I thought I would give the heavier subjects a miss this week as we all hunker down in Europe in our individual state lockdowns.
The events industry has had to deal with many new challenges this year and the amazing progression of Virtual events has been great for some elements of the industry. There are some elements that I believe that won't change and thats some of our on site habits when we all get back to the thick of it. I have asked companies and individuals to answer 10 questions to get answers to these very profound questions. See how you do.
After a days graft on site do you:
Go straight to the nearest bar for a dirty beer?
Have a shower, catch up on emails, change into fresh clothes then a beer?
Answer: Overwhelmingly, go for a dirty beer. Theres nothing like it after a long day.
2 Going for a crew meal as crew chief at the end of a job and the client is paying.
a Do you defer politely and go for a few beers with the rest of the uninvited crew?
b. Do you say yes and fill your boots?
Answer: Fill your boots. ( Having paid for many meals myself like this, I can concur the average crew personnel fill their boots!!)
3 When ordering a beer at the bar in a crew hotel,
a. Do you offer anybody on the job a drink thats at the bar?
b. Or do you stick to ordering drinks just for your department?
Answer: Keep to departments and politely nod at others! People are different, I disagree with this, but interesting nonetheless.
4. Which department are you normally waiting for when departing on a crew bus to site?
Answer; Overwhelmingly Chippies i'm afraid!! (I have born witness to this for many years and I always know deep down its one of us that is the cause.)
I had a simple policy in my companies, if you miss the bus, you pay your own way. Once in Vienna after a particularly heavy night on the tiles, I had a crew member ring me to apologise that he had missed the crew bus and he would make his own way to the airport. Imagine his surprise when I told him that I was still in bed and I'd see him at the airport!!
5. Arriving at site for an 8.00am call.
a. Do you arrive at 7.45 and be ready for 8.00 start?
b. Do you arrive at 8.00 and then get ready on company time?
Answer : Arrive at 7.45. Now as a site manager I was surprised at this as I see people arriving late for morning briefings all the time. I applaud the sentiment though and hopefully it catches on!
6. I asked the question when eating conference catering in hotels (in the UK) supplied by the hotel, which do you dread most.
a Conference Chicken?
b Conference Lasagne?
Answer; Lasagne! Conference food in hotels may soon be a thing of the past due to Covid guidelines on buffets (Hoorah). I must say I have also worked for splendid clients who have gone out of their way to make sure we are all fed superbly, Paddy Mirams and Andrew Mossop to name just two.
7. When on site which part of the body hurts first on a long day?
a. The feet?
b. Your soul?
Answer: Feet, not surprisingly! The soul starts to hurt after a week I find, but the bleeding feet and aching back tend to take your mind off it.
8. When travelling home late after a gig in your car, what is your favourite fast food to eat to get you home?
a. A garage microwaved burger?
b. Ginster hot slice?
d Kebab and chips.?
Answer; Kebab. Not surprised here as they are mostly open late late when in a city and you are leaving a theatre load in or load out. When I toured in theatre I used to keep packets of steak and kidney pies in the glove box, the glove box had no bottom so it was naturally chilled by the rain from the road!
9. I was interested to know if Crew shirts were still greatly received in the conference world. as they are mainly too tight and just black.
a. Do you wear them to go out and about at home?
b. Do you just wear them for odd jobs and slobbing about?
c. Immediately recycle as wouldn't wear them at all?
Answer: Keep them for home jobs and slobbing about. I have always been grateful for them and my own companies have always had quality sewn logo t shirts and fleeces which I was happy to wear out and about.
10. Finally an open question to all my lovely readers who after 4 weeks have steadily grown, (many thanks for sticking with me). This is mainly for management I think but it reflects on all of us as we work together in the very different future.
What would be the one thing you would like to change about the way you worked with crews pre Covid 19 and how do you think you can change it for the better?
(It would be great to get a conversation going so we can all see what we can all improve on)
Merry seasons greetings to all of you wherever you are in the world, (I have over 30 regular readers from India so welcome to you guys and gals) and have a lovely season whether you are celebrating alone or with familes. I will be back in the new year with more ramblings and opinions so see you then.
Pictures :Richard Penhaligon, at home in Italy.