The technical director (TD) position is a lead role that carries a lot of responsibility in the corporate event industry. This person ultimately ensures the creative vision is translated into reality.
At OVATION, this role manages the full life cycle of event planning. Starting from the very first conversation with our clients to helping vet ideas and finalize pitches that help to showcase what the event will look like when it all comes together. During the planning stage, the technical director organizes staffing, production planning, and delivery of equipment. They are onsite for delivery and remain involved throughout the production process. They also work with the client to ensure the creative design and technical aspects of the event are produced the way the client and the team envisioned.
MEET OVATION’S TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
Matt Bashore has been working in the event industry as a technical director for 10 years. In his early career, he worked in a variety of roles involving production management and live events. Matt started out as an audio engineer and worked both in-studio and for live events, and later worked as a monitor engineer before joining the corporate event industry.
Matt’s unique background makes him perfect for this role. A self-described ‘music school dropout’, he has performed as a professional musician and in live theater, which helps him understand things from the viewpoint of his clients. He also worked in the construction and electrical business, which is where he picked up much of his technical expertise. These positions have been beneficial to understanding how teams work together and how best to construct event spaces to produce a successful event.
WHAT DOES THE TECHNICAL DIRECTOR DO AT OVATION?
Our technical director is a part of the entire event process, beginning in the planning stages with our clients where he draws up designs and is deeply involved in the process of conceptualizing and understanding the goals and purpose of the event.
Once an event has reached the on-site production stage, the TD is typically the first one there and the last one to leave. They are responsible for coordinating the equipment delivery and organizing all the necessary equipment for the event. At OVATION, we plan out every detail of an event, so Matt ensures diagrams and drawings have been prepped before the event to make the process of delivery and set up of every piece of equipment is smooth. They also ensure the crew and team leads have the production plans, and then hand off the setup to OVATION’s world-class production team.
The technical director at OVATION is an expert on the client vision and is deeply familiar with every detail of the event. To ensure that the client’s vision is coming to life the way it was conceptualized, they remain on-site to answer questions and work closely with the event producer on-site to support the production team and answer any questions the client has throughout the production process.
WHAT SKILLS & QUALITIES SHOULD A TECHNICAL DIRECTOR HAVE IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL?
“The most important quality that a successful technical director should possess is being a good listener!” Matt says he is constantly listening not just to what his client needs, but also to the OVATION team’s needs, including listening to trusted operators during the preparation of each event. “The overall goal of a technical director is to support the client while showcasing and elevating their brand and listening to the client is the only way to understand what this means to them.”
A successful event TD has a project management skillset because they are the center of the hub and are responsible for every aspect of the event and bringing it together smoothly. One day might involve talking to the CEO of a client company while the next requires the review of the cords and cables the production team will use. Matt ensures he is a subject matter expert in what OVATION does at both a high level and down to the specialized technical details of every event.
Confidence and patience are two other qualities that are critical in the technical director role. They are running the show and their team, and the client needs to see confidence in their ability to succeed. Patience is important because the role requires dealing with many different personalities and skill sets. But most importantly, Matt says loving the role is what really helps him succeed.
“Interpersonal skills are a necessity; you need to truly care!”
The hardest struggle that Matt has had to face during his 10 years is that he can’t control everything. “I’m a perfectionist. I can’t control certain things, but I can control how I react and respond to it,” he said. “Everything is going to be okay, have trust in your team, and understand that mistakes are going to happen so accept them, deal with them, learn, and move on.”
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A TECHNICAL DIRECTOR & AN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER?
An executive producer is trusted with the overall budget of the event. They are generally the first line of contact for the client. They also are the ones who deal with the crew during the day-to-day processes. Executive producers deal with the who, what, when, where, and why of the people.
The technical director deals more with the technical side of the event as opposed to people management. They deal with the technical design of the show. They work hand in hand with the producer to establish the budget and then decide what is within budget for the show.
WHAT MAKES OVATION STAND OUT FROM A TECHNICAL DIRECTOR PERSPECTIVE?
Matt has worked with a lot of other companies as a technical director but states, “OVATION is the leader when it comes to harnessing all aspects of an event such as the creative, the technical, innovation, and presentation… We are the get-it-done type of people. OVATION has MARQUEE, UNIfy, in-house video production, and other incredible innovations that come together to set us apart from the competition. We are innovators!”
Matt’s favorite part of the job is that it’s fast-paced. He enjoys the pressure on his shoulders to get things done! “My favorite part of any show is the opening session. It’s either a cool video or a live performance, it’s usually something special to open the event,” he said. The beginning of the show is the culmination of all the work you’ve put in the past few months preparing. “Once you start the event, from that point forward it’s making sure you’re highlighting the client’s brand in the most amazing light and elevating who they are. In those moments I hope people don’t see OVATION, but that they see our client. That’s my goal. I want our client to feel proud and to know we have their back.”
If you have an upcoming event, contact OVATION today to use our talented staff to make a real impact.