to, to kind of work with our own crews.

So they’ll send audio leads, they’ll send video leads, they’ll send lighting leads, they’ll even send, you know, the two spots, you know, L twos and a two S and V2 S uh, and so when you have a crew that you’re taking on site to work with these leads, you know, no one knows anybody. Uh, oftentimes I get on site.

I’m meeting these people for the first time as well. And we’ve, I’ve, I’ve worked with some clients that were really great about, you know, identifying who these leads are. Hey, this is who you report to. So guys would show up with, you know, badges name, tags, just things that would help us know. Hey, I have a question about the L E D wall.

There’s 10 people over there. I don’t know who to talk to. So I was on a site recently for us, and it was a very large crew. And, you know, it was one of those deals that we had so many different, uh, like Mike mentioned earlier, uh, areas to work in, you know, breakouts in general session, lighting, video, audio, I mean, just you name it.

There was every kind of technician there. So what I did was, uh, I put together some name tags and I can kind of show you here. Love it. So if you can see here, uh, you know, we’ve got Jerry S in the blue, we’ve got George C in the red Cosmo K in the green, and you know, what we did here was, you know, just said, okay, Blue’s gonna be audio today.

Red’s gonna be lighting green is going to be video. And so. You know, for the crew and myself, that was a good way to distinguish, you know, who was in what area, um, names, you know, checks really appreciate when you’re able to call them by name all the time. Uh, yes, which I learned is so important versus, Hey, you, Hey, you come over here.

When you can really get that familiarity and just be able to call someone by their name. They appreciate it. So, so much. So, you know, I really. Would encourage clients, uh, as you’re sending out technicians to show sites, you know, take the time. Spend the money, the resources to identify your crew. It really will help everybody on site.

I think doing those kinds of things, name tags, badges, wristbands, they go a long way, and I think clients should really invest in those tools to help things be like we said more, uh, Or less chaotic on site.

Angela Alea: Yeah. That’s such an important point that you just made that I wanna spend another minute on it because I think our industry struggles, right.

Because the companies expect their crew to be an extension of them. Right. But it’s really hard to do that when they’re treated as a number. Right. If, if I’m showing up to do something for you, you want me to feel a part of what you’re doing and that doesn’t happen when it’s, Hey you, it definitely shows you’re interested in me as a human being, showing up.

To work for you and to provide my talents and skill sets when you go a step further. And it’s such, I mean, these are not like heavy lifts, but you saying that you took the time to put a name to these people, right? Not only that, but to organize it further by saying a yellow tag means you’re in lighting, blue means you’re in audio, right.

It just further helps people identify. With what their role is in the success of the show. And so I don’t wanna skip over that cuz I think that’s such a small thing to do that has such a big impact. If we want these people to feel a part of the success of the show, you they’re just not gonna do that when you treat ’em like a number.

I think that’s such a great recommendation to make so kudos to you for, for doing that and instilling that. I’m sure it went a long way. The, the company, their client, and certainly with the crew that you were managing and let’s face it, it probably made your job easier too. Right? So that’s, that’s a win for everybody.

So that’s awesome. Well what are some things, what are some other things that you think companies, the event company can do? Not, not the person, not the end client, but the event production companies can do to help minimize the chaos at the show.

Mike Aubry: Well, one thing that they, they definitely have to do more preplanning and part of that goes to setting realistic schedules.

Angela Alea: What does that mean by realistic schedule?

Mike Aubry: So instead of booking someone for a five hour call knowing you’re gonna work 10 hours that day, because oftentimes the technician can’t work past five hours because that’s all they allotted themselves. That you know, that’s what was expected of them.

So they’ll, they’ll book technicians for five hours, knowing that they’re gonna go much longer than five hours, but they don’t wanna have to cut back later. That’s a very, uh, fine line to walk cuz you don’t wanna disappoint the crew by taking hours away from them. But you also don’t wanna leave yourself short when they can’t, uh, stay later than the scheduled time.

And we’ve run into this quite a bit and it common problem.

Angela Alea: Yes, we hear it all the time.

Mike Aubry: And, I think the, the better option is to definitely, um, do a little bit more, pre-planning try to understand. I mean, there’s always gonna be things that pop outta nowhere, right? The, the, the venue isn’t ready, trucks show up late.

Those things are gonna happen. But if you schedule your day properly, even when things pop up, you’re gonna have a better, um, A better game plan. You’re gonna be able to roll with the punches a lot

Angela Alea: easier. Yeah. Cause you’re anticipating that things are not always gonna go as planned. So we should just go ahead and anticipate for that and have a plan B and communicate that.

Mike Aubry: Right. Another thing I think that these, uh, production companies can do is, uh, Know what they’re asking for. You know, a lot of times they’ll ask for five stage hands, and then when they get to show site, they really wanted those people to be audio people or video people.

Angela Alea: Why does that dis disconnect happen so much?

Because I know that happens all the time, too. Right? So the company’s frustrated because I’ve got a stage hand when I really needed an audio person, but I, I thought at the time I needed stage hands, the stage Chan is frustrated, cuz they’re being asked to do something that either isn’t in their wheelhouse necessarily, or let’s just face.

It would garner a different pay rate to do some of the things they’re asked to do. Right. So why does that continue to happen? And how can companies minimize that? I mean, there are gonna be times when you’re caught off guard, but what can they do to, to keep that? Cuz that’s a big, a big issue that leaves a sour taste in both the company’s mouth and the crew member.

So what can they do to minimize that?

Mike Aubry: Well, I think that they, uh, you know, for lack of a better word, I think they need to not worry. You know the budget as much because in the long run, they’re, they’re adding money to their budget when they don’t have a qualified technician on site. So if they, if they book an audio guy or let’s just say a general AV person, they book a general AV person, they.

That person can always step back a skill set easily. They can always become a stage hand without any effort. Yeah. The stage hand can’t always step up to that general AV position because they don’t have the skill set yet. And you know, part of what we go through is. There’s different terms that people use across the United States, you know, um, stage hands are pretty widely known to be the guys on the show.

Mm. And if a production company, just books, stage, hands thinking, they’re gonna get the entire gambit of what you know, can be done. They’re going to. You know, be very disappointed in the long run. Yeah. You know, so they can work with our, they can work with our team to, to go over what the, um, skillset is needed.

I, I would recommend that for sure. Instead of just assuming a stage hand can do everything. Talk to the talk to the marketplace specialists or to other members of their own team, maybe to get a little bit more accurate assessment of what is needed on show site versus just, well, I just need some stage hands sending me some stage hands and we’ll make it work.

Angela Alea: Do you think this is a question for both of you? Do you think they’re doing that because they’re trying to operate within the budget that the show was.

Mike Aubry: Unfortunately, I think that does lend to a lot of this. I know for a fact, some companies will book the lowest end and then, you know, Bump up when needed.

Right? So I’ll book 10 stage hands. And if any, one of those guys who work on an L E D wall, then only gotta pay for one guy to work on L E D wall, whether he has the right skillset or not, you know, I’m gonna move him over there. And instead of just booking the L E D technicians from the get go. So you, the shows are not like in that example.

Angela Alea: And, we’re gonna talk about this in, in a separate episode. Because so much of the chaos that I think happens downstream is a result of what happens upstream when it’s sold. Right? How it’s sold, the timeframe, the turnaround, you know, anything is possible, right. It just may cost you more. Right. So if you really need, yeah, an L E D person put it in the proposal, don’t propose stage hands.

When, you know, don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, right? Like. Sell the appropriate things that you’re gonna need. So then you have the budget to go get the resources, same with gear, right? Same with all of it. Right? If you’re, if you’re appropriating the correct amount for the budget, a lot of the chaos goes away.

Cause you’ve got margin. You’ve got, you know, a, an amount in there to account for that. You’re you’re delivering on what you sold. Versus trying to deliver on something that doesn’t really mesh well with what was sold. So I think that’s an important takeaway is so much of the chaos that happens at the show site starts with how it’s sold and the expectations that you put on the team based on how it’s sold.

So if you need an L E D engineer, sell it that way don’t sell a stage hand because then we’re, you know, a stage here’s gonna show up and you’re gonna be disappointed. And that stage hand’s gonna be disappointed, right. Because they wanna do a good job. And then when you’re asking them to do something that isn’t in their wheelhouse, that’s frustrating for them too, because everyone shows up with a good intention of doing a great job.

So I think that’s a really, really important point. So thank you for that. I think that’s great.


Interested in this topic? You might like: Episode 7: Selling The Show


George, do you have anything to add on that? On what, what can these companies do to make it less chaotic?

George Flores: Yes, definitely. So, you know, just to kind of add on to what Mike said, I saw this with my former company as a labor coordinator, and even now going out for us is budgets play such a huge role in, you know, what kind of, uh, chaos or, you know, uh, execution happens on site.

So what I’m seeing a lot is. Budgets are getting really tight on labor calls, not just, you know, the positions that these technicians are being asked to work, but also the size of the crew. So what I’ve seen recently in the last few months is we’ve got these, you know, good size loading crews, very practical enough people to cover every area, enough people to do the job safely and, and do it well.

Um, and then we get up to load in time and it’s half that size or less mm-hmm of that crew. And, and, you know, generally we have a lot of the same technicians on, on both sides of these events. So I’ll see less than half of them on the out. And they’ll look at me like, well, where’s everybody else like, and, and it’s like, I’m sorry, this is it.

You know, this is all they ordered. And we kinda look at each other like, well, we’ve got, you know, these, these 30 foot screens and tons of trust and lighting and piping drape, and L E D wall and you know, 30 K projectors and all these things that. You know, needed that manpower to get set up. And now we’ve got less than half of that to actually, you know, do the job.

So I really would love for clients to consider when you are staffing these events, you know, safety first, uh, what kind of numbers are you looking at to get things loaded in, and then trying not to really go too far from that when you’re loading out, I understand it’s gonna be less people, but you know, I’m seeing kind of an extreme on site, quite a.

To where it is just a fraction of that crew. And I think if they really are starting to think a little bit more, you know, budget minded and safety minded on these out, it’s really gonna help these crews, you know, execute it and be safe at doing it.

Angela Alea: So we’ve talked about what the end client can do.

We’ve talked about what the event production company can do. What’s the crew member’s role. What’s the Tech’s role. What’s their responsibility to make sure they have a less chaotic experience. And the customer has a less chaotic experience. What can they do?

Mike Aubry: We touched on it a little bit before, but they need to read their notes.

They need to know what their position is. They need to make sure that they’re qualified for the position because we find a lot of times texts try to build themselves up a little higher than what they really are. Right. Oh, I can do that. I can do that. But then when they get there, they, they struggle and they’re, they’re afraid to admit that they need some help.

Mm-hmm so, you know, they should, they should definitely understand the position they’re applying for and make sure that they aren’t getting in over their head. And the, the last thing is ask questions. Don’t assume things don’t guess at things, ask questions. If you’re unsure about something, ask the lead for us, ask the client, ask whoever, whoever is the most relevant, but just ask questions.

Don’t don’t leave it up to guesswork.

Angela Alea: Good insight. Georgie. You have anything to add to that?

George Flores: Everything Mike is saying it’s spot on. And, and the word, you know, communicate is so big because it works, you know, with leads on site, it works with your crew. So as a technician, if I’m going on site, you know, really knowing how to communicate being on time.

If I can’t be on time, communicate, let your lead know this happened. I’m gonna be late, but I will be there. Mm-hmm uh, and one of the most important things for me is, you know, when you’re working on a crew, really trying to adopt that team, And what that means is, you know, that team attitude is me having that willingness to step into any space needed and to help the crew and the client get the job done.

So, you know, understanding I’m here as, as a part of a team and, you know, I’m gonna be asked to do things I’m gonna have to step over and do other things. I’m not gonna get upset about it. I’m not gonna get frazzled. I’m just gonna jump in and be aggressive and, and crush it. Uh, so. Team attitude is, is such a huge part of being part of  an audio visual crew.

Angela Alea: Well obviously, I mean, I think there are a lot of things in the event industry that are complicated chaotic, and the reality is they should be the nature of what we do is hard. It is complicated. There are so many moving parts, right? So I don’t think the answer is everything should be easy and that’s, you know, it’s all attainable because the reality is.

The nature of what we do, it is chaotic and it is complicated. So are there any areas of producing a show that everyone should just continue to expect? Hey, this part it’s always gonna be chaotic. Like that’s just the nature of it. There are things we can do to minimize it, but you should have the expectation that these aspects it’s complicated.

So because of that, it’s gonna be a little chaotic. So any areas that you would identify that.

Mike Aubry: You’re never gonna get away from multiple companies working on a, a single event, you know, and there’re gonna be 30 or 40 people on the crew that aren’t even part of your team. And knowing the difference between what you’re doing, what they’re doing.

I I’ve, I’ve had instances where I’ve had a guy working for four or five hours for a different company, just because he blended in with the wrong set of. Yeah, it, that sounds, oh, he got it mixed up with the wrong crew, but I mean, that does what happens, right? They’ll they’ll start hanging lights, you know, like you weren’t supposed to be over there.

What have you been doing all day? Well, I’ve been hanging lights with those guys. He was working, he was confused and you know, it’s very confusing. So it’s our job as leads and, uh, crew chiefs on show site to make sure that our people are in the right place. That, and that’s what we do. Well, I think that, that some other companies, maybe Don.

Do as well as we have a lead or a crew chief on every event and it’s their job to make sure people are in the right place at the right time. Never gonna be perfect. But because we have that leadership on show site, I think it lends to less of that happening than you know, I, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen, like I’ve had people show up working under me and I’m like, are, are you working for me?

Yeah. You know, it, it, it’s very, it’s very easy to get mixed up and go in the wrong direction. And now you’re operating a breakout room and you’re third of you know, building L E wall. It’s very easy to happen. And it. I’m sure. George got some instances that are very much the same, but that that’s the biggest thing.

I think that you’re never gonna get away from. There’s always gonna be a late truck. There’s always gonna be a venue. That’s not ready on time. Uh, That stuff is always gonna happen and we have no control over it, but the stuff that we do have control over, still gonna be a little bit of chaos, but we can minimize it and control it.

It’s controlled chaos. Right? We can control it a little bit better. You know, the things that are in our power, we can control the things that are not late trucks, venues, those kinds of things. We can’t, you know, we can’t control. So, you know, I think we should put the focus on the things that we can control.

Angela Alea: George you have anything to add to that?

George Flores: I really love that Mike brought this up, talking about how, you know, one of the things that, that I believe we do great is, you know, we have leads on site that we’re expecting to really, you know, move around, make sure people are staying on task, make sure they’re in the right place.

And, and I can give you example for myself. So I was on a show recently for us a couple months ago, and it was a client I had worked with before we got the crew checked in, everybody working, you know, everybody’s, everybody’s doing a great job. But I was moving around, you know, going and standing by lighting, watching what they were doing.

Then I’d go over to video, see what they were up to with screens. I’d run by audio, see what was happening with line arrays. And, and the client actually stopped me at some point and said, huh, this is interesting. You’re so you’re, you’re a lead, you know, for, for lasso here. And he’s like, I’m not used to having leads that actually are involved with the crew.

And I said, well, what do you, what do you mean by that? He said, well, you know, most of I work with, with other companies, they check everybody in and then they go over to that table and they sit on their laptop all day. And he goes, so this is kind of strange for me that you’re over here helping, you know, push some cases and you’re helping, you know, just make sure people are in the right place.

You know, you’re answering questions from your crew. You’re helping some of the guys that are a little more green, you know, understand what they’re working on. And I, and so I was kind of taken back by that, cuz I said, I. You know, I’m, I’m happy to be here. And I said, that’s just what we do. Uh, and this is expected of anyone working as a lead for us.

So, I was really surprised by that. Just to hear that it, it exists. There are, there are companies, there are individuals. In the industry where, you know, there are leads on site that don’t necessarily, you know, take an investment in their crew other than just making sure they’re there. And like Mike said, you know, you’ve gotta move around.

You’ve gotta make sure people are in the right place. You’re gonna me with other crews. So you’ve gotta make sure they’re actually doing what they’re supposed to be working on. And, uh, yeah, that that’s gonna kind of stick in my head for a long time, cuz I I’d never heard that before.

Angela Alea: So I would love to ask each of you a couple of questions that doesn’t necessarily have to do with chaos at the show site, but I think it’s insightful.

And it’s always interesting when I ask text these questions. So would love your input, um, given each of your roles, but why did each of you decide to stay in the industry when 38% left?

Mike Aubry: For myself personally, I love this industry. I’ve been doing it a long time. There isn’t another job on earth. Like this one, uh, I, I didn’t start my, my professional career in this industry.

Kind of happened into it. Um, but there isn’t a job I love coming to do more than this one. I’ve, you know, I was a diesel mechanic before this and sure. I paid the bills and you know, I was pretty good at it, but. You don’t enjoy it the way you enjoy coming into what we do. You, never know what you’re getting into.

You know, you could be working on a WWE WrestleMania one week and the next week you’re listening to doctors talk about how they cut open eyeballs. You just never know what you’re gonna, uh, get. And it, it, it’s, it’s fun. It’s the spontaneity of it is, is great. And, you know, I love it. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than work in this industry.

Angela Alea: What about you, George? Why’d you decided to stay in the industry?

George Flores: Everything he said now, um, that’s true. You know, it was a very interesting time because my wife and I, uh, at the time of the pandemic, we’re exploring to move to Houston from DFW. and, you know, we finally made the decision to make that move.

She got a new job and great, great job. Uh, but when we got to Houston, there, wasn’t a ton of workout here. And I didn’t know many technicians, I didn’t know, local companies. Um, and so at that point I certainly considered exploring a different career path. I thought, you know, maybe is this the time to move on to something else?

Uh, so I kind of pondered that. But like Mike said, the reality was I love working in corporate AV. I absolutely love it. Um, I really felt like I had a, a lot left to offer, not just to clients that I was working for, but, uh, even more to the technicians that I was working side by side with. Um, mm-hmm, , I find it really rewarding to help technicians find more work.

And I really enjoy training and mentoring tech, especially ones that are new to the industry. And, you know, in the long run, I just wasn’t ready to let that. I was not ready to say I’m done with this.

Angela Alea: Thank you both for staying truly because, um, we need, we need great people who have a great outlook on life who are optimistic, who are curious, who want to enhance their skillset, who wanna do a good job who have a level of professionalism?

Like we need more. So thank you both for staying it’s. It’s absolutely it’s meaningful.

George Flores: Well, that summer of 2021, I had to sit down with my wife and said, If I don’t start picking up work by September, I’m gonna do something else. I’m gonna go start looking. We’ll do something else and we’ll be okay.

September came. I have not looked back and we are now in July of 20, 22. Like I, I just, it just fell in my lap. I started working for different companies. I started networking with technicians. I started working more for lasso in the marketplace and it was amazing. So I’m really happy with the decision to stick around.

Angela Alea: I feel like the, the word lead, um, it doesn’t give justice to what they’re there for. Right? Like lead is such a like common word in our industry. But the reality is it stands for leadership at the show site. That’s very different than I’m a lead I’m kind of in control. I’m kind of like clocking people in and out that has a different connotation than I’m providing leadership.

Right? Whether it’s training. Whether its attitudes, keeping everybody in a positive place, whether it’s bridging any gaps in communication, like we need leadership at the show site, right. Because that is what minimizes chaos. And it’s kind of like, you know, parenting when you have kids, if you’re not gonna discipline the kids and provide leadership and guidance and, and rules like rules of engage.

It’s chaotic. They’re you know, the kids are rolling the roost and that’s, that’s not how it’s intent and it, and it’s frustrating for the kids, right? Same. And I’m not comparing, you know, crew to kids. It’s but I’m just saying like everyone in life desires structure. They desire leadership and the more leadership we can provide at the show site, the better everyone’s gonna feel.

So I just feel like that word lead. I know it’s here to stay. Um, I just, I, I don’t think it. Justly describes the leadership responsibility that that title has. So I think that’s great. Um, well, one last question for you all before we wrap up, just kind of curious, how do you manage your own stress and the stress of the crew and the client?

There’s all these different personalities that you’re having to, to kind of balance at show sites. So what do you do to manage stress?

Mike Aubry: When I’m on a show and I can see the client is getting stressed. The, the, the best thing that I can do. And, and this goes for the crew as well, is to work with empathy and urgency.

You know, I, I I’ve been in your place. I understand what you’re going through. And I. and going through it with you and lets, let’s work together to make this happen, whatever the situation is, and then work with urgency. It’s great to do all that, to say all that and let them know, but then they have to see your actions also that you are proactively trying to.

Move some things around and make things happen or get some more people on the phone to, to get ’em down, to show. So whatever the, whatever the, uh, issue is that they’re having, you know, just let them know that you are there for them. You’re there with them. And you’re, you know, working yeah. To the same goal.

And I, that sets them in a little bit better place. They understand that, Hey, you’re, you’re in it with them and it’s not just, you know, I’m here to do a job. You know, we’re

Angela Alea: here to do this together. I love that word urgency, which again has the connotation of chaos. Right. But I like to think of things like, I love the phrase, intentional urgency.

It’s gonna be chaotic, but when you have intent behind it, like this is purposeful, it’s planned. Things are not coming at me. I am proactive in this urgency. And so I feel like that minimizes the chaos when it’s intentional urgency, versus everyone’s urgent, just running around crazy, you know, with their heads cut off.

Like, you know, that just, that just feeds differently versus, you know, we have a plan for this and yeah, we need to move quickly cuz this is the goal and we. We’re on pace for it. And, you know, let’s keep moving type of thing. Um, George, what do you do to, to manage stress?

George Flores: This is, uh, this is a tough one because it it’s, uh, it’s different in every event.

And it’s always a challenge to find that happy medium, you know, between, like Mike mentioned, having that urgency, but also, you know, showing, uh, that you. So, you know, I really believe that my delivery and my tone with the crew sets everything, um, how you address the crew really with that very first interaction can affect the whole day and it can affect the entire week.

Um, I really try at the beginning to make sure to express how thankful I am to be working side by side, which each member, uh, and then I really try to emphasize the fact that, you know, we’re a team and, and just by emphasizing that, Hey, like Mike said, I’m here with you. I’m here to help you. I’m here to help you succeed.

Emphasizing team really goes a long way. Um, when a tech is told, you know, by somebody in leadership, you know, we can’t do this without you. We can’t make this happen without your skills. They really start to understand how valued they are. Um, and finally, one of the big ones is just walking with grace, uh, amid all the challenges in the industry, you know, post pandemic, labor shortage.

Um, I really have to remember when I’m on site. These are the people that showed up. They showed up and they are here ready to work. And so, you know, I try to push them and have that urgency, but I really trying the process to build them up as well. Um, it’s really important for me to foster an environment of mutual support and success to really, you know, reach our goals on love that.

Angela Alea: I feel like there’s so many great takeaways, um, from what you all have shared, you know, as we wrap up, I kind of think of, we talked about a number of things we talked about, not just having chaos, but controlled chaos. Right. And, and there are things we can do to control that chaos. Um, we talked about preplanning.

Being organized, having the right budget, asking for the right things. You talked about team communication and most importantly, humanizing it, right? Everyone is there with the same urgency, with the same goal, with the same outcome. And to your point, those are the ones that showed. At the end of the day, you are a team.

It’s not, that’s my outsource labor. That’s my leads. That’s my, you know, so, and so that’s the guy you don’t ever wanna talk to cuz he knows it all right. Like you are one team there with one common goal and the more we can all do to humanize that and to make everyone really understand the part they play in that.

So they can be proud after that show happens successfully. I think that’s such an important part. That my hope for our industry is that we can do that. We should be a little kinder, a little nicer, a lot less angry. And remember, we are all there with the same purpose. And so again, some things are gonna be chaotic, but it doesn’t have to be.

And I think we can control some of that. So thank you both. So much for participating today. I think there’s so many great nuggets we can all take.

And thank you all for tuning in. Don’t forget to subscribe. And if you have any questions or comments or feedback, reach out to us  podcast@lasso.io.

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