There are many moving pieces to event production, especially when it comes to entertainment. The responsibility for the production falls on different team members depending upon the size and scale of the event. To help event planners and meeting professionals understand what entertainment related tasks our experienced production team can take off their hands, we made a quick reference guide. These descriptions are based on our team’s 30+ years of corporate entertainment production.
While acknowledging that the global convention industry is fluid with the definitions and titles of production professionals and event days can require all hands on deck, when utilizing a corporate entertainment partner being familiar with the following roles can help.
Event Planner / Show Producer
Generally the event planner will create the performance content and hire the production team. Depending on the size of the event and complexity of the total event, they may choose to entrust this to a show producer. This leaves the meeting professional with more time to handle the other areas of the event. The event planner will be a liaison between the producer and client to make sure the vision is concise.
Note: The term ‘Show Producer’ is not used in hotel based corporate events.
Production Manager / Technical Director
These positions focus on the nuts and bolts of the total event performance and work directly with the planner or producer to execute the vision. They will contract and oversee the production team, and might call the show cues during the performance. The logistic operation and technical elements can be separated for more complex performances or celebrity gigs, but many times the same person serves both functions.
Generally manages the non-technical performance elements from off-stage and can call the show, sending cues to an assistant stage manager. Note: If the Technical Director is calling the show cues, then only an Assistant Stage Manager will be used for the event instead of a Stage Manager.
Assistant Stage Manager
Cues entertainers off-stage per stage manager or technical director.
Has been selected by the Event Planner to create/acquire entertainment that communicates the client’s objectives and messaging. The Talent Producer acquires/creates the performance element, communicates between the Event Planner, the Technical Director and talent to ensure that everyone has all information required prior to performance. This includes entertainment costs, rider requirements, and production/performance schedules.
Works on-site when needed during rehearsal/performance days. Acts as a liaison for any needed communication between the event planner, technical director and talent regarding production/performance timeline/changes, parking, and technical/hospitality rider arrangements.
Assists technical director and other technical professionals both prior to and day of event. Also can be liaison between Technical Director and Talent Coordinator when there are questions about green rooms/hospitality (food/beverage/sleep rooms, etc)
Audio Engineer / Technician
Represents the Audio company usually acquired by the technical director to run the soundboard. If the sound does not work correctly the most creative event can become a disaster.
Lighting Engineer / Technician
Represents Lighting Company usually acquired by the Technical Director/Production Manager, and will follow their direction to make sure their technical area runs smoothly.
Video Engineer / Technician
Represents Video Company usually acquired by the Technical Director/Production Manager, and will follow their direction regarding any video elements such as awards presentation slides or background video. This is separate from the video production company that planners may hire to record the event for live streaming or client archiving.
Manage installation, arrangement and post event strike of non A/V items on stage – including set pieces, podiums, props, and microphones.