Event Career Guides: The venue producer

Event Student Hub uncovers the multitude of jobs in the events industry so you don't have to. We speak to Fisher Productions' Grace Barnett about her role as venue producer.

Barnett joined Fisher Productions as a receptionist and worked her way up the ranks
Barnett joined Fisher Productions as a receptionist and worked her way up the ranks

Name: Grace Barnett

Job role: Venue producer

Company: Fisher Productions

What was your background before joining the company? I went to Sheffield University and did a history degree; I didn’t know what I really wanted to do at the end of my degree so I moved to London and did temp work for a few months. 

I was offered the role of receptionist at an events company called Fisher Productions.  I wasn’t really sure what event production was but I quickly learned and then realised I had discovered what I wanted to do. I wanted to produce fantastic events!

How did you secure your job? How long was the interview process? I came for a straightforward interview at Fisher Productions to be their receptionist, and after realising what I wanted to do I worked my way up.

From reception I was promoted to PA to the technical director, and when I felt I had enough knowledge I applied to be a production assistant for three of the company’s production managers. This helped me gain a fantastic grounding in how events work – I did everything I could to understand how to interpret a client’s brief, make an event come to life and fulfil the brief.

I loved it and was thrilled to be promoted to project manager looking after my own clients and events. I am now a venue producer and enjoy every minute of it.

What is your remit at the business? What are you expected to manage? My job is to produce events in some of our less complex accredited spaces, but as I gain experience I am now beginning to work on events in the larger spaces. 

My job is to take the client from the briefing and initial quoting process through to the actual event. I attend site meetings, liaise and book in all the kit needed, provide schedules and running orders and I am in constant contact with the client throughout.

What are your working hours? My working hours vary greatly from week to week. I can be needed to be on site for 5am and sometimes will need to remain onsite until 1am. There is no such thing as standard working hours in this industry.

Who do you work closely with? I have to work very closely with my clients so it’s essential to have good people skills. I also work with the teams at the venues and pretty much every member of Fisher Productions, from our technical and staging teams to logistics and workshop teams.

What do you love about your job? I love that no day is the same – you never know what client or event is going to come to your way. I love that I get to work in amazing spaces and venues, and I love bringing a client’s vision to life.

What are the biggest challenges of the job? Managing client expectations, especially if budget is limited, and time pressures. I do a lot of events in museum spaces that don’t close to the public until 6pm.

When an event starts at 7 or 7.30pm the pressure really is on to load in and set up, ensuring everything is perfect for when the first guest arrives. Events are not for the fainthearted, but creating and producing an event really gives me a buzz and true job satisfaction.

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