5 Reason you must hire an Event Programmer to achieve your mission.
So, you are putting on an event or conference and you are looking to hire someone to produce it. You look through resumes and see expert Event Producers, Event Managers and Event Coordinators… all of which are needed in some capacity, but an Event Programmer can literally make or break your event.
So what does an Event Programmer do that the other roles may or may not do?
1. Event Programmers look at the mission of the event/conference and create a targeted program that will achieve the mission. They select program elements, and then they work with the element to assure that the content being presented matches the mission / goal of the event.
2. They will look at the desired target market and select specific program elements that will attract the desired target market, which in turn increases chances for attracting the desired audience.
3. An Event Programmer will work with the program elements to assure that the content they are presenting stays in line with the desired outcome for holding the event.
4. A good Event Programmer will spot areas that they can add elements that will enhance the mission of event/conference to bring greater value to the attendees and in turn create a stronger attachment to achieving the goal of the event.
5. Event Programmers are adept at working with all departments of an events production, making sure that every department is working towards achieving the desired event outcomes.
Why are these must haves?
Great Event Producers/Managers know how to secure funding, select the production team, produce the event to a high standard, and market the event, but if they don't have a background with successfully working with Event Programming, they won't be paying attention to the nuances of ensuring the mission is achieved.
4 examples why an Event Programmer is essential.
1. For example, recently a friend of mine went to a women in trucking conference. She said technically it was a well put together online conference, but her experience was a negative one because every one of the 50 guest speakers at the conference basically talked about their problems during Covid, and not a single speaker offered solutions other than the phrase "Keep on Trucking" which was repeated in the majority of the speaker sessions. She was looking for solutions, not more examples of the problems. The conference itself advertised that they would be talking about solutions during Covid, yet no solutions were provided. If the conference had retained an Event Programmer, they would have been diligent in looking at the content being presented by each of the 50 speakers to assure that the content they presented would have a focus on solutions.
2 & 3. Drawing a target market to a new event / conference requires that you book speakers / entertainers that will attract influencers within the desired target audience. When we launched the Black Business Festival at the Russell Industrial Center in 2010, with only 2 weeks to put the conference together, I looked at the mission of the event and the short timeline to pull it together, and I secured key speakers from each entrepreneurial training program in the region. Speaking with them directly I helped shape the content that they would present, keeping the mission of the conference at the forefront. With this ongoing communication, they in turn became excited to be a part of the mission, and they influenced their followers to join the event as attendees. The result was 9,000 people attending in a blizzard so bad you couldn't see 5 feet past your vehicle. With 2 weeks of planning, a really good Event Programmer can make miracles happen.
4. The Director of Programming at Campus Martius Park, Njia Kai, helped to change the status quo of Detroit's economy by knowing the details of the target markets of the region, understanding the mission of the park was to change the status quo of how people gathered downtown, and creating an event program series that would help achieve this. The monthly 4th Fridays with Ford Festivals had 2 headlining acts that would draw in different, yet complimentary target markets, and then she added a 3rd element of a hands on Public Art Activity which caused the public to engage with one another and further solidify their participation, which was a fun and unexpected way to force divided networks to work together to create something beautiful. Through Event Programming, an entire cities economy was changed.