Live Event Technicians: Top 5 skills
5 April 2023
The events industry took a massive hit during the pandemic with face-to-face events moving online or being cancelled completely due to lockdown restrictions. According to the UKEVENTS (formerly BVEP) the sector lost 126,000 jobs. However Mintel is forecasting that UK sales of music festivals and concerts will bounce back and will surpass its pre-COVID level in 2023. It predicts that sales will reach nearly £2.79 billion in 2023, up from £2.77 billion in 2019.
The UKEVENTS Skills Talent & Diversity Working Group has launched its Events Apprenticeship Framework. It is looking to create at least three more event-specific apprenticeships within three years, to see at least 5,000 apprentices across event-related apprenticeships in five years alongside the creation of a self-funded scheme with paid management and marketing. The framework development will be overseen by the new Events Apprenticeships Advisory Board (EAAB), which comprises employers and specialist expertise.
Apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly popular route into the events’ industry, with more than 500 Event Assistant apprentices entering the workplace between 2017 and 2021 (IfATE, 2022).
Why we need event technicians
Event technicians have an important role to play in the success and smooth operation of live events with productions becoming bigger, more technical and more creative than ever before.
A Live Event Technician apprenticeship can help to ensure these professionals gain the skills and knowledge that is required to manage and work with highly complex technical equipment. However, there are several other employability / ‘soft skills’ that employers also require from their staff, including:
1. The ability to work in a team
As well as working individually, a large part of the role involves employees working as part of a production team to oversee the preparation, set-up, storage, maintenance, transport and build of components into a functioning system. Individuals are therefore required to be committed team-players who can be relied on to get things done and solve problems if and when they arise. They need to be self-motivated and approachable by members of their team, which will vary in size, dynamic and personalities, to ensure their part in the production process runs seamlessly.
2. Good communication skills
Good communication skills go hand-in-hand with team work to ensure an event runs smoothly. Having a robust event management plan with clear goals and responsibilities will ensure the team are communicating effectively with one another at all stages. Having good customer services skills will support further as a live event technician will liaise with a number of individuals during the event life cycle, including event organisers, account managers, production managers and of course, the end client. They need to ensure they are polite, communicate effectively and are respectful when communicating any arrangements.
3. Effective time management skills
Event technicians often work to strict time constraints, so being well organised and having effective planning, organisational and excellent time management skills is essential in turning a venue into a fully functioning event environment, before returning the site to its original state. Punctuality and the ability to remain calm when working under pressure and when time is tight, is therefore fundamental.
4. Being safety conscious
Working in such a technical environment means health and safety is a priority. Live event technicians therefore need to be safety conscious at all times and take personal responsibility for the safety of their team, themselves and spectators of the event. Following regulations and taking responsibility for the quality and accuracy of the work they do will all aid with this, as well as ongoing professional development and regular training to ensure their knowledge and skills in this area are kept up to date with industry standards.
5. Attention to detail
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘the devil is in the detail’ and with live events it couldn’t be any truer! The success of large-scale productions is only possible if close attention to detail is paid to the smaller tasks along the way. Live event technicians are therefore required to work to a high-quality standard by being consistently thorough and accurate when carrying out tasks.
Discover more about our Live Event Technician EPA standard.