By John Mair
On Wednesday 12th Jan 450 people will pack a lecture theatre at the London School of Economics to hear one of the risen stars of the Tory Government Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt MP in conversation with the doyen of the media press corps Raymond Snoddy-former Media editor of the Times and the Financial Times-at a Media Society/Polis@lse event.
I am the producer. But how did I get it to that stage?
1.FIRST GET YOUR MAN.
Not easy if it is a Cabinet Minister.You find his private secretary or his political assistant and approach them. That took place six months ago and led to a firm rejection.
2.GET YOUR PARTNER AND LOCATION.
I went to the LSE, am chair emeritus of the LSE Media Group, Events Director of the Media Society and have put on big joint events with polis@lse/Director Charlie Beckett in the past. Approach them, they happy to ‘house’ it.
3.IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED THEN TRY AGAIN.
My friend Ray Snoddy told me he was going in to see Hunt for an interview in November.I suggested he broach the Media society/LSE event with him.He did and he agreed. We were on the road. Dates etc sorted with his assistant
4.TURN IT INTO AN EVENT.
We have the main man, his interviewer/tormentor and a location. Time to bang the drum to Media Society members and put it in the LSE events programme. Advertise.
5.WAIT FOR THE PUNTERS TO TURN UP.
They did in droves.150 from the Media Society(normally 20-30 come to meetings)and the rest of the 450 capacity filled up in less than a day. You negotiate times, question areas etc with the outriders of the Minister as they are sent to beard you and you’re set!
Blue touch paper lit. Time to go. Watch the blogs,the tweets on wednesday ,next day’s papers for more detail or watch it live webcast at bbc.co.uk/journalism
Rocket science it is not. Easy or the trick is to make it look easy. Like synchronised swimming…
John Mair is Events Director of the Media Society and has been for the past decade.In that capacity he has produced over fifty high profile events in London