After 30 years working in live-event production, Steve Pamplin, head of production at London-based creative experience agency DRP Group, shares his on-the-road experiences of travelling to destinations all over the world, often in a convoy of event production equipment-packed lorries.
“When I started in the production industry, transporting your equipment across Europe was a challenge, communication was slow, and every country had border controls. There was a lot of paperwork and delays were common.
“Once we were held up by customs in Moscow for five days. Sixty technicians had to stay in hotels and the equipment couldn’t move. This kind of hold-up is incredibly expensive and disruptive, but these days it is virtually unheard of. We can transport trucks full of AV equipment from Calais to anywhere in the EU, as easily as we can to a destination within the UK. That, along with improved communication from email, the internet, and the likes of Skype, makes a big difference. We can make fewer trips to the event site and travel is a lot easier.”
“That’s not to say you shouldn’t make familiarisation trips. Before I begin planning an event, I always make the effort to visit the venue and get to know the people. Meeting people on site is part of what I love about my job; it’s true to say that production people are the same the world over — there’s a technical production language that we all understand, and no two days are the same.”