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10 Unwritten Rules of Professionalism in the Live Events Industry
The Code of the West was an unwritten, socially agreed upon set of informal laws that shaped the cowboy culture of the old west. The Code of the West embodies the characteristics of professionalism that our industry needs more of from both the crew and companies.
How do we enhance relationships between event companies and their crew and remove the “us vs. them” mentality?
What if we had a code that we all agreed to live by? That's where the code of the west comes in...
What is the Code of the West?
The Code of the West was an unwritten, socially agreed upon set of informal laws that shaped the cowboy culture of the old west. Back then, these were the set of expectations that everyone agreed to live by.
The Code of the West embodies the characteristics of professionalism that our industry needs more of from both the crew and companies.
1. Take pride in your work
Crew: Show up on time, dressed appropriately, and do a good job
Companies: Be organized for your crew and minimize the chaos for them
2. Know where to draw the line
Crew: If you aren’t being treated with respect, aren’t paid fairly or on time, or don’t have a safe working environment, move on. No amount of money is worth that.
Companies: Know the value of your services and your team. Don’t settle for being asked to do more with smaller budgets. Not all shows are worth doing.
3. Live each day with courage
Crew: Get out of your comfort zone and learn something new. Be curiousCompanies: Ask clients for more budget. Ask clients for more budget. Ask clients for more budget (Yes, I said it 3 times)
4. When you make a promise, keep it
Crew: If you accept a gig, keep it…. even if something better comes along
Companies: Pay your crew what you agreed to and honor your terms. That’s how you build trust
5. Ride for the brand
Crew: Be loyal and remember you are an extension of those that hired you. Represent well.
Companies: As you work to build your brand, you do so with your values and how you want people to feel when they interact with it. Make the interactions with your crew count for something good.
6. Always finish what you start
Crew: Complete the job you were hired to do. Stop looking at the clock
Companies: You booked your crew, now give them what they need to succeed at the event. Communicate ALL of the details.
7. Do what has to be done
Crew: Have a team mentality, even if it means longer hours or doing things you don’t prefer
Companies: If it requires hotel or travel to get the best talent, put it in the budget and pay up
8. Be tough, but fair
Crew: Stop hiding behind social media. If you have a complaint, be a pro and have a conversation. It’s only fair.
Companies: Stay within the budget but be fair to everyone you’re asking to deliver within that budget. There are only so many miracles that can be pulled off with an inappropriate budget.
9. Talk less and say more
Crew: Spend less time telling people how much you know, and show them.
Companies: Provide detailed communications. Don’t make your crew read between the lines.
10. Remember that some things are not for sale
Crew: You have spent years building your reputation. Nothing is worth jeopardizing that.
Companies: Be steadfast in your quality of work. Don’t jeopardize your reputation by cutting corners
Maybe John Wayne was right when he said, “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.”