When we say large scale, it’s really very relative. Some consider 10 people over at their house large, while others envision a 500+ attendee gala. I’ve witnessed massive productions in my career, such as festival productions like Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival; and spectator events like the Genesis Invitational or Phoenix Open. ‘Large’ is subjective.
Despite differences, there are similarities in production elements for these events. Bigger productions expose experience gaps.
Organization is Key
The first foundational item of building an event, is organization. Without organization within your team, you have no ability to scale the size of the production. Organization isn’t a super sexy element to talk about, so it’s missed often in discussion about event production. Often overlooked, organization is crucial for safety, security, crowd control, and more. These details matter in festival production. You really need to ensure your team is well versed and organized to handle all these different aspects so your guests experience is unrivaled. Financing isn’t the main challenge, but investing in organizing the less glamorous aspects of a production.
Understanding Event Details
Today, as events return, labor shortages persist, especially in hospitality. Around 1.7 million jobs, 10% of the industry’s workforce, remain unfilled. Take a stadium like SoFi, the most expensive stadium that has ever been built at over $5.5 billion. Impressive, but needs proper staffing and educated staff for a positive guest experience.
Focus on the Overall Guest Experience
Don’t solely focus on entertainment when producing festivals or large events. This is the case 99% of the time, if you aren’t thinking about the organization and all the little details in between. Incorporate all the nitty-gritty elements in an organized and thoughtful manner to create a satisfying guest experience. You have the ability to create the guest’s experience allowing them to actually enjoy and appreciate what you’re working for them to connect with.
Events Face New Challenges
Personally, I was so impressed on my visit to the Pebble Beach Concours; a pretty big event up in Northern California. This was the first year we were given the opportunity to build the event. From observing their level of organization in the way a guest arrived, to how they got their tickets, to how the lines were conducted was fascinating. There are so many new areas that we have to think about in regard to COVID-19 compliance. It all feels very similar to the things we previously had to consider after 9/11 in regard to security. Health and safety are now a part of the post-pandemic era. Understanding protocols and what you plan to do are super important when integrating your overall production plan.
To wrap up, festival production and large-scale event builds are more than just the main attraction. You must think about all the specifics that lead to guest satisfaction. If you’re looking to hire a company to build and produce your event; make sure you understand how organized the company is and how they focus on the details. While the entertainment is fun and exciting, the details will allow for a spectacular guest experience, while keeping retention and engagement high.
By Ryan Choura, CEO & Founder, Choura