Consider the Audiovisual Technician when preparing a Run of Show

Amanda Langtry A

s an event manager, I dedicate a significant amount of time putting together a Run of Show (ROS) before an event. An ROS is a detailed timeline of the pro-

gram’s activities that includes speaking lengths, lighting cues, and audio cues. This document essentially outlines who is on stage when and what should be up on the screen. In developing an ROS, I often think about myself and my

colleagues using it onsite at the event. I have been guilty of not considering the fact that other involved parties may want to receive this information. Specifically, the onsite audiovisual technicians who rely on this document to do their jobs. In referencing information received from our partners at Freeman Audiovisual, I have summarized some items to consider when preparing an ROS for the audiovisual technicians. What to Include in the ROS

Timing. Including the start and end times of each activ-

ity will help the technician prepare for the next activity in the timeline. This is especially important if a speaker timer is being used. Microphone Type. To avoid running between the tech

table and the stage, list the type of microphone (lav, wire- less, etc.) that the speaker will be using to ensure that the technician can have it ready to go and cued up. File Names. The PowerPoint or video names in the ROS

should correspond to their file names so that technicians are not searching for the next file to play. I often label the file as the date, time and speaker name to help make this even easier. For example, Friday 9:00 am Joe Smith. Playback Details. To avoid any technical difficulties or

hiccups onsite, include specific details for each file that is to be on screen. If it is a video, include whether or not it needs sound. If it is a PowerPoint presentation, specify if the speaker will advance the slides or if the technician is to assist with this. Enough Time. One of the more common complaints

that we hear from technicians is that there is not enough time to move from one cue to the next in a program. Ensure that enough time is built into the program to allow for

Establishing a well planned Run of Show (ROS) helps ensure an event will run smoothly. Photo by William Au, Tourism Winnipeg.

seamless transitions between cues. If there is a need to jump quickly from one presentation to another, consider merging the two presentations into one or having a hold- ing screen available which buys the technician time to cue up the next file. What Not to Include in the ROS

Insignificant Show Details. Since there is already

plenty of detail in an ROS, avoid including any information that is insignificant to the audiovisual technician. Always exclude food service times, table numbers, volunteer responsibilities, etc. This will avoid the technician miss- ing an important detail or cue that was buried amongst irrelevant information (to them). Tiny Font. I always feel a sense of satisfaction when I

can make a chart fit on a single page however this should not be at the expense of the reader’s eyesight. Keep in mind, audiovisual technicians are often working in dimly lit environments (i.e. a gala dinner) and need to be able to easily refer to an ROS. Use a larger, landscape paper to ensure that all details are clear and legible. Colour coding or breaking things down by area of responsibility (lighting,

camera, etc.) can also help them navigate the document that much easier.

When to Send the ROS In my experience, the audiovisual team likes to receive

the ROS at least one week in advance of the event. This not only gives them the opportunity to review the schedule, but it also allows them to ensure that the proper equipment has been ordered. For example, during an initial review, a technician may notice that there is a significant video component to the script, yet the audio equipment that was ordered is insufficient. Adequate notice will avoid surprises onsite and ensures that a well prepared team is handling the event’s content. Since a significant amount of time is already dedicated

to putting together an ROS, it’s only fair that the same consideration is given to the audiovisual side of things. By following the tips above, the onsite process for your event should be that much more seamless. Amanda Langtry is an Event Manager at Strauss event

& association management. She has been employed with Strauss since 2013.


Autumn 2018

Centre News 11

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