There’s no business like show business and your event deserves to run like a West End production. Event technology is big business in itself – lighting, audio and visual effects are pushing the boundaries and at FoxWylie we take care of the technical side to give your event the ‘wow’ factor, from supply and installation, to operation and management.
With so much to coordinate, have you ever thought about who works behind the scenes to bring the production together on the day?
Enter, the Show Caller! A Show Caller – sometimes also known as a Tech Director or Producer – cues each part of the event, bringing all elements of the tech team together. You’ll usually find them sat behind the tech desk at the back of the venue. Think of them as a musical Composer, making sure everything plays out seamlessly on the day. They might have worked with the team during the event build up, or they may just be brought in for the day to work off of the event script.
Why do we need Show Callers?
Show Callers are essential for all types of event, from an awards show with performances and speeches, to a conference with various speakers and Q&A panel, a launch party or gala dinner.
Supporting the event team: Production is just one element of an event. When you consider all the other aspects – registration, catering, break out sessions, health and safety, logistics – it’s easy to see how the event team can be spread too thinly across everything. It’s not possible for them to sit in one place for the whole event!
The technology: The volume and complexity of event tech means it is very important to have one dedicated point of contact for the tech team, and one person overseeing the running order.
The experience: Every event is about delivering an experience to the audience and this is the sole goal of the Show Caller. They are responsible for delivering a great production and the show must go on despite what is happening in other areas of the event.
What does a Show Caller do?
At FoxWylie, we’ve managed an event in an escape room with pyrotechnics, fire and smoke to simulate a battle! We’ve also managed an event in a London nightclub with a top of the range sound system to recreate the club atmosphere.
So what does the Show Caller do to pull off experiences like these on the day?
Firstly, they will review the event script put together by the event team and then direct a technical rehearsal ahead of the event. This is important to make sure that the script will play out as planned.
It is during these rehearsals that the Show Caller will learn the various cues for the live event; where presenters want their video played, which walk up sting they want, whether or not any stage management is required (lecterns or furniture on or off stage), the lighting state they require and more.
They are then responsible for the running orders and scripts, and ensuring everything is on time and correct, from video and music playlists to the correct Powerpoint presentation slides!
It’s crucial for the Show Caller to have copies of all literature, such as presentations, so that they can ensure the slides are going up on screen in the right order, and copies of speeches so they know when they are coming to an end.
They also need to have direct communication to the tech team to cue each element to them and to raise any potential issues before they become noticeable. This includes guiding any cameras with live relay to screen, or directing them to capture or record things for later editing.
In short, Show Callers will have to know the event inside and out from all aspects – lighting, speakers, sound, presentations, Q&A sessions – you name it, they’ll be on it!