Also known as:
What does a Live Event Technician do?
Live events range from concerts, festivals and theatrical performances through to exhibitions, conferences, product launches and showcases. Live Event Technicians prepare and set-up technical equipment for such events. Ultimately specialising in sound, lighting or video, Live Event Technicians will carry out routine and one-off technical preparation and set-up of equipment for events. They will have knowledge of the equipment used and the skills needed to store, pick, maintain, transport and build components into a functioning system as well as operate these systems. A Live Event Technician will be part of the team that turns a venue into a functioning event environment before returning the site to its original state, often within a short time frame. Outside the event environment, technicians are responsible for the control, servicing, repair and storage of complex technical equipment. In any context working safely and ethically is paramount and many projects are carried out in fast moving, dynamic workplaces. Live Event Technicians will be expected to work both individually and as part of a production team. They will be able to work with minimum supervision, taking responsibility for the quality and accuracy of the work that is undertaken. They will be proactive in finding solutions to problems and identifying areas for improving processes. The nature of this role requires that candidates are physically fit and comfortable working at height. The skills and knowledge acquired can lead to a variety of roles from on-site technician to in-house project manager, and potentially on to the account managers & production managers of the future.
What’s a Live Event Technician good at?
The dynamic and diverse nature of live events means that technicians will need the ability to work within various team environments, under pressure and to tight deadlines. A safe working attitude and an appreciation of the needs of other disciplines operating in the same workplace is crucial.
Other required attitudes, behaviours & interpersonal skills associated with the professional workplace include:
- The ability to work as part of a team, which may vary in size and dynamic.
- The drive and determination to complete the job on time.
- The ability to work and remain calm & safe under pressure.
- A safe attitude – specifically regarding working with electricity, work at height, manual handling & noise.
- The ability to adapt to change with enthusiasm.
- The ability to demonstrate problem-solving abilities.
- A willingness to work unsociable hours in varying locations for extended periods.
- Punctuality, reliability and personal responsibility.
- Self-motivated with a positive ‘can do’ attitude, clear goals and ambition.
- The ability to be an effective communicator.
In addition to this, there a multitude of skills that are desirable to have as a Live Event Technician such as the below.
- Preparation, test, repair and maintenance of equipment such as amplifiers, speakers & sound control desks; lights, dimmers & lighting control desks or video screens, projectors & associated control equipment.
- Assembly of systems from component parts.
- Fault finding in components and systems.
- Operation of specialised technical equipment & tools.
- People management and interpersonal skills especially the ability to react to varied working environments.
- Computer literacy including specialist software systems such as CAD/Design and Rental Management.
- Understand and interpret system specifications and drawings.
- Logistics, with specific reference to truck pack, the ability to judge required space for loads, and prepare carnets & manifests for shows travelling outside of the UK/EU.
- Lifting/ground rigging – much of the technical equipment used in live events is hung from pre-rigged support systems.
Customer service – dealing politely & respectfully with customers, ranging from account managers to production managers to the end client when on site.
Tools of the trade:
- Product knowledge and terminology including the theory surrounding chosen specialisms such as sound, light and video.
- Understand planning processes required to deliver a live event and the importance of eliminating errors that can prove costly on site.
- Selection of the correct tools and equipment for tasks.
- Electricity and temporary electrical supplies; theory, practice and safety.
- Understand management structures within event environment, site etiquette and culture, including on site communication and interdependencies between departments.
- Working knowledge of stock control, warehousing, storage, logistics and transportation.
- Knowledge of first aid and health & safety including manual handling, work at height, noise, working hours & fatigue and related legislation.
- Knowledge of the environmental impact of live events and how it is managed.
- Lifting operations; theory and practice.
- A clear understanding of the sectors within the live events industry.
How do I become a Live Event Technician?
At School or College: Math, English, an interest in lighting/sound/video. Computer skills can be useful.
Gain work experience / Build a portfolio: Volunteering for school productions, working at local theatre or venue.
Look for an apprenticeship: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/live-event-technician/
Get a degree: Live event production degrees are available.
- To visit the premiere career event for live events check out: https://www.productionfutures.co.uk/
- To find out more about this area of the live events industry: https://www.psa.org.uk/
- Search for a course of study with trusted UK Music partners here: https://www.ukmusic.org/skills-academy/music-academic-partnership/
For more inspiring ideas on careers in the Creative Industries check out: https://discovercreative.careers/#/