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What it takes to throw the party no one can stop talking about

Trust and a tight-knit team can make all the difference in Colorado and beyond


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No two events are the same, and neither are the people planning them. It takes all hands on deck to pull off the details that take an evening from okay to exceptional, and when you have the right team at your fingertips, anything is possible for your clients. The event services team at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) hosts more than 200 events of all sizes annually, and while their access to the latest theatre technology allows them to explore options for their venues, the key to their success lies in their staff.

Teamwork seems like a given, but when you have multiple teams executing plans at the same time, it’s helpful to establish a collected focus.

“We’re all on the same team with the same goal: to make sure everyone we work with is happy, successful and knows we will bend over backwards for them,” said Dawn Williams, director of event services.

When everyone realizes they are all necessary parts to creating the best final outcome, it is even easier to respect each other’s contributions and elevate their strengths for a greater good.

The DCPA is in a lucky situation where event planners and the technology team running the event are under the same roof. This allows them to work together from the beginning of the process to the clamor of activity on the day of an event.

But even if your team isn’t in the same place, keeping a flow of communication between each other and adding flexibility to different roles will help you tackle any situation.

“Our team is cross-trained so they can make things happen no matter the task,” said Brook Nichols, Technical Director of the DCPA’s Seawell Ballroom. “We have to be able to infer and ask the right questions, whether we’re talking to a client or to each other.”

It’s equally important for the comfort of your client.

More often than not, a customer is given a single point of contact to address any and all needs. But when the whole team is given the ability to represent  the venue and offer their support, problems get solved faster and the overall experience feels far more personal.

“Instead of one contact at the DCPA, you can walk up to anyone on our team and ask a question,” says Stori Heleen, lighting designer.  “Everyone is involved and active from the beginning, so there’s not just one designated contact. We all know what’s going on.”

When adding new members to an established team, don’t fear the learning curve –instead embrace it. Think about how a new person’s insights complement the missing pieces of the group, and how everyone can teach each other.

“We love having a team with all levels of experience,” says Events Manager Danielle Kelley. “Our younger teammates can bring a fresh perspective to old habits and people who have been here for awhile can look back on their past experiences to teach them.”

Sharing life lessons from across the spectrum can give each member a sense of value and can bring balance to a holistic team.

It can be intimidating to let new ideas flow into the standard operating procedure, but by embracing people with an eye toward the horizon, skills flourish.

The DCPA has team members who have been with the organization for decades, but even after presenting countless events in the same spaces, the focus on innovation makes each happening feel exceptional.

“We are excited about tomorrow,” says Nichols. “We always want to explore something new. That’s what’s exciting for the team and crew, and what keeps them excited about what they do every day.:

Passion certainly can have its payoffs, especially for clients that have recurring events. While a bride has only one opportunity to experience the spectacle the DCPA team creates for the special day, corporate clients and annual fundraising affairs are an opportunity to showcase the new capabilities and creativity DCPA has up its sleeve.

“We have repeat guests who trust us year after year because we push the possibilities of their events,” says Williams. “We can see what worked and what didn’t one year and apply those findings to their next event to make them even more successful.”

And as technological advances improve with each passing year, it’s up to event teams to keep up with the trends and discover new avenues to utilize them for clients.

“Most people don’t even know the scope of our technical abilities,” says Kelley. “We can always push people further and give them new ideas they might have never considered.”

Giving an events team the tools necessary to explore new technical opportunities, planning and even décor ensures an extra edge over other venues.

With a  team you can trust, anything is possible – and you don’t need the power of theatre to make it possible.

(This sponsored content was provided by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.)

ABOUT DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS EVENTS SERVICES

DCPA Event Services has three unique event venues set in the heart of the downtown. Denver Performing Arts Complex and an event staff with expertise in the most dramatic of all stages: the theatre. Our team has the technical and creative expertise to utterly transform the space in a way that exceeds your expectations and works within your budget. With customized lighting, sound, design and video for every event, the production value is always top-of- mind for our helpful and friendly stage managers and staff. Visit denvercenterevents.org for more information.

Read more: DCPA's $1 million fundraising success.

Carolyn Michaels

Carolyn Michaels is a copywriter for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Prior to joining the DCPA team, she worked in branding, copywriting and art direction for WORKHORSE 45 and Greenhouse Partners.

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