But don’t feel bad. My Dad thought I was a nurse before he saw me in action on site back in mid 90’s.
Yeah, those were the days when anyone with a yen for exhibitions could wander into the venue sans high visibility vest. Hell, you could even smoke on site and splitting a case was almost ritualistic if the stand install had gone well. Now? The OH&S rules have reigned in all that bad arse behaviour in but somehow organisers can still trim our install hours or insist on working overnight. Huh. Progress.
So here’s what I do:
- I design. Sometimes on paper, sometimes using the laptop. Usually it is a collaborative effort with clients and other super amazing designers. Inspiration is better shared.
- I project manage what is designed. This totally keeps you honest as it is no benefit to anyone if you go off on a tangent developing a design that (a) can’t be built or (b) is so far over the client’s budget it is a real thigh slapper.
- I write the specs for the work to be quoted, I seek competitive prices and then present the costs to the client for discussion. Am I over budget sometimes? Sure, but that is when we go to the options column and look for ways to get what the client wants but with some compromises.
- Once I have client sign off and the purchase order, we swing into red hot action. The materials are ordered, the bench saw fired up, the graphic proofs are printed and construction is GO!
- Come install time, I am usually on site to supervise or otherwise I have another project manager to fill in. I make sure the display is built as planned and is at its sparkly best ready to proudly hand over to my client.
- And then it’s time for a lay down in a dark room with a cool flannel on my head.
Next time: What I don’t do. See you in a fortnight. For more in the meantime: please take a goosey gander here.
But in the meantime, let’s check Dad and I on site in New York (Yay!):
And while we’re at it, I want to showcase some fines tunes so let’s roll tape. “You Only Live Once” by The Strokes. If you like it, buy it.