One day you’re staging an event for a TV company. The next you’re prepping equipment to be shipped cross-country. And then you end the week saving the day by having an HDMI-DVI conversion ready to go for an event with a national charity. In whatever city, or whatever state, the life of an Event Tech is never slow, and never monotonous.
If you want just the bare facts, we can tell you that they work with, set up, and operate audio and video equipment. This can include connecting wires and cables; operating sound boards; preparing microphones, speakers, and projectors; and even setting up custom lighting systems. But that’s like drawing a stick figure and hoping to understand how nerves and veins, muscles and bones, all work together to give us world record-breaking athletes. There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes.
They’ve got to know if presenters have flash drives, or need access to Google drive. Are they Android or Apple users? Will they be syncing fireworks with a light show? Or managing multiple presentations at the same time in a massive conference hall? Did they schedule three hours for set-up but a thunderstorm just rolled in, cutting the power? What’s the plan to break down and avoid disrupting attendees? Did someone really attempt to swing on a rigging point, practically bringing the entire system down?
Event labor and production crews don’t have their lives and jobs confined in a box. Whether they’ve supported 50 events or 500, nothing is ever the same.
Their days might start before the crack of dawn and end at the midnight hour. They might move from bus to car to plane in a punch-drunk state that ends with them falling into bed in an unknown city – after all, the name doesn’t matter as long as the bed is available. Have you ever heard the song ‘Join the Circus’? The chorus entreats the listener with the refrain:
“Go to bed in Minneapolis, wake up in PA.
Pack your roll, your brush and your comb again,
Ready to roll again, ready to stray.”
It could’ve been written for any member of an AV labor and production event team.
It’s not a life for the fainthearted. Who else could show up to work, find the loading dock blocked by piles of toilets, and not just throw in the towel? But, on the flip side, who else could live on site for a month, craft never-before-seen video screens, and ensure the success of an event that can mesmerize, engage, create visions to be remembered, or brings tears to the audience’s eyes?
They’ve got dust on their shoes from all fifty states, and met people from more walks of life than half of us can even imagine. Yes, they live out of a suitcase, and they might go kind of mad around the third consecutive all-nighter – but its the madness of genius, of brilliance bubbling to life, that will keep everything from going wrong, and ensure the crew’s invisibility remains intact. After all, no one should know a Producer is the one pulling the strings, but their invisibility is only as good as their tech skills.
But they aren’t in it alone. They’ve got unbreakable bonds with other technicians, coordinators, rental houses, stage managers, riggers, lighting and projection operators, and the list goes on and on. These are relationships formed while making the impossible possible, slaying dragons with wits and endless bags of tricks, and ending the day knowing it would not have happened without these people by your side.
It’s a family. To quote another song, “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” And most Event pros would ask you, “Why would I ever want to?”
The madness and travel might all be part of the job, but accidents are not. Our biggest asset is our crew and we make sure that everyone is highly trained and has strict safety procedures in place. This is truly a family where we look out for one another, help make the environment safe first and foremost, and ensure the continued success of each other. Learn more about our Health & Safety policies.