Meet The Team: Katie Smith, Event Operations Manager

  • By Sarah O'Rourke | Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Katie Smith always knew she wanted to work on the business end of the music industry.

Before joining ShowClix as an Account Manager, Katie spent five years at Mr. Smalls Theater in Millvale, PA, where she worked just about every job the venue needed: a venue manager, an admissions specialist, a logistics planner, even helping out with selling merch for touring bands! During her time at Mr. Smalls, Katie organized concerts for thousands of people every year and worked huge shows for major acts like the Smashing Pumpkins and Snoop Dogg — she even worked with the Secret Service for an appearance by President Bill Clinton.

Today, Katie’s our Event Operations Manager, and she’s in charge of helping clients plan and execute successful events. From New York Comic Con to LEGO KidsFest, Katie’s leadership has been a crucial part of making amazing events happen for some of our largest clients.

As the Event Operations Manager, you’ve been officially recognized as the ShowClix’s on-site expert. How do you prepare for an on-site event with a client?

My event prep checklist often begins before a single ticket is sold, but it can all be boiled down to these key points:

• Understanding the event. I analyze everything about the event: the schedule, crowd demographics, ticket types, expected attendance, admissions-related policies (i.e. no re-entry), credentials, staffing, security, Wi-Fi access and historical challenges.

• Understanding the venue. I dissect a map of the venue and create drawings to simulate traffic flow. We’ll discuss any past or potential bottlenecks, and we’ll take time to deeply evaluate the admissions location with a solid plan for box office terminals, ticket scanning lanes and customer service personnel stations.

• Hardware planning. As early as possible, I chat with the client to determine exactly how much hardware is required and who will be providing said hardware. Then, we’ll lease all of the hardware needed to run their admissions setup.

• ShowClix team logistics. To ensure a smooth on-site visit, I like to work closely in advance with any of our on-site specialists who are traveling to the event.

Why do our clients choose to enlist our Event Ops team?

On event day, we know that event organizers will have a lot on their minds. We work with them in the weeks, or even months, leading up to the event to help you craft a solid admissions plan with the hardware to execute it. Yes, you may have already sold the tickets, hired the staff and leased the appropriate hardware — but it’s important not to overlook the event day support needed to keep your entrances moving quickly and efficiently.

Tell us more about the on-site experience on the day of the event.

When a client hires a ShowClix Admissions Specialist, they’re adding an admissions expert to their team. When it’s game time, we will be there to handle hardware setup, lead training sessions with your staff, troubleshoot hardware/software issues, and provide real-time feedback on suggestions or opportunities for improvement. Ultimately, we’ll be there to have your back, but also to make sure your attendees have the best first impression when arriving to your event!

You’ve been working in the event industry for your entire career. How has your previous experience with event production helped you at ShowClix?

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate enough to work with a wide variety of events from live concerts to pop culture conventions. The most valuable trait I’ve developed is my ability to think on my feet and effectively handle any situation that may arise.

If you had to pick one band or artist to see live in concert, who would it be and what venue would you choose to see them?

Yikes. This is a tough one! I think I would want to go back to 1968 and see Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison. Hopefully, I could just be a fly on the wall instead of an inmate.

What do you see for the future of the Event Ops team? Are there any any opportunities you see within the industry that you’re excited about?

One of the most exciting introductions to our Event Operations offering is the ability to integrate RFID technology for access control and attendee interaction. RFID opens the doors for a lot exciting possibilities, so I can’t wait to see how this integration continues to develop and engage both the event organizers and attendees alike.