For the third year since the launch of this excellent career event for young people coming into the Live Events industry, Production Futures was hosted fantastically by Production Park in Wakefield, UK where visitors came together to see and hear the latest technology and thinking from some of the leading brands and names in the industry. During the day they had a chance to get up close and personal with the newest innovations and technology from an array of sound, display, lighting, staging and touring services companies, including ADJ, Adlib, AED, Avolites, Brilliant Stages, Chauvet Professional, Creative Technology, DiGiCo, Disguise, Eclipse, Green Hippo, Harman, Hawthorn, High End Systems, JBL Professional, the Production Services Association (PSA), Soundcraft and White Light.

It’s always exciting to see, meet and speak with the attendees at this event, and reassuring to see the energy and passion that is coming up and through into all areas of the business whether it be aspiring stage managers, set designers, lighting operators and designers, sound engineers and mixers, riggers, tour managers – the list goes on. Many of the attendees come en masse from universities or schools but some literally make their own way across the country to be at this event having seen or heard about it. It is also refreshing to see this level of talent and enthusiasm when so much of the time we are all working and attending some of the more established and ‘seasoned’ industry events where the day to day run of business is every body’s primary focus. At Production Futures personnel from many of the top brands in the industry take the time to come and meet with the attendees, sharing stories, explaining about the gear and offering help and guidance about possible career opportunities or tips on getting a break in their chosen area of interest or expertise.

Throughout the day there were various training and drop-in sessions by Digico, ChamSys, Harman/JBL Professional, and a number of talks and one-to-one interviews on the main stage hosted by TPi Magazine’s Assistant Editor Stew Hume. Mark Cunniffe, Ed Sheeran’s Show Designer and TPi Award winner, explained about the deisgn elements of Ed’s latest Stadium Tour, and Al Mouat of Adlib hosted a discussion with four recent graduates about their first few years in the industry during which they were able to share advice with those attendees hoping to follow in their footsteps. Other panel sessions and talks were on Women in Audio, Lighting, Staging, Audio and Design.

We were again happy to have been invited to host a session on Careers In The Industry, looking at how to approach starting out in your career. This included tips on securing that dream job including looking at CVs, applications and interviews, and then looking at what to do when you find yourself doing that dream job, and beyond as you continue to develop your career and build your “professional toolkit”. We welcomed a range of attendees including currently working professionals and some who were still studying at school and colleges. As always this was an enjoyable and fascinating session with good levels of participation from the attendees.

The day wrapped up with the High End Systems UK Hog Factor 2018 Award where the finalists had an opportunity to show off their skills and designs in front a a lively and enthusiastic crowd of event attendees including potential future colleagues and employers. Conveniently, the final was hosted at the ETC High End Systems booth which was located by the main bar which we had the honour of sponsoring together with Loadcell Rental so the event played to a happy and relaxed audience. On site again were Beat The Street with their tour bus giving visitors a taste for the high life on the road, and TRUCKINGBY Brian Yeardley were also in attendance showing how everything gets moved around once all the design,

prep, build-up and rehearsing has been done. The hospitality provided by Production Park was exemplary, from the student volunteers on hand to help out rigging presentations or with set up, to the wonderful on-site catering. On that note, the day’s encore was held in the ‘home venue’ of the New Inn, where many of the attendees stayed on to enjoy some convivial catching up for the evening. And then we all got back on the road and out there to catch up with our day jobs!

This is a fabulous event, and we look forward to the next one. Further details from event organisers Mondiale Publishing and TPi Magazine to follow…

Photo Slideshow: Production Park 2018

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