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Successful Live Production in Denver: Why Proper Planning and Qualified Event Labor are Key

Denver and the surrounding sub-markets are part of a fast growing, entertainment-savvy region that presents highly attractive opportunities for live event producers. An abundance of venues, optimal geographical location and exploding population make the Mile High City a must for any show that is touring the Western United States. Denver’s sweeping diversity also creates an ideal location for one-off events such as trade shows, festivals and conventions.

If you are planning to produce an event anywhere along the Front Range of Colorado, there is an important step to consider during the initial conceptualization stages. Before the contracts are signed, posters are made, dates are secured and entertainment acts are booked — a big picture approach must be applied. This requires in-depth consideration of market trends, time of year, event labor, potential competitors and viable locations.

Establish a Clear Objective

Denver harbors vibrant currents of interest in professional and amateur sports, video games, live music, multimedia exhibitions, theater, craft beer, micro distilleries and outdoor adventure. The brands, art forms or activities you plan to feature must be supported by a strong local interest proven through trackable sales and engagement — either physical, online or both. If a strong localized  demand for your product is present, then you should establish a goal to present it to a specific amount of people for an exact length of time at a specific point in the year.

Talk About the Weather

“If you don’t like the weather in Colorado, just wait 10 minutes.” The old saying holds true on many days in Denver, and it is especially important because the dynamic works both ways. The region is known for the occasional snowstorm in June and an infrequent yet not surprising 70 degree afternoon in February. Planning a wintertime outdoor event (November through March) should be avoided. Even so, Spring, Summer and Fall events (April through October) can be subject rainstorms, light to heavy snow, violent gusts wind, flash floods and extreme heat.Having a team on the ground that is proficient in worst-case scenario protocol, as well as a plan for accurately informing first responders in the event of extreme conditions.

Recruit a Great Team

In order to deliver an excellent product to the attendees of your event, it is crucial to delegate essential tasks to a team of qualified event labor professionals. These include stagehands, audio/video technicians, sound engineers and stage managers. Procured through a credible labor broker, these are the people that will load in the gear, set up the lights, operate the sound system, handle the talent and break it all down and haul it away when all is said and done. Working with a company that handles their workers in a respectful and conscientious manner can make or break the bottom line of an event. Personnel who are hired as W-4 employees and compensated fairly tend to apply themselves to their jobs with greater zeal than 1099 workers who are recruited at the last minute under a “day rate” arrangement. Also, event workers who are covered by workman’s compensation insurance are much more likely to go the extra mile in putting forth their best efforts. Reputable event labor companies such as Stagecraft LTD offer insured, skilled professionals with meaningful live production experience and passion for executing tasks to perfection.

Know Your Competition

The Mile High City and the Front Range of Colorado at large are home to professional teams of every distinction as well as an abundance of venues, theaters and event centers that are constantly producing entertainment. The fact that other  events will be taking place at the same time as yours is practically guaranteed. The idea is to choose a time where the public focus will not be completely eclipsed by a holiday such as Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl or a festival like the Taste of Colorado. Secondarily, it is prudent to avoid producing an event that would directly compete with something specifically similar. For example, if your vision id to host a tattoo convention downtown, it would not be wise to choose a weekend where another company is planning to do the very same thing. This strategy of planning far in advance also factors into securing the best personnel. The longer of a lead-time you get on a date and location, the better selection you’ll have of skilled workers and in-demand technicians.

Lock Down a Location

Live event locations are in high demand across Denver, and any production should be booked a minimum of three months out. Merely putting a “hold” on a date is insufficient. Securing a venue for your event should be done via written contract between you or a representative of your company and the proper authority of the venue. Once this crucial step is accomplished, you can the hire personnel, create the event schedule and begin marketing. Also, it is important to note that Red Rocks Amphitheater and Colorado Convention Center book years in advance.  Red Rocks, the Colorado Convention Center, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) are exclusively union labor locations. Working with an event labor broker who understands how to navigate the differing policies and contracts from one venue to the next can be invaluable to the success of your production.

If you are planning an event in the Denver area, focusing on these important preemptive steps can help assure that your production is a success. Contact us to learn more about arranging for well-trained, fairly paid and full insured event labor.