How To Remain Professional in the Midst of Unprofessionalism
On my latest tour on the West Coast, I took the time to share my thoughts and insights as a tour manager. Remaining professional and keeping a level head as an EXP may sound easy, however, when you are faced with different challenges from staff, onsite contacts, and clients, keeping a level head and not going from 0 to 100 can be a challenge for some. For more insight on this topic feel free to check out my YouTube video HERE.
So how do you deal with onsite venue contacts?
As a tour or in-market manager, your program may require you to work with onsite contacts. These are individuals who work at the venue in which you will be executing your event and will be responsible for ensuring you are aware of the allotted footprint for your event, as well as advising you on the proper load in and load out procedures. Often the account manager or client can be the toughest person to work with. When working with onsite contacts, it is important to remember:
- They may not be knowledgeable about what an Experiential Marketing event entails logistically, so bear with them.
- They are not aware of your day-to-day tasks prior to an activation and may not care.
- Their idea of what it takes to load in and load out may not be what’s best for the activation, so work to find a compromise.
- They may not have all the details regarding your tour, so establish open lines of communication early.
- Remember, the client and agency solidified this event prior, so if you are having issues with the contact, don’t take a reactionary approach.
A tour, production assistant, and in-market manager must have great communication skills. Being able to convey your concerns and work with onsite contacts can be mentally draining at times, but this is where doing your research is key. Reviewing your ROS, conducting site checks, and addressing any concerns prior to the event is key.
But, Jae, I’m doing everything right.
As a manager you can be doing everything right, but that one onsite contact or client has it out for you. Trust me, I have been there numerous times. If you are ever in this situation, it is important that you cover your butt and put everything in writing. If an onsite contact is rude, disrespectful, or if the client has suggestions that do not make sense, try to work to find a happy medium. And even after you do so, ensure you communicate this with the account manager.
Never compromise your morals or values for the sake of a program. If you have done everything in your power, and that individual is still behaving in a disrespectful way, don’t put up with it. You were hired by the agency to perform a task (one they deemed you qualified for) so if you’re constantly having to prove your worth or compromise your values, tread with caution. Control what you can control and manage what you can manage. The money and opportunities will come and go, but your integrity and what you stand for should not waver.
If you are interested in other resources on the Experiential Marketing industry, be sure to check out my book You Do What? I offer step-by-step instructions on how to join this fast-growing but often misunderstood field. Sharing my exciting (and sometimes crazy) career path and a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at what it really takes to execute events for some of the top brands, and join the ranks of Experiential Marketing Professionals. Also, over on my YouTube channel you can find helpful videos covering MANY different topics of the industry. I release a new video every week so feel free to SUBSCRIBE and stay up to date!