Live Event Roadshow Management - 5 Essentials
Like many other people, I grew up dreaming of a job where I could get paid to see the world. I remember reading that the average worker in the UK will have six different jobs in their lifetime and the reality is that for most people, none of those roles will involve the chance to travel overseas or experience different cultures or lifestyles.
I’m one of the lucky few that did manage to find myself in a career that never stands still, and over the past 3 years I’ve visited over 15 countries, hundreds of cities and covered more than 50,000 miles in mobile exhibition trailers of all shapes and sizes.
There’s a real sense of freedom that comes from working on the open road and my job as a roadshow manager has taken me to some fascinating places. But there’s much more to this role than top class driving ability and a sense of adventure.
Working as a roadshow manager requires hard work and dedication. I think there are five key requirements in particular you should look for from the person driving your next campaign:
1. Understanding strategic objectives
Before we embark on any tour, every roadshow manager at EMS takes time out of their schedules to get to grips with the objectives of our clients so that we can be right at the heart of the event strategy. Campaigns can be weeks, months or even years in length, so it’s essential for us to be fully versed on the objectives of the tour and make sure we understand the product on show or messages being delivered before hitting the road.
We’re effectively front-of-house ambassadors for our clients once the exhibition gets underway – not only do we move the roadshow truck and complete the set up and build at each location, we’re also part of the show too. We take a multi-functional role and can often be found handling IT/AV requirements, capturing customer data and even compiling reports and evaluations on each event. We’re also responsible for the vehicle’s maintenance on the road which includes basic fault finding – we also take care of all the essential health and safety requirements.
2. Delivering a seamless campaign
Understanding every detail of the tour schedule before we embark on any journey is an absolute must. Our job is to deliver a flawless tour for our clients so a lot of work goes into the preparation at the start of a campaign to make sure we understand the route and can flag up any immediate concerns.
Of course we can’t take all the credit – we’re lucky enough to be supported by a brilliant operational team at the EMS head office who watch our movement 24/7 through tracking software to give us constant assurances on the logistics that lie ahead.
3. Understanding many cultures
It pays to be respectful and open minded to different cultures when you are on a long international tour and understanding some of the territorial subtleties is not to be underestimated.
Sometimes I can be away for months on end, travelling from the UK across Europe and Russia to the Middle East. Language challenges, religion and diet are all things a roadshow manager must embrace in each country to make sure the show will always go on.
One of the most rewarding parts of the role is the people we get to meet on our travels and I’ve been fortunate enough to make many friends over the years.
4. The fount of local knowledge
It’s very much back to school at times because it’s important for us to do our homework and be prepared before a campaign that intends to cover multiple territories. We’re supplied with detailed knowledge and intelligence from each country in a bespoke manual before we begin and this travel bible contains years of experience from numerous roadshow managers.
Things can change quickly in the different regions so these manuals are always evolving as we feed back the new intelligence we collect to the EMS head office. We become their eyes and ears on the ground and sharing that means we can be more effective on our next visit and it ensures all the roadshow managers are armed with the same local market intelligence – from ferries and borders to sites and hotels.
5. Matching up with brand personalities
There’s no doubt we work long and often unsociable hours to get our client’s events on the road but the opportunity to work with amazing brands and visit beautiful cities as we travel the globe makes it all worthwhile.
I always wanted a career that was unique and where no two days were the same, and being a roadshow manager gives me that. We’re required to adapt to the needs and challenges of every tour and immerse ourselves in the world of our clients every time we stop to set up at a new location.
Every client tour is totally different – from the product demonstrations of the B2B world to the high-energy B2C tours – life is never dull.
The journey never ends and long may that continue!...
To find out more about what it’s like to be part of a team of roadshow managers at EMS, leading international tours with some of the world’s biggest brands, take a look at this short video...