By Sydney Van Leeuwen – Production Coordinator & Bob MacDonald – Founder & CEO

Sydney’s Perspective

Well, I survived my first live event! Coming from the world of commercial video production, this was certainly a change of pace. Traveling to Miami, Florida and spending a week sleeping in a literal “room with a view” was all my family and friends thought I was doing.

Little did they know I was running laps around the Fontainebleau, printing last minute script changes, buying reams of printer paper when we exhausted our supply, tracking down lost packages, delivering items to team members in different ballrooms across the resort campus, and – most important of all – carrying orders upon orders of food back to the production office to feed our crew.

At first it was intimidating, meeting clients face-to-face after weeks of virtual conference calls. Then there were times when it was nerve-wracking, not always having the answers to questions or information at my fingertips. Finally, it was exciting, watching the fruits of our labors impress our audience and seeing it all come to life.

The biggest impact this experience has left on me is the knowledge that everyone has a part to play in live events. It’s such a pleasure working with this supportive team and I’m counting the days to the next event – no longer a first timer, and ready for the challenge – and the fun – that also comes with it!

Bob’s Perspective

I’ve been asked to write a counterpoint to Sydney’s story of her first live event. Having read her perspective, I found it interesting to reflect on how things have changed – or haven’t changed – since I participated in my first event over 40 years ago.

In Impact’s early days, events depended mostly on slide projectors and reel-to-reel tape decks. On the more elaborate shows, we would add 16 mm film projectors. The technology that is fundamentally the same to this day includes a stage, screens, lighting, and a sound system.

Like Sydney, I have friends and family who (still!) think I’m simply enjoying a leisurely week at a resort. Through the decades I’ve had the pleasure of explaining that in general, a ballroom is a ballroom is a ballroom. Some days it’s hard to remember which city you’re in, especially when you’re touring the same show to multiple venues.

Over time, I’ve come to know that most executives, presenters, and keynote speakers share our same goals. And, as we work together toward that end, the interaction is comfortable and rewarding. It’s still exciting to see it all come to life and witness the enthusiasm of an audience!

Just as Sydney observed during her first live show, each team member brings a unique skill set, critically important to the success of the event. There’s a tremendous feeling in being part of that team, in working closely with talented people, and achieving the goals of a project. One thing that remains the same is that those interactions with the clients, presenters, audiences, and production teams are the definition of job satisfaction that makes this career so fulfilling.