Welcome our New Event Labor Professionals/in Personnel/by Complete Crewing
Help us welcome our newest Rock Stars to the Complete Crewing Team! Our new event labor professionals Angie Cazares and Carla Splan bring experience, expertise, and personality that not only get the job done right, but with a smile. We are super excited to have brought our new team members aboard and we already hit the ground running at the Hospitality and Tourism Summit at Navy Pier; with great success.
Meet the New Labor Professionals at Complete Crewing
Angie Cazares has years of labor crewing knowledge, specializing in union labor at McCormick Place. She is not only able to manage special event projects here in Chicago, but also has experience in other, sometimes tricky locations around the country like Philadelphia and Las Vegas. Previously managing union labor for Freeman AV, Angie also spent time with Edlen Electric and GES. This unique experience gives her a complete understanding of large scale events in the convention center arena.
Carla Splan also brings a wealth of experience to Complete Crewing. Previously with PRG, Encore and Freeman, Carla has managed AV and production offices in Hyatt McCormick Place, Hyatt Regency Chicago, and PRG Digital Studios. Carla will administrate payroll, as well as assist with office operations. Don’t hesitate to call the office and hear her friendly voice as she assists you in your needs.
Call Complete Crewing Today
Renowned Chicago Events Industry Veteran, John Doyle, Retires/in Uncategorized/by Complete Crewing
For the past 15 years, John Doyle has helped create a formula for Complete Crewing’s success that will leave an everlasting stamp on the company and our industry. John can be proud of the legacy he has established through his lasting impressions on everyone he has trained and worked alongside. Our team is stronger than ever due to his creation of an industry leading training & development program that is focused on the safety of the crews that make meetings and events possible. Always thinking first about crew safety has created an indelible mark on the culture of our organization, as well as with our union partners. His training programs, passing on his intimate knowledge of venues, planning processes, and daily coaching has been invaluable to our future successes.
John has enjoyed a career in Audio Visual Communications, Broadcasting and Special Events Staging for over four decades as a Technical Director and Corporate Officer directing sales and operations. He has been active in the Chicago market for over three of those decades and has developed thorough knowledge of both the Chicago and National AV Services Market. His in-depth knowledge of Chicago’s labor unions and jurisdictions has aided clients to budget and execute hundreds of successful events every year in Chicago Hotels, Navy Pier and McCormick Place.
John moved to Chicago as the General Manager of the local office for a National AV services company in 1980 that was heavily involved in servicing the association and tradeshow market. He left that company in 1983 to accept a position with Sound and Stagecraft a Chicago based audiovisual services company. John remained there for over 13 years where he developed and implemented the sales, marketing and operational strategies of the privately held AV services company. He managed a team that grew the company into a regional market leader in Special Events and In-House Audiovisual Services that was eventually acquired by a publicly held, multinational corporation.
Shortly following the sale of the company, John joined Program Productions of Lombard, IL a video production company that specialized in providing video crews for broadcast and special events for close to nine years until he accepted a position with Complete Crewing (known as Event Engineering at that time) in 2005.
With Complete Crewing, John has provided production consultation, labor contracting, management and payroll services for companies producing a variety of large-scale meetings, special events and product launches. Clients found him to be an invaluable resource in navigating the myriad of union jurisdictions involved in staging productions large and small in venues throughout the city.
John’s many contributions to the industry include being an important part of building the first “in-house” audiovisual companies that could compete in the production space. Working in hospitality and production taught him to see events from every angle, gain an intimate knowledge of the venues and he seems to know everyone in the business.
While John enjoys his well-deserved retirement, spending time with his grandchildren and traveling with his wife, he will not be a stranger. You may even see him from time-to-time lending a hand on one of our large events.
Here are just a few comments from people who John has touched. Of course, this list could go on and on, as I’m sure will happen on social media.
Congrats John. My father pointed you out from across a ballroom as one of the best guys to do this business with when I was about 16-17. That was almost 30 years ago. Every time I’ve worked with you since then, and with anybody I knew, that knew anything at all… you’ve always remained one of the best people to do this business with.
Congrats again and thank you.
~Fred Kores III
I remember working with John at Event Staging. He was a great boss. We had a lot of fun times back then. John sent me to Bogota, Columbia which was my favorite travel show of my career. Thanks for all the memories.
~Paul Rumsavich Jr.
Thank you for always working with me over the years. You have taught me so much you are probably not aware of; and I thank you. Your work ethic and way you care about crews is something I always admired. Wishing you the very best in your retirement.
Best wishes, John.
Congratulations on your retirement. Thanks for all your help and guidance you gave me in the last 35 years. It’s been a fun ride. Relax and enjoy yourself.
I’ve spent the better part of the last decade working with John Doyle. Almost everything I know about running a large-scale production I learned from him. When the opportunity arose to work directly for John, I jumped at it. John is not only a highly skilled individual, but a phenomenal teacher and leader. I owe John a lot, and I proudly tell everyone who praises me that I learned from the very best.
I have spent 15 years working with John Doyle. John has been a great mentor to all of us. His incredible knowledge about this industry is invaluable. He always has taken the time to explain things to his coworkers and help them to understand the industry and learn from his experience. With clients, he takes the time to explain how venues and the unions work. He is always thinking of new ways to streamline the process of the job. He loves to research and apply new safety protocols and technology where it applies to our company and industry. He lends himself to people bending his ear – offers his thoughts and advice and while leaving it up to the individual to decide what to do. He has been a major contributor to the growth of our company during his time here. He will be very missed.
John and I started at the company at two different ends of the spectrum. I was right out of college and John had established a name for himself in our industry. I knew he was someone to pay attention to and learn from. He could navigate clients through budgets, jurisdictions, and venues with ease. Over the years, I watched him fine tune these skills as he continually wants to learn and improve. I most admire that he wants to take his knowledge and share it. His door, email, and phone are always open for questions. Whether it’s clients, co-workers, or the company in general – he wants everyone to succeed and prides himself in making this happen. John is always thinking, always learning, and always willing to share ideas. I’ve valued his guidance over the last 15 years.
In our industry, John Doyle is one of the few people you hear a lot about before you actually meet or work with him. I’m younger and also come from the ‘artsy side’ of production so I haven’t had the opportunity to build ‘the twenty-year resume’ of knowing John that so many others have. But what I have learned in my few short years working with him, is that he holds up to all the hype- and seemingly without effort. I credit this to his integrity. In truth, any semi-intelligent AV goon can learn production and labor, but you can’t learn integrity or, even more so authenticity; and John’s authenticity has been such an essential part of his success in his career. I admire this most about him. I’m sincerely grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to learn from him and wish him well in his retirement.
While working with John Doyle directly and indirectly for nearly four decades, one thing stands out, his professionalism. John has an incredible attention to the details, has the ability to read between the lines, effectively communicates the client’s needs to everyone involved, and many times, knows the event better than the customer.
Over the years, John has been a mentor, a teacher, and a respected leader in the industry.
John has an incredible ability to recognize union member skill levels and put them in position to succeed.
He will truly be missed.
Touchless COVID-19 Check-In Procedure Helps Complete Crewing Get Productions Back on Track/in Occupational Safety/by Complete Crewing
The second half of 2020 isn’t just about getting back to work – it’s about getting back to work safely and intelligently, following all necessary guidelines so that employees and customers stay healthy. As part of Complete Crewing’s COVID-19 safety procedures, we are using a touchless check-in and survey system for all production and labor projects that we support.
The software solution used by all our expert safety and production crew is web-based so that no users need to download an app. It supports health screening and contact tracing so that, in the event of a positive test post-production, follow-up is quick and efficient. It consists of an online form for all users to self-verify that they are healthy and haven’t been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19, as well as a form to collect the aforementioned contact information.
The verification form is customizable, which gives Complete Crewing the ability to ask the specific questions that we need to ask as an event-staffing agency. Thanks to the non-app format of the solution, our touchless check-in procedure can be accessed by all crew members quickly as soon as they arrive onsite, which allows us to streamline the check-in process while still reinforcing an environment of safety and health. As we take all security very seriously, we can also assure all production and event sites that the solution keeps all data private and secure.
We know that the pandemic situation is still one of occasional confusion and change. As guidelines and resources continue to evolve, Complete Crewing is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest best practices, adapting our crews and processes as new technologies and policies appear on-scene.
In addition to our touchless check-in procedure, we want to provide some more information on our COVID-19 Compliance Officers (C19CO).
Pre-and Post-Production Duties
The duties of a C19CO go beyond onsite monitoring of your event. Your C19CO will work with your producer or technical director ahead of your production to help manage your crew numbers and schedule in a way that minimizes risk; this is one reason why it’s so important to have a C19CO who understands your industry! They’ll work with you and your site/location/venue to form a plan for check-in, make recommendations on break spaces that meet distancing guidelines, and make sure that you understand your obligations to those that enter your site.
Onsite, the C19CO will provide a limited amount of PPE as a default- masks, individually packaged hand sanitizer, extra sets of nitrile gloves, face shields, etc. As we mentioned previously, they will monitor all check-in processes using our touchless solution, and work with your crew and cleaning staff to ensure all high touch surfaces are adequately sanitized and all shared equipment is sanitized prior to and after each use. After each day, your C19CO will send you a report of the day’s events as they unfolded. As well as the information found here, this report will include follow-up information and steps that would be necessary for positive test results in different departments.
It’s important to think of the C19CO not as simply another position, but as another department head. This position should not be in addition to other duties; it is a full-time job. C19COs are the first position in and the last one to leave every day of your production. They need to be able to focus fully on their responsibilities, and should be someone that will hold you accountable and save you money in the long run (yes, from potential lawsuits), as well as partners that you can rely on to do their jobs without fear of reprisal.
It’s strongly recommended that a C19CO comes from a neutral third party rather than your organization – or worse, from a venue that does not hold your interests above their own. The C19CO should have no special interests except for a deep focus on public safety. We also recommend working with a company rather than a freelancer. If your C19CO has an emergency or can’t provide services due to a positive test result or symptoms before or during your production, a company can more easily ensure the hand-off of duties to another compliance officer for seamless transition.
The benefits of a C19CO are profound. On top of being a layer of protection for your organization in the event of an outbreak, the C19CO is an onsite enforcer who will demand that your production adhere to the strictest guidelines possible while helping you complete the work that you need to in the safest way possible. They’ll show your stakeholders – your clients, crew, and others in the industry – that you take the COVID-19 threat seriously and that a return to work is possible because of companies like you. They’ll keep you up-to-date with regulatory changes and help you make adjustments to better plan for compliance, especially in states where guidelines shift based on positive cases. Your C19CO is your partner and your best friend.
If you have any questions on staffing an event, finding the best C19CO possible, or our touchless check-in solution, please reach out. Complete Crewing is a trusted and experienced event-staffing agency, and we are happy to help you in any way that we can. Stay safe and stay healthy.
Essential COVID Compliance Officers for Events and Productions/in Occupational Safety/by Complete Crewing
Chicago-based Complete Crewing, your trusted and experienced event-staffing agency, has added a new and essential position to our safety and production crew offerings: certified COVID Compliance Officers (CCO). CCOs present on production sites are responsible for overseeing all COVID-19 safety protocols. These officers serve as a liaison between the heads of individual crew departments, the production facility, and the Health Department. All of Complete Crewing’s labor coordinators are trained as compliance officers, in addition to being OSHA-30 certified.
As this is a new position for a new environment, we wanted to take the time to explain our CCO’s responsibilities. Whether Complete Crewing provides only the CCO or an entire highly skilled crew, we want to give everyone we work with the confidence that all health protocols are being followed, and assure all location and facility managers that they can feel safe holding meetings, events, and productions of all types.
Each CCO provides a daily written report for every job site with details on safety guideline compliance. Here is an excerpt from a report of a recent Complete Crewing job in Chicago:
“Arrived on site just before 7am. Processed facility staff arrivals as workplace safety signage was being set in strategic locations throughout the venue. The majority of the crew arrived at 8am. There were no red flags from self-certification questionnaires, nor were any temperatures taken outside of the normal range. All crew entering wore masks and remained socially distant while awaiting check in. Upon entry, they were given a wrist band to indicate they had been screened, as well as a personal bottle of hand sanitizer. The facility placed ample sanitation stations throughout the building. The restroom facilities had adequate soap in the dispensers. Catering was provided as individually packaged items.”
In addition to monitoring screening practices and reviewing the facility, the CCO will:
- Ensure that the staff at a site falls within the limits established by state and city guidelines
- Provide his or her contact information to all event attendees and post important information and safety guidance throughout the venue
- Manage and coordinate information from department heads in the event of a post-event positive COVID result
- Confirm that quarantine rules are followed by all who worked within 6 feet of each other, in the event of a positive result
- Follow-up with the Health Department in the event of a positive result
- Ensure the privacy of all collected information and questionnaire responses
The safety of our crews, all attendees, and our communities is a top priority for Complete Crewing. Our crew coordinators have a long history of excellence and consistently provide service above and beyond what was requested. We know how important safety is! We have the skills needed to prioritize safety in this new environment even while working with multiple crews, shifts, and schedules. We are always up to date on local, state, and national recommendations and regulations, and are dedicated to providing the best service for any event.
Please review this post for more information on our safety protocol guidelines, and contact us with any questions. The Complete Crewing team is equipped and prepared to help get the Chicagoland area back to work!
Happy Labor Day From Complete Crewing/in Uncategorized/by Complete Crewing
Since 1887, the labor movement has been celebrated for their contributions to the social and economic prosperity of America through the observance of Labor Day. Complete Crewing is proud to be affiliated with such a movement and we take great efforts to support the goals of all our clients and workers alike.
Over the years, I have had many starts and stops along my career path. Having been a Teamster driving a Coca-Cola truck, a fork lift operator in a printing press ,a fiberglass race car fabricator, to working in offices and ultra luxury hotels and resorts; one thing stands out to be abundantly clear. Taking care of each other, working together, pulling on the same end of their proverbial rope, always, always allows you to reach your goals and the goals of those around you with greater success. No one can go it alone and collectively we are stronger together.
So as we celebrate the National Holiday, let’s think about who we are as a country, who we want to be, and how we all can get there together. Rising tides lift all boats after all, so please recognize the movement that made the country an economy powerhouse and thank someone who builds homes, digs tunnels, delivers packages, teaches our children, or keep us safe, for they deserve our gratitude and respect.
For more information about the history of Labor Day, please visit https://www.dol.gov/
Office Lit In Red For #RedAlertRESTART/in Uncategorized/by Complete Crewing
On September 1st we joined our colleagues and friends in solidarity by lightning up our office in red to raise public awareness of the impact of COVID on the live events industry for #RedAlertRESTART.
Contact Congress today to support the RESTART Act, a bill that will assist hundreds of thousands of industry service workers impacted by the pandemic. Click here to find your local government’s official page.
Safety Protocol Guidelines During Covid-19/in Uncategorized/by Complete Crewing
Complete Crewing’s full-time, onsite crew coordinators have undergone Covid-19 Compliance Officer Training in order to provide guidance and assistance in maintaining standards for a safe production worksite.
- Crew members will be required to file a Covid-19 screening survey prior to accepting a work call.
- Crew members who are feeling ill prior to any work call will be required to stay home.
- Crew members are encouraged to avoid travel on public transportation and use own vehicle when possible.
- If the venue or production does not conduct temperature screening as a requirement for entry, crew members will have their temperature taken at the start of every shift prior to being granted entry. Crew will be sent home if they are experiencing a temperature of 100.4 or greater. Periodic temperature checks will be made.
- Productions should have a designated Covid-19 Compliance Officer. The name and contact information for that person should be clearly posted at the employee check-in area. Complete Crewing has trained personnel that can be hired to perform this function if the production does not have someone.
- Productions should designate specific & separate entrances and exits during set up and strike days when working crews will be largest. Non-essential visitors should be discouraged. Anyone entering worksite must be screened and have a temperature check.
- Complete Crewing will provide PPE for its contracted crews to include masks, hand sanitizer and gloves. Crew members will always be required to wear masks while on show site.
- Crew will be instructed on proper handling, use and disposal of PPE provided by Complete Crewing for their personal use.
- Crew should wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Crews will be instructed to maintain 6-feet of distance between themselves and talent whenever possible and avoid physical contact. Personnel with duties requiring close contact will be outfitted with additional PPE deemed necessary.
- When performing physically demanding tasks that require close contact, extra efforts should be made to assign consistent teams of workers to those tasks.
- Attempt to stagger breaks when possible. It is safest to keep the crew onsite and provide catering. Covid-19 catering guidelines should be applied. Break areas should allow for social distancing. If no catering available, crew should be notified in advance and encouraged to bring meals and beverages from home.
- If crew needs to use tools that are not their own, or if they share tools, they should be disinfected before and after use. Crew members should also wash or disinfect their hands before and after.
- Every effort should be made to assign items to specific crew members. They should be sanitized before use, periodically throughout the shift and prior to storage at end of shift.
- While disinfectant materials should be provided by the equipment vendor,
Complete Crewing will have a limited amount at site as back-up. Complete Crewing will have adequate PPE for its’ contracted crew members to use while sanitizing gear.
Helping Events Reopen Safely in Illinois and Nationwide/in Uncategorized/by Complete Crewing
As states and cities take steps to open businesses, and face-to-face meetings grow closer to returning, Complete Crewing is poised to resume providing our high level, complete staffing solutions for production and AV companies. We have spent the last three months sharpening our tools and making sure that our crews can operate safely in this new landscape. We are familiar with local and national operating guidelines, and will be taking every step to ensure the safety of our labor and production crews, and our clients.
Supporting Events in Chicago and Nationwide
Our entire staff of OSHA-30 certified labor coordinators are trained and ready to get back to business. When you partner with us, and trust us to hire and manage the A-list crew your event deserves, we become the employer of record. As such, we have protocols in place to follow health authority guidelines and ensure the proper use of all the personal protective equipment (PPE) that staff need to protect themselves. So go ahead and check “crew safety planning” off of your to-do list. Complete Crewing is ready to streamline the process, making sure that your event is flawless, memorable, and safe.
While we are based in Chicago, for over twenty years we’ve provided production labor services for events from Los Angeles, CA, to Boston, MA. No matter where you want your event, or how many cities and venues you need, we can guarantee skilled staff that come with excellent client feedback.
There is a lot of information out there and it continues to change. We’ve gathered a few resources that we think do a good job at helping businesses understand what they need to know to operate in this new landscape. We will continue monitoring all resources, to best position our company and to best help you.
Call and speak with a labor coordinator to learn more at 773-645-2000.
Event Safety Alliance
The ESA released “The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide,” which is available for free. The guide provides advice for event planners and venues on how to safely resume operations. It calls for everyone to follow health authorities such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and shares suggestions for everyone’s consideration.
As of June 2020, Illinois is in Phase 4: Recovery. Under the guidelines, the following industries are able to reopen:
- Meetings & Social Events
- Indoor & Outdoor Recreation
- Indoor & Outdoor Dining
- Theaters & Performing Arts
- Youth & Recreational Sports Guidelines
- Film Production
- Service Counters
- Health & Fitness Centers
- Personal Care Services
- Day Camps
All businesses should follow the guidelines found in the Business Toolkit.
City of Chicago
Here are the Industry Guidelines for Reopening for Chicago. You can find Chicago’s current phase, the criteria for transitioning between phases, and specific safety guidelines.
McCormick Place is one of the premier event centers in Chicago. They are working closely with public health officials and following all recommendations and best practices to keep the campus safe. Here are links to their Events Calendar and cleaning protocol.
Scheduled for a phased reopening beginning June 10th, Navy Pier gives locals and tourists alike a beautiful view of the skyline while offering fun, family friendly dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Safety measures are in place to welcome visitors. For more information please see these links:
Navy Pier Cleaning Protocol and PPE Requirements
Navy Pier Phased Reopening Plan
We’ve been the authority on event labor staffing for years and you can rely on our experience to make your events safer, smoother, and highly successful. Let us do what we excel at, so that you can focus where you excel. Contact us today and let us know how we can help. We’re happy to be able to say, Welcome Back.
Coronavirus Message from Complete Crewing/in Uncategorized/by Complete Crewing
Like the rest of the world, Complete Crewing is watching COVID-19 news closely. We know that it feels like everything is changing, and in the worst way. Schools and businesses are closed. Grocery stores and flights are empty. Things are tough.
But one thing doesn’t have to change. Our ability to help each other.
We’ve heard stories of people offering to grocery shop for elderly neighbors, and of teachers, retired and active, providing resources for homeschooling as parents tackle that for the first time. Then there’s the story of the NBA players making donations to help arena workers who suddenly find themselves out of work.
We’re all in this together. Yeah, life is nuts right now, but we’re stronger when we find ways, big and small, to help each other. So, this is us reaching out. What do you need? We’re not going anywhere, and we’re ready and waiting to rally teams of technical and production crews around the Nation to help you pivot during this time and keep your business running.
Check out this insightful article from Socialmediatoday.com about shifting to virtual events and tips to help you through this time.
If you need help moving meetings en masse to virtual platforms, we’re here. Our teams of technical staff are ready to assist with:
- Installations of video conferencing equipment
- Building sets for professional virtual presentations
- Operation of camera and audio equipment to ensure a high quality virtual experience
- And any other way that we can bring in our expertise to support you
When we eventually make it through this Pandemic, we’ll be ready to hit the ground running, just like we always are, and we want you right there with us. We’ll know that we forged new bonds of partnership and family because we didn’t go it alone, but had each other’s backs the whole way.
That’s our COVID-19 update. We’re here and we’re ready to be there for you. Stay safe and let us know how we can help. We can’t wait to get back to doing what we love! Until then, take care of yourself and be kind to one another.