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Top Five Things You Need to be a Great Producer
We asked Rich Mix New Creative Laurice for her top tips for being a great producer. The New Creatives produced their event called Firsts here in February 2018. Laurice has been kind enough to share some top tips for young people hoping to produce their own events too...
1. Communication, communication communication!
Whether you’re liaising with artists; finalising the guest list or relaying the artist’s technical requirements to the tech team good communication is paramount as a producer. When relaying important information it’s so important to be clear and concise and focus on what the main points are; who needs the information and if there’s a deadline. Also, never be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t understand or missed something please do ask someone for clarification (and nine times out of ten you’re probably not the only one who was bit confused). Furthermore, when we talk about good communication we often forget that being an active listener is just as, if not more important in a conversation. Don’t just sit and politely wait for your turn to speak, actually listen and be present, taking notes is good too. Lastly, always try to remain positive and respectful while communicating, even when, especially when things aren’t going to plan.
2. Take initiative
Taking initiative is honestly absolutely essential when producing events and in life in general. Don’t sit there and wait for someone to ask you to do something, be proactive, be confident, get involved and just do it. If someone has forgotten to gather the Artist’s social handles for example (and you’ve completed/can manage your tasks) then don’t wait, communicate with your team, collate the artist’s email addresses and send the emails. To be more proactive it’s crucial that you’re more observant and aware of your team and don’t always just solely focus on your own tasks. Also, if you see someone struggling give ‘em a hand and offer them help. If everyone is proactive it saves precious time, enables the day to run more efficiently and reduces the chance of things being left last minute.
3. Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills are described as “The ability to create good relationships between yourself and other people”. Creating good relationships with other people from your artists to the front of house team is imperative as a producer, first impressions are everything! The arts world is pretty small and if people don’t find you pleasant to work with you may burn some potential bridges that may have been truly career changing, you never know who your next client could be. Being friendly and polite with everyone and actively listening to their interests and passions will enable you to make great connections with other professionals (and can sometimes be fun). That ability to network and be able to maintain those relationships is important and will allow you to have a large and diverse network of people with different talents which will only aide you when you’re producing your event.
4. Being detail oriented and organised
Being organised and detail oriented is essential when producing an event because as a producer you are basically the middle man between the programmer, marketing team and the artists – that’s a lot of information to manage. Having your tasks in one separate folder and then separating them into sub folders e.g Artist info, Technical info will keep the information organised and easy to find. In addition, you should always have a detailed plan of your event from start to finish (including the rehearsal and sound check) and the tasks that need to be completed, so everyone knows exactly what they need, what they’re doing and when. This will allow things to run more efficiently and eliminate any confusion which will also ease nerves on the day. (Don’t be afraid to be flexible and amend your plan on the day though as things can and probably will change).
5. Time management
“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” – William Shakespeare. Okay, so maybe not 3 hours early but he definitely has a point, it is always better to be really early than to be late. Being early gives you time to settle in and go over any notes or tasks that need to be completed. It also leaves a good impression on clients and/or artists and shows them that you respect and value their time and the event itself. Know your deadlines! Deadlines are like antagonists in horror movies, they haunt you until you finish ‘em and finish them you must. Try to put all of your deadlines in your calendar and then plan when you’re going to complete them and for the love of God, please try and not leave everything to the last minute.