When you start to meet the following are some of the first items to discuss:
We have put together a document we call the Prom Praise Manual or Co-Producers Guide, which can either be distributed at or before the meeting, and form the basis of the discussion. This gives detailed job descriptions, instructions, hints and a quantity of what we hope you will find to be useful information as you tackle the various tasks in the lead up to the event (if you would like a copy of the job descriptions in advance to help with recruitment let us know). It is helpful if roles are clearly defined.
It is usually good to arrange for our representative to make a visit to see the venue as early as possible in the process. From our experience of the event, we may be able to spot any strengths or weaknesses of the place which will need to be worked into our plans. We usually like to do a fairly detailed ‘site survey’ which we will keep in the office and use as a guide to the facilities available as we approach the event.
We would need to discuss and agree a budget. Please do not underestimate the costs. As Langham Arts is a charity, we must cover our costs which include getting an orchestra and the musical instruments to location, music hire and administration, in addition to the self-evident costs of venue hire, sound and lighting systems, programme brochure design and publishing, publicity, tickets, catering – the list goes on! A quick chat with the General Manager in the early stages will give you a rough idea of the level of commitment. The key in this area is that all involved understand that behind the success of Prom Praise and the All Souls Orchestra is the commitment to and value of presenting high quality Christian events in the ‘market place’ i.e. an expensive commercial venue! This understanding has an impact on all areas of the budget. For example: if the level of ticket prices matches those of equivalent events in the venue and the publicity materials displayed there are of good quality, hopefully a message about the quality of the event itself is already getting across to the sceptical non-Christian or nervous Christian. Of course, there will be a number of variables created by the size and age of the venue which we will need to address.
The Timetable and Other Details
It is good to clarify with the LAT team the timescales of the various tasks; decide a provisional schedule for a publicity campaign; suggestions for speakers and programme; consider other technical requirements; address hospitality needs; and so on.
The Memorandum of Understanding
This is statement of intent which we will agree between us as early as possible to try to ensure that we have all understood where the various responsibilities and commitments lie before we finally decide to take on this project.
We can then commit the whole enterprise afresh into God’s hands to be certain of His leadership. If, after all that, you are not completely put off the whole idea, we would have a pretty clear indication that we were doing the right thing!
Then the work starts!