The birth of The Experiential Producer. The Misguided Guide.
Ok… So here I am, sitting in my Uber, wondering what small talk I was going to have to endure for this seemingly long 20-minute car ride. Don’t judge me, you’ve been there, and I can say it, sometimes I don’t like people. I’m human. But anyway, so I’m in this car and just as I had suspected, I get Ralph, he is super positive, loves what does, and is a talker. Fuck, I have to think quickly, should I put my airpods in and pretend that I am on a conference call, this is a good trick because sometimes you don’t have to say much, but nod every once in a while and they still think you are listening, or, I engage in the human experience of holding a conversation with no guard rails? What do I have to lose? For the record, Ralph was not his real name.
We start with that normal pleasant banter asking about the other person’s day. And as I slouch back and gaze out the window like a child in the back seat, Ralph staring back through the rear view mirror asked, if I was headed into work? It’s 9:15 am so great guess, I said to Ralph. He then asked me a really crazy question, so do you enjoy what you do? I mean, whoa Ralph. I looked over and said to him without even giving it a second thought I blurted out, “Fuck yeah I do.” “So what is it you do, that makes you this excited?”
And there…stood my hesitation, I have to explain what it is I do. What the fuck? How could I be so blindsided? This is a good point to stop and explain what it means to have a common-sense job. When you have a common sense job title; lawyer, doctor, teacher, the most common follow up question dives deeper into that profession. What type of law? What kind of doctor are you? What grade are the kids you teach? Since this is a blog for people in the events industry or just want to understand it here is where a non-common sense job title confuses the hell out of people. So let’s hear my response. I am an experiential producer. BOOM! Drops the mic and gets out of the moving car.
Except Ralph looked at me like I just hit a bus. “Ok, so you produce experiences, I guess,” he says almost hesitantly. HOLY SHIT, Ralph gets a prize. But he followed up this jaw-dropping discovery with a, “what does that mean?” And I quickly said it’s like an event planner… I just did a disservice to the whole industry.
And that is where I will stop today’s blog. But not before we understand why. I am but a student of my craft. There are so many job titles in my profession; Production Coordinator, Production Assistant, Production Manager, Experiential Producer, Event Producer, Event Planner, and Executive Producer. These are all very much different roles and while I will get into my understanding of all these in future posts, just know that I am good at my job but want to get better. So I hope that this becomes the best, place to have those conversations to make us all better.
This is, The Experiential Producer… The Misguided Guide to Guide You…