Imagine sitting down to a massive Thanksgiving meal with your family… eating your weight in mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie… and then learning that the whole gang is headed to a 10k marathon right after dinner. No time for a cat nap, only time to lace up your sneakers. That sounds totally bonkers, right? Well, that’s what a wonky run of show is like!
The entire purpose of a run of show is to guarantee that the flow of an event is logical. A humongous meal before a run? Not logical! A 2-hour panel discussion before welcoming guests to your conference? Also not logical! This is where a professional emcee and their knowledge of an effective run of show comes into play.
A professional emcee leverages their years of experience to help map out a flow that is most logical — and most efficient — for your event. Take a look at what I mean by “run of show” and how a poor flow can disrupt your event goals.
What is the Run of Show, Anyway?
So, what is the run of show for an event? Simply put, a run of show is a schedule that breaks down the timing and content for each moment of an event. It looks at the occasion from a granular level, providing an item-by-item sequence of events for the duration of the show. For most event planners, the run of show explains what each department, such as talent or AV, should be doing at all times.
At face value, this document might not seem so important. After all, if you have each department already in place at the event, why do you need such a detailed schedule? Well, after more than a decade of live shows, 200+ virtual shows, and more hybrid events than I can count, I can say with all certainty that an efficient run of show is the key to a successful event.
Sure, big moments like keynote speakers are important. However, the order of these sets can make all of the difference to those in the crowd. These details contribute to the overall flow of the event. For those in the audience, this translates to an event that feels thoughtful and well executed. For event producers, this means there’s a higher likelihood of executing on event goals.
How Can a Poor Run of Show Disrupt an Event?
Now that you’re more familiar with the overall definition of a run of show, let’s take a look at one in action. Whenever I speak about run of show, I’m immediately transported back to one of my earliest gigs as a corporate entertainer many years ago. The event was for a nonprofit organization that raised money for kids with cancer.
Mid-way through the event, dinner was served. Then the lights dimmed, and I can vividly remember standing in the wings as the event producers pressed play on one of the most heart-wrenching videos I’d ever seen. Everyone started crying at their tables… me included! Suddenly, the lights were back on — and I was due on stage to start juggling for a ballroom full of emotional people.
Let me tell you, it was brutal! Energy is a one-way spark, meaning you simply cannot segue from such a serious topic and then try to pivot back to funny just as quickly. However, that’s not how the event producers had seen it at the time. Instead, they figured that the video would be a “downer” and I could come back on stage to cheer everyone back up and get geared up to donate.
I quickly learned at that moment just how important the run of show truly is. Event attendees were confused by my performance, to say the least, and I knew I couldn’t fully execute on my routine after following such a somber video. It was then and there that I began to broaden my services to not only serve as professional emcee and entertainer, but as a consultant for the event planners I work with.
Advice from a Professional Emcee: Funny First!
If you take any bit of advice from this blog post, please let it be this: It is always better to go from fun to serious, not the other way around. Starting with the meat and bones of your event will not work in the context of a run of show. Instead, the best thing you can do is start with more lighthearted content, entertain your guests, then segue into the real reason why you’re there.
For example, consider my recent role as professional emcee for the SafeNest fundraiser. SafeNest is a nonprofit organization assisting victims of domestic abuse. At that event, we started the crowd off with some high-energy raffles and games. Then, we organically segued into why we were all in attendance — to raise funds for a great cause!
It’s much easier to capture your audience when you hook them immediately with content that enhances the connectivity and engagement in the room. Laughter is a fantastic ice breaker, and it primes those in attendance to execute on event goals, whether that be donations or team-building. It’s always wise to capitalize on your entertainer first, then leverage them to follow through with event goals.
Plan a Master Run of Show with a Master of Ceremonies
Professional emcee is another name for Master of Ceremonies — and if there’s one thing this emcee is a master at, it’s planning an epic run of show! With more than a decade of experience under my belt, I can typically tell right off the bat when a tentative show schedule will be conducive or catastrophic for event goals. Let me help you maximize your event with a logical run of show.
Rather than simply handing off your run of show to an entertainer, find a professional emcee like me who can truly polish your event schedule. With a professional event emcee like me at the helm, you’re not only receiving a bonafide entertainer, but also a built-in event planner. Help a professional emcee help you plan the best live event by tagging me in early to fine-tune schedule details.
Kickstart the Flow of an Event with a Professional Event Emcee
An event should be many things, but above all, it should be logical. Whether the goal of your event is to raise money or enhance team-building, the only way to execute on these objectives is by producing a logical flow of events. A professional emcee can help map out an event schedule that works in your favor and your audience’s.
Don’t risk an unsuccessful event just because of a poor run of show. Send me a booking inquiry today to learn how I can help you master the run of show and crush your upcoming event.