I just got back from a music festival held in Chiang Mai about two weeks ago and consider myself truly blessed to be a part of the successful event that gave yet another platform for my band to share our music with thousands of people from several parts of the world.
Based on my subtle observation throughout the entire festival, below are just some of the essential points with regards to organizing a meaningful event that needs to be thoroughly looked into in order to craft out a flawless production and memorable experience for both the organizing team as well as the audience.
ONE: THE DREAM TEAM
The success of a company, or an event, mostly lies in the quality of the team that you have. Although sometimes we would come across a one man show kinda guy, I believe even the loneliest ranger will somehow need a hand along the way.
If you are one of those people who enjoy running the show solo, it would be best if you could duplicate yourself, train others and delegate specific tasks to them so they can lighten the load off your shoulder. The most ideal thing to do would be to make them microscopically visualize things through your eyes so that they see exactly what you are seeing in terms of vision, goals and directions.
Being a leader, besides organizing people with different skills and making sure they are joined to the common vision of what needs to get done, you have to empower and entrust them to perform all the tasks required with pure excellence, treating each one of them as leaders themselves and not mere followers. This is important especially if your team is mostly supported and powered by volunteers. These guys are there simply to help or just doing you a favor and since there isn’t any remuneration expected from you, chances are they might be performing their job half heartedly or they could just be going out there to kill time for fun without seeing any value in their stint.
TWO: TIME MANAGEMENT
While it is not uncommon that changes in schedule are constantly taking place even at the eleventh hour, it can easily be avoided if key events are finalized way in advance. On the other hand, the luxury of having a plan B or C should really not be habitually abused as the frequency of you having to always opt for them for whatever reason will somehow reveal your incompetence thus putting your reliability at stake.
Ideally, starting any show right on time is every event coordinator’s goal. However, it is also one of the biggest struggles they are constantly in a battle with. For some, especially in outdoor events, their punctuality is at the mercy of the ever changing weather; whereas for the others, their official kick off time is heavily dependent on the arrival of the VIPs.
Whatever the reasons are, I think one of the strategies we can pick up is to learn to be a respecter of other people’s time. Somewhere along the way, you just got to set the standard, be firm and do it consistently. It is hard, but it has got to be done. The truth is, especially in music festivals, if you’re running late, you will definitely lose the crowd. And as a result of the delay, the bands that are scheduled to perform on the last few slots will end up playing to empty chairs. That is definitely not the best of sights.
THREE: SECURITY AND CROWD CONTROL
With things already going full swing on the front end, especially after all the guests have their seats nicely warmed, it is still necessary that security at all entry points remain tight. This is crucial particularly in events where no entry pass nor cover charge is required as in this instances, the audience has the liberty to roam around, walk about as they like crossing the entrance back and forth multiple times where some would even walk back in a little less sober than the previous times they entered.
It is not that we must run checks like how the airport securities would but their exemplary practices should be emulated for the sake of everyone’s safety. The slightest slip at the door, if not handled quickly, could potentially ruin the entire party, leaving a bad experience for the rest of the party goers who are there for a great time. And for the organizers, your image will always be left hanging in the balance.
Playing host to guests from all around the globe is something I quite enjoy doing. Besides being able to be a tourist guide while boasting about whatever my city has to offer for a day or two, it also serves as an opportunity for me to experience a cultural exchange right at my doorstep.
Even though language barrier could be a challenge at times, it shouldn’t be an excuse for us to not take the extra mile in making sure that our guests feel at home. In fact, their well being, comfort and overall travel experience should be on top of our priority list. On the contrary, you should also leave them some space to expedite their own excursions as some would prefer.
No matter who you are hosting, being hospitable to them is what truly matters. If you’re doing it right, chances are they will keep you in their good book and come back for more visits!