Why Event Transportation is Similar to a Theatrical Play

Last weekend our team at Brilliant designed wedding transportation for a beautiful wedding in upstate NY. As usual, the team discussed the weddings/special events on the following Monday during our team meeting. This meeting in particular, our CEO, Richard Fertig mentioned that this wedding was similar to a theatrical play. He noted that there’s always a ton of chaos going on ‘behind the curtain’ with last minutes requests, weather changes, you name it. However, we always stay calm and deliver a seamless performance in ‘front of the curtain.’ He also said, “This might be a good blog for the marketing team.”

I agreed, and here we are.

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

Just like an on-going Broadway musical has backup technology/props, at Brilliant we have backup plans going into an event or wedding. This past weekend Hurricane Joaquin was heading up the east coast and threatening to disrupt our wedding transportation in upstate NY. Essentially we had a “dry plan” and a “wet plan.” It turned out to be a rainy day (hopefully the bride viewed this as good luck) which resulted in us going with our more complicated back up plan. To give you an idea I created a graphic below.

The wedding and reception were on the same property. The rain required us to shuttle guests between the wedding and reception. The main issue being the roads would only allow one vehicle at a time, it also had sharp turns. This required multiple on-site coordinators to dictate the flow of vehicles. If we didn’t recognize this when planning the wedding transportation by adding more on-site coordinators, then things would’ve gotten out of hand quickly.

Imagine the bride and groom going down the road in their luxury Mercedes Sprinter Van and another vehicle is heading directly at them due to poor communication between chauffeurs. This would result in one of the vehicles having to reverse all the way back to it’s pickup point, or being forced to go off road and possibly get stuck. This is why we plan ahead at Brilliant.

The Show Must Go On

An old saying in show business, that’s especially true for special event transportation. No matter how many times a play has been planned and performed, there will always be an unexpected scenario (maybe a performer gets injured on stage) and things get a little hectic.

As it relates to event transportation, there are times when plans change and quick decisions have to be made in order to provide a seamless transportation experience. At a recent wedding in Delaware, there was a last minute change by the wedding planner. We already had the bride and groom’s getaway vehicle staged and ready to go, when the wedding planner told our on-site coordinator to switch the vehicle with an antique car with 20 minutes until showtime.

The show must go on.

Whether it was possible to make the changes or not, we know the show must go on. This is where “organized chaos” — as we like to call it — begins.

Organized Chaos

The chaos that goes on behind the curtain at a theatrical play may seem all over the place, but these people have developed a relationship with each other and work together insanely well under pressure. Further, the show in front of the curtain is always polished.

The same is true for well-executed event transportation. Referencing the Delaware wedding (in the previous section) — our on-site coordinators were rushing to make the wedding planner’s last minute changes behind the curtain. During that time, the last thing we want is to give off the impression that everything isn’t completely under control — which it was. So our coordinators in the front of the house we’re calm and communicating proactively with the behind the scenes coordinators/dispatchers. This is what we call organized chaos at Brilliant, and it’s only possible to pull off if you have team that works well together and under pressure.

“We have countless meetings to ensure we are prepared for any and all circumstances that may arise and although we are ready for anything; there will always be a last minute request, change, or add on and you MUST have a team that can make quick, intelligent decisions to pull off a seamless production.”

- Danielle Pirrone, Director of Operations at Brilliant

As a wedding or event planner you’re well aware of the madness that can happen on the big day. In fact, this blog could’ve been titled Why Event Planning is Similar to a Theatrical Play. Regardless, I assume it’s assuring to know there are transportation designers out there thinking and executing like you.

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Originally published at www.go-brilliant.com.