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Propared Blog

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

November 13, 2014

And Here We Go - A Few Words from the Founders

It’s hard to believe that a mere 18 months ago, Propared was nothing more than a shared thought - a hope for something better. It was something to make our live event colleagues and us happier, a little less stressed, more efficient. It was an idea for a system that could empower us all to be better managers and teammates, to help raise the level of performance for everyone. Truly, it was a desire to provide whatever support we could to the people who work so hard in our industry in reaching their full potential.

Now here we are, at the realization of that idea and a mere prelude to what it will become. It has a name, a mission, and a platform. It boasts a dedicated and enthusiastic team. And we keep pinching ourselves that this day has finally arrived.

The picture above was taken in Stari Grad, a tiny, sleepy port town on the island of Hvar in Dalmatia, Croatia. It was the perfect place to breathe and reset. Two of us, Mel and Ryan, had been running Tinc, a live event production company, for 6 years and the work was crazy. In all that time, we hadn’t really been able to separate ourselves from the day-to-day operation of our company. Finally, the moment came when wepractically pushed ourselves out the door, forcing each other to step away and clear our heads.It was this time away that allowed us to look at the bigger picture, see everything we had done and everything we both needed and wanted to do. We were able to see the genesis of Propared in bits and pieces, choices we made to make Tinc's operations more efficient. And we saw an opportunity to build something more robust and unique for our industry, rather than continue to rely on a Frankenstein's monster of programs that each solve one problem but create a whole series of others. When we returned, we pow-wowed with Derek, passed some ideas back and forth, and Propared was born.

What's amazing is that the very idea of us stepping back and looking at the big picture is exactly what Propared is now designed to support. Managers, have the ability to see all the information relevant to their work in one place and can make important decisions quickly and confidently. They spend more time actually managingand less time moving from daily task to daily task.

This is the conversation we want to have with all of you. What does it really mean to be a manager? When we all take a step back and strip away the clutter, what will help us all perform better for our colleagues, our organizations, and ourselves? It is asking those questions and hearing your answers that have got us to where we are today. And it is what will continue to drive us forward.

On behalf ofour team, welcome to Propared. We are here and ready to revolutionize the management of live events. We are here in support of you, fellow stage and production managers. We have your back, designers and event planners. Theatre and dance companies and film production houses, our lines are open. Let's make our industry even better than it already is.

-Mel, Ryan, & Derek, cofounders

June 26, 2014

2wice & Technology – Pushing the Arts Forward

We at Propared are always seeking out new and inventive ideas that push the arts forward. So you can imagine how excited we were to come across an amazing new application from the creative minds at 2wice. The artistic nonprofit based in New York City lives at the intersection of art and technology – generating work that educates and inspires through alternative mediums. Its most recent app, entitled Passe-Partout is no exception and it gets a lovely walkthrough this week, courtesy of the New York Times.

This got us thinking about our role in education. What is our responsibility to not just build a product that aids our colleagues today, but assists in developing the stage and production managers of tomorrow? Passe-Partout is providing new insight into what it means to choreograph. This has serious implications not just for fans of the art form but for aspiring choreographers seeking creative spark from novel sources.

So how does Propared get involved in education? And what exactly does it mean to “educate” someone?

Many of our colleagues came through traditional institutions of higher learning – they studied and honed their craft. Many of them would also tell you that the real learning didn’t happen until they booked their first jobs. With complete respect to teachers everywhere, this is completely understandable and natural. There is only so much a person can absorb by watching. Eventually, we must get out and DO. We must be thrust into a real environment with real problems, real stress and learn on the fly. Yes, make mistakes but also learn. Allow our supervisors and managers to educate us in the methods they have developed over years of trial and error. Some companies out in the corporate world believe so strongly in this principle, they create their own universities!

This has its flaws, too. We think back on our own processes and marvel at the length of the learning curve. How long it took us to get to the point where we were actually managing. Which seems crazy, in retrospect – the word manager is right in the job title!

So we come back around to Passe and Propared’s educational duty. We want to give the next generation of industry professionals a stronger, sharper, more powerful set of tools. We want to deepen our collective learning and accelerate growth potential. We want to reclaim our job titles! And most importantly, we want push our industry forward through the harnessed power of creative innovation.

Some big, hairy, awesome goals to wake us up on a Thursday, no?

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