The Robb Nash Project Supershow – Logistical Planning Steps

 

Congratulations on securing a supershow with The Robb Nash Project for your community!

The RNP team is excited to be working with you, and we are committed to making the planning process a fun and positive experience for everyone involved. There are many aspects involved in planning a successful supershow, and this toolkit is designed to guide you through each step in the process, ensuring that your organizing committee has all the information required to execute a well-planned event.

You will be working closely with the RNP Event Manager, Karen Hampton, who will walk your organizing committee through each step in the planning process. Karen can be reached at karen@robbnash.com or direct at 403-921-5591.

Let’s get started!

 

STEP 1 – IDENTIFY THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

It is essential to have a committed group of people form the core of your organizing committee. The committee should include 3 or more people who are passionate about youth mental health and who are able to invest some time into planning the event.

Your organizing committee will need to identify the following two people:

  • Community Champion

This person will be the main liaison between the organizing committee and the RNP Event Manager to handle all logistics involved in the planning and execution of the event.

  • Fundraising Champion

This person will work with the RNP fundraising team to develop and execute a fundraising strategy for the event.

The following document can be used to keep track of pertinent information about your organizing committee members:

STEP 1 - Organizing Committee Tracking Sheet

 

STEP 2 – DETERMINE DATE AND TIME

Working with the RNP Event Manager, determine a date and start time for your show(s). Dates and times will be determined based on the following variables:

  • The RNP tour schedule
  • School schedules
  • Venue availability
  • Bus availability
  • Number of shows required to reach all grade 6-10 students in the area

 

STEP 3 – FIND A VENUE

Choose a venue appropriate to the numbers of students you expect to reach in the area. A performing arts theatre is the most appropriate venue for a supershow. If your community doesn’t have a performing arts theatre or the theatre available is too small for the number of students in the area, explore venues such as:

  • Conference centres
  • Exhibition grounds
  • Multi-purpose halls
  • Local arenas
  • Large gyms
  • Community centres
  • University campus venues

This document provides some basic information to explain the event to venues:

STEP 3a – Event Description For Venues

Provide the RNP Event Manager with your venue suggestions, including basic rental costs and required deposit for each venue. Final approval of the venue will be made by the RNP staff.

Once the venue has been chosen, you can “soft book” the dates (reserve the dates without a deposit). The venue may have other groups who are looking at the same dates, and you may be second or third in line. Even if you are not first in line for the requested dates, offering the venue a deposit will allow you to challenge the other groups who are ahead of you and will often move you to the front of the line, allowing you to secure the desired dates. The RNP Event Manager will work with you to provide a deposit and secure the dates with the venue.

Once the dates have been secured, arrange a site visit with the venue to get the following questions answered:

  • Who will be the main contact at the venue for the event?
  • Who will be the technical contact?
  • How many busses can unload at one time?
  • Are there multiple entrances into the venue?
  • Do streets need to be closed off to allow busses to unload and load?
  • Is there a place for busses to park for the duration of the event?
  • How many staff will the venue supply for the event?
  • Does the venue provide security and emergency services?
  • What is the exact seating capacity of the venue?
  • Are there any areas in the venue that could be potential trouble spots as schools move from their busses to their seats? (e.g. areas where it is unclear which way to go or where the flow of people could be slowed)
  • Is the venue fully accessible for people who experience disabilities?
  • Is there a pdf of the seating chart, including location of wheelchair access seating?
  • Does the venue require all attendees to have a ticket?
  • Is there any installed production equipment that we can use (sound, lights, video)?
  • Can we get a brief description of available dressing rooms, offices, green rooms and other ancillary rooms available?
  • How is the stage loading area laid out? Is there ample room to unload equipment?
  • Is there room to park a tour bus, trailer, trucks and staff vehicles?

The following document can be used to keep track of venue information:

STEP 3b - Venue Info Tracking Sheet

 

STEP 4 – INVITE SCHOOLS AND TRACK ATTENDANCE

Connect with school boards in your area and invite all schools to bring their grade 6-10 students to the event. The RNP graphics team would be happy to create a customized promotional poster for you, as well as a customized e-invitation that you can send to board superintendents, school principals and community leaders. Please note that ALL promotional materials must be approved by the RNP.

The following material will help you to promote the event:

For each school who would like to participate in the event, gather the following information:

  • School name and location
  • Information for main school contact
    • Name
    • Role
    • Email
    • Work phone
    • Cell phone
  • Attendance information (If you have multiple dates, determine which day the school will be attending)
    • # of students attending
    • grades of students attending
    • # of staff attending
    • total attendance number
    • # and type of special needs seating required (if any)
    • location of assigned seating
  • Bussing information
    • bussing company the school is using
    • # of busses the school will be sending
    • time of departure from school
    • time of arrival at venue
    • arrival order in relation to other schools
    • time of departure from venue
    • departure order in relation to other schools
  • Pre-show package information (see STEP 6)
    • # postcards required (one per student)
    • # bracelets required (approx. ratio of one per 15 students)
    • # song download cards (same number as bracelets)
    • when pre-show email has been sent
    • when pre-show package has been sent
  • Specific notes about any special needs of each school, if any

As you track attendance numbers, make sure to leave some seats for VIP guests and last-minute adjustments.

Once you have confirmation of numbers from each participating school, prepare a seating chart and a bussing schedule to ensure that the flow of students into and out of the venue is as controlled and orderly as possible. The RNP Event Manager can help you develop a seating chart and a bussing schedule.

Here is a sample seating chart from a Supershow at the Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg:

STEP 4c – Sample Seating Chart

It is recommended to have the seating chart prepared as a picture as well as a list of seating assignments. The RNP Event Manager can help you to prepare a picture form of the seating chart if you are unsure of how to approach this.

Ensure that the number of busses required and the bussing schedule for each school is communicated to the respective bussing company. If schools or school boards have arranged their own bussing, make sure all parties involved know the scheduled drop off and pick up times for each school.

The following document can be used to keep track of participating school information:

STEP 4d – School Tracking Template

 

STEP 5 – INVITE GUESTS AND TRACK RSVPs

Invite guests to attend the event and register each guest who would like to come – only registered guests will be allowed in the venue. The RNP team will also invite guests to the event and the RNP Event Manager will keep you informed of all VIP guests being invited by the RNP.

Gather the following information for all attending guests:

  • Full name (keep the list in alphabetical order with last name first for easy check-in on event day)
  • Company or organization they represent
  • Who invited them to attend
  • Any special needs seating required
  • Total number of guest access passes required
  • Leave a space to check off each guest’s arrival

All guests will be required to wear a VIP access pass (provided by the RNP) and may need a ticket to get into the presentation if the venue requires this. The RNP Event Manager will work with you to ensure there is an adequate number of access passes and tickets (if required).

The following document can be used to track guest attendance:

STEP 5 – VIP Guest Tracking Template

Assign a guest seating area, ensuring that there is adequate seating for all attendees. If there are only a few seats available for guests, be intentional about who you invite. Guests can include the following:

  • Community leaders
  • Government leaders
  • Local business owners
  • Current and potential sponsors
  • School Board superintendents
  • Educators who have never experienced a Robb Nash presentation
  • Friends and family

 

STEP 6 – SEND PRE-SHOW PACKAGES TO SCHOOLS

Four to six weeks before the presentation, email each participating school the following information:

  • Confirmation of event location, date and start time
  • Scheduled drop off and pick up times for busses
  • Seating chart
  • Explanation of event day pre-show meeting with Robb for all school counselors when they arrive at venue (allowing Robb to touch base with schools right before the show)
  • RNP presentation info and checklist:
    STEP 6a – Presentation Info and Checklist For Schools
  • RNP pre-show video links for staff and students: Links to pre-show videos

The following email template can be used:

STEP 6b – Pre-Show Email Template For Schools” (need pre-show videos to complete this)

Each participating school will also receive the following items. These items can either be mailed directly to each school by the RNP or can be hand-delivered by an organizing committee member. Discuss your preference with the RNP Event Manager.

 

STEP 7 – DEVELOP A VOLUNTEER STRATEGY

It is essential that there is a sufficient number of volunteers and venue staff in place to handle the flow of students in and out of the venue. The number of volunteers required will depend on several factors:

  • Size of the venue
  • Layout of the venue
  • Number of staff provided by the venue
  • Number of schools and students attending the event
  • Number of busses that can unload at one time
  • Number of VIP guests expected
  • If there will be a VIP reception after the event

Below are some general guidelines to work with as you develop your volunteer strategy. Each venue and each community are unique, so your volunteer strategy may differ from these guidelines. The RNP Event Manager will work with you to develop an effective volunteer strategy for your event.

The RNP Event Manager will oversee the entire event and will be onsite at each supershow to provide general oversight and liaise with the RNP production team to ensure clear communication. There are usually 2 main volunteer team leaders who work with the RNP Event Manager to provide leadership for the event:

  • SITE MANAGER
    • Works with Front of House Manager to develop volunteer strategy.
    • Assesses traffic flow, bottlenecks, egress, handicap access, seating capacities, security, restrooms, first aid, etc. to ensure safe and efficient people flow.
    • Works with venue to ensure adequate security is in place for the event.
    • Determines and creates signage required (see signage samples in STEP 8)
    • Arranges with city to have street blocked off for busses if necessary.
    • Connects with venue and bussing companies to determine where busses will park for the duration of the event.
    • Leads the curbside team that works to direct the flow of people on and off busses, as well as directing car traffic to parking lots if necessary.
       
  • FRONT OF HOUSE (FOH) MANAGER
    • Works with Site Manager to develop volunteer strategy.
    • Assigns volunteer roles and handles all pre-show communication with volunteers.
    • Keeps master list of volunteers, with contact information and role assignments. The following tracking document can be used: “STEP 7a – volunteer tracking sheet
    • Informs RNP Event Manager of the number of access passes required for volunteers and guests as well as safety vests (for curbside ushers) and radios required (select volunteers in key areas of the venue should be on radios to ensure good team communications). RNP will provide access passes, safety vests and radios.
    • Handles volunteer check in, ensuring each volunteer has their access pass and fully understands their role. Any signage appropriate to their role is given to the volunteer at check in, as well as safety vests and radios where applicable.
    • Ensures clean up of venue, all volunteers participate.
    • Develops and executes thank you strategy for volunteers.

There are 6 types of other volunteers that make up the teams:

  • CURBSIDE USHERS: report to Site Manager
    • Curbside ushers enter each bus as it arrives to confirm which school is on board.
    • Assign each bus a number as it arrives and give bus driver a sign with the school name and assigned number to put in the window for easier loading after the show.
    • Give supervising teacher on the bus a seating chart and circle that school’s seating section. Also write their bus number on top of the map so the teacher knows which bus they will be on after the show.
    • Walk school to entrance where they will be greeted by hosts.
    • All curbside ushers MUST wear safety vests, provided by RNP (no exceptions!)
    • Join all volunteers in cleaning venue after all busses have left.
       
  • SECURITY: report to Site Manager
    • Presence at entrance to ensure no unwanted people enter
    • Monitor washrooms hallways and secluded areas in venue
    • Be aware of any potential threats to individual students (schools will provide that info)
    • In order to ensure the safety of the students, every adult in the facility will require either venue identification, school identification or an RNP access pass. Security staff will be required to enforce this rule.
    • Join all volunteers in cleaning venue.
       
  • SCHOOL HOSTS: report to FOH Manager
    • Each school has at least 2 assigned hosts in the lobby who lead their assigned school to their seating section and stay with that school for the duration of the presentation. It works well to have hosts holding signs with their assigned school name.
    • Each school has 1 assigned host who stays in the theatre at the school’s assigned seating section and assists with getting the students seated.
    • During the show, hosts monitor hallways, watching for any student who leaves their seat for any reason. Hosts ensure school staff is aware of any student who has left their seat during the show.
    • Hosts are not responsible for checking on the welfare of any student who may have left their seat, but only for informing the school staff. For liability reasons, it is very important students are cared for by school staff, not by individuals associated with RNP.
    • Hosts assist schools to exit the venue in an orderly way.
    • Join all volunteers in cleaning venue.
       
  • GUEST CHECK IN: report to FOH Manager
    • Place VIP guest seating signage on guest seating sections in the venue.
    • 1-2 volunteers sit at the guest check in table and greet VIP guests as they arrive, checking off each arrived guest from the guest list and ensuring each guest receives an access pass
    • 2-3 volunteers help seat guests in the VIP seating area as they arrive.
    • 1-2 volunteers collect access passes from guests as they leave the venue
    • Join all volunteers in cleaning venue.
       
  • HOSPITALITY: report to FOH Manager
    • Ensure there is food and water for all volunteers and crew
    • Handle catering for VIP reception if applicable
    • Handle catering for stage crew and band (as determined by the RNP Tour Manager)
    • Coat check for volunteers and crew
    • Bring supplies required to the venue on event day (see list in STEP 8)
    • Join all volunteers in cleaning venue.
       
  • RUNNER: report to RNP Event Manager
    • 2-3 people to assist the Event Manager with anything that might come up during the event and help in any capacity required.
    • Tasks may include going backstage to talk with the production team, filling in any gaps in the volunteer teams if someone doesn’t show up, assisting with volunteer check-in, getting any supplies required, etc.
    • This role is very unpredictable and will depend on what comes up during the event. Runners need to be able to think on their feet and move quickly!
    • At least one person filling this position must be a responsible driver with a reliable vehicle in case a need arises for items to be procured off-site (this person would be given preferential parking near the stage door and gas expenses would be reimbursed).
    • Join all volunteers in cleaning venue.

We recommend all volunteers wear black to the event. If your team would like to have t-shirts for your volunteers, discuss this option with the RNP Event Manager. Key volunteers will also be required to wear a headset and participate in radio communication during the day.

Once the volunteer strategy and volunteer roles have been determined, send out an information package to all volunteers by email. These templates can be used for pre-show communication with volunteers:

STEP 7b – Volunteer Info Package Template

STEP 7c – Volunteer Pre-Show Email Template

 

STEP 8 – EVENT DAY

The Site Manager and FOH Manager should plan to arrive at the venue 3 hours before the arrival of the first busses in order to:

  • Walk through the venue and make any necessary changes to the volunteer and people flow strategies
  • Ensure volunteer information is ready for the arrival of the volunteers
  • Ensure VIP guest table is available
  • Choose a location for the “control” station, which will be the main base of operation for FOH activities
  • Choose a location for volunteer sign in (normally held at the control station)
  • Choose a location for Muster Point A, where counselors will gather when they arrive
  • Choose a location for the pre-show meeting with Robb and the counselors (backstage)
  • Choose a location for the pre-show volunteer meeting (normally held at the control station)
  • Liaise with the production team to review timing of the day
  • Liaise with venue to ensure staff is aware of all plans

Ensure that the following supplies are brought on event day:

  • Stationery items (tape, scissors, pens, markers, highlighters, blank paper)
  • Garbage bags for clean up if not provided by venue
  • Standing plastic sign holder for VIP guest table
  • Extra black t-shirts in case a volunteer needs one
  • Large basket for returned access passes
  • Volunteer info packages for all volunteers
  • VIP guest list for check-in table
  • Tracking sheet for safety vests and radios: “STEP 8a – safety vest and radio tracking template
  • Enough copies of the seating chart for curbside ushers, hosts, venue staff and the RNP staff
  • Signage: “STEP 8b – Signage Samples
    • School signs for hosts (you can affix these to paint mixing sticks so they are easy to hold up!!)
    • Signs for windows of busses
    • Muster Point A sign
    • VIP guest table sign
    • Volunteer check-in sign
    • Reserved seating signs
    • Directional signage if necessary
    • Promotional banners if applicable

The following items will be supplied by the RNP. Please let the RNP Event Manager know the required numbers for:

  • All-access passes (for those volunteers who need access to all areas of the venue)
  • Volunteer access passes (for those volunteers who only need access to limited areas of the venue)
  • VIP guest access passes
  • Safety vests for curbside ushers
  • Radios for select volunteers
  • Volunteer thank you cards

Every adult in the facility will require either local venue identification, school identification or a the RNP access pass in order to enter and remain in the facility. This identification needs to be clearly displayed and easily identified by security staff. This is taken very seriously by the RNP staff as our top priority is to ensure the safety of all attendees.

Volunteers will begin to arrive 1.5 hours before the arrival of the first busses. The FOH Manager will be responsible for volunteer check-in, ensuring each volunteer has their access pass , safety vest and radio (if applicable) and fully understands their responsibilities.

Have a pre-show volunteer meeting as soon as all volunteers are settled in. This meeting can be led by the FOH Manager and/or the Site Manager. The RNP Event Manager and Production Manager will also attend and help answer any questions that arise. Be sure to cover the following items in the pre-show volunteer meeting:

  • Big thank you to all volunteers!!
  • Location of refreshments and coat check for volunteers
  • Introduce FOH Manager and Site Manager and which teams they’ll be leading
  • Number of schools, students, staff and busses coming
  • Explain the timing of the day
  • Introduce the RNP Event Manager and Production Manager
  • Doors open ONLY when RNP Event Manager gives approval, just in case the production team is not ready when the first busses arrive
  • Explanation of how to work the radios and how radio communication will be handled
  • A reminder that anyone working the exterior of the venue MUST wear a safety vest, NO EXCEPTIONS
  • Curbside ushers to come back in place during the song “Trouble Child”
  • All volunteers are to turn in access passes at the end of the day and receive a thank you gift

 

STEP 9 – POST-SHOW FOLLOW UP

The following information must be sent to each school contact no more than 24 hours after the presentation:

  • Links to the RNP social media sites so counselors can read student comments
  • Info on local partner agencies that can provide added support
  • Explanation of the follow-up curriculum
  • Request for feedback on the presentation and logistics of the event
  • Request for reference letter or paragraph that can be made public
  • Suggestion to spread the word to other educators about Robb Nash supershows
  • Thank you to schools for participating

The following email template can be used:

STEP 9a – Follow Up Email Template For Schools” (need to complete curriculum portion)

Following up with volunteers is also recommended. The volunteer follow-up email can include the following:

  • A big thank you for volunteering
  • Links to the RNP social media sites so volunteers can be encouraged by student comments
  • Request for feedback
  • Request for suggestions for improvement

The following email template can be used:

STEP 9b - Follow Up Email Template For Volunteers

 

 

Congratulations!! You did it!!

 

Your efforts to plan and execute a successful supershow will have a lasting impact on the youth of your community.

 

Well done!!