What Is Live Event Production?

event producer overseeing picture and audio

If you’re wondering what you might do with your performing arts degree when you graduate from college, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a wide variety of choices. One career you might consider is a live event producer, a unique job that transcends industries. A live event producer might work within the performing arts industry, for example, or he or she might do work for a corporation or nonprofit organization. Live event production is one career you might consider if you’re an excellent planner and work well with others.

The Role of Live Event Producers

Event production is often confused as being the same as event management or planning. However, there are major differences. An event planner or manager is typically concerned with details such as booking a venue, hiring a caterer and finalizing the date.

In contrast, a live event producer focuses on the event’s stage presentation. This may take many different forms, such as live lectures or performing arts productions. Event producers work collaboratively with audiovisual crews, lighting crews, technology vendors and presenters to put together a memorable, tightly choreographed show for the audience.

Types of Events These Professionals Manage

Live event producers may work for an event production company, where they manage many different types of clients. Alternatively, they may work as a freelancer. In either case, there is a wide range of events that could require their skill and attention. For example, within the performing arts industry, a live event producer may work on shows that are performed at casinos, resorts or on cruise ships. They may also put together fashion shows or shows performed at amusement parks, as well as working on music concerts and festivals.

Many live event producers work in the corporate world. They are responsible for putting together live events such as seminars, conferences and lectures. Trade shows and sporting events are other types of event that requires the live event production expertise. In addition, some producers work on nonprofit events, such as fundraisers and galas.

The Event Production Process

The event production process can last for months depending on the scale and complexity of the event. It begins with the pre-production stage, which may begin as far as three months in advance. The producer meets with the clients to get a sense of what they want the event to involve and accomplish.

Then, in collaboration with the clients, the live event production team develops the concept for the event. They create a script, coordinate the graphics and videos if applicable, hire new team members as needed and plan the production schedule. As the planning process continues, the producer and his or her team refine the details of the event. These may include set design, audiovisual elements and dramatic lighting.

The next stage in the process is the crew’s arrival onsite. A few days before the event, the producer will supervise the set-up of the venue and the crew or presenter rehearsals. Technical details are finalized and last-minute snags are addressed.

After the event takes place, the last stage in the process is called the “load-out.” The production team breaks down the set and loads all the gear back onto the trucks. At this point, the producer might invite the crew out to celebrate a successful event. However, an effective producer will also spend some time analyzing the success of the event and which aspects might be improved in the future.

Essential Skills and Traits of Live Event Producers

Live event producing can be quite hectic at times, given that changes to a production occur continually. In order to succeed in this role, it’s important for live event producers to be:

Strong Team Members

Producers must be able to work well within a team that will typically consist of people of a wide range of personalities. Interpersonal skills are essential, as producers must empower all team members to do their jobs properly. Producers must also interact with the clients.


Change is the one constant within the world of live event production. Rarely anything in this line of work remains static, meaning that it is essential for producers to be adaptable, able to think on their feet when changes arise and ensure the client’s overall wish for the event becomes a reality.

It should be noted that while live event producers are primarily “big picture” thinkers, it’s also essential for them to have a keen eye for detail. Small issues can easily become larger problems unless the producer identifies them and addresses them in a timely manner.


Live event production can be exhausting. Producers must possess a high level of energy and creativity, as they strive to continually develop new solutions to problems as they arise. Energy is also a key factor in motivating others and keeping your team moving when things get rough.


Live event producers are like the CEOs of a show. Like any good CEO, a producer must be able to delegate tasks to various team members. In addition, they should be well-versed in expressing their expectations clearly. This is essential when it comes to keeping an event running smoothly.


As you might expect, live event producers must have very strong organizational skills. They are responsible for putting together the show and ensuring the event goes off without a hitch. The producer must make sure everything is accounted for and the event meets the client’s expectations.

Begin your career in live event production with a performing arts degree from Grand Canyon University’s College of Fine Arts and Production, such as the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Drama. Within a supportive learning community, students develop crucial skills and knowledge that are applicable within a wide range of career choices in the performing arts. Begin working toward a successful future by visiting our website or clicking the Request Info button on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.