Every Role a Starring Role – The Showcaller

This is the start of a series we’re running called Every Role a Starring Role. There’s often a little misunderstanding in what goes into event planning. So, we thought we would shed some light on a few of the people behind the roles that help make your events shine.

The first role we’d like to take a look at is the Showcaller. This is the person who’ll run your ship on the day. The Showcaller holds the show together. They often sit with the technical staff during the conference or award ceremony and ensure that the musical and lighting cues are fired at the right time. They also make sure that the video before the cue is on time and at the right place in the script. Is the right microphone on for the MC to introduce the video? That’s the kind of question the Showcaller will answer.

Good events happen though strong communication, and the Showcaller is the person who communicates to the whole technical team, front of house staff, catering and the entertainment — ensuring they all know what’s required and when.

We love working with great Showcallers at Kierex Event Production as they really are essential to ensuring that everyone knows where they should be, and what they should be doing during the show. They really help ensure that our clients’ events run perfectly.

Heres a video from Grease Live thats should help show you what a Showcaller does. Here the Associate Director is calling cameras for the live broadcast, she has to count down in time to the music to ensure the correct camera is selected at the right time.

In addition to this there would also be a stage manager calling the same cues, but for on stage action, they would make sure the dancers, props and lighting cues are in sync with the camera action, but we hope this gives you a better understanding of what a Showcaller does when they are on site for your events.  

Recognition events: Are you recognising the success in your business?

It’s important for any HR Manager to find a way to promote continuous improvement within their organisation. However, it’s often hard to acknowledge this and generate enough interest with your staff.

The best way we have seen to achieve this is by holding an awards night — celebrating the achievements of your workforce by holding a ceremony dedicated to their hard work.

Your workforce is sure to be motivated if they know they can look forward to a Gala party thrown for them. Also from an employee engagement, what better way to showcase your amazing talent in house than giving them the spotlight for the day.

We have also worked with clients who have leveraged the cost of having a venue and production for the day to hold two events. One during the day for internal staff, to recognise their achievements. Then one in the evening to host a gala dinner for a targeted list of clients and business partners. It’s a great way to help promote the business, and impress your clients.

This way it’s possible to share the cost against the marketing and HR budget, and to only take senior members out of the business for one day, rather than two, or more.

Why you should be thinking of pop-up events as part of your marketing plan.

In this day and age, consumers don’t have the time to research their next big purchase, they won’t go looking for it — they want it to find them.

If you’re struggling to gain traction with your brand and want to stand out in the right way, have you thought about creating a pop-up event?

The high street isn’t just for selling, it’s for experiencing. Shoppers are always willing to try new things whilst shopping. After all, that’s the main reason they are out and about — to look at, and purchase new things. So why not place your brand, or latest campaign, in front of them at a time they are most willing to engage.

It can be surprisingly cost-effective to take over a retail unit for a day, or even a week, and gain high-street appeal for your business.

One thing to bear in mind is that you don’t necessarily need to sell at a pop-up event. Instead, try to think of new ways you can engage with your potential customers. Think of it as more building brand loyalty, than generating hard sales during the pop-up.

PlayStation recently utilised this marketing method to promote the PlayStation VR with a pop-up event before its launch. It took over retail spaces across the UK for a week, allowing potential customers to pop in and try the new PlayStation VR Hardware.

PlayStation leveraged its social media platforms to generate hype beforehand and kept that dialogue open whilst the events were running, but also benefited from general public footfall. They didn’t sell anything at the event, just allowed people to see the technology in action and created a slick branded space.

This method also works well for those of you in the service industry. Think about creating a chilled-out space where weary shoppers can recuperate and rest while passively experiencing your brand. Not having a hard sales approach will often cause shoppers to let their guard down. They’ll open up more during a conversation over a free coffee, than when they’re being bombarded with a sales pitch.

If you’re responsible for the marketing spend for your brand, then it’s seriously worth considering a pop-up event. They can be a great way to engage with your customers and gain a presence.

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss whether pop-up events could work for you, please feel free to drop us a line, we’d love to chat though your ideas and see if there is a way to bring your brand to life on a high street near you, or around the country.

You can contact us any time via email at LetsChat@Kierex.com.

How a love of Disney inspired me to start working in events

Anyone who knows me well enough, knows that it doesn’t take me too long to bring up my love for all things Disney. I’m never happier then when I’m planning my next holiday to a Disney Park somewhere in the world. So far, I’ve been to parks in Florida, California and Paris (and spent my honeymoon aboard the Disney Fantasy in the Caribbean). I still have yet to visit the parks in Asia, so currently planning a visit to Japan, Hong Kong and China to complete the set.

While I love nothing more than relaxing my way down Main Street USA, it’s had a profound effect on my professional life. You see, my first ever trip to Walt Disney World was the inspiration behind why I wanted to work in the events industry. 

It was 2002, during “100 Years of Magic” — a celebration of Walt Disney’s 100th birthday. The resort was celebrating the legacy of Walt Disney and his films, and his vision for the parks. I was inspired from the get go by the sheer scale and size of the resort, but also the attention to detail, every facet is planned out and executed to such a high level. I was hooked and wanted to know more about how and why he was so driven to create “The Happiest Place on Earth”.

I spent many hours researching behind the scenes of the resorts, the creative process of the people who bring the attractions, parade and shows to life. I read books about “The Disney Difference” — the way Disney pioneered its world-renowned customer service.

I could go on and on. Nobody does it like Disney, and this inspired me. I wanted to bring the “magic” to life anyway that I could, so found myself gravitating towards the live event industry.

I love nothing more than watching people’s expressions as they experience an event in person; the way people’s eyes light up when they first walk into a room and see the set, stage and lighting. I love the way music can bring back memories and emotions for people, or when guests watch the opening video (or in Disney Speak the Pre-Show) and get inspired for the day ahead.

These are all skills and things that the Disney Parks do on a daily basis, and the inspiration I use to help ensure that all the events I work on are as impactful as possible, for my clients, and for the guests of the event.