Kudos to the Event Planners of American Idol!

Posted by on Feb 20, 2013 in Uncategorized | 45 comments

I was watching an episode of American Idol last night from the city auditions. Yes, I AM that far behind on my TV….and yes, this would be my answer to, “what reality TV show is your secret guilty pleasure”. I mean who doesn’t dream of being on stage rocking it out when they are singing in the shower?? The exception is that I know to stay in the shower. But, I digress.

The episode was from the auditions in Oklahoma City, and the estimated number of folks attending the auditions was 9,000.  That is 3 zeros. 9 THOUSAND!  Can you say, “crowd control”!  As I was watching the throngs of people standing in line for hours; then sitting in the waiting room for hours, all I could think of was the event planner in charge of: site selection, event marketing, security for crowd control (let’s face it, some of the contestants can get a bit, shall we say, rowdy….), security for the judges, F&B for the entire crew, and let’s not forget travel arrangements for the crew.

AI_OK

So the event planner gets all of the logistics settled ahead of time, and then had to manage the flow on-site. The planner has to make sure that all of the rooms are set; the judges are where they need to be when; the contestants get registered to take their turn for possible stardom; manage F&B, etc. I am pretty sure there is a great on-site planning staff to delegate too, but still, I go back to 9,000 excited, hopeful contestants all lined up waiting.

This is where the difference between corporate events and public events comes into play. Corporate events can have an RSVP system. You have an idea of how many people to plan for.  How do you know how popular Oklahoma City is going to be for an open audition? How do you plan for such an open ended question of, “how many attendees?”.  Well, years of experience help, and being a strong, detail oriented event planner definitely helps. Having to juggle so many different parts of the event logistics, and the public crowd, and ok, sometimes the judges, and pulling it all together to be shown on national television, that’s talent right there.

I tip my hat and bow my head to the event planners of American Idol. Not only for their obvious experience and detail oriented planning to manage such crowds, crews and judges for a multi-city tour, but also for the patience they must need to have at times (refer to the the rowdy note above). And I thank them for their time and effort so that planner like me can take a couple of hours here and there to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Kudos!

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