9 June 2020

In this final installment of the abridged series of The Facts Of Live, we look at how the insights across the episodes lead to conceiving, procuring and producing live events and exhibitions delivering move value, a bigger impact and greater creativity.


Hi, I’m Will Glendinning, I’m a producer, writer, designer and director and this is it, episode 10, the final episode of this series, an abridged version of The Facts Of Live.

In this episode we look at how the issues we’ve discussed and resolved in each episode, come together giving you everything you need to conceive, procure and produce live events that create the greatest value and impact.

If you’re looking to improve how you or your teams work, purchase or collaborate, this is for you. After all, people are always looking for more for less and for better value and for more creativity.

Without the right structure in place there is little point at looking at anything else. Almost any issue I come across with a live event be it creative, commercial, political, technical, time related or anything else, it can always be traced back to brands, agencies or teams not having the best structure in place.

Episode two looked at the proven structure needed to make sure everyone is led, informed and supported. It also looked at the difference between content and context and how those in key roles need relevant experience in each.

It also gave you the four questions you need to ask yourself or your team that if can’t be answered almost immediately by anyone involved in a live event or exhibition, there’s no way on earth your live event will be produced, developed, designed or delivered as effectively, creatively or efficiently as it could be.

Live events involve gluing together a myriad of issues, people and organisations you’ll be relying upon against a backdrop of constant change and uncertainty with an immovable deadline and with everyone watching.

This is quite unlike most other pursuits and it’s why it demands the structure we look at in episode two. Leadership in live events starts and finishes with empathy, or it does if you want more value and more creativity.

Egos, personalities and politics are an intrinsic part of any live event given they’re essentially about showing off in some way, shape or form. As a result of this, the fixed deadlines and other issues, live events exist in an emotionally charged alternate reality of skewed time and logic.

The pressure this can cause means even the simplest, most mundane task can tip people over the edge, empathy is therefore critical. In episode four we looked at the balance between dictatorial leadership and democratic management needed to get the best out of people in this unique environment. We went on then to look at how you should be quarantining your teams from unavoidable chaos and how this is only possible with real empathy.

You’ll only get the best from your team if you both understand and care… about them, not you.

Live events are often considered high risk. Now, without the right expertise or the right experience and the right knowledge, anything is high risk. Live events don’t need to be high risk.

Throughout this series we’ve looked at a range of solutions that when combined, reduce the time needed, cost and complexity and how they reduce financial, operational and reputation risks.

Episode one looks at the most basic question, what’s the point of staging an event or exhibition in the first place? This is rarely given due consideration. Work out why you’re doing something first before worrying about it’s ROI, return on investment, not the other way round.

Episode three then looked at the most important first steps, the critical decisions made at a live events genesis that have far bigger impacts on risk than almost any other decision further down the line.

Episodes five, six, seven, eight and nine then look at how to really understand how money works with live events and how to buy effectively, reducing almost all associated risks.

Many common practices, despite creating the illusion of risk management, leave people and organisations wide open. It’s no wonder so many think live events are high risk.

And again, episode two details the best structure you could have in place to give you the certainty and assurance you need to mitigate operational and reputational risks.

Reducing risks is relatively straight forward, it just requires a little insight and a few critical tweaks.

Having the right people in the right place and at the right time is critical, most people understand that. However, given there is no common understanding of how live events come to fruition, many make their own processes up or reinvent the wheel. Episode eight looked at how to find the talent you need, when you need it.

It also looks at the questions that I seldom see anyone ask that you need to ask to make sure you’re getting the right talent, even if you don’t know what you need. The episode also looks at ignoring job titles which don’t really help you and how to find the talent you need, the talent you don’t need, when you need it and how to identify it.

Episode two then again shows you how this talent is best structured. Live events are all about people, it’s people that will get you over the line. The right people will get you over the line without drama and deliver you the greatest creativity, greatest value and the greatest impact.

Whether you own your own events or outsource work to agencies or hire suppliers, most people involved with live events are involved in procurement or buying in some way.

Most typical procurement approaches are broken, they merely create the illusion of value and see people profiting from the underlying chaos, whether you realise it or not, it’s such a waste.

Episode six explains why this is and common practices and assumptions that need considering. Episode five looked at the most confused words when it comes to live events and money with episodes seven, eight and nine then showing how to best buy or find goods, services or entire turnkey solutions whether you’re looking for the smallest event, a small meeting for example, through to the largest, an expo or major sporting event for example, needing everything from new buildings and infrastructure and all the rest of it.

Unless procurement is looked at sensibly people will forever be buying ineffectively.

A waste that shouldn’t be tolerated normally, let alone as we come out of the current crisis. The quest for new ideas, new creativity and innovation is relentless.

Creativity doesn’t just happen, it needs the perfect alchemy of time, money, people and environment. This series has looked at the structure needed to support the development and nurturing of ideas and creativity. Episode two is where this starts with the right structure and then how creatives and those trying to make you look good are best led.

Check out episode four for more details. Ideas can come from anywhere, they don’t need to come from event or exhibition people, they do though need nurturing and developing into something tangible.

With the right team in place with relevant experience offering empathetic support, you can bring anyone into the fold. And then watch what happens, watch ideas develop and creativity flourish.

There’s a reason I wrote The Facts Of Live and created this short series.

There are a myriad of courses, people, books and organisations you can turn to for all the individual aspects of live events from event management and sponsorship and marketing through to the technical, creative and content side of things, but how do you actually best engage with these aspects, utilise them, procure them and actually glue them together?

Well that’s the understanding that’s often missing with those who are conceiving, procuring and producing live events and filling that knowledge gap is why I wrote The Facts of Live and why I created this series.

By reducing the unnecessary stresses, risks, drama and waste in and around live events, everyone involved can focus on more creativity, delivering more value and creating more impact.

And don’t forget too, is there for you as a completely free resource summarising key points from the book and this series.

If you think any colleagues, clients, agencies, brands, people in government or anyone else could benefit from these insights, please feel free to share details of the book or this free series with them.

A huge thank you for watching, thanks for your time and I’ll speak to you again soon.