Time for another exciting episode of Whiteboard Wednesdays – and this time, we’re talking production schedule and show flow. More precisely, we’ll be breaking down the differences between the two. Because you’re an event planner, there is paperwork flying towards you from every direction. And sometimes, it’s easy to get confused! Especially when the paperwork is similar, like a production schedule and show flow.

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So today, we’re clearing up all the confusion. Our amazing host Stephanie Jayko, will tell you everything you need to know about the differences between a production schedule and a show flow. If this is something that’s been on your mind, we have the solution. So press play, it’s time for another amazing episode of Whiteboard Wednesday!


production schedule and show flow

Production Schedule And Show Flow: What Is The Difference? – Video Transcription

Hey, everyone. I’m Stephanie Jayko, CSEP with Knock Out Productions, here for another Whiteboard Wednesday. And today, we’re going to talk about the difference between a production schedule and show flow. Now I know we have another episode that talks a lot about the show flow and exactly what goes into that. But we’re going to talk about the differences between these two pieces of paperwork because sometimes, they seem similar but they are quite different.

Production Schedule And Show Flow: The Production Schedule

So let’s talk about the production schedule first. The production schedule is a piece of paperwork that everybody in the entire production department on an event and a lot of the clients and a lot of other people will actually get their hands on during an event process. So this is created towards the beginning of your production tech process and the event process and the planning process. A lot of times, your producer, your PM, your client, your planner, if you have a meeting planner or a production planner or an event planner, anybody on the large scale thinking side gets a sort of hands put in this production schedule input. It’s kind of an overview of all things happening for the event. So anything you have going on, such as the general session is happening at this time and there are breakouts over here and we’re going to do a reception over here and this is what’s happening here, there and the other thing.

It’s Not Just What It Seems

But it also has all of your production goings-on. Like the stage and stuff is going to happen in this room and we’re going to put it in here and load in happens at this time, rehearsals happen at this time over here. There’s a lot of different things that go on this production schedule. And to be perfectly honest, this is just a few of them. So we’ll talk a little bit more about what individual things go on there, but there’s so much that goes on this production schedule because so many people need to use it. Event happenings, registration times, what time do attendees get onsite, what time do buses leave. All of that kind of stuff to anticipate the arrival of attendees and guest speakers and any of that, that all kind of gets put on there. Sessions start times, that’s kind of important to know when different sessions start so that production people know when they have to be ready.

The Breaks

Start and end times, attendee breaks. That’s a really big one to remember when your attendees are having breaks. Because when attendees are having breaks, your production people probably are as well. And sometimes, you need to have short little rehearsals in between different sessions when the attendees are out of the room or you need to flip the room or flip the stage, so you need to know those kinds of things. Venue hours, when does the venue even open? That’s kind of important to know. So all of that gets put on there. Crew calls, meals and breaks, that’s a big one. So on your production schedule, you get all of those kinds of things. Your crew has meals, breaks, crew times, what time are they coming in? They’re going to be there before attendees or before the client so that they can get all of the equipment turned on and checked and ready and make sure that it’s all where it needs to be.

Don’t Just Think About The Attendees

And that’s something that you want to put on a production schedule so that people know when people are going to be in the room and when all of the production people are going to be doing what. Other things that you might not really think about sometimes that get put on this production schedule, security schedules. A lot of times, there’s a security person who will come in at the end of a day to make sure that all of the expensive equipment that is sitting in that room is made sure that it’s being taken care of and not going somewhere when it’s not supposed to. So that gets put on a production schedule so that we don’t leave the room and there should always be someone in the room until we see security. Client and talent rehearsals. We’ve already talked about that a little bit. But that has to get put on a schedule somewhere so that we know when are people going to show up, when do we need to have all of the equipment ready for a client to walk in the room and say, “I want to rehearse my speech.”

Production Meetings & Photo Calls

So that’s all part of that. Production meetings, that’s another big one. When all of the production people get together and talk about how things are going to move forward. Where we are for the day, what’s happening next, that would be on a production schedule so that all of the production people, as well as the client, know when we’re talking about all of those different things. Technical rehearsals. And photo calls, that’s something that some people don’t really realize that happens. Photo calls, sometimes, they happen a lot in theater and a lot in different entertainment situations and events. But photo call is when everybody leaves the stage, everybody leaves the room and the photographers and videographers get some really good shots of the room before different things get messed up or moved around. Or done in different ways so that we make sure we have really great collateral at the end of an event to make sure we see all of the great work that’s happening.

But you need to know when that’s happening on the production schedule. So that we make sure that everything is beautiful for that moment when the photographer comes in and takes the shots so that all of your great work is recorded.

Anything Else?

So like I said, that’s not everything that gets put on a production schedule. There’s a lot of other things that could get put on here. You could make cases for all sorts of stuff and sometimes, it tends to be quite a lengthy document. Especially if you’re having a multi-day event, multi-spaces, lots and lots of information to put on this document. It could be pages and pages depending on how many rooms, how many days, how many people, how many sessions. So many different ways you can create this piece of paperwork here and so much information. It’s kind of the go-to for when you need to know stuff about anything production-wise on an event site.

Production Schedule And Show Flow: The Show Flow

Similarly, we also have the show flow. And like I said, I know we talked about this in another episode, but the show flow is a little more detailed and a little more specific. It takes a lot of the very specific stuff that’s happening in a session or a day depending on your event and what’s happening. And it kind of goes step-by-step for what’s happening in that room, on that stage for that particular session or that day. And tells us all of the technical things that are happening. So where this is everything that’s happening all over your event and where and when and how, this is very specific in this space at this time, these are the things that are happening. So it’s all of the actions that the technical departments are doing. This is very much your lighting, your sound, your graphics, your video, your camera guys, your prompter. Anything like that, they’re all going to have this in mind when they’re saying, well, what videos am I playing? What lighting cues go where?

Who’s Responsible?

And this is something that your show caller is going to create, or your stage manager, maybe potentially your technical director. They’re going to do that and put what are called cues together. So when everybody is supposed to do something or whenever someone is supposed to do something on the technical side, that’s a cue. And your show caller will call that cue to be able to make sure that your lights go at the right time or your video plays at the right time. So that all kind of goes into the show flow and it makes it really easy for the technical people to be able to look at that document. And say, okay, coming up next is my light cue number 36, or the video number 15, or whatever it is, and they can make sure that that’s ready and prepared with their finger on the button. When that show caller says, “Cue. Go,” they press that button and all the magic happens at the right time. So your show flow is much, much, much more specific to a stage at any given time in a particular room for your event.

Getting Technical

It’s also a lot of information, but it’s very technical information. It’s very specific and to that crew for that stage in that room. And I think that’s pretty much what you think of when you’re in your technical mindset is all of the show flow. I know sometimes, the production schedule and your show flow get confused because they’re both schedules of sorts. But I think the broad sense of a production schedule is much larger than your show flow and they’re used a little differently. But I want to ask you guys, what other paperwork do you guys use? What other things do you put on your production schedule? I know there’s a lot of different paperwork out there, a lot of people use different things. I want to know what you use. What information do you put on what kinds of paperwork? Throw a comment in the comment section below. Send me your answers. I want to hear from you. Get engaged with us and I want to see what you guys are doing.

Production Schedule And Show Flow: Conclusions

So if you’ve liked this video, give us a thumbs up and if you like us even more, give us a Subscribe. There’s a little bell down there. Go ahead, ring it. We are doing these Whiteboard Wednesdays every week, so make sure you check back with us next week for some more great technical production information. And that’s it for me, production schedule and show flow, guys. Thanks so much. We’ll see you soon!


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