Event Planner Spotlight - Lindsay Hanson

Your Name: Lindsay Hanson

Your Title: Artist Services Manager

Department Name: Performing Arts Services

Describe your role in a tweet (~280 characters or less): I manage the calendar for all bookings at The David B. Richardson ‘33 Auditorium. The University’s principal concert and lecture facility, located in the northwestern end of the  campus. The auditorium is inside Alexander Hall, which was erected in 1892 as a convocation hall for Commencement exercises and other large gatherings.  , and serve as the main client contact for everything from initial event planning, coordinating details on the day, to post-event followup. Much of my job is "other duties as assigned".

Describe your most memorable event: 


There are so many. One highlight was during the Adelante Tigres A formal meeting in which many people gather in order to talk about ideas or problems related to a particular topic, usually for one or more days. Is often advertised to a targeted audience, however can be open to the public and generally includes a registration process. in 2017 when we learned Justice Sonia Sotomayor would be attending the late-night alumni/student arts showcase – I was the stage manager for that event and it was really exciting to have her attend, and also added a little more pressure to get things right! The next day, Justice Sotomayor was the featured speaker on stage, and I had a brief conversation with her in the green room beforehand where we discussed the importance of having pockets in women’s pants.


Another would be riding with Terry Gross in a minivan over to Private dining facility serving the faculty and staff of Princeton University. Prospect House is also available for catered events for University departments and personal functions for University employees.  during a surprise snow squall. I’m not usually star-struck, but Meetings achieve a business purpose, and facilitate the sharing of information, decision-making and collaboration and/or innovation. her and coordinating that event was a huge highlight of my work so far at Princeton.


What’s one thing that you thought was a good idea at the time that you’ll never do again?:         


Most of the things I can think of that fit this category have to do with the questions I wish I’d asked a client in advance. Over the years I’ve had to add a lot to that list. So for instance I thought I had a pretty solid list of “rules” we ask visiting performers to abide by when they come to our campus to use the space. During rehearsal we typically see the entire routine of what they’re planning to do later that day in performance and have a chance to address things with them during that period, but sometimes they surprise us. A few of these surprises include performers throwing copious amounts of glitter up in the air at the end of their piece, confetti cannons, surprise nudity, and paper airplanes thrown from the balcony during a concert – none of these things happened in rehearsal. Another “rule” I had to put in place was that all props must fit through a standard door. One time in the middle of the day I asked a staff member to help me with something but his answer was that he was currently occupied – he was cutting someone’s prop in half.



How did you get started working in this area?:         I managed a 30-person stage crew at Interlochen Arts Camp for 9 seasons. I was in charge of ensuring the correct equipment and staffing was available in all 7 venues for hundreds of rehearsals and performances throughout the 6-week season. We moved stage and percussion equipment constantly (I drove the truck). I loved working behind the scenes on behalf of the students studying there, and also had opportunities to manage recitals and concerts for some big-name artists over the years – from Peter Serkin and Van Cliburn to Sheryl Crow and Alison Krauss.

What is your #1 tip for event planners on campus?:                 No one person can do it all. As soon as you have a few details in place for your event, start thinking about your team and what they can help with. Who will walk your guest speaker from the venue to the dinner? While that’s happening, which other colleague could remain at the venue to make sure the flowers have been delivered, or that the reserved seating is ready?  Are there students in your Can refer to an area of study or a set of grouped co-curricular activities designed to achieve a specific educational curriculum or experience. May also refer to digital or printed programs connected to an event, conference, etc.  or department who would be really keen to help and can take on some of these tasks? It gives them great experience, and possibly a chance to speak one-on-one with your invited guest – it will be an experience they will remember for life.

What is the busiest time of year for you?  It’s always busy. On any given day I’m working on events that are happening that day, follow-up that needs to be done for others, but also the ones that are coming up next. Some events are planned months or years ahead of time so there is always scheduling and planning to do. But if I had to be specific, October, the period between Thanksgiving and Winter Recess, from March through April, and the week of Held on the weekend preceding Commencement, this unique event brings approximately 18,000 alumni and family members to the campus each spring.  through Commencement.

What tools do you always bring to an event (tape, pens, etc)?: Pockets! But really, my keys, a headset for communication with staff, and probably a sharpie or something else to write with.

What is your favorite event space on campus?: I’m biased, since my homebase is Richardson Auditorium. Another favorite though is the The University Chapel. The 1925 Gothic Revival structure that serves as the site of religious services as well as large campus gatherings such as Opening Exercises and Baccalaureate, located near the center of campus.  – our team works there for Opening Exercises, which is one of my favorite events that we staff each year. I also have enjoyed walking over to the Chapel during a break in my day to just sit and enjoy the space – the light shining through the stained glass is so pretty on a sunny day, and I love listening to the organ rehearsals.

If you manage a space, what’s one thing you want people to know about that space?: Richardson hosts so many types of events – I think a lot of people automatically think about classical music concerts, or large University lectures. But we have a lot of fun during the student events when Jim (our audio engineer) gets the subwoofers going and the bass is booming. Every day is different, which is what I really love about my job.