I’ve always loved special events as long as I can remember.
I went to a small Christian school growing up and had the same classmates from age 5 to age 18. Our graduating class was about 36 kids…
I share that because I have a unique experience when it comes to community and gathering people together.
There were 3 major events that we all looked forward to while going to school:
Homecoming, Winter Banquet, and Spring Formal
The Winter Banquet was open to junior high schoolers-- those beautifully awkward 12 and 13 year olds having a “Fancy Dinner” at a local hotel banquet room on Valentine’s Day.
Not only was I excited to dress up and attend, I was excited to have the opportunity to be on the planning committee.
And thus, at 12 years old, I remember getting on the phone with my first hotel and catering vendor. Maybe I sounded like a grown woman on the phone? I doubt it. Ha!
But she took that 12 year old Patrice seriously as I asked her specific questions about the meal options.
Fast forward to my high school years where I took a lead role in planning our multiple-day Spring Formal in Southern California.
It was exhilarating and a massive challenge, but all worth it when my classmates had one of the best nights of their lives. As did I.
I was hooked.
I would later go on to nurture my love of storytelling as an English major and later a filmmaker at film school.
And through it all, my love of events never waned.
When I fell back into the world of television production, I noticed that there were a great deal of similarities and crossover, with the traditional event-planning world.
So without further ado, here are 5 Things I learned working events in Hollywood:
1. Budget – When you think of television, you may think of an entity that has an endless supply of finances and resources. Um. Nope.
Budget is still king in the world of television and in the world of events. But one of my favorite quotes by the extraordinary filmmaker Orson Welles: “The absence of limitations is the enemy of art” – meaning, having a budget often forces you to get a bit more creative than you normally would. Which in turn, can create something incredibly stunning—something that might not have exited otherwise.
2. Hospitality – Everyone deserves kindness. Even more so, it seems as though everyone is starved for authentic kindness these days.
I was raised on the idea of always giving a “Thank You” card after receiving a gift or a special opportunity.
In dealing with clients in Hollywood and in the events world, a Thank You card and gift goes a long way!
I’m convinced that I got my first few TV jobs and referrals, simply because I gave a sincere gift and a thank you card to the person who “opened a door” for me or who I had the privilege of working under.
3. Patience – I know.
When you think of the fast pace of the TV and Events world, the last thing you may think of is patience.
But I’ve learned to not get discouraged when things don’t happen right away or within my preferred timeline.
Often there are unexpected delays or certain things that simply fall through, but I’ve realized if I just wait a beat, it’s amazing how at the end of the day, the event or live TV show still happens. It may not happen perfectly (giving you new insight on what to avoid in the future) but the event and the show will almost always go on.
4. Team Work – Yes….it makes the DREAM WORK.
When you can develop a signature way in which to do your role within TV or events, it’s even better when you can share and teach others around you, your methods. Giving them insight, and giving you a strong team that you can trust to get things done efficiently and within the culture/attitude you foster and are known for.
I love that I don’t have to micro-manage my freelance team. They’ve all worked with me enough to know how to be proactive in a way that is also kind, professional, creative, and fun.
5. Administration is Producing – Yeah. Let me explain that.
For some reason, the word “administration” or “admin” has the connotation that it’s simply entry level work. Ummm. Naw fam.
From producing events from scratch to production managing and talent hospitality managing, do you know what they all have in common?
If you feel a little weak in your organizational game, you definitely may want to increase it OR find the necessary support that can help you streamline your admin and organization for an event or other company operations you may have.
On a live TV show, you’ll often have the position of a “Line producer”, one who helps to manage (execute admin duties) for the entire budget of a show (we are talking millions of dollars) – There may be excel grids or producing software incorporated, but all to say….doesn’t s this sound a lot like “highly advanced administrative skills”?
And although line producers on this high level often get to negotiate costs with vendors and work directly with the executive producers, they are not always (or if at all ) a part of the full creative aspect of the end product or final event, but often they can be.
This streamlined way of admin and organization for an event is vital. The speed in which a live TV show is produced is quite something. And to make sure the finances are handled above board are of the highest priority.
To give you an example: In the past, I’ve been hired by a line producer to simply file, process, and follow-up on all vendor invoices (100+) – this producer knew that by having my position (a manager of sorts), it would greatly eliminate any gaps of vendors being paid, and would help to accurately reflect current budget spending. Not to mention the wrap-out of the event would be relatively stress free for the event producer, as everything has been filed and put in order with current payment info and status, while the producer is free to engage in client follow-up and prep for additional future events with much more ease.
As event producers and TV producers, we often try and do it all ourselves, as a badge of honor. But as your events get larger, and your clientele more upscale, you’ll definitely want certain new positions in place, to help streamline your workflow and your peace of mind.
So these are some of the valuable things I’ve learned working Events in Hollywood!
Have more questions?
Or want to know how I might be able to support one of your events or event venue in the future?
Feel free to shoot me an email, I’d love to hear from you!
Or you can visit me on Instagram!
I’m always responding to DMs!
Until we chat again!