Don't Forget the Crew



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The event crew is the engine that drives your event. However this vital team is often neglected and all but forgotten. Too often no catering is provided for them, or no parking space is set aside. At times they do not even pass security because their names has not been added to the list. Kevin asked Remco Teunissen how we should do things differently.


22-09-2014 -  by Kevin Van der Straeten

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The event crew is the engine that drives your event. However this vital team is often neglected and all but forgotten. Too often no catering is provided for them, or no parking space is set aside. At times they do not even pass security because their names has not been added to the list. I asked Remco Teunissen how we should do things differently.

 

Hi Remco, welcome to our studio.

 

Thank you Kevin.

 

You wrote us an email telling that the crew is sometimes forgotten when organizing events, but what goes wrong?

 

It typically goes wrong, especially where it's the build up of an event, where for instance we are at a site which is a million miles from nowhere, we started there at seven or six o'clock in the morning, building up lights, sounds, stands and in one state I go, where can we get a cup of coffee or a sandwich to eat? It's like well... the caterer is only coming in tomorrow and he'll be out, one of the first of the crew. And then you're stuck there in the middle of nowhere looking around for a cup of coffee and there's nothing around.

 

But if you call a plumber for example, he brings his own sandwich.

 

This is true, and I get this metaphor a lot. But for instance if you call a plumber or a carpenter to redecorate your house or fix a leak in the pipes, he will get there from seven in the morning and work till say four in the afternoon. This is a big difference when we work in the entertainment branch where the norm is to built for a 12 hour day, or even longer. In that 12 hour day we would like to spend our time as much as we can, on making that event as good as possible. So if you do not bring in catering or any facilities for the crew, you're going to throw away hours.

 

If I'm correct, if you look at a lot of contracts, it's even an obligation for your event planners to supply some catering for the crew.

 

It is. And in my understanding in the 15 years of working in the entertainment branch, a lot of companies ask for quotes from different companies for the same job, and only thing they look at is the bottom line. What company quotes the lowest price. And from there they make their choice. But they forget to look at the other things which aren't in the contract, for instance catering or hotels, or even parking facilities for the crew, and even more the security for the equipment during night.

 

That's true. A lot of artists do have a rider, should crew have a rider?

 

Maybe they should. I've just did a festival where I had to read through all the rider from several bands, specially on the technical side, but you also see the hospitality riders where they're talking about so many bottles of vodka, a whole bowl of brown M&M's and such. An artist who comes to perform on a festival or an event, does that for about an hour, maybe hour and a half, and one of the things he asks for is-- And most times you see that on the top of a rider, we ask these things to make sure we do our best in the performance, and it's true. If an artist knows that he would like a cup of coffee just before he goes onto stage, or a certain brand of beer which he likes, he will ask for that and the promoter or the organization has to provide it in order to get the most out of the performance. That's a metaphor for the crew, maybe they should make a rider for crew to make the best out of their performance. And if you look at it, an artist like I said, performs for about an hour, hour and a half, whereas crew has to be on their toes concentrated for the whole duration of the event, which can easily get up to 11 or maybe 12 hours, and try to do it without proper foods or something to drink.

 

Okay. Remco thank you very much, and sharing your ideas on how to handle the event crew.

 

Thank you very much Kevin.

 

And you at home thank you for watching our show. I hope to see you next time.

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