Finding the right production company is a critical first step in putting together a successful experience. There are a lot of good production companies out there. How do you determine which one is right for you?
Begin with the end in mind. What will make the event successful in your mind, your boss’s mind and the minds of the attendees? Is there more than one audience? What do they need to learn, believe, feel and embrace when they leave? You want to find a production company that will get in the trenches and work with you to achieve those goals.
Next, consider the journey. There are several things to think about. Are there purchasing guidelines that your vendors must meet? How involved would you like to be in the creative process? How much time do you have to devote to the project? Are you looking to collaborate or would you prefer limited involvement with creative direction? How much access do you want to have to the production team, or would you prefer to deal with one point of contact? Are you a savvy buyer, or do you need a little guidance? What type of financial reporting do you require, and how frequently do you want updates?
Consider their processes, and how they align with your needs and expectations. Ask the company for a list of the deliverables that you can expect when working together as well as a list of the elements that are needed but not covered under their budget. Schedules and well-defined budgets give the numbers integrity and manage expectations. Creative updates keep everyone in the loop and aligned with messaging. Scheduled communication, detailed agendas and clear roles and responsibilities keep the project moving forward smoothly. The right production company can take you from a maze to amazing!
How important is pricing to you? Are you trying to do a lot on a small budget, or can you afford a few “punctuation points?” Where would you like to see your money spent? There are so many opportunities – message development/scripting and visualization, scenic/environment (first impression), brand saturation, cutting edge technical support, creative media transitions, talent, speakers, awards, small group learning, rooms and accommodations, food and beverage, offsite activities, promotional items and the list goes on and on. Giving key elements priority can stretch even the tightest budget.
And finally, get to know your team. Compare experience and credentials, understand how roles and responsibilities differ within different companies and determine whose philosophies align best with the way you would like to work. An in-person pitch is a great opportunity to meet the key members of each production team, question them about any concerns and assess how their communication styles and personalities will meld with your events team.
There is a lot to think about when determining which production company is right for your unique needs. Several years ago, I put together the attached guide to creating an RFP for a client. It is still viable today and I’m happy to share it.
Please reach out to see if Tracy Garrity Productions might be the right team for you.