SHOOT FROM THE HIP: Confessions of an Event Producer

Communication overload. 

I have to laugh.  The first major event I produced when I was in my twenties drew nearly one-half million people for the largest one-day event in Portland. The year was 1984.  No computers.  No cell phones. No FAX machines. No voice messaging systems.  Just a stack of pink “While You Were Out” notes with phone calls that needed to be returned.  How did we do it?  We just did.

We had planning meetings, and then everyone left and did what they said they would do.  A few phone calls and meetings, and that was it.  No going back and forth 20 times to review the smallest details.

I often miss those days.  Technology has certainly made things simpler in many respects, but it’s also made simple tasks more complicated.  Too often, people are offering up their opinions when not entirely necessary, but because of the computer, everyone gets copied on all emails when most people don’t even have time to think about one more thing.

The solution?  More concise and timely communication, and well-defined roles and responsibilities.  And how about just picking up the phone and solving a problem on the spot?  Now THERE’S an idea!