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5.0 out of 5 stars
1
5.0 out of 5 stars

on 10 February 2005
I approached this book from the point of view of a theatre stage manager wanting to develop work in the events industry. Many event production disciplines coincide with those of theatre production: schedule, budget, prioritising, communication. So how may one compare and contrast?
Soutar starts well. There is considerable coverage of the process of pitching to the client for an event in the first place. Staging an event, while not easy, at least follows a path with which a theatre production manager is familiar. Bidding for a total event is a different matter, going well beyond budgeting time and materials into the area of client relations. .
Embedded throughout the book are quotes from clients and senior event practitioners, bon mots with underscore a point being made. It was encouraging to learn, for instance, that the bidder need not necessarily bear the cost of producing a proposal alone. Bill Vestey of Sony is quoted as accepting that a serious client will actually fund a shortlist of event organisers in preparing their quotes.
Proper weight is given the primacy of logistics staff. This team, new to theatre practitioners, have a direct effect on the client. CEOs may not actually notice that a lighting rig is one third less than originally envisaged, but will certainly notice a taxi to the airport being late. Not least of the book's achievements is that it keeps the management of client expectations front and centre.
Having taken us through an event chronologically, Soutar devotes the latter part of her book to more specific event types. Among these are outdoor events, orchestras, parades and fashion shows. The final paragraph is a truly excellent outline of 'who does what' in the form of thumbnail-sketch job descriptions.
In a book that addresses areas from cabaret seating to gymkhanas, vaccination to performing licences, signage to catering, much is touched on lightly. I would like to have seen more on further sources of information. That said, the main organisations and publications are identified, and the glossary is intelligible and comprehensive. .
Certainly the book avoids the habitual flaw in 'how to' books of reproducing reams of templates and sample documents. Soutar does see the wood for the trees, and the examples are apposite and comprehensively explained. Organisational charts are used sparingly and to good effect.
This is a useful and fairly-priced work, and worth its place among one's reference books.
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