Need a Successful Meeting? 10 Things to Learn From Broadway

The Show Must Go On…

Planning a successful meeting or event is exactly like producing a Broadway show. Broadway producers bring together a thousand animate and inanimate elements in order to create seamless productions that appear natural and effortless to the audience.  Professional Meeting Planners do the same thing.

We asked a successful Broadway producer what he thought made the difference between a successful show and shows that open and close after a few performances. These are the secrets he shared for creating successful Broadway productions.

“Before making my first move, I go through a mental process by asking myself the following questions:


What is the show about?

Every successful show has a clear message to convey to the audience. If you can’t state that message in one sentence before you start production…stop! Your show is about to flop.

What format will convey your message?

A musical? A drama? A comedy? A large cast with a full orchestra or one person sitting on a chair in the glow of a single spotlight?

Can you clearly envision the show in your mind before you begin production?

Can you see every scene and hear every song? Is this show somebody else’s vision or have you made it your own in every detail?

Who is your audience?

Older people? Teenagers? Tourists? Art lovers? Sports fans? Women? Men? You must be specific about who your intended audience is. A show for everyone always flops.

Who will best be able to deliver your message?

Great singers? Shakespearean actors? Song and dance men? Movie stars? Do not cast your show until you can see in your mind identifiable performers in each role.

What have I learned from previous successful shows that I can incorporate into this show?

Pace? Lighting? Size of theater? Opening night invites? Publicity stunts?

Rehearse – Rehearse – Rehearse… first in my mind… over and over.

I can see every scene, sing every song, feel every feeling. Then I can begin production.

Who can do this?

A show is not just an idea in my mind. It is a daily production that only the most qualified people can execute repeatedly. I must be sure to include in my planning the people who will actually execute my vision.

What’s this going to cost?

Is the cost a reasonable investment in the success of my vision?

When the show opens, let it go.

A good plan will grow into itself – even if it’s a little rough at first. A bad plan has no chance anyway. It will not get better.”



This conversation gave me a whole new way to look at planning. I see this producer’s mental process as a form of pre-planning; a way to dig deeper into the purpose and objectives of a successful meeting or event. Then I let the clarity of that vision guide my plan every step of the way.


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