Communication is Key

Dash Cooper joined the Precise Corporate Staging team in 2011 as Manager of Marketing and Digital Media and is responsible for overseeing the digital strategy for the company.  A musician at heart,

Dash formed Runaway Phoenix in 2002, which was renamed in 2012 to Co-Op.  According to Dash “Even if you’ve been on both sides, even if you’ve done hundreds of shows, don’t ever underestimate the importance of have a great communication strategy in place.”

Dash grew up in the music and entertainment industry and having sat on both sides of the spectrum  as the performer and as the support team member, he shares some of the key thoughts on the importance of good communications.

1)      Understanding the Nature of a Live Event.  In a live event, there is no room for errors, and there are no second chances. Even if you have years of experience, test every piece of equipment twice before signing off that it works. Be patient with your clients, they are going to need to take their time on sound check. Don’t get upset if they ask you to change something.   The founder of PCS, Dave Stern has  a great quote from his days touring with Bon Jovi who lived by a motto:  ‘I get paid to be flawless for three hours each night.’ Bon Jovi demanded and deserved his full attention just as our clients today deserve our full attention.

2)      No One Likes Surprises  –  When working large scale events you have to work with several individuals or several teams, often from different companies.  Sometimes their end goal or agenda will be different from yours. It’s in everyone’s best interest make all introducing early and get to know the other members of the technical support and stage management teams. Check your ego at the door, nothing gets done without teamwork.

3)      Venue – All event venues are not created equal. Indoor and outdoor venues have very different acoustic values and lighting needs.  Since the venues can range from intimate 200-seat theatres to a 10,000 seat stadiums, audio, video and lighting needs are extremely different.  Get to know your event venue in advance to avoid surprises later.

4)      Musical Act  – Just as all venues are not created equal, musical acts are not created equal in sound, size or needs.  Performing artists’ needs vary greatly depending on style of music, instruments and size of the performing group.

5)      Who has your back?  – In live performances you have to have a key technician in charge who is able to think on the fly and be quick to  jump to their feet and have enough of knowledge to fix any scenario. The technical point person has to be prepared to solve any problem that comes their way in a matter of moments.    This is truly what can make or break a show.  Always have an experienced person on the team as your point of contact.