Will Glendinning Remote Working

CAN REMOTE WORKING MAKE YOU SMARTER?

CAN REMOTE WORKING MAKE YOU SMARTER?

30 March 2020

Can remote working make you smarter? Yes. Remote working forces you to work smarter, especially if you work in a creative or technical field. Remote working can also be a complete arse though, too.

I’ve been using remote working before it was really a thing – including for some of the largest and most complex ventures in recent history. 4 minutes of video to explain how you may get smarter by being locked down, and workarounds for three of remote working’s biggest failings…

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Will Glendinning, I’m a Producer, Designer, Writer and Director.

Now, pretty much everyone is using remote working – out of necessity more than anything else, but it’s my view that remote working can actually make you smarter and work smarter, too.

I’ve been using remote working in some way, shape or form in a sense before remote working was really a thing. In fact, one of the largest events ever staged, one of the most complex projects ever delivered back in the day was actually pretty much coordinated and planned using various forms of remote working, and back then, we even had to develop our own software for distributing information and documents because Dropbox didn’t exist, Basecamp wasn’t a thing and there wasn’t really anything useful that did that. We literally had to start from scratch. So I’ve got some experience in this field.

Working remotely, especially in any creative or technical field, forces you to think differently. You have to find different ways of articulating things and better ways of describing things.

It’s similar in a way to a conversation I was having with a top lawyer, a top litigator a few years ago. I could never work out why they didn’t write their own letters and their own documents. Instead, they’d dictate things and then hand over that dictation to a bank of secretaries. I thought it’d surely be faster to do it themselves. But they explained the reason they dictate what they want written is that if they dictate it, they have to form the argument in their mind, and find a better ways of articulating their point or creating an argument or describing something. It just forces better, more disciplined thinking.

Working remotely forces the same improvements. You can’t rely on body language or waffle or body language or gesticulation as much as you can in face-to-face meetings. And you find then, too, that people who are used to working remotely, they’re far more useful in face-to-face meetings, as well. They’re more concise, more considered and more productive.

There are times when working remotely doesn’t work as well as being in the same office, and I want to look at three in particular and solutions to each of them.

Now, the first one is if you’ve got staff or employees or people who are, let’s say, less motivated or lazy or complacent – working remotely then, you do see productivity drop through the floor. Now, most of the time, this could be solved with looking at how people are rewarded and remunerated.

Secondly, if there’s a raft of information to digest and distribute before a meeting or in a meeting, for goodness sake, get it distributed and get it digested before the remote meeting starts. Now, clearly this is a problem in face-to-face meetings, as well, but you find in remote meetings or video meetings, video conferences – that for some reason, the issue just gets amplified and just becomes more frustrating.

And thirdly, if you’ve something that needs designing and creating at breakneck speed, it just works better if everyone’s in the same room. This could be anything from an advert or a film or a digital project that needs to be delivered yesterday or a building that needs to be designed and built quickly or an event that’s run out of time to plan it and develop it properly. It just works better if everyone’s in the same room. People can pick up things by osmosis. They can overhear things. They can nip problems in the bud when they start rather than letting them drag on. It just works. Now, if you have to do that remotely, it can work, and rather than have constant video calls all day or different video conferences at different times of the day with different people, you can just leave video streams open so that everyone working on the project together are connected all day long or over prolonged periods. That way you can overhear what people are saying, what people are doing and the various conversations going on. Now, it is a bit weird at first, but you do get used to it, and it can work. If you have to do something quickly that’s creative or technical and you need everyone working together towards that same aim. It does work.

So those are my thoughts on remote working and some workarounds for common problems.

If one good thing comes out of all of this, it’s my hope that remote working is far more widely accepted as part of the working mix. It forces us to work smarter and maybe become smarter, too.

Thanks for watching.

Thanks for your time.

Thoughts welcome, and I’ll speak to you again soon.


WONDROUS OR WORTHWHILE?

IS IT WONDROUS OR WORTHWHILE?

29 March 2020

If you work in marketing, communication, entertainment, sport or the arts, this question will, in some form or another become increasingly important.

The value and purpose of most of our work is going to come under increasing scrutiny as we emerge from this global crisis. Waiting for the world to return to how it was is going to lead to challenges. The opportunity lies in embracing the changes.

Is the work you’re doing or contributing to serving any useful purpose – leading to something wondrous or worthwhile? Now is the opportunity to make sure it is. Two minutes of video to explain as I put the finishing touches to ideas and support to help you – whether you’re an individual, brand, government, supplier or agency.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Will Glendinning, and I’m in the experience game. I produce, I direct, I write, I design and consult on live events, exhibitions, experiences, marketing, communication, entertainment, whatever it is – it’s typically live, and both on and offline.

Now, the first thing that I think about when I see a new idea or if a new idea comes across my desk or it’s something off my own bat or I see a tender or such like, I first ask, you know – what’s the point? And I’m usually pretty brutal. Now, some people dress this up as ROI, return on investment, or value or impact or whatever else.

But the way my head works, what runs through my mind is, is this wondrous (entertains of causes people to think differently) or worthwhile (serves business or commnication objectives)?

Many ideas fail this interrogation and if I have any influence, I normally advise people not to do it, or to change it in some way. But those that do pass, those that get it right, they’re pretty special. You know, they invoke a sense of wonder, or they become worthwhile.

Even before the crisis we find ourselves in globally, such interrogation was, in my view, often lacking… with many events, exhibitions and experiences having dubious value. And as we come out of this crisis, the world is going to demand more creative work and working, new approaches and fresh thinking.

For some, this is going to be a challenge, particularly those who are waiting for some semblance of normality to return or for life to return, just like it was before. For others, this is an enormous opportunity.

That opportunity lies with people and organisations that can shape and lead new creative thinking and working, people who can provide qualified leadership at every level, and people who can demonstrate agility.

Whether you’re a brand or a government or an agency or an individual or a supplier, knowing where you can be most valuable and most relevant is going to be critical.

Now, of course, this is all just talk and at the moment, I’m putting the finishing touches to the solutions and ideas to create tangible solutions and a tangible way forwards.

In the meantime, I urge you to look at what’s coming and what’s changing, and look at what’s going to be wanted and needed. And look at your own role and make damn sure in this new world, it leads towards something that’s wondrous or worthwhile.


CHALLENGING TIMES? OR TIME FOR CHANGE?

CHALLENGING TIMES? OR TIME FOR CHANGE?

19 March 2020

If you’re a creative or work with or in the creative or live sectors – words like: challenging, interesting and devastating feature heavily in most conversations. Is there a silver lining though, or can we create one? Isolation and interruption needn’t halt all creative work and business. I have no intention of stopping. This stuff is what makes me tick after all. I love it.

With so many individuals, brands, governments, agencies and suppliers struggling though – I want to do something about it – so I am.

I’m no medic, nor do I have a few billion to back a bailout. What I can help with though is how you, and we all – together, come out of this better prepared for a world that will demand more considered work and creative work and working. Three and half minutes of video to explain the ideas, training and initiatives coming your way soon… for free.

Take care, more very soon.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Will Glendinning. I’m a producer, writer, designer and director.

And greetings from the Glendinning bunker.

Now words like challenging, interesting, catastrophic even are being used quite frequently at the moment and for good reason. And if you’re a creative too and work in or with the creative industries you don’t need me to reiterate the challenges everyone’s facing.

But is there a silver lining though? Or can we create one?

For me, life’s about experiences: finding and creating them.

Whether it’s finding them exploring nature or heading off on expedition to the bottom of the world or creating them: producing events, creating content, writing, developing ideas, designing furniture, developing a menu for dinner with friends… whatever it is, I need to explore and I need to create, it’s what makes me tick.

Creating experiences or creative work isn’t just about the end result. I get excited about every stage of the game. A game with four stages or quarters.

First there’s the idea, whether for a new business, new product or service, an expedition, a trip away, the need to sell to, communicate with or entertain people… whatever it is, coming up with ideas, strategy or thinking for many of us is our life blood and for some of us, it’s what makes us tick.

Then there’s the research. Ideas are great but most won’t come to anything. And it’s the research, due diligence or just trying something that determines if an idea has legs or that moves that idea forwards.

There’s then the development and design. At this stage, the ideas become tangible. We’re designing, we’re developing, we’re planning. It is, if the idea has merit, exciting, often challenging but exciting.

Then finally there’s the end result, be it a product, a service, a new business, an event, an experience, some marketing, communication or entertainment, an expedition even. Whatever it is, it’s the bit where something actually happens.

This cycle of activity is what makes me tick. I love it. If I’m not doing one or all of these things at any one time, I’d go crazy. So I have no intention of stopping. And crucially, unless everything you do is online, it is by and large only really the final stage that is affected by the current temporary situation we find ourselves in globally. The rest of the stages needn’t stop, nor should they.

Creativity and creating can continue.

Of course, the immediate issues that affect each of us, our family, our friends, our businesses and those that need our help should be the absolute priority.

Now, I can’t help with employment, cash flow, making payroll, business continuity or medical advice.

But what I can help with is how you and each of us come through this stronger, more creative potentially, reinvigorated and hopefully better equipped for the world that will demand more considered and creative work and working.

Reinvention and change is inevitable, whether through choice or forced upon us. So in the coming days and weeks, in and around the day job, I’ll be putting out all manner of suggestions, thoughts, training, insights and other initiatives to support individuals, brands, governments, agencies and suppliers who work in and with the creative and live sectors. All free – there’s no cost and no signups or anything like that.

At the very least, this will spark some debate, thinking and reflection.

And if it helps move on how you, your team, your business or your clients work more effectively, creatively, efficiently or profitably, or helps you find or create new work, even better.

And who knows, maybe some new ideas, new ventures, or new businesses even may evolve out of it too.

Thoughts, ideas and suggestions welcome.

Thanks for watching, take care and I’ll speak to you again soon.


DICTATORIAL LEADERSHIP - IN A NICE WAY

DICTATORIAL LEADERSHIP – IN A NICE WAY

29 October 2019

DICTATORIALISM (I think that’s a word!) – Making sure your team or agencies create live events, exhibitions or pavilions that deliver the greatest value and impact means understanding the unique pressures, lack of control and fixed deadline that plague them. In turn, the open, healthy dialogue and democratic processes and management everyone enjoys, are all well and good – yet fundamentally flawed. You need a balance of dictatorial leadership and democratic management if your live event stands any chance of delivering its full potential. 3 minutes of video to explain…

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Will Glendinning, I’m a Producer, Designer and Director.

Now if you’re involved in live events, exhibitions or pavilions in any way, shape or form, and at any scale and you’re looking to create the most value and most impact, you need something in place that I call “dictatorial leadership and democratic management.”

I use the term ‘dictatorial’ affectionately, I’m not suggesting you hire people who are going to start reigning aggression on all around them.

However, when you, your team or your agencies are creating and producing a live event, you’re likely to have a team that need to work together collaboratively. To perform well, these people need to work in a fair, open, encouraging and motivated environment. They need to feel safe airing their ideas and issues, knowing their opinions will be considered. This is how people in positive, modern environments are happy working. It’s a democracy, as it should be. Democracy is all well and good. But democracy has one major drawback. And that drawback is democracy’s inability to hit deadlines or move quickly.

Live events typically have a fixed deadline, everyone is watching, and it’s almost impossible to be in complete control of everything contributing towards success. When good and proper democratic working practices mean key milestones are being missed, or worse, your final event deadline is at risk, a democratic workplace overseen by well-intentioned and qualified managers is the exact opposite of what you need.

It is at this point you need a friendly dictator. Someone able, willing, and empowered to make authoritative decisions, without anywhere near enough information to do so, and armed not with weapons of mass destruction but with experience and a sixth sense to tell, lead and guide everyone involved with whatever it is they deem necessary to get the job done or the problem solved.

You can live without a friendly dictator, but you’ll find if you delve into it, all – that time and effort will be being wasted as milestones arrive and then whizz past, and people are then trying to backtrack and catch up. And you’ll find money is being wasted on activity, goods and services that may not even be needed had someone made a decision earlier on. All of this waste, confusion and uncertainty means your live event, exhibition or pavilion is inherently never going to live up to its full potential, never going to offer the most value, or deliver the most impact.

You could replace the word dictatorship with leadership, but leadership also tends to be more democratic, and it’s decisive decision making, sometimes riding roughshod over process and protocol, that’s needed. It needs doing with care and sensitivity, and by someone with relevant experience as decisions may not be popular, yet they need to be respected. It does need to be dictatorial. Ambiguity is bad. So make sure you have someone leading your live event, someone directing the content or purpose, and someone directing the technical and logistics side of things who can step back and let the democratic management approach take its natural course, while that works, but who are also able, willing and empowered to get all dictatorial when necessary, with enough empathy and experience to do so with respect and authority.

Get this right and watch how the value, creativity and impact of your activity increases.

Thanks for watching, questions welcome, and I’ll speak to you again soon.


COMPLEXITY COST CIRCLES

COMPLEXITY COST CIRCLES

10 September 2019

REDUCE COMPLEXITY & REDUCE COST – if you’re concerned your live event, exhibition or pavilion is going to cost too much or be a headache to develop, design and deliver, your concern may be valid without some considered thinking. Reducing the complexity of how your event is brought to fruition can go a long way to mitigating that potential headache and save you money. It’s extremely common for multiple layers, or circles, of complexity and cost to surround an event, and it’s not always necessary. Four minutes of video to explain…

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Will Glendinning. I’m a live event producer, designer, and director, and in this video I want to cover a complicated topic all about over complicating live events, exhibitions, and pavilions.

I see so much time, money, and effort wasted, and so many talented and creative individuals bogged down by unnecessary bureaucracy, that the issue needs addressing, and it can all be explained with circles.

This is your event, and these are the four key roles you need in place to lead any event, no matter its size or scale, from the biggest mega-event, to a smallest conference or arts performance. The person taking overall responsibility for leading and delivering the event, the person leading or directing all content requirements, a brand manager or creative director for a brand event, a competition or sporting director for sports event, or the artist for a concert, for example. The person leading on all production, technology, and infrastructure, and finally, the person leading on the operational side of things, travel, accommodation, catering, ticketing, hospitality, and similar. This is absolutely all you need to lead the development and delivery of any live event at all. I’ve got a separate video you can find, which demonstrates how this is the most efficient and effective structure possible, whether there’s just two people working on a project, or twenty thousand or more working on an event. If this is how your live event, exhibition, or pavilion is set up, with these four roles, and all others involved reporting in to, or working with them, it’s about as cost effective as it can be, and all will progress without issue or drama. If your event is large with multiple sub-events, you simply have this setup for each individual sub-event.

This isn’t how most events get set up, though. What often happens is a layer of management is put around this team. It could be an account team, a supervisory team, an organising committee, maybe, but a layer of management added for any number of reasons. There may be a good reason for this additional layer, perhaps an interface between the event team and others, or a layer of additional support to mitigate and perceived risks. My own view and experience is that if the event team is right and set up correctly, they will have sufficient contingency plans in place, and have relevant competency to do everything necessary.

So, if you have or want this additional layer, make absolutely sure it’s bringing you value in some way, shape, or form, because it will absolutely be costing you more money and time, and adding complexity to your event and those working on it. It doesn’t stop there, though. Some events have yet another layer of management added. Perhaps a governance board or senior management team or committee appointed to oversee the management team, who are overseeing the team actually developing and delivering the event, and in some instances, even more layers can be added.

All of these additional layers or circles are adding cost and complexity. More complex events often find themselves starting life at the outer circle, establishing a layer of governance, and then an organising committee or senior management team, before finally getting the expertise and experience needed to develop and deliver the event at the end of the process rather than the beginning, which is a bit like designing a menu, then designing the restaurant, and then finally finding the chef.

Doing it this way around is just the wrong way around, and it’ll make your life more complicated than it needs to be, and your event, exhibition, or pavilion, more expensive.

You have a choice. You can find the right expertise, those four key roles, at the outset of a live event’s development, and have your live even run efficiently and effectively, or you can add multiple circles of cost and complexity.

If you do add them, be absolutely sure you need or want them. They will only be adding value to you, or others around you, and not directly to the event, exhibition, or pavilion itself.

A big topic to try and cover in a few minutes, but my aim here is to try and demonstrate how to reduce the cost and complexity that bogs down so many live events, to make sure your own, and other people’s time and money is being spent where it actually adds value, rather than where it’s being wasted, and to make sure everyone working on a live event has the freedom and support to be as creative, productive, and supported as possible, which inherently, then, increases the value and impact of your event, exhibition, or pavilion.

The more circles of cost and complexity you have, the more all of this will be hindered.

As ever, questions welcome. Thanks for watching, and I’ll speak to you again soon.


EVENT & EXHIBITION TEAM STRUCTURES

EVENT & EXHIBITION TEAM STRUCTURES

28 August 2019

STRUCTURE – there can’t be many people that, should they want a building designed and built, wouldn’t know an architect leads the way, directing engineers and builders. It’s a known and proven structure. Most pursuits have recognised structures: law, medicine, military, film making etc..

When it comes to live events, exhibitions and pavilions though, this structure is often missing – there’s just not the same common comprehension. People, companies and agencies often making up their own approach, relying on hearsay or doing what they’ve always done in their sector or field of view. Get a proven, efficient structure in place and you’ll save time, money and effort, you’ll reduce risks, life will be easier for all involved and you’ll get way more sleep (which is important!). Three and a half minutes of video to help…

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Will Glendinning. I’m a live event Producer, Designer, and Director.

Now, most industries that have to produce and deliver something have a clearly defined structure that exists because it’s proven and because it works. A restaurant kitchen has a structure led by a chef, an army led by its commander, a surgery led by the surgeon, and a film production led by the producer and director.

Live events are absolutely no different. There is a structure that is proven and that works.

Yet, I’m still amazed how frequently I find myself explaining this structure to people who are trying to create events, exhibitions, pavilions, or anything live. Almost any issue, be it creative, political, commercial, technical, operational, whatever it is can almost always be traced back to this structure not being in place or this structure not even being known about.

And I don’t care whether it’s the Olympic Games, a sporting event, a cultural event, military event, product launch, brand event, conference, whatever it is, there are four questions. And if these four questions can’t be answered almost immediately by everyone working on the event and everyone involved with the event, there is no way on Earth your live event is being delivered, produced or developed as efficiently and as effectively as it might be. This reduces it’s value and also diminishes the impact it creates.

Question one, which one person is the overall lead, ultimately responsible for delivering the event? They need relevant contextual experience of having led events with similar contextual requirements before in similar circumstances. They don’t necessarily need to understand the content or the purpose of the live event.

Question two, which one person is the overall lead for all content and all creative direction? This might be the brand manager or creative director for a brand or business event, the competition or sporting director for a sports event or for a concert it would almost certainly be the artist.

Question three, which one person is taking overall responsibility for the physical delivery and production of everything necessary? They need relevant contextual experience of having delivered similar before in similar circumstances.

And question four, which one person is taking overall responsibility for all the logistics and operations requirements? For example, travel, accommodation, catering, ticketing, accreditation and all the rest of it. They need relevant contextual experience of having delivered similar before in similar circumstances.

The boundaries between these four roles can blur, but getting the right team in place and the right marriage between content and contextual experience is critical. Everyone else involved, account managers, procurement, marketing… whoever, all work with, or report into this structure.

If you’re a client or buyer, you could have this team report into you, or you may even be one of these core team members, the producer if you’re right for the job, or the content lead perhaps, if you’re a brand manager, but make sure this structure is clear and unambiguous.

These four roles could all be the same person on a smaller event, or they may have massive committees or teams involved, but ultimately there needs to be a directly accountable individual in each of these four roles. On larger, multi-faceted events, you simply divide the event into smaller obvious sub-events and ensure they have the same structure.

I’ve adopted this approach and structure on projects where there’s been just me, or a handful of people, through to projects and events where there have been over 20,000 people working on it. It works. All events are theater in some way, shape or form, and these principles have been proven over hundreds of years, so I can’t take all the credit.

Make sure you have this structure in place, or put it in place or get those you’re bringing on board to put in it in place for you. Everything will be less: expensive, complicated and painful this way.

So I hope that was helpful, any questions just let me know?

Thanks for watching, and I’ll speak to you again soon.


NOT ALL EXPERIENCE IS CREATED EQUAL

NOT ALL EXPERIENCE IS CREATED EQUAL

20 August 2019

NOT ALL EXPERIENCE IS CREATED EQUAL – if someone with no prior cooking experience ate at a restaurant and then told you they consider themselves qualified to be a chef, you’d call them mad, maybe delusional though certainly confused. Yet it’s surprising just how common such a confused approach to qualified or relevant experience is in the event and exhibition world. Which, whether you realise it or not, hinders the effectiveness of people, teams and the live event itself.

A distinction needs to be made between content experience (the end result) and contextual experience (everything to create and deliver the content), and a balance found between the two. The difference is seldom understood and regularly confused. Two and a half minutes of video to explain and help…

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Will Glendinning. I’m a live event producer, designer and director. I talk a lot about getting the right team of people in place. And with any live event or exhibition or pavilion, or anything live at all, you need the right balance of what I call content and contextual experience.

All too often I see these easily confused, even by people with relevant experience. The content of a live event or exhibition is its purpose or message.

The context being everything required to bring that content to life. For example, a sporting event’s content, are the athletes, participants, sporting equipment, competition or sporting rules, and sport-specific requirements.

The contextual issues are money, venue, logistics, marketing, technology, infrastructure and similar.

A concert’s content is the artist or performers and their material along with any performances. Contextual issues, again are money, venue, logistics, marketing, technology, infrastructure and similar. And to give one more example, a conference’s content are the speakers on stage, their material, any activities, and the conference’s message or purpose. And again, the contextual issues are the same, money, venue, logistics, marketing, technology, infrastructure and similar.

So why is this so important?

Well, in my experience content and contextual experience is so often confused when it comes to putting together event teams or creating event businesses, or doing anything live at all.

For example, an athlete has an abundance of content experience, it’s what they do. But that doesn’t necessarily qualify them with the necessary contextual experience to produce and deliver a sporting event. Similarly, a producer who has an abundance of experience creating or delivering conferences or concerts, isn’t necessarily qualified to start writing speeches for a conference, or music for a concert.

This small detail with enormous consequences, can often get lost in translation when it comes to the politically charged, adrenaline and ego-fuelled excitement and drama starting a new event, putting a new team together, or starting a new business.

Make sure you get the balance and marriage of content and contextual experience sorted as soon as possible.

Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting time, money and effort, and driving everyone involved slightly mad, which is best avoided.

Anyway, I hope this is useful?

Any questions, just let me know.

Thanks for watching and I’ll speak to you again soon.


THE TIPPING POINT

THE TIPPING POINT

17 August 2019

THE TIPPING POINT – the riskiest, most expensive and most critical point of any event, exhibition or pavilion’s life cycle. Yet rarely discussed. Do you know what the tipping point is, what to do at it or how the choices made at the tipping point can have a far greater influence on the cost, value, creativity, risk or impact of any live event than the decisions anyone makes further down the line? 4 minutes of video to explain and help…

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Will Glendinning, I’m a live event Producer, Designer and Director.

And I’d like to talk about something that hardly ever gets discussed, but has a far bigger impact on a live event, or on an exhibition or on a pavilion, than almost anything else. It’s something I call the ‘tipping point’.

The tipping point is the few seconds or maybe few minutes after a live event, exhibition or pavilion tips from being unspoken about or largely theoretical to something that needs consideration.

For example, the moment a new product launch, first gets considered or the moment an artist decides, they want to go on tour or the moment a government decides it wants to bid for the rights to host a major event or the moment a group of people decide they want to organise a political demonstration or the moment a country starts considering, creating a pavilion for a major event or an expo.

Typically, the decisions that get made in the seconds, and I mean literally seconds, the moments after this tipping point, set an event or an exhibition or a pavilion down a path that becomes almost irreversible, irrespective of whether it’s actually, the best path forwards. And quite often, it isn’t the best path.

Not through anyone’s fault as such, but unlike other disciplines or sectors, architecture, law, medicine or many others, there are no core principles or common ground widely understood, when it comes to live events.

If I asked 100 people how they’d go about, getting a building designed and developed and delivered, once they knew they wanted one, the tipping point, I’d get a 100 similar answers. If I asked 100 people how they’d go about, getting an event or an exhibition or pavilion designed, built and delivered, after they knew that they wanted one, at the tipping point, I’d get 100 different answers.

People generally know they need a doctor if they’re ill or a cook if they’re hungry or a lawyer for legal advice or an architect if they need a building designed, yet when it comes to live events, most people either, do what they’ve always done, rely on hearsay or invent their own processes. Results will of course vary. There’s just no common understanding or accepted path forwards, which makes the tipping point, the most critical, the riskiest and potentially the most costliest part, in the entire live event’s life cycle.

You need, however briefly, the relevant content and contextual experience on hand to guide the idea at the tipping point and set it on the right path. Content experience being experience or knowledge with the message, purpose or idea of the event. The subject or message at a conference, for example, the music at a concert or the athletes equipment and regulations at a sporting event. Contextual experience is everything required to bring that content to life. Experience with similar sized budgets, risks, venues and locations, marketing, politics, logistics, technology, infrastructure and everything similar.

Making the right decisions at the tipping point, is a huge subject with many great nuances and devilish details. But in brief, keep everything as open and flexible as possible at the tipping point.

Don’t let marketing, procurement, finance, risk management, branding, politics, egos or anyone or anything else steer the idea, down any particular path until you have both, relevant content and contextual experience, on board or to hand.

There can be a temptation to form a committee, or working group or similar to work out the best way forwards. These may be full of well-intentioned and intelligent people, but such exercises, should only begin, after there is some initial content and contextual experience on hand, as anything you’re trying to do or any idea you have, would have been done in some way, shape or form previously. Any committee or working group might therefore, only be adding more time, cost, complexity or risk.

The decisions you make at the tipping point, can have a far greater impact, than the decisions anyone else makes further down the line because it’s at this point, you’re at the thin edge of the wedge. Any decisions, good or bad will merely get amplified and it’s extremely difficult to reset them, in any practical sense.

Get this approach right, or recognise the tipping point even exists, at least and you’ll go a long way to saving time, money and effort, reducing financial, practical and reputational risks and increasing the value and impact of your event, exhibition or pavilion.

Again, I realise this is a big, complicated and involved subject, but I hope this, at least, has being a useful starting point.

Any questions, just let me know. Thanks for your time and I’ll speak to you again soon.


FIND THE RIGHT TALENT WITH UP & DOWN CHECKS

FIND THE RIGHT TALENT WITH UP & DOWN CHECKS

29 July 2019

TALENT – Finding the right talent in the event and exhibition worlds is a minefield. Primarily because there are often so many different people and organisations involved in any event, it can be difficult to determine what specific experience and expertise an individual has. Couple this with the fact that most job titles in the event and exhibition spheres are largely meaningless and the result is an endless struggle to find the right expertise, often until it’s too late. A few critical questions, that I see so few people asking people or researching can change this. Two and a half minutes of video to explain how, what I call, the ‘Up & Down Checks’ can help…

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Will Glendinning. I’m a Live Event Producer, Designer, and Director.

Now, if you struggle finding the right talent or experience for any role within a live event or exhibition spheres, this video is for you. All too often I see people who think they’ve hired the right talent later discover they don’t actually have the relevant experience. It’s also fairly common to see people who’ve managed to land themselves a dream role literally busking it.

These situations typically arise because people looking for or hiring talent often ask the questions they think they should ask, rather than the questions they need to ask. And the situation is further exacerbated by the fact that so many job titles in the event and exhibition spheres are utterly meaningless.

For example, if anyone you’re looking to hire says anything like this as evidence of their experience, I was the Producer, Project Director, Project Manager, Designer, Creative Director, Production Manager, Technical Director, Marketing Director, Sponsorship manager, or anything similar of a certain event or at a certain company, I can tell you now this tells you next to nothing useful.

Similarly, if someone shows you lots of sexy pictures of events and exhibitions and tells you they were heavily involved, or they led or managed them, again, this tells you nothing useful.

These are just starting points. Icebreakers, if you like. You need to perform what I call the ‘Up and Down’ checks.

Ask, what did you actually do in layman’s terms? Did you do all this yourself, or did you support or report into someone above you who took responsibility for this? This is the Up check. Did you do all this yourself, or did you oversee people, companies, or agencies working for you who did this? This is the Down check. How many people were involved in doing this? You want to know if this person had a small army working with them, or whether they were doing it on their own. So you can compare this with a situation you’ll be engaging them for, and whether they can cope working alone or are reliant on a team. Who did you report to, and who reported to you?

Ask these questions, get names where you can, and check what they’re saying stacks up by speaking to those people they said they worked for, or had working for them.

The aim here is not to catch people out, it’s to find people that can actually do what you need doing, and in turn, what support they might need from you or from anyone else.

Also, if you’re looking for a particular role, and you don’t have the relevant experience yourself, it can be frustrating to find out after you brought someone on board, that you’ve ended up with the wrong skillset in place because you couldn’t articulate what you wanted. The opposite is possible, too. Without relevant experience, you may think what you require is more complicated than it actually is, and end up with someone overqualified and overpriced and be overstaffed for what you need.

There you go, the ‘Up and Down’ check, something I use all the time.

If you’ve got any questions, just let me know.

Thanks for watching, and I’ll speak to you again soon.


How Many Have You Sold?

HOW MANY HAVE YOU SOLD? AND OTHER QUESTIONS

23 May 2019

HOW MANY HAVE YOU SOLD? – Write a book and this is the question you will get asked the most. My latest book, The Facts Of Live, came out a few months ago and as a result, there are 4 questions I am constantly asked: 1. How many books have you sold? 2. Are you rich now you’re a bestselling author? 3. Why did you write The Facts Of Live? 4. What’s next? 2 minutes of video with the answers…

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Will Glendinning. I’m a live event producer, designer, and director.

And earlier this year, I launched my latest book, The Facts Of Live, how live events are conceived, procured and produced to create the greatest value and impact.

It quickly became a bestseller, which is great, but that led to all sorts of questions. So I’m going to answer the four most common questions in this short video.

First up, how many books have you sold? I’ve no idea because I don’t actually have the sales data yet, but how many books I’ve sold in and of itself isn’t that important to me. What is important to me is getting that book and its content into as many hands as possible of people who develop, buy, and produce live events and exhibitions.

Second, are you rich now that you’re a bestselling author? Er…no. I get a fraction of the actual book’s cover price, a negligible amount, and it also cost a small fortune to write the book in the first place. If I ever even break even just from book sales, I’ll be amazed.

Question three, why did you write The Facts Of Live? I see so many misguided procurement processes, organisational structures and other practices with people focusing on the sexy and shiny stuff first, or just focusing on the things they understand without actually having the underlying fundamentals sorted out. Which is a bit like focusing on the interior design of a new building before you even appointed the architects and the engineers. Now there are a myriad of courses, and people, and 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 all together? Well, that’s the understanding that is 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.

Question four, finally, what’s next? I’m doing all sorts of talks around the world, which is great fun, and I’ll be producing all sorts of content to bring the book to life across different channels. So watch this space for that too. And of course, there’s the actual day job, producing, procuring, developing and consulting on live events, and helping and advising different live event businesses around the world. It’s what I do.

Thanks for watching. If you bought the book, thanks for that too.

And if I can help you at all, just let me know.

And I’ll speak to you again soon.