When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Event Planners. We have to get this right. Planning is our job, in fact, “PLANNER” is literally in our job title, it’s who we are. The finest detailed checklist is not complete without a plan for how your event should run, and that comes together in a rehearsal.
For years I’ve been on shows and events when something went a little oddly and the phrase “well, that went just like we rehearsed it” was used.
"YOU GET A REHEARSAL! AND YOU GET A REHEARSAL! EVERYBODY GETS A REHEARSAL!"
Rehearsals are for Everyone
When you don’t rehearse, no one knows what to expect. Rehearsals are for everyone. Your presenters need to rehearse, sure, but also, YOU deserve to see how things are going to flow, your crew deserves to go cue-to-cue for transitions, everyone benefits.
Some presenters are flat-out pros. They do this every day. Maybe you brought in someone from the circuit. Maybe your CEO could do her presentation in her sleep. These professionals may know their show like the back of their hand, but still should give 5-10mins of their time. Every event is different.
Rehearsing is broader than the stage work. Where do you need your presenter to be 60mins before they go on? Where do they go backstage, what doors did they go through to get there, (and do those doors make noise?), it all makes a difference. After they present, you don’t want them doing a mic drop and heading for the limo, either. Where do they need to go backstage to return their mic, who do they had the slide clicker to, those little pieces of the workflow make the difference when your next presentation is starting and the presenter before tossed a wrench in your flow.
Every Room is Different
Whether this is an annual conference that went from Chicago last year to New York this year, or a world tour with a different arena every night, every room is different. Maybe last year the lights where mounted higher and this year they’re in presenters eyes. Maybe last night the audience was really deep but tonight the room is set widely. You, your crew, and your presenters should take a few minutes to adjust to this room, and make the tweaks to their role that make the event better than last time.
Rehearsals are so important. For all involved. If you’re currently not leaving time for rehearsals and just rushing into each event, ask yourself, what difference could two hours make? What about getting in the room one day early? These changes make the difference between a smooth-sailing show and a event with bumps along the way.