Making “it” Happen…wait…What?

Now where is that “It”?

High-season for gypsy managers can cause run-away mania! Yes shows can pile up so fast and come back-to-back and right on top of each other. For a gypsy show manager it is an incredible amount of work trying to juggle all the pieces that are a part of shows.

List number one for show #1 that happens the same week as show #2 that actually starts a day earlier – set-up on the weekend, VIPs attending Show #2 and in comes Show #3 that product management team golden cannot live without. Let’s see graphics that are going to Show #2 are now requested for Show#3, and the staff as well. In reality show staff #2 would do better at Show #3 but with VIPs going to Show #2 they will want to be at that show.  With this late addition where are the demos going, and are there enough literature, promo items, and booth equipment? Let’s see answer to that … make it happen!

With all of the pressures of shows in general and the unexpected addition of a new show to the schedule; show manager gypsies want to jump in the wagon and head for the nearest watering hole!

Make it happen, ok time to divvy up the resources and not give too many choices, firm-flexibility…hugh?  Lists go out the window with all the changes taking place, but rearranging is the one way to make “it” happen. Very few times can a gypsy keep things set in stone – this detail oriented position requires the creative thinking skills of a sand sculptor! Just as you place one thing in place all it takes is a little rumble to shift things around. Making decisions is a critical part of this position – sticking with them as long as they make sense; but also making sure that if the sands shift, the whole thing doesn’t fall apart. Make a plan but have options in that magic bag, you will need them!

Often there are those staff members that will have that knee-jerk reaction to anything they perceive to be a “disaster”, let them know you are managing the show and be strong enough to deal with crisis by knowing that as long as no one is bleeding or worse – crisis is all relative and can be worked through. Having the ability to have a quick solution or option readily available will squelch any panic or bad decision; that you as head gypsy show manager in charge will have to answer for later. Make sure to have asked for help on the show floor – don’t do it all alone, but give clear communication and assure your delegate knows the responsibility they are taking on, as the show report will recognize them as a contributor to the success of the event.

With companies working so lean these days show managers are often a one person staff with access to resources or external vendors.  Although in many cases external vendors are being limited or eliminated. Having general graphics that can be used at multiple shows with the addition of demo’s for specific product lines is helpful if there is an addition to the show schedule. Sharing the resources by asking staff managers to delegate gets the show manager out of the middle of the “visibility” issue when VIPs are involved. The large issue is product/marketing materials – the catch 22 of product made for the customer or for marketing use.  Many organizations follow protocol to have marketing pieces developed and delivered to marketing but sometimes there is only one piece to be shared; so making sure to work with engineering and production is important to have other options available.

So keep digging in that magic bag and there is definitely a get “it” done in there somewhere!  One more thing…never, ever, loan out that bag!




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