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Propared Blog

Tips and Advice for Managers, Planners, and Event Production Professionals

Melissa Johnston

Recent Posts

September 18, 2018

Understanding Technology Challenges in Theatre Education

When it comes to preparing students for the professional world, technological advancement presents us with difficult challenges. It’s hard to imagine a day going by without some of these questions being debated in every university across the country:

February 18, 2018

Navigating Scope Creep in Theatre Management

You sign on for one thing, and by the end, it's turned into a whole different beast. Whether you're starting a new role or managing a production, you might be on the verge of what we refer to as Scope Creep. 

November 16, 2017

The Right Way to Make Lists: A Guide for Theatrical Managers

We’ve been making lists the wrong way.

You may think I’m crazy. After all, what’s the big deal? You think of things, you put them on a list, you do the things. The problem lies in the reason we make them to begin with.

April 20, 2017

The Complicated Love Affair between Business and Theatre

Approaching art as a business can feel anathema to our creative process. In fact, I've heard people say that business gets in the way and harms the art being made, especially in reference to not-for-profit theatre.  This line of thinking is horribly detrimental to our industry.

January 23, 2017

5 Life Hacks to Make You a Better Event Manager

January 3, 2017

4 Ways Good Planning Enriches the Event Attendee Experience


As marketing and sales professionals, we all know that the experience of your attendees is critical. Businesses need to differentiate themselves more than ever, and in-person events are still a great way to do this. For the fifth consecutive year, “in-person events” tops the list of most effective marketing tactics! However, for event attendees to get the most out of their experience (and for you to get the most out of your money!), it is critical that the event be planned well.

November 10, 2016

4 People Operations Mistakes Your Event Company is Making Right Now

This post was originally published in October, 2015. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Last fall, I read about a live event design and production company in California that faced HUGE fines over improper i-9’s for their employees. Running an event production company for the last eight years has given me some perspective on the human resource challenges faced by live event companies.

People operations is always a complex task for a business owner. Small or large company, it doesn't matter. Labor laws have evolved in incremental stages over time. Mainly this is because they are meant to address issues as they arise. It's almost impossible to predict every challenge, especially in such a rapidly evolving labor market.

But when these sometimes starkly different laws are fused together, they present a challenging set of rules. Even well-established, successful companies struggle to navigate. Imagine the difficulty (and cost!) for inexperienced business owners and entrepreneurs. You could compare it to quenching your thirst by drinking from a fire hose.

October 28, 2016

4 Must-Read Tips to Help You Choose the Right Event Tech

2016 has been an exciting year in the events and meetings industry. The explosion in integrated technology has given event managers an entirely new set of tools, both to design more impactful experiences and create deeper relationships between clients and attendees.

But adopting new event tech, especially software, has to be more than just a set of features. Or what a colleague says (though trusted reviews are certainly helpful). Maybe now more than ever, in this tech-centric world, you need a plan. One that starts from the ground up and permeates every part of your event business.

So before you go running off to snap up the latest app, make sure you consider these 4 things first.

July 26, 2016

4 Reasons Your Event May Be a Target for Hackers

Last week, we talked about the growing threat of cybercrime for event planners. As events become more complex and interconnected, security plans need to address potential points of digital vulnerability.

You might be thinking, “My events are small. It wouldn’t be worth a hacker’s effort for such a small return.” Check that thinking at the door. First, experts have shown how easy it is to steal someone’s identity. And second, don’t underestimate the power you have in today’s tech-centric world. You are no longer just an event planner; you are a data security guard.

July 20, 2016

Why Managers Need to Make Cyber Security a Top Priority at Events

The live event world has been rocked by a series of catastrophic attacks over the past 8 months. Paris, Orlando, and Nice, among others have justly raised concerns about security and safety for attendees. Though such attacks are still (thankfully) rare, the effort to improve safety processes is an important and vital undertaking.

However, there is a different kind of attack, one that isn't so rare. One that may be less shocking when it happens but also has potentially devastating consequences. We’re talking of course about cybercrime. In the first installment of our series on this important topic, we give a brief overview of the landscape and identify some vulnerabilities in event planning you might be missing.

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