Venue Techs: Are they easy targets?

How often have you done a show were you have had to wear many hats? It is not easy doing multiple tasks as a technician. But it seems like the client cannot afford to pay the extra for more techs but they expect to have everything. Where does the fault lie. This is a difficult area. The venue could be at fault for not advising the production company that they really should have more technicians on, based on the info that the client supplies. But there are a lot of times that the client does not supply all the information. As they are not to sure what they want. But on the day that they arrive they want it all. This can lead to frustration from all sides. A basic simple solution is to have a production type meeting as soon as the client arrives. Sit the client down with their tech people, some coffee and go over their tech requirements in detail. By this time the client should know exactly what they want and should be able to articulate it to you the technician. You are the one that is going to make the magic happen. you need to be able to tell the client if what they want to happen is able to happen and what it might require in the way of equipment and costs. In theory this meeting should have taken place a few weeks before the event. But as we all know that it is not always going to happen in the real world. Both sides of this equation need to be flexible. Sometimes it would be worthwhile explaining to the client to try and keep it simple. If the event is to complicated and not enough resources are thrown at it, there is the possiblity that it is going to look worse than the client expected. And even the audience are going to notice that as well. If you are having a repeat costumer it might me worthwhile looking at what they did prevoiusly and then trying to anticipate what they are going to need this time around based on their latest paperwork. It is a good idea to keep the information that clients provide and other notes. This will give you a basis to start from. A lot of clients do things in similar ways and often expect similar resources.  Do not be afraid to tell the client that they need extra crew or resources, they will appreciate that you are trying to help make their production a good one. If they cannot afford extrra crew see if they have some volunteers willing to help, on the understanding that sometime will have to be put aside to train them. If they cannot afford to hire/buy extra resources be willing to suggest other ways to do it, using your extensive experience or calling others for ideas. As a venue tech you are wanting to make the show great, the venue look great and the client happy so that they will want to return.

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