Event Company

Episode 30: Building a Culture of Creativity in Your Event Company (Feat. Charles Eide)

In this episode, Charles Eide, the Founder and CEO of EideCom, discusses the importance of establishing and maintaining company values and culture for driving company growth.


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Top Takeaways ⚡️

  • The important of establishing company values and being intentional on how they will help your company connect and grow [00:09:05]. 

  • Creating an unforgettable customer experience [00:12:20]. Is it all about the gear or the talent who helps put on the event.

  • Highly talented but also a jerk? Don't hire them. "We call those people who are highly talented and so good that you feel like you gotta hire 'em, but they're toxic and terrible for the organization and super [00:31:00] selfish. I call those people terrorists."


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Books mentioned 📖  


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[00:00:00] Angela Alea: Welcome to Corralling the Chaos Podcast, where we talk publicly about the things you're worried about privately. My name is Angela Leia, and I'm your host. This is the event industry podcast for companies and crew where we're gonna dive deep into things like, what does our industry need that it just doesn't have?

[00:00:18] What are the things you wanna know, but you're just too afraid to ask? And what are the biggest opportunities ahead for our. We're gonna go deep and nothing is off limits.

[00:00:36] Angela Alea: Hello and welcome back to Corralling the Chaos. We are gonna talk today about company growth community. and the employee experience in our industry, and we have a very special guest to help us do that today. Charles Eide is the founder and CEO of EideCom, which is a full service production and creative agency based in [00:01:00] Minneapolis, Minnesota.

[00:01:01] They produce large scale corporate meetings and events such as Minnesota Vikings draft party. That sounds fun. By the way. They also were awarded best Places to Work by Ink Magazine and also placed on Ink. Five thousands list of fastest growing companies. Congrats on that. By the way. Charles's passion for events first began in high school when he started DJing school dances.

[00:01:23] He's an entrepreneur. True thought leader, innovator. And he's an industry expert dedicated to growth and community. He's also committed to creating a positive and creative culture for his employees as evidenced and being one of the best places to work while providing unlimited P potential for their careers.

[00:01:43] So welcome Charles, to the show. Thank you so much for being here.

[00:01:45] Charles Eide: Thanks for having me, Angela. It's really good to meet you and all the team at Lasso and the podcast. This is really great. It's a nice treat considering that it's like negative 10 out here in Minnesota, which I don't, I don't have any words for [00:02:00] that.

[00:02:00] I think everybody knows what that means. It's terrible. I can't

[00:02:02] Angela Alea: even fathom what neg, I mean, when you, when you say it's negative 10, do people go outside and, I mean, I guess you have to, but like I can't even imagine what that feels.

[00:02:11] Charles Eide: Yeah. Okay. So imagine walking outside to let your dog out or go get the mail and it feels like, you know, a million needles on your skin.

[00:02:20] Yeah. Uh, you know, I don't know. It's, it's unbelievable how cold it is. I, I wonder to myself every year about this time in January, I go, why am I here again? Yeah. And why do we stay here? And then summer rolls around and we all forget about it. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, the, the summers in Minnesota are incredible.

[00:02:38] I. Some of the most beautiful are sunsets aren't till like almost 10 o'clock at night in the summer. Wow. Wow. It, it, I mean, I think it's just we all have amnesia and we can't remember more than six month of pain. So then we, we arrive at fall and we're like, what? What's coming? Again, I don't remember.

[00:02:56] Angela Alea: Yep.

[00:02:56] We're conditioned. You just forget about it. That's right. Well, I'm from Florida, so I can't [00:03:00] fathom negative 10. I mean, I now live in Atlanta, which is very similar Florida, except we at least get some seasons, but, uh, yeah. Well you're great to join us. Don't go outside today unless you have to. So

[00:03:09] Charles Eide: sometimes you open your weather app and it says like, negative 18 feels like negative 50.

[00:03:15] And you're like, oh, okay. So I'm not going anywhere today. Got. and

[00:03:20] Angela Alea: I think I heard today, not to date our podcast, but I think I heard today there's six more weeks of wonder coming. Just saying, oh, sorry to tell you that, sorry to be the bear of bad news, but I believe

[00:03:31] Charles Eide: it. I believe it cuz you know, our, our February here are also terrible.

[00:03:36] So, you know, the good news is by the time you reach January and you realize how terrible it is, it's gonna start turning within eight weeks or it'll. No. Or 12 weeks or something.

[00:03:46] Angela Alea: The beauty of our seasons. That's right. . Well, you're great to be here. I really, really appreciate it. And so where I wanted to go first was, you know, you talk about being dedicated to, to growth and community.

[00:03:59] What, what does [00:04:00] that mean to you? What does that look

[00:04:00] Charles Eide: like? I think, um, Humans desire connection. Right. We desire connection with other people. Mm-hmm. , at least most people do. Yeah. And if you think about, um, you know, the workplace and how much time someone spends working, you know that those are some of the most, um, Most precious hours of your day, your week, your month, your life.

[00:04:24] And so I, I have this philosophy that if you create a community of people, uh, a culture of people that, um, you're going, uh, obviously around core values and things like that, you're going to create a place that people feel happy. And it doesn't so much feel like work as it does feel like just life and something that you, you feel connected to.

[00:04:45] And it, you know, the. You know, punching in and feeling miserable, you don't have to do that anymore because culture can be at the center of a company's, uh, you know, being

[00:04:56] Angela Alea: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think there's something to that word. [00:05:00] Connection. I, I, I personally believe we were, we were made with that in mind.

[00:05:05] We are made to connect with each other, but it's also not just being connected to each other, but it's connected to your point, to a purpose. And I think when a company can. Define the purpose. Give them something that's bigger beyond themselves. Whether it's giving clients a great experience or, or helping to grow a business or whatever it is, and doing it with a group of people that you're connected to.

[00:05:27] That's, it's really hard to break a bond like that when you are in the trenches with these people that you're looking left and right and you're, you're. Fighting through it day in and day out for something bigger than yourself. That's pretty powerful.

[00:05:39] Charles Eide: Yeah, and I think all of that is centered around this idea of core values, right?

[00:05:44] Our company, we have four core values that are central to who each person kind of has in their, um, kind of like if you think about a computer, their motherboard, it's not something that can change in somebody. At least [00:06:00] immediately. So that's why when we hire and we've, we've had a lot of incredible, um, people join our team.

[00:06:07] And I think it's because our core values, we have positive, creative, effective, and team player. And those are things, those are words. that basically define what makes success or failure here. And so it makes it very easy for somebody to be like, I resonate with that, and the other people here do too, or I don't resonate with that.

[00:06:26] This isn't a good place for me. Yeah. Helps you make a better environment for everybody. . Yeah.

[00:06:31] Angela Alea: And, and being intentional about what that is with those four core values versus we're just trying to be good, you know? But being specific on this is what it means, it's positive and all the things that you mentioned.

[00:06:40] So I think that's, I think that's great. And for those of you companies out there that haven't invested in the exercise of creating your mission, your vision, your values, . I highly encourage you to do that. It is so, uh, it's just so well worth it. It dictates everything. I mean, our core values at Lasso, we do the same thing.

[00:06:58] And that's part of our hiring process [00:07:00] too. It's part of our performance reviews, it's part of everything we talk about should point back to one of those values. So I absolutely love that. Yeah. And you,

[00:07:09] Charles Eide: I wanted to show you something. You know, I'm just gonna grab, I'm gonna, I'm sorry. I'm a, I'm a, I'm a, oh now I'm knocking things over in my office, as you can hear.

[00:07:16] Can't. I, I'm a big fan of reading, you know, I know in today's day and age there's podcasts, there's audio books, there's all this stuff. I like listening to books, but I also keep physical copies on my desk. Yeah. And there's two really like central books to me that have. Shaped and molded that for me. One of 'em is this one called Amplify Your Influence by a guy named Brene Rodriguez.

[00:07:40] He speaks all over the world on influence and, you know, influences everything. No matter where you sit in a company, whether you're the owner or the founder, all the way down to someone who's brand new. Your influence has everything to do with your success. And this book really helped me with that. But back to the core values, Angela, the, the book [00:08:00] Traction by Geno Wickman.

[00:08:02] This book is what changed my life and changed our company for good. And in there there's an exercise in the book Traction on how do you come up with your core values? And I'll tell you what, this book, I keep a, a, a bunch of these on my shelves so that I can give them out to people, uh, because it changed my life to be able to understand that core values are so central.

[00:08:25] To the success of a culture and to an organization. The

[00:08:28] Angela Alea: values are the roadmap. I love that. So the book for those of you that are gonna pick it up, I know I am. It's called Traction. Um, and I'd love to hear the stories that come out of that because I think, uh, a lot of companies, uh, cut that quarter and I think it's really important, especially in, in today's times when everybody's competing for talent, not people.

[00:08:48] people are drawn to companies who understand what their North Star is, have a path to do it and understand the values it's gonna take that we all need to embody to, to kind of hit that. So I think that's great, but how do you create at [00:09:00] Icom a positive and creative culture outside of these core values that you talk about, but how?

[00:09:05] Like, I think positive culture, right? Like we get that, but like what does a creative culture look? .

[00:09:11] Charles Eide: Well, I, I think it's important to note that when you are intentional about the values and the things that people, um, have kind of inside of them, when you hire them, you're gonna naturally see those things come out in the workplace, in the work itself as, as work comes.

[00:09:28] To them. So, you know, when I think about positivity, this is something we talk about regularly. It's like, it's so easy to be negative, just turn on the news one. You know, for for one minute. I have a friend in the news business and they have a saying, and their saying is, if it bleeds, it leads. And you're like, oh my gosh.

[00:09:45] No wonder people are dealing with mental health and yeah, sadness and depression and all this stuff. So we try and we try and talk about like, what are things you can do today? to remain positive through any situation. It's easy to [00:10:00] be positive when things are great. It is not easy to be positive when things are terrible.

[00:10:04] And when we went through Covid, just like everybody did, we had to have that conversation. Guys, I know this is all horrific right now, but how do we stay positive? Yeah. And instead of losing our entire company, we were down a little. But for a company in the events industry, we didn't get hit as hard as most because we kept people together and we stayed dedicated and positive.

[00:10:26] Now, you asked about creative. That's another one that's really interesting because if you think about it, we all have things that guide our, um, oh, you can do this. You can't do that. We don't have a software that will do that, so we can't do that. Mm-hmm. . So every single Monday we have this meeting called the WIN meeting.

[00:10:47] It's an all company meeting. What is needed win at that meeting at the end, we have this time where it's like, what do you need team players for this week? . Mm-hmm. . [00:11:00] And when it comes to me, I always say the same thing. I'm sure people roll their eyes by now. Done. Nobody rolls their eyes . But, but I say the same thing and, and that is, If you need resources to be more creative, you need a software, you need a, uh, you know, I don't know.

[00:11:17] You need a bigger monitor. You need a better computer. You need whatever it is. I don't care what it is. If there's something that's holding you back creatively, if you need to go to a class, you need inspiration. Tell us, we're here to resource you so that you can be the best that there is out there. And so we don't, I mean, we might spend a lot more money on our people and investing in the, their, their tools and their minds.

[00:11:42] But the returns are incredible. Our clients get much better results because there's no limit on what people can do Here. We say, Hey, whatever you need, you want a new program? You want cinema four D. Great. Go for it. You need classes for that too. All right. Let's find some great classes. Yeah. [00:12:00] Do you need to go to an industry event and network with people who are, you know, doing what you're doing?

[00:12:04] Great. Let's go. You should go to that. Yeah. And then we pay for it. So to me it's all about how do you invest in people and remove the, the natural limitations that we put on ourselves and give them the authority to not. Constraints on

[00:12:20] Angela Alea: themselves. You know, it's so interesting that you're talking about that because I feel like our industry has significantly evolved in that way.

[00:12:29] Um, we started last, I don't know, 10 years ago, and I feel like when we started, we were like trying to carry this flag. We always say every event experience is only as good as the people who make it happen. It's the people. And if you remember 10 years ago, it was. It's all about the gear. It's all about the gear.

[00:12:44] I mean, websites, companies we're leading with Look at our cool gear, look at our cool gear. And I think our industry has really shifted cuz they realize it's the people operating the gear. It's the people with a creative vision. It's not about the gear, it is about the people. And I think it's [00:13:00] been really, um, encouraging to see companies really shift their focus.

[00:13:05] I mean, now they've been forced to quite honestly. But even before, even before the pandemic, I think people are starting to. to realize it is about the people and the talent you have. I mean, especially as a service-based business. . It's not about the assets, it's not about the physical assets, it's about the human capital assets.

[00:13:20] And so, um, it's just, it's just been fun to watch that evolution and, and the shift in thinking and the shift in talking and the shift in investments even, and doing those things to, to make sure we're getting the right talent in the industry and within our company. So I think that's great. You

[00:13:34] Charles Eide: bring up a good point.

[00:13:36] And, you know, when we first started our business, I didn't have the. To buy all that expensive equipment. I said, all I've got is, you know, I've got other companies that can supply that stuff. Yeah. Now, today, we own our own equipment, but at that time, when we were starting out, I didn't have anything. But I realized that I didn't need the equipment.

[00:13:55] What I needed was, I needed the customer to believe in me and our team and the [00:14:00] equipment. I mean, look, I'm gonna tell you right now, no surprise, nobody owns everything. Some people own you. more than others. Yeah. But at the same time, the you're, you're absolutely right. The equipment is, is. is small potatoes compared to the experience.

[00:14:14] There's a really great, I'm gonna bring it back to another book. There's a really great book, this guy named Lee Cockrell, he was the guy who designed the Disney customer experience and before that Marriott, and we all know mm-hmm. , both of those organizations have incredible customer service. He wrote a book called The Customer Rules.

[00:14:32] Mm-hmm and that book. Is a book that we study at least once a year here as a team, collectively, because it's all about the customer experience. How do we make the customer feel better? Yeah. And uh, I, I gotta tell you, I feel like the, the rising tide raises all ships. Guys, we need to get better at customer service.

[00:14:54] I know you've got equipment and I know you've got people, and I know your schedule is [00:15:00] busy like everyone else's, but it doesn't mean that you, you can be a jerk. And I will say that, especially in production, it's. , it's easy to get overwhelmed when you're stuck in a ballroom from 6:00 AM to midnight, four days, five days in a row, and it's easy to get crabby.

[00:15:17] But if you keep customer service at the center of your mind and you go, you know what? I'm here to serve the customer. You're gonna find out real quick that the customers are gonna stick with you and, and come along with you on that journey. And I mean, what our client turnover is almost zero. And it's because we are so intentional about their experience being a, a connected one.

[00:15:40] That, that, you know, we, we take, we take care of them and they feel good. And if you can do that, you know, people don't, I, I will say this, people don't necessarily remember what you say. , they remember how you make 'em feel. People remember how you make 'em feel. And if you can, if you can take what is already a [00:16:00] chaotic part of this person's life, who's organizing the event and make it better.

[00:16:05] you are gonna win every day of the week. They

[00:16:07] Angela Alea: also don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. And I think that goes back to that customer relationship because you're right, customers are not buying based on a commodity they're buying because of the talent, the, the care that you're showing to them, which I'm gonna get on my soapbox for just a minute, then we'll move on.

[00:16:26] But I would love to see our industry stop talking about labor. , like, you will be amazed when you start proposing talent, when you get to the pricing. Don't say labor, say talent. You're, you're giving them talent to produce their show. It's not labor. Labor is like a body, a warm body. Like, so I just, if we can shift our thinking, I think we can just, um, I think there's just more we can do and we have to educate the client and remind them you're not buying.

[00:16:53] You're not buying gear, you're buying execution and talent. Mm-hmm. and, uh, all right. I'm done. I'm

[00:16:58] Charles Eide: off My, I I love [00:17:00] that. I just stole that from you. I am changing it on all of our, uh, on all of our proposals. Now we're changing it to talent, not labor. I love that. Yeah. It's so true. . Yeah. And if you really believe in your product that's, that's exactly right.

[00:17:12] Now, sometimes when you have to go into like a union house where it's actual like union labor Yeah. That offers up its own challenges. Yeah. But still those people have talent and we That's right. Need to continue to support them too.

[00:17:25] Angela Alea: That's right. That's right. Well, I wanna talk about your Inc. 5,000. So I know you guys grew by over 200%.

[00:17:34] What do you contribute that. , how'd you guys do

[00:17:36] Charles Eide: that? Oh, man. It has been a tremendous amount of work. Um, you know, COVID, we all had a dip last year from 2021 to 22. We had another major hike in growth. And the thing is, um, when you do that type of thing, , it's easy for it to fall apart if it's not structured [00:18:00] properly.

[00:18:00] And what I mean by that is do you have your core value set? Is the people in this book Traction? They talk about the people component and you know how, how are people being managed? There's this meeting you have with each department. It's called a. L 10 or a level 10 meeting. And that meeting has specific agenda related items that each person comes to the meeting with a scorecard metric, you know, so like somebody's gonna, in the sales meeting, somebody might be responsible for, you know, how many dollars in proposed do they have out?

[00:18:32] How many new relationships did they make this week? Things like that. Yeah. In a production meeting it might be, How much do we have in damaged and missing equipment? Hopefully that number is zero. So like the scorecard at the level 10 meeting and that happens weekly, allows you to really stay on top of the scalability.

[00:18:50] So as you integrate new players on the team and scale, not only have you attracted them with core values and gotten them really excited. You're putting them into a, [00:19:00] basically a scalable management system that allows them to immediately get immersed in the culture of the company while knowing what's important.

[00:19:09] What are the measurables, what are the key performance indicators for them so that they can have success and they can go, I, I started here and I see a, a career path that's really beneficial for me here.

[00:19:20] Angela Alea: That's a perfect segue. That's actually another question I wanted to ask you. Um, what does a t a typical career.

[00:19:28] and our industry look like to you. And I'm gonna tell you I'm asking because. . I don't think our industry has done a good job communicating what a career in our industry could mean. A lot of people ask, well, how can I break into it? But we only sell kind of the entry, right? We don't, we don't sell the whole vision, the whole career path, how you can make a great living doing cool things.

[00:19:48] And so like, what does a typical career path in our industry look like? And then as a follow up to be thinking about how do we best facilitate that as an. These

[00:19:59] Charles Eide: are [00:20:00] challenges that we have to work with, um, every single day. And when you think about getting started in any new industry, whether it's events or anything else, you have to ask yourself what type of involvement do you want?

[00:20:13] Right? Do I want the safety and security of working full-time at a company? Right. If you, if you, if you don't want that and you want the flexibility of being a freelancer, the freelancer community can be really challenging because there is no structure or path and it really doesn't lead to any sort of, um, Growth, if you will, aside from, oh, well I did a bigger event this year than I did last year.

[00:20:39] I did bigger events. So I think it all comes down to understanding anytime you're new to an industry, learning is your first and most important thing, right? And that that comes down to who, who are you talking to and meeting with. , what are you reading and putting into your mind and what are you doing to be deliberate about, Hey, next year I want to be at this point, right?

[00:20:59] A lot of times [00:21:00] we're not super deliberate and it comes down to being intentional with those things. So one, you gotta pay your dues, right? You can't just jump in and let's say you wanna be a lighting designer, you can't just jump in and think someone's gonna hire you to do a stadium for 25,000 people because you can do it on a CAD program at home, on your, on your laptop.

[00:21:19] It isn't gonna happen. Right. This is a business of trust and so it starts with small stuff. You know, if you're going the freelance path, you're gonna start on those assistant and smaller roles, right? If it starts inside a company, again, it's more of a junior level position. And, um, this is why usually the new talent in our industry starts out pretty.

[00:21:43] right? Because the, it doesn't pay a whole lot to be learning, right? And then as you gain your skills and you see a forward path, uh, you kind of settle into what you want to do, right? I've seen people that have gone from, I'm gonna be a lighting designer to be like, you know, lighting's great, but I actually [00:22:00] really enjoy the video and cutting and switching and streaming and all that.

[00:22:04] And so they transition into that. . Again, it comes down to where you want your skillset to lie and then what, what you wanna be doing. Because another question is, you know, do you want to be on the road or do you want to be, you know, in an office job? Like we have both of those types of positions here. And I think that's why we attract a lot of top talent and we've been getting a lot of VP and above level people here is because people see that we not only.

[00:22:33] Availability to send people out on the road, but they have, we have support roles here at the office that are vice president, even chief level roles that. Someone, some stability. Um, we, you know, our chief revenue officer didn't work a day in his life in the events business, but he knew the principles from another vertical and came over to our business.

[00:22:55] And the amount of growth we saw was. Unbelievable. So he had no [00:23:00] event experience, but he had experience in his lane and brought that here, and it's just been tremendous. Now, if you want to get into more of those technical roles, like I want to be dealing with audio or lighting or whatever, usually those people have have a serious interest in one or many of those things, and they cut their teeth in the field as a freelancer before they come on staff.

[00:23:20] Angela Alea: Yeah. I feel like going back to that word connection, you know, a career path, it's hard when our industry. The foundation of it is so much freelance, right? So much of it we're dependent on a contingent workforce. These freelancers that, you know, there's no, there's no, there's nothing that connects them different than if they're your full-time employee, right?

[00:23:40] There's a connection there that's made a sense of responsibility, partnership, loyalty, whatever you wanna call it. And so there's this gap that exists. You've got all these freelancers that want a career path. , but there's no sense of ownership for the lack of a better word, that says, Hey, let's do this for you.

[00:23:59] Right. I, I [00:24:00] feel like there's still this gap that exists that, um, lots of people are trying to break in. Lots of people are doing the freelance thing, but when it comes to. Creating stability, consistency, predictability. I think there's still that, that gap there. So I think we have some work to do. And I love what you also said about your C R O.

[00:24:18] I think that's something that's also good. I feel like for so long our industry has thought, well, you have to be from the industry to be additive. And sometimes being from the industry can be, uh, a disadvantage. Right? You know, too much or it's the mindset. , it's always been this way versus taking some other outside business principles and applying it to an industry that hasn't really, um, Operated so much with those.

[00:24:43] So I think that's great. I think that's so smart of

[00:24:45] Charles Eide: you to do. Yeah. I I, it's been incredible. I mean, his, his addition, and it wasn't just him, but he had a part in helping us grow another 80% last year. Uh, so it, it is unbelievable. But [00:25:00] here's, here's the other thing I wanna say about the, the freelance market.

[00:25:04] We have to treat the freelancers like they're part of our team and I'm a huge fan of like, how do we help them feel like they are welcome and they belong and they can be a part of us. So we provide 'em with swag and we provide 'em with, you know, if they want to come work here at our office, we have a bunch of like hot desks that they can come and work at.

[00:25:26] We wanted to create an environment where the freelancer prefers to work with us over our competitor. Because we're kinder to them. We in a, in a lot of, um, a lot of times we pay them more. Um, n n I mean it, it just comes down to how do you provide a better experience for them and a better interaction. How do you make the freelancer go?

[00:25:46] I prefer these shows over those shows because it's more organized. The people are nicer, they take care of me. And then of course we throw like a freelancer happy hour for the ones that live here in town. Yeah. And, um,

[00:25:58] Angela Alea: and it's not negative 10, [00:26:00] I'm.

[00:26:00] Charles Eide: Well, you know, we, I, I don't know if it was negative 10 last time, but, but we do, we invite them out and we treat them to food and drinks.

[00:26:08] Yeah. And we want them to feel like they, they belong and that they're a part of it. And I gotta tell you, some of our key hires that we've had on staff here who have joined our team full-time, have been out of the freelancer market, where they're like, Hey, you know, I, I can make the same amount of money.

[00:26:23] as as I was before, but I don't have to have all the risk of worrying about where my next show is gonna come from and I don't have to worry about systems and keeping up on my softwares and all this stuff. Id com's gonna do that for me and I can join their team. So I've had great people join us.

[00:26:38] Angela Alea: Well before the show, we had asked you what is one of your biggest frustrations with the live events industry?

[00:26:44] And you shared with us that you felt it was inconsistency. in the workforce. So tell us a little bit about why it's such a challenge for our industry and any insights that you. You know, could solve for

[00:26:57] Charles Eide: this. Okay. I, [00:27:00] I sound like a broken record, but the, the core values of your business are gonna guide some consistency, right?

[00:27:06] You're gonna, freelancers are either gonna go, I like those values, or I don't like those values. I gotta tell you, it's helped us let go of a lot of freelancers that were toxic for us and our clients, and it

[00:27:17] Angela Alea: has a, I just wanna pause there. I hate to interrupt you, but what you just said is really important because, So many companies listening right now, they know as soon as you said that, oh, so-and-so's toxic.

[00:27:31] They know it, but they don't quite have enough courage to do something about it, right? They know it's toxic. They know it's affecting customer relationships, employee relationships, and they know it. But they continue to just say, but the show can't go on. John or, so I, I wanna pause there. How did you talk to us about the courage or what the impetus was to say, you know what, they're toxic.

[00:27:57] They could be great, they could be stellar technically, but [00:28:00] when they're toxic, there's no room. Talk to us about that. I,

[00:28:03] Charles Eide: I'm a pro, I'm a product of my environment. I grew up in this industry. I literally came out of high school, started i'd com. Got my butt kicked for the last 20 years. What, what that comes down to is I've, I've learned that if I'm a jerk or I'm toxic, I can't get that client to hire me.

[00:28:24] And so it's trained me, Hey, you better get your, your, your, your act in order. Well, That is not the case when someone is so high demand, because that role, like let's say, you know, lighting designers, you know, really great lighting designers are hard to find like, and they're few and far between. Well, that means that some of them, because they're in such high demand, they don't have to be nice.

[00:28:46] They can just be jerks. But because I need their talent, I hire them. I'm gonna tell you right now, The worst thing you can do is say, Hey, they're super talented, but they're toxic and they're [00:29:00] terrible on site. They're mean and not friendly, and we all know 'em and And you hire 'em anyways because you say that you have to, and I'll tell you what guys, you're doing the entire industry a disservice by perpetuating that bad behavior, showing people that, hey, you can still be a jerk and get paid.

[00:29:19] In my opinion, we have to. Core values centered and say, look, if you're gonna be on this team, these are the things because you know what? I don't care how talented you are. If you're incredibly talented, but you are a jerk, you're not working for me. You have to be kind and wo. You have to be positive, creative, effective, and a team player.

[00:29:41] We had a lighting desire in one time say to us, um, I know the crew call. 8:00 AM but um, the show doesn't start until noon, so I'll be here at 11. I've got all my stuff set up and we were like, whoa, whoa. Hold on. The call is at eight. That's when you're here. Nope, I'm not coming at eight. [00:30:00] I don't, I don't, I don't care what you say.

[00:30:01] The crew call is, shows at mid noon I'm gonna show up at 11. And we were like, that's. , that's not how this goes. And we actually had to let him go right then and there and replace him with somebody else because it was like, you know what, if it's gonna be like that, the client's gonna come over and ask for something and he's gonna go, you know, I don't care what you say.

[00:30:21] This is what I think is better. And it, it's just not good for anybody.

[00:30:25] Angela Alea: That, to me, is the true definition of leader. Making the tough decisions, knowing what needs to be done, which, that's the easy part. But again, having the courage to act on it and figuring it out. So kudos to you. I think that is, uh, such a great example of the leadership we need more of, so Well, I

[00:30:47] Charles Eide: appreciate that we call those people.

[00:30:50] we call those people who are highly talented and so good that you feel like you gotta hire 'em, but they're toxic and terrible for the organization and super [00:31:00] selfish. I call those people terrorists because it's like you feel like you need, need, need this person. They're host hostage. They're a complete jerk.

[00:31:09] Yeah. And so you're being held hostage. Yeah. And I call them terrorists because they're nothing but but a pain in the butt for everybody. Yeah, absolutely. So we, we, we have to stand up to that kind of stuff. And you know what? It's gonna make them better too, because they're gonna leave and go, you know what?

[00:31:25] I just got fired for being a jerk. Maybe I should not be such a jerk. Yeah.

[00:31:29] Angela Alea: I've never been fired. I'm used to kind of calling the shots. .

[00:31:33] Charles Eide: Yeah, it takes, takes months sometimes that same goes for the on staff people, people that you have internally. You gotta do the same thing. Yep. Can't allow terrorism in your business for yourself, for your other employees and your clients.

[00:31:46] And you know what? If you don't. , your good people are gonna leave. Oh, I'm not gonna, they're paying attention to how you handle it. Yeah, absolutely. They're gonna be like, I'm not, I'm not gonna work an Icom show again, cuz I know so-and-so is gonna be doing audio and he's such a mean jerk. I [00:32:00] hate talking to him.

[00:32:01] You know what, guys? I'm busy that week. I'm sorry. The good ones are gonna leave you. Yeah,

[00:32:05] Angela Alea: that's right. I could talk about this all day, but I'll move on . Um, all right. I, I typically like to wrap up my show by asking my guests one question, and that is this. , what do you hope for the live events industry or phrased another way?

[00:32:20] Share with us your vision for the live events industry when we're at our best and what does that look like? .

[00:32:27] Charles Eide: Wow, that's huge. That's a huge loaded question. ,

[00:32:31] Angela Alea: I like to

[00:32:32] Charles Eide: ask it from everything. . Um, my, my hope for the industry is that we, we focus on the things that are the most important things, and those are always going to be relational.

[00:32:43] It's so easy to get excited, especially for those of you that are in the gear side of the business or making gear or selling gear. I gotta tell you guys, that doesn't matter. What matters is the connections you make and the connections you keep. And if you, if you [00:33:00] get too, if we get too focused as an industry on, oh, you know, the next trend is vr.

[00:33:05] So we're going so deep in VR that we forget to, to look at what is a customer actually asking for. Great example of this is, When the Oculus first came out, and I have one sitting here on my desk, I don't know if you guys have ever seen this. This is an Oculus, it's a headset from Facebook. Um, and when it first came out, I said, you know what we're gonna do?

[00:33:25] We're gonna start making renderings, our renderings, and we're gonna put them in the Oculus, and then you can put the Oculus on and you can look around. And I was like, we're gonna do this. We're gonna do this. Well, people thought it was. But it never won me any work. . Yeah. It never won me any work. What won the work was going and look at him in the eye and saying, Hey, I promise you this is gonna go great, and I You can trust me.

[00:33:49] Yeah. And I promise I won't let you down. And then, , you go through with it. Yeah. And if something doesn't go right, you get it right. And you take care of people. Because you know what the events [00:34:00] industry has is there's a lot of transient people coming and going from our business. The people who are gonna last and are going to stay are the people who care about relationships.

[00:34:11] If you, if you, if, if we keep it, I don't care, covid or not virtual or not in person or not, we have to care about people. And if we care about people. , you're never gonna ever worry about am I gonna be successful? Because people are gonna look at you and go, you know what? He put the greater good and our needs ahead of maybe what, what he

[00:34:31] Angela Alea: wanted.

[00:34:32] People can get on board with a purpose, something that's bigger than themselves. And I think that, um, it sounds like I'd come, has done such a phenomenal job of creating that environment. So I really appreciate you joining. I think we've, I, I have a number of takeaways, but you know, when I think about this episode, I think about.

[00:34:51] leadership, you know, and making the tough decisions, uh, getting rid of the terrorists, that are out there as you put it. Uh, and what allows you to do that is [00:35:00] really kind of creating the core values ahead of time. So, you know, , you can more easily spot those that don't carry your values when you know what your values are and the importance of going through that and creating the culture and giving people all the tools and room to create a creative culture as you put it.

[00:35:19] So I think this, there's just so much that, um, , I think we talked about that. I think all of us will take with us as well as those books. I am gonna circle back to you, Charles. I'm gonna retraction, I'm telling you, traction back, got

[00:35:29] Charles Eide: over that and you gotta read, amplify Your Influence because this has to do with how do you get people to, to actually feel impacted by you.

[00:35:36] These two books I'm telling you, they'll change your life. .

[00:35:39] Angela Alea: Yeah. Well, everyone has influence over everybody. It's just not always for good. Right. You, you have an influence, you have a reputation. It's just let's make it for something meaningful. Right.

[00:35:50] Charles Eide: Um, maybe you're a terrorist and you don't know it.

[00:35:52] Angela Alea: That's right. You have a terrorist uh, influence. That's right. Well, this has been great. I really, really appreciate you joining us. For those of you listening, if you [00:36:00] like what you hear, be sure to subscribe. If you have any feedback, comments or questions, reach out to us at podcast@lasso.io



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