Well at least Covid is all done and dusted, isn’t it? That’s a relief we can get back to face to face events with no faffing around with people joining virtually, everyone in the same room and on stage.
Or so we thought.
Apparently 1 in 13 now have Covid (as at early April 2022 in case you are reading this in 2024 – and if that is the case where have you been?). This means that you need to have a contingency in case Covid strikes your key event crew, your speakers and even your audience.
The audience part is relatively easy as most events have been booked based on capacity and depending on your terms and conditions and how far in advance your numbers are reducing there will probably be very little you can about negotiating a reduction in price. It is however good practice to inform the venue of reductions simply to reduce waste in areas such as catering. The logistics will be tense as you may be rearranging transportation or rooming lists at the last minute but in reality, this always happens, and it is just a question of scale.
If any of your crew get struck down, then another should be able to step in. You have all your documentation, right? It’s not all on scraps of paper or in your head, is it? If it is you have a problem and all of our team on site have the full run order all of the contact information and who is responsible for what and this means that everyone is clear on what to do. Same with tech crew. All interchangeable – maybe - and we will come back to that.
So let’s take the scenario we recently had to deal with. Event is on the Saturday, CEO and the main presenter tests positive Wednesday. We had to come up with some plans:
Plan A is the ideal with CEO at the event having tested negative.
Plan B is the hybrid solution of CEO beamed magically into the room.
Plan C is pre-recorded segments in case technology fails or said CEO is simply too ill to take part.
Yes, in all the great traditions of theatre you could have an understudy, but the audience want the star not the stand in so, if possible, you have to give the audience what they want. Ok so far so good let’s get cracking.
Thursday comes and another positive test, so we need to revise equipment levels to allow hybrid, re-spec the internet requirements, get different shiny boxes with lights on them and need some different skill sets to operate them. Remember the interchangeable tech team? Well not quite. Events are busy now, really busy and getting hold of good technicians at couple of days’ notice is as easy as finding hens teeth. Try as we might we could not get the equipment or the people in time, so we had to use alternative not so high-tech options in this case Teams. This presents all sorts of challenges, how does the speaker see the room, how can they see themselves when presenting, how do you queue them up, get them to interact in Q&A. Believe me it’s possible. We also made sure plan C was available just in case!
Saturday comes, rehearsals are good, technology works, we have two way comms, everything works well. Twenty minutes from start, all is stable, very relaxed, we are live behind the scenes and ready to go. Thumbs up from the logistics team, room laded and ready to go, standby, live in 3, 2 – !internet has gone! – hold lights keep background music on, graceful swans’ team, keep cool, reboot, check it’s live and 3,2,1, go. We are live for 5 minutes and the connection goes down again. You could hear the disappointment in the room. Thankfully everyone is fairly used to connections being lost so it was less pressure to get it back and our excellent hosts filled in for a few minutes so no big deal.
This really did happen, and we made it work – even though my heart rate went up! - but we had planned for eventualities, and we knew what to do if it failed. In the end it was a brilliant event even without the star of the show on stage.
Personally though, I will be glad when we can keep most things under our control.
Do you want the piece of mind that, even if your event runs into hurdles, our Brighter Crew will step up and provide? Contact us today!
Don’t do dull!