What it takes to become an Event Producer
You know you want to be involved in creating awesome events, but where do you start looking for the job of your dreams? Event Tech Expert…Social Media Coordinator…Digital Concierge? Which role best suits you? How about Event Producer? We spoke to Ryan Barwood, an Event Producer himself, about what the role entails, how he got to where he is today, and what kind of person would be best suited for the job.
So Ryan, many people have heard of an Event Manager but not an Event Producer. What’s the difference and what do you like best about the work?
Each organisation or part of the industry has a different lens on this, it’s a good question. In most cases the Event Producer leads the concept design, has a creative lead and brings the overall event in sync. Whilst the Event Manager is more so operational, scheduling suppliers and managing the micro (budget, run sheets, etc). In some cases an Event Producer may manage multiple projects at once, whilst an Event Manager might focus on less projects and be more concentrate on the detail. I’d say it’s this ability to step back on the details, to look at the event as the bigger picture that I like most about the work. That and the variety of the projects I work on
Okay, so your role is more creative than its ‘manager’ counterpart. How did you first get into the events industry? Did you always want to do this kind of work or did you fall into it somehow?
I first started in theatre, as a Production / Stage Manager. Working in this field helped me craft show calling skills and learn how to ‘run a room’. The fundamentals connected over to Event Producing, only difference is the theatre industry has more defined and formal steps (in some cases). I then shifted across to corporate agency land, working on major clients and tours across the US and Australia. The passion and drive for both industries helped me to get where I am today, with the help of some excellent mentors that guided me along the way.
You started in theatre, interesting. I can see how that kind of work environment could develop the skill base for the broader event industry. What about personality traits? What type of person, in your opinion, is best suited for this role?
You need to be a person with a passion and drive that keeps on going. Having a talent for keeping an eye on every component of the project is also important. Each event needs to have a flow to ensure the experience is there for the attendee. Knowing how to recognise these needs is essential.
Right, so an eye for foreseeing how different elements under your control will be perceived by the people who are attending the event. You’re basically trying to guarantee enjoyment. Big job. What tips do you have for someone interested in getting into the events industry?
Network and find your groove by getting to know each part/sector of the events industry. The industry revolves around who you know, connections you have made and introductions. Jump in and observe a show call, volunteer for events and research what event companies are up to.
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