Characteristics of a Top Production Tech

top tech

What to look for when searching for a top-tier event technician.

The world of live events is big and brimming with talent! There are so many production techs working in the industry today, each with different levels of experience, expertise, specialties, and more. When it comes to selecting the perfect technician for your event, making a decision can be a little daunting – especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Of course, technical abilities are a prerequisite for any event tech, but there are other characteristics that set an average production tech and a top-tier onsite partner apart. We’ve compiled what characteristics take a production tech to the next level. From the obvious skills to the not-so-obvious traits, keep reading to learn more.

The Obvious …

There are some things that all top-tier event techs, or even mid-level event techs, need to have in order to work effectively with the rest of the crew and create a flawless event:

  • Technical expertise. Top event techs are expected to have a wealth of knowledge in their specialty, as well as a base level of understanding of other positions or equipment.

  • Problem-solving abilities. There’s no time for the blame game! When a challenge arises, top techs don’t focus on who’s at fault – they just look for a solution.

  • Attention to detail. From taping cords in a tidy, organized fashion, to making sure sightlines are clean, top-tier techs understand that the details can make or break a show.

  • Time management. Experienced techs understand the amount of time it takes them to effectively set up their equipment, prepare for rehearsals or an event, and power down at the end of each day. More importantly, they understand how to manage their time appropriately so that they are ready to go on time – or early!

  • Adaptability. Maybe the audio technicians are using a different system than they’re familiar with, or their station is in video village … not FOH where they thought it would be! Top techs know how to adapt to situations they aren’t expecting, as long as it doesn’t compromise their ability to perform their job effectively.

  • Collaboration. Events are not solo acts! No matter how experienced a technician is, if they can’t work with a large number of people, the entire crew will feel the effects. Great techs are able to collaborate and work with others to find solutions and produce a flawless show.

  • Physical and mental stamina. The days are long, and often physically and mentally draining. A well-seasoned tech is prepared for long days and is able to decompress quickly when needed.

The Not So Obvious …

While most production teams know to prioritize working with experienced, expert technicians, there are other characteristics they may not consider that, we believe, are just as, if not more, important!

  • Professionalism. Event techs may not spend most of their time working with each other, but it’s likely that they will come into contact with the client … or even the client’s client. It’s important that the event team and the client are able to trust the event tech to work directly with the client, without needing “adult supervision”. This means being able to communicate clearly, effectively, and politely, providing reassurance to everyone they work with. It also means managing timelines and expectations respectfully, and knowing how to push back kindly when something unrealistic is being requested.

  • Ability to remain calm under pressure. Anybody who has worked in the event industry knows how stressful producing a live event can be. In fact, event planning is considered one of the most stressful jobs in the world! Being able to stay calm under pressure sets a top-tier event tech apart from a mid-tier tech. Staying calm allows the tech to effectively handle a situation and put their team and clients alike at ease.

  • Well-rounded knowledge. The event tech may not be able to jump into another position (and they shouldn’t be expected to!), but it’s important that they know the lingo and basic functions of the other techs. This allows everyone to speak the same technical language, regardless of their positions, and communicate easily.

  • Understanding the big picture. Everybody has rough days on show site, whether it be for professional or personal reasons. But the right event tech knows that their performance affects their teammates, employer, and the client. They know how high the stakes are – and they’re able to put everything else aside to achieve their goals. Everybody wants to be invited back to the next event – so they focus on the big picture, instead of getting down about little details.

  • Understanding their role. Stepping in to help somebody and stepping on their toes can be a fine line to cross – and it’s not always easy to see the difference. It’s important for techs to have cross-training so that they can help their team, but it’s just as important that they understand the expectations and roles for their job function. Helping a struggling colleague is expected, but taking on their responsibilities can be detrimental for everyone, especially if their own roles start to suffer in response. A top-tier tech knows the difference between being helpful and being demeaning and is aware of their surroundings at all times. Clients don’t want to think anyone on their team is incapable!

It takes a lot to become a top-tier tech, and recognizing one is not as easy as some may think! From the obvious skills, like expertise and adaptability, to the ones you may not think of, like professionalism and communication skills, top event techs aren’t just good at what they do – they’re easy to work with!

At Encompass, we have unique backgrounds that situate us perfectly to produce high-end and complex offerings. We’ve worked in broadcast television, touring entertainment, live sporting events, and countless convention facilities across the country.

We have technical design experience and a disciplined process in place that allows us to easily scale events and shift from in-person to virtual without angst. There isn’t much beyond our scope and we love the intensity of putting on events!

If you’re a planner working to create an event, seeking help with event technology, or simply want to learn more … we can help! Sign up below to receive our updates (we promise to keep your contact information secure and won’t “overshare”).

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