We have been working at various events for many years and we are aware that each event has a different setup. BUT! There are plenty of things that are the same across all types of events and venues. A lot of organisers don’t pay attention to details. These following articles will aim to inspire people to start doing things differently or produce a conversation amongst organisers that will lead us to a more professional approach of throwing events.
Lets start with hospitality. Understanding the fact that throwing an event is very complex thing, hospitality is very underrated at most of them. Including the small local jams as well as the biggest events in the world. One thing should go without saying: MAKE YOUR ARTISTS HAPPY. It not only influences the whole flow of your event but most importantly the vibe. Hospitality covers everything that the artists at the event experience. It is not only the way people are taken to the venue or provided food. It goes way beyond that.
These following lines will be a combination of know-how from an organiser, guest artist and also hospitality person.
There are a lot of different arrangements that you can do with your guests, but most importantly make sure you tell them – how much money they are getting, for what, and what are you taking care of. Will you be providing food or give them per diem? Are you taking care of shuttles? Are they getting their own room? Can they get a ticket for their guest? Are you providing food for their guest? What exactly is their job? Djing 3 parties, judging one category? Judges showcase? How long is the workshop? How many days do they want to stay? Make sure you discuss everything in advance. Then you can leave all of the execution at the event to someone else.
The person – that someone else
Let us start with saying you need a person dedicated to this job. You might have booked your people, but during the event you need the middle man that will eliminate the questions from all of the guests. Then you can focus on running things! We think it is important, that this job is done by someone who is from the scene. They need to know (at least a little) the people they will be working with and their role at the event. Understanding what it means to DJ for 10 hours…
The first thing that the guests experience after the communication with the person that is booking them, is the flight. There are plenty of things that can save you money, but try to make sure that buying stupid early morning flights is not one of them. Think about the fact that it takes a few hours to be at the airport and few hours to get there. Waking up at 4 in the morning, flying, shuttle, hotel checkin and then straight to the workshop or the venue? How miserable and unfocused is that person going to be?
Discuss the flight with the artist before you book it. They will understand that there is 200€ difference if you buy early flight, but don’t send it as a done deal. Also buy luggage! Always buy luggage, even if people are coming for 2 nights! Unless you agree that they dont need it.
From now on, this will be addressed to the “Hospitality Person”
Provide information on the meeting point before the person gets on the plane. Not every airport has free wifi and not every artist has an international sim card. It might happen that you won’t be able to contact them after they land. If you are doing multiple artist shuttles and someone has to wait at the airport, let them know exactly where the meeting point is. A little coffee place works just fine. Don’t forget to write the address of the hotel for the customs.
You don’t need to go to the airport personally, although it is the perfect time for you to get familiar with your guests. However, we strongly advise you that the driver speaks English.
This is a good time for you to introduce yourself (if not done at the airport). The first thing you should discuss is how the artist would like to be contacted. Email times are over after the booking. We recommend Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger. You know when the host is screaming the judges name and everyone is waiting during the event? This is for that time… At the end, let them know quickly what todays program is.
In the hotel, have a welcome package ready. An envelope with their info is the minimum. It is up to you if you trust your guests with their wristbands and backstage pass. We usually add drinking water and snack bar, if you care about that extra detail.
We will write a more comprehensive thing on how to make schedules but for now just make sure they know where they are supposed to be at what time. Example of the most basic thing you can do:
Breakfast – hotel 7:00 – 10:00
Shuttle to venue – 10:30
Judges meeting – 11:30
Lunch – at the venue (voucher in envelope/ backstage/ however you are feeding them)
Judging – 3on3 – 14:00-19:00
Dinner – at the venue
Shuttle to hotel – 22:00 (where is the meeting point?)
Party – walking distance from the hotel, address
– contact info
– program flyer
– food voucher
Judges, Mcs, Hosts, Djs Meeting
There are just so many things you need to discuss with your artists. Make sure they feel like they are part of the team. Also, we will write a more comprehensive text on what to discuss at these meetings, but for now some tips: How many dancers are registered? What is the judging system? Why are there no ties? What is the concept of the battle? Did the DJs bring their own Serato/Traktor? Who are the sponsors? What are the time schedules?…
The most efficient communication with your guests is in the hotel lobby entrance via flip-board. They can not miss it! We use them to say what time the shuttles to the venue are, if there is any change in the program, photoshoots, address of the party… Last night we always write the airport shuttles. This is incredibly important to make it as visible as possible. No one wants to miss their flight.
Hotel – Venue – Party Shuttles
Are the shuttles running all day? Is there a big bus that takes everyone at the same time? Is the venue walking distance? Make sure all of your guests know. You can add a little map to your welcome pack.
At the venue
This is very different at every event. We cant compare having 10 guests to having 200 guests.
Basics are: Show the guests where the food place is, where their backstage area is, where the shuttles will pick them up and where they can find you. Bear in mind, judges and DJs usually can not leave their spots (if you have a smaller event). So you bring the food to them, have snacks ready, fruit in the backstage.
ALWAYS HAVE WATER FOR EVERYONE! Buy double of what you think you will need.
Make sure the stage manager and you are connected. You are responsible for knowing where your guests at the venue are. If they are supposed to be judging, the stage managers can’t leave their stage to find them themselves… Know the schedule. People will ask you if they have time to eat before they judge.
MAKE YOURSELF VISIBLE! They have to know how they can reach you.
Back to the main organizers… Now these are just the absolute basics. You can do it numerous ways. Some events have dedicated 2 hospitality persons for 10 guests. Others have 2 for 200 guests. It does not matter how many, the only thing that matters is, how organised and informed they are. You can have one staying at the hotel and one at the venue. It really is up to you. Just make sure they have all of the following information :
Artist Program – as detailed as possible
Contact to Shuttle person/ drivers
One last very important thing: you do not need to treat the artists like they are royalty. You dont need to run and buy them chewing gum or socket adapters. They are just humans as you are but they need to get their information in advance and we promise you everyone will be happy and your events will run smoothly.