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Propared Blog

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

June 16, 2017

How to Not Screw Up Hiring Theatre & Event Managers

If you’ve ever had to hire a manager before you know how hard it is to find someone who is a good fit for your organization. Everyone dreams of landing that magic combo of skills, personality, drive, and teamsmanship. However, even when you think you’ve asked all the right questions and found the perfect person, the honeymoon doesn’t always last.

When hiring for management positions here are some considerations that will give you a better chance of hitting a home run.

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.

August 17, 2016

How to Build the Ultimate Event Proposal Template

Quick question: when was the last time you got excited about the idea of building an event proposal? Sure, a proposal can be a step towards securing new business. That’s exciting. But even if you get the bid, the proposal process itself can feel exhausting; too much time spent on work that might never get you anywhere. 

August 1, 2016

What Event Managers Can Learn From Studying Startup Culture

In my career, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen event managers make is assuming an upcoming event will be the same as a past one. Whether it’s process or people, something will be new. Yet surprisingly, things often get forced into the same box. It’s a problem I’ve always coached my fellow managers and associates to recognize and avoid.

Let me be clear; I don’t mean managers should ignore patterns. Patterns can help jumpstart early decision-making and help you form the right questions sooner rather than later. Every event has a date, time, location, and contracts, and needs a team to help execute a client’s idea. Patterns raise important questions but shouldn’t necessarily provide answers.

June 9, 2016

6 Principles of Negotiation Every Event Professional Should Know

Let’s get one thing out of the way first. You are already a negotiator. If you’ve ever bought a car, haggled rent, or booked a gig, you’ve been on one side of the negotiating table.

Think back to how you felt in those negotiations. Did you feel nervous? Stressed? Angry? Calm? Confident? There are people who love the thrill of a tense exchange. If you’re like me though, there negotiations can feel a bit uncomfortable more often than not.

The good news is there are ways to train yourself to get over this discomfort. And improve your bargaining skills at the same time! You may never fully enjoy the process but by building up your confidence, you can increase the chances of getting what you want. So whether you’re going back and forth with a client over an event proposal, trying to get a better rate with a vendor, or anything else, these 6 principles can help every event planner better prepare for the next negotiation.

June 2, 2016

The Two Best Lessons I Ever Learned About Writing Contracts

If you’re a professional in the events industry, you've probably seen a few contracts in your time. In fact, if you do a lot of freelancing, I’d hazard a guess that you’ve probably seen more than most from accepting new projects to renting equipment, booking venues to buying event software.

How did you feel when you first started? Did those early contracts seem intimidating? Like maybe you were signing away something you shouldn’t? That’s how it felt to me. Contracts were long, complex, and wordy. Way too wordy. What were all those clauses? Why were they important? What was I actually agreeing to do? It was enough to paralyze me at times, maybe even turn down an event or two.

May 20, 2016

4 Surefire Ways To Affect Change in Your Event Company

“That’s the way we’ve always done it.” Translation? The death-knell of progress.

Change can come slowly for organizations (particularly large ones) and for many reasons. Perceived lack of competition, complex systems, cost, and many others. Event production companies are no different. If anything, these issues are compounded by the short lifecycle of events. So much needs to be done in such a short period to execute a project, when is there time to implement a new system?

April 1, 2016

I Set Out to Define Some Common Event Terms. Here's What I Learned.

This is a story about how one idea for a blog turned into something completely different. 

I sat down the other day to address the basics of event planning and production. I loosely called it, “Definitions 101.” I wanted to bring a little clarity to the work event planners do. A guide, if you will, that could help a young professional (or someone in career transition) get grounded in “events speak.” I learned very quickly, however, that doing this is a lot harder than it sounds.

March 1, 2016

The First Conversation: An Event Planner's Guide for Nurturing Clients

The phone rings. On the other end: a potential client with an event he or she needs to execute. This “First Conversation” is crucial. How you handle it might be the difference between securing a contract (or at least, vaulting to the head of the line) or losing it.

September 10, 2014

Searching for Creative Inspiration


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