Communication is the key to preparing any good event, but it is important that everyone involved is speaking the same language. As the manager of the Tsai Performance Center, I interact with both theatre or artsy types as well as event planners or non-artsy types. Both equally great, but often using different terms for the same thing.
Consider this simple request: “Setup 3 chairs on the left.”
Hmmm. Do they mean 3 chairs on the stage left side, which is the right side if you are in the audience looking at the stage? Or they mean the left side of the stage if you are standing onstage looking at the audience, which would be stage right? And did you know that Stage Left usually equals Camera Right and vice versa? It can be confusing. Depending on what you are used to, it’s easy to “mis-hear” the information. Always consider who is giving the information and CLARIFY it.
What works the best to clarify? Draw it out. Some people shy away from doing setup drawings because they have to hand-draw them or they won’t be in scale or they need some fancy computer program to make them. Not true! Sketching out a stage setup, however sloppy, can insure that everyone is saying the same thing and valuable setup time isn’t wasted. If you are the person providing setup information to others, make sure you are consistent with terminology and try to include a diagram to compliment your instructions. On a side note, if you are meeting in person, I’ve found that lots of hand gestures pointing to the area you think they mean also works pretty well.
STAGE LEFT / RIGHT
Left/ Right as seen from the person’s point of view on stage looking out to the audience. (ie Stage Left is the right side of the stage when looking from the auditorium.)
CAMERA LEFT / RIGHT
Left / Right as seen from the camera person’s point of view in the audience. (ie Camera Left is the left side of the stage when looking from the auditorium to the stage.)
This video showing the transformation of the GSU Metcalf Ballroom is a great example of all the hard work that goes into setting up an event of this magnitude. Just as Dean Elmore says in the video, kudos to the Facilities Management & Catering staff for making this such a special day for our Seniors. The Dean of Students staff did an amazing job on this event!
A sturdy piece of paper, folded in quarters, then put on a lanyard with a clip. All the normal “badge” items on the outside, like who you are and where you are from, plus the conference name & date. On the inside was a full schedule, a map of the conference rooms used, and directions to an after-party.
The icing on the cake…in very tiny letters in the bottom corner…your t-shirt size. Stop by the t-shirt table, give them your badge. They “x” out your size and hand over your conference tee.
And unless you are one of those conference junkies that saves conference badges like trophies and hangs them around your office, you can recycle the schedule and hand back the lanyard for them to re-use.
We like. A lot. Probably more than we should.
Events & Conferences. E&C. EvCon. Formerly known as Conference Services, All-University Functions, or GSU Administration.
Tsai Center. The Castle. University Reservations. Summer Conference Operations. Student Production Services (formerly known as ProTech.)
There’s Karen, Kara, Katie, Kate, and Karleigh. And Judith, Judy, and Jodi. And Jim and JoLaine and Joan.
Sometimes the names get confused, but we know what we do.
Events. And. Conferences.
When you work at a university, everyone says “Oh, you must have an easy summer at your job” but that couldn’t be further from the truth for our department. From mere hours after Commencement to mid-August, Events & Conferences is working on dozens and dozens of, well, events & conferences.
They live in our dorms. They meet in our classrooms. They have functions in our ballrooms. They are here for a day. They are here for a week. And E&C is with them every step of the way.
One particular staff person shines pretty bright all summer long and that’s Danny Camacho. He brings customer service to a whole other level of greatness. He reminds me how easy it can be to simply help people. When you see someone struggling, offer to help. When you hear someone who is upset, listen to them, maybe make them smile. When you see someone alone, engage them in conversation. He’s the first to lend a hand when someone needs help. So this shout-out to Danny is to simply say…Way to represent!
Recently, Boston University welcomed WordCamp Boston 2011 to campus. And let’s just say that great ideas flourish when you get a group of innovative web designers, bloggers, and new technology junkies together. What impressed us? The Conference App (available for iPhone & Android users) provided by topquark.com. Don’t ask me to explain how they do it (ruins the magic), but by going to website link provided, it created a “conference app” icon on our phones. Very simple layout that included the schedule, session name & info, speaker info, and live Twitter feed (using hashtag for their conference). I used it a whole lot more than the paper schedule provided since don’t we all check our phones way too much?