Throwing an event can take a village (or a whole team!) Andrea O'Meara tells us how having a single point person can really streamline the process, both leading up to and during the event.

As Community Engagement Manager at Crosscut & KCTS 9, she's worked on the festival every year since its inception, and found herself as that point person during last year's Crosscut Festival.

While Crosscut designates only one point person, some events rely on multiple point persons to handle smaller, more focused tasks. The Event Organizer’s Pre-Event, De-Stress Checklist written up by Eventbrite says, "What seems like a small task now could become a huge problem if you don’t have a coverage plan."

Andrea O'Meara from Crosscut Festival

The following has been edited for length and clarity. Excerpt begins at 2:47, and continues at 25:49 and 28:46.

Andrea O'Meara: I think it's helpful to have someone who has seen it all the way through. It's hard, we had a couple of staffing changes both year one and year two and that really changes the flow of things on the backend. So it's really helpful to have someone that's kinda seen it all at this point.

Michelle Lee: Absolutely. What does day one of Crosscut look like for your team?

AO: Oh, it's chaos. I can speak to last year for sure... We have a team of four to five onsite starting around 7:00 AM that Friday to just start loading and setting. We have a couple production partners, so there's an actual production company who comes and sets. Our printer comes and delivers all of the signage that we have and any other activations. This year we had six foot tall letters that spelled out Crosscut.

ML: Oh cool!

AO: Our job after that is really making sure everything gets to where it needs to go. It's all been meticulously labeled. We know where it needs to live, but since it's all dropped off in one spot, we have to then section it out.

ML: Just reconfirming things are where they should be.

AO: Yeah, and I think since I am really the project manager for this, and own all of these logistics, I like to go and check that everything is good to go. I just have all of that knowledge in my head already. When I'm walking down the main path, and then I see that a sign is out of place -- I will change it [laughs].

ML: Right, right. Because you know it's not supposed to be there.

AO: No one else would know that it's out of place. So I think you really need someone that is the owner of the project to come and be like, "That's wrong." And do one final sweep of everything. That's really what Saturday is for, to go over those final moments.

ML: Just to like overview and make sure everything looks the way it should look?

AO: Yeah. And our team is in touch all day. On the day of, I like to remain pretty free because I'm the main point of contact when something goes wrong. I need to be able to get anywhere at any time. So I don't have a specific job on the day of the event, you know? I'm not running a room, I'm not running registration.

ML: Right. You're around for emergencies.

AO: Yeah. So, I'm touching base with everyone throughout the day and stopping in at all the different venues to make sure everything's fine.

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