The Wright Stuff

On March 14th, Shawn Wright, Director of Venue Management for the Leslie Wright Center and The Pete Hanna Center, gave insights to the event planning aspect of Public Relations. As with pretty much all of our speakers for the year he told us that there is no typical day for him. However, what stood out the most to me about his work as a planner is the fact that he had some events booked for upwards of two years in advance. He stated that there were four major seasons that really never ended and all seemed to run together. The busiest time of the year for him is booking season that starts 18 months before any performance is held. He called this season “very frustrating” noting that things could change at the drop of a dime. Booking season is followed by grant season which is vital for funding with Samford being a private school. Finally, event season starts which means preparing the Hanna and Wright Centers for their busy schedules. While all of the planning stages are going on, Mr. Wright commented that he is always budgeting. After telling about his experiences, he then gave advice about going into his line of work. Although his schedule is usually quite hectic, he embraces it because the chaos keeps everything running. “If you’re in the venue business and you’re standing still, then something is wrong,” he told us. He pointed out that there is nothing worse than a unproductive theater. “A dark theater is like a dead corpse in your living room,” he explained, “it’s there and it’s there for everyone to see.”

 

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