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Episode 31: Be the Company the People You're Looking for Are Looking For: AMA with Angela Alea
We put 8 listener-submitted questions in front of Angela to get her take on them in our first AMA (Ask Me Anything) episode.
Here's what you asked 💬
- What is one thing you wish everyone knew about live events?
- Why does the live events industry need a tool that provides them one central place to work?
- Advice to help attract top talent for live events?
- What is an event production hill you would die on?
- What is the very best live event you've been to, and why?
- What is your advice for a live event company that wants to focus on growing revenue?
- What's best way for event companies to minimize their risks right now?
- What is a hot take you have not shared on the show yet?
Read the Transcript 📚
[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 Alea, 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] Welcome back to Corralling. The Chaos today is gonna be a little bit different. I walked in to be surprised by our team. And you see here, there is a glass jar in front of me. I think the team's been busy pulling questions from multiple people, but it looks like I've got a glass jar with, I don't know, several questions in there.
[00:00:55] So we're gonna jump in and learn what these questions are together and kind of [00:01:00] go through 'em. So with that, my question number one. , what is one thing you wish everyone knew about live events? That one's actually kind of easy. What I, I wish everyone knew the amount of work time, passion that pours into these things.
[00:01:20] we all show up. We have a great time. I didn't know before joining this industry a decade ago, , all that's poured into it and the care and concern and all the little details about it, and it's really fun to see a creative vision come together. But I don't think any of us, unless you're in the live event industry, can really appreciate and respect all that happens to pull off these things.
[00:01:46] So that would be the one thing I wish everyone knew is the number of people it takes to make it happen and all the caring concern that goes into it. So that's how I would answer. . All right, let's go to my next one. Why does [00:02:00] the live event industry need a tool that provides them one central place to work?
[00:02:04] Why is that a need to have versus a nice to have? I think a number of things go into that. I think as a society evolves, it's like, why do you need a car? Right? At some point there used to be horse and carriage, and that's just how things were. , then the car came along. Is that a need or a nice to have? I mean, I don't know about you, but I need a car to get to work.
[00:02:28] I don't think that is a nice to have. If I grew up a hundred years ago, wouldn't even be able to fathom that. Right? But as things evolve and change, we as a society, we as an industry, we as business owners, we as contributors to this industry. Like we owe it to ourselves. We owe it to. To the industry to evolve right along with that.
[00:02:51] So that's why it's a need. At some point, there's gonna be the haves and the haves nots. In our industry, you either have evolved and [00:03:00] have invested in tools and people to get things done. or you don't, it is a win or lose game. And so, that's why you need to have it. It's no longer nice to have to compete and to do what you need to do and to move fast.
[00:03:15] You have to have it. So that's how I would answer that. All right. Next question. What is your advice to a live event company that says they want to attract better talent? So there's one phrase that comes to mind and I need to remember. to, to say it the right way, be the company that the people you are looking for are looking for.
[00:03:39] So when you think about who your ideal employee is, right? Same with your ideal customer. What are they looking for? Right? What's important to them? And then you have to be that first. So when. meet you, engage with you the first time. They immediately think, that's a company I wanna work for. So that's my advice.
[00:03:59] [00:04:00] Be the company that the people you want to work for, you are looking for. S, that's what I would do. Do the right things. Pay your people well. Be a good ambassador, be a good employer, show genuine care and do the right thing. So that's how I would answer, what is an event production hill you would die on?
[00:04:24] Gosh, there's several. There's several. I would love to see discounts go away. I would love to see our people paid better. I would love to see event companies bill more. I would love to see our industry evolve. I would love to see our industry brag on itself more. Those are all hills I would die on because I think it's just, again, part of.
[00:04:48] Evolution. Things just have to happen. And, you just can't keep doing things the way they used to be done 10 years ago, five years ago. Things evolve. Things change [00:05:00] rates go up. So, that's those are the production hills, I guess I would die on. What is the very best live event you've been to and what made it so memorable?
[00:05:12] For me personally, it was probably a conference here in Atlanta called Passion, and what made it great was how it made me feel, the emotions it evoked, and yes, it was the speaker and the music, but it was also the lights and the sound and the energy of the audience. . And so that's what made it so memorable is, is how it made me feel.
[00:05:39] I felt full, I felt happy. It was exciting. Anything that evokes emotion for me is memorable. And so I immediately think about the emotion that I experienced in that passion conference. So that's how I would answer that one. What is your advice for a live event company [00:06:00] that wants to focus on growing their revenue?
[00:06:03] is there practical advice they can implement asap? I think there's a lot of things. I think just cuz you wanna focus on growing your revenue, you have to have a plan. You have to know on, you know, identify who is your target market, what are your strengths, you know, if, if you've never done technology, sales kickoffs,
[00:06:27] I wouldn't go into the year saying all my revenue this year is gonna come from technology sales kickoffs. Right? You've gotta, you've gotta learn it. You've gotta understand your, your customer ahead of time, know what they're trying to accomplish. So getting ahead of that so you know how to position yourself well.
[00:06:42] Don't cut corners. Don't settle. Sell on value, not a commodity. Stop selling labor. Start selling talent. Uh, you're selling a service. You're not selling your gear. You're selling an outcome. You're selling an impact. You're not selling a 20 page [00:07:00] quote that lists every single cable and projector that you're using.
[00:07:03] And so thinking about it differently, you're proposing and pitch. Less quoting, and make sure you've got the right team to do it. And make sure you're constantly communicating what that North Star is to your employees, to your customers. All those sorts of things. Learn how to make recommendations.
[00:07:22] Don't settle. Learn how to challenge your clients in the right way. It makes 'em better. It makes you, uh, it positions you to be the expert. And let's face it, that's why they're hiring you. They're not hiring you for just execution. They're hiring you for the talent and the skill and the approach. So sell to your strengths.
[00:07:45] That's how I would answer. What is the best way for a live event company to minimize their risks right now? What are some things they can do in short term? Well, I think that depends on the company. For example, if [00:08:00] you're doing a lot of things that are risky when it comes to the actual work such as rigging, Pyrotechnics, whatever it might be.
[00:08:11] There's just an inherent risk in that. So are you doing all the things to, uh, ensure you have a good safety program? Make sure your employees are trained on safety and, and that you're doing those things to, to lead in that area. If your risk right now are around your talent leaving because you don't provide a good workplace, you don't have strong leader.
[00:08:36] you're not engaged with your people. You don't pay them. Well, then that's where I would focus, right? If your biggest risk is your team leaving, or you can't attract good people that you need to execute on your events, then I would start paying attention to that. If your risk right now is. Compliance and taxes and you're doing events in California and you're 10 99 and not W2 ing.
[00:08:59] I [00:09:00] would take care of that. So it really just kind of depends. I mean, I think our industry has all sorts of risks. Those are just three right off the top of my head. I think you first need to identify whether it's a SWOT analysis or whatever it is like. , what is it that is causing you stress or tension?
[00:09:18] And so like I always say, pay attention to the tension. And so that's where I would focus, you know, trust, that kind of innate voice inside me that says, this worries me. Hey, I feel like we should be doing this different. Or, Hey, I see this coming, or whatever that is. And that's, that's, I wouldn't. , like address it today.
[00:09:37] That's what I would do in the short term is just start addressing it, coming up with a game plan, asking your peers, talking to others, and in the industry, figure out if you've got a certain area where you think you're weak and somebody else is strong, pick up the phone, call 'em, talk to 'em about 'em, ask how they handled it.
[00:09:54] So that's what I would do in the short term is don't wait. What is a hot take you have not [00:10:00] shared yet on the show? I. Think our industry can do a better job of asking tough questions, challenging in the right way, whether it's an employee that's leaving, right, like get everyone is so surface, everyone tries to be so PC and tiptoe, walk on eggshells and you can never make progress or learn or grow or improve until you get to the meat of what's going.
[00:10:32] Ask the tough questions a get really comfortable being uncomfortable. If a client fired you, ask them why and don't settle for something that you know isn't the case. Just whether it you're asking in a different way, whether it's, hey, face-to-face, they're not ever gonna tell me, but maybe I send them. A survey after, and they're gonna be more apt to be truthful there.
[00:10:57] Or if somebody is saying, Hey, I think we're gonna go in a [00:11:00] different direction, or, Hey, this isn't what I thought it would be, well maybe pause and say, but do you want this to work? So for me, before I'm going to try to save something, salvage something, maybe it's an employee that's, you know, resigning, Hey, do you, do you want to be here?
[00:11:17] Because if you do, , I wanna figure it out. If it's that you truly don't, that's okay, but let's not say it's for reason A, when it's really for reason B, because otherwise I feel like we waste so much time trying to get to solve something, and we're always solving the wrong thing. So I think learning how to ask better questions, challenge in the right way.
[00:11:40] I think everybody's gonna move a whole lot faster and be a whole lot more successful when you can go there with your customers, go there with your employees, go there with your leadership team. A lot of times what, what you see on the outside is not what's really happening at all. And if you'd known what was really happening, it might have a different [00:12:00] outcome cuz you could address it differently.
[00:12:01] So that's, that's my hot. that I haven't shared on the show. Well, thanks for tuning in today. I know today was a little bit different. Thank you all for whoever submitted those questions. Thank you to those of you that did that and participated. If any of you have additional questions that you either wanna come on and discuss or have us answer and dive into, feel free to submit them firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:12:24] And if you like what you hear feel free to subscribe. Thanks so much.