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Event Production: A guide to using local crew

Event Production: A guide to using local crew

Our World | On 31, May 2011

Last time I discussed the “pros and cons” of local crew and now I’d like to give you my advice on how to get the very best out of them, should budget dictate that local is the only option…

After many years of dealing with crew all over the world, I have learnt what the major issues can be and have 5 fundamental rules that I always try to follow:

  1. Prepare as much of the show presentation pre-event as possible - and let all speakers know that changes onsite should be minimal.
  2. Prepare a comprehensive set & AV brief – including images of lighting states, graphic positioning and send to your local supplier well in advance of the event (it’s much easier for the information to be digested before landing on site).
  3. Employ a native speaking show caller – even if the show is of a simple nature, it is near impossible to call and expect accurate cues, when the person leading cannot communicate affectively!
  4. Make use of anyone who speaks the lingo – whether the office receptionist or a freelance Production Manager, ask to set up an introduction and give the supplier an overview of what your event is about.
  5. Ask for recommendations – at P&MM we are lucky enough to have experience in even the remotest of destinations, so recommendations, whether good or bad, are normally only a phone call away. But if you don’t have that luxury, call upon freelancers whose knowledge can prove to be invaluable.

These rules may seem basic but trust me on this, every time I use local crew I try to cover the bases.

In no way am I suggesting employing local crew cannot work, merely that there are more obstacles to overcome, and nothing should be taken for granted. When a full UK crew is not feasible, the best solution is to provide a mixture of key UK reps (show caller, graphics operator, cameraman) supplemented by local build crew.

I could not write about this topic without mentioning some very positive experiences I have had with local crew. Recently I have worked with some exceptional teams across the world, and I have found that service quality is dictated by the individuals, rather than nationality.

Frankie Goulding