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The Art of Show Flow

by Gary Lagestee, on Feb 28, 2018

The Guide to Having a Successful Live Event

Alright, blog readers, here’s the situation: You’re hosting a large scale event that’s going to have key influencers in your industry and can be a game-changer for your career. What’s the worst that could happen? Oh yeah, a mic can cut out, the audio cues are missed, that inspiring video you picked out gets stuck by buffering, you lose the audience's attention...you’re in the production biz, you get where I’m going here. The bottom line is you need to get this right. So, where do you start? You’ll probably start by figuring out who your speakers are, what kind of visual effects you want, you know things like that. The big stuff that is going to separate your production from a standard meeting… AKA a snooze fest. 

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Now don’t get me wrong, I know that those big things are important, but so are the smaller details. In-fact, we believe some of the smaller details can make or break an event and we want to draw attention to one of those smaller details in this blog because we think it’s really easy to get overlooked. The detail I want to talk about in this blog is called a show flow. Your show flow should be the bible of your event and we are going to tell you why. Our main goal here at Clarity Experiences is to give you the tools you need to create a remarkable experience and to help you in any way we can, and in this instance, it’s by helping with your show flow! 

What does show flow mean?

Okay, first and foremost, let’s make sure we are all on the same page. What does show flow mean? How does it work? Like I said earlier, your show flow, or as some might call it, the run of show, should be the bible of your event. Show flow is essentially a document of all the details and the timeline of your event to make sure everyone is on the same page. I’m talking down to the nitty-gritty. This document is a way for all key production engineers and operators to be on the same page, primarily in regard to cues, transitions VOG’s, stingers, and video and graphics playback. The timeline includes each item down the minute or second it needs to occur. This is a living document that can be updated live all the way up until the event begins. 

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Sounds important right? So who owns the show flow for your event? For more technical productions or events with lots of cues, a Technical Director or Show Caller will own the show flow with any and all changes or updated channeling through this key person. BIG responsibility huh?

The show flow is not, I repeat, IS NOT to be shared with presenters or others outside of the room it’s used for. So to help make sure others are on point and ready to go for the event, we create an agenda, a schedule of events day by day that can be shared with speakers, audio department, lighting department, video department, AV team , etc. So In case I haven’t already sold you on why show flow is so important...I’ll tell you more specific reasons and go into even more depth, so keep on reading! 

Show flows keep everyone on the same page

Like I just said, show flow keeps everyone on the same page. I’m going to say it again, just to emphasize its importance...IT KEEPS THE PRODUCTION TEAM ON THE SAME PAGE! With a large event, we all know how it is, there is a lot going on. There are a lot of moving parts and a lot of different people doing different jobs. A show flow is a really easy tool that will help guide all moving parts and keep your production engineers and operators on the same page!

Show flows help get rid of room for error

This goes hand-in-hand with keeping the production team on the same page. If the production team is on the same page and actually knows what’s going on, I promise you the odds of an error will go way down. If your team has no idea what’s going on, that’s how things get missed and the ball gets dropped. With such a detailed and intricate document, your entire team will be able to execute on your vision of the production without fault. 

Show flows create less stress for you

Running an event of this size is undoubtedly extremely stressful. You probably feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. If something goes wrong or something gets messed up, it’s on you. Do yourself a favor and take some of that stress off your shoulders. Yes, there might be things that go wrong, sometimes it’s inevitable, but don’t let the flow of the event be one of them. That’s completely avoidable with a show flow. A show flow helps give you peace of mind that the layout and the process of your event are taken care of!

How Clarity Experiences can help you

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Okay, so where does Clarity Experiences fit into this equation? Well, we can go in a few different directions, depending on your goals and what you feel you need help with. If you feel like you can execute on a show flow, but need help creating one, Clarity Experiences can help you with that. You don’t need to be an expert on everything and have all the answers. You can leverage us to help you come up with ideas or even to help you build out the flow of your event in addition to your show flow document. 

If you aren’t comfortable coming up with your show flow document or executing on it, we got you covered. We can help you come up with the strategy and be there on the day of the event to make sure it all gets executed properly. This allows you to focus on the event and to make sure your part gets done. Another way to help take the stress off your shoulders by putting it onto ours. 

On the flip side, if you feel like you don’t need our help at all, more power to you! Go for it, and if you get stuck along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone at Clarity Experiences. Like I said earlier, our main goal is to make sure your event is remarkable and we will help you in any way we can. 

That’s the Art of Show Flow!

So there you have it! The art of show flow is the ultimate guide to creating a remarkable live event. The main takeaway of this blog is to:

  1. Create a show flow for your event 
  2. Treat your show flow like your bible

Don’t let it out of your sight and make sure the production team has a copy. If it’s as detailed as possible and the team is on the same page, you will be just fine and your production will go on seamlessly. Not to mention, it should also be less stressful on you. If you have any questions regarding a show flow or think Clarity Experiences might be able to help you with your next live event, give us a call today, we would love the opportunity to work with you!

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Topics:AV ProductionEvent Planner Tips

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