7 Days Out, a new Netflix docuseries, captures the days leading up to a a major live event and what it takes to make it happen. Season One of the series, which debuted late December 2018, follows the six live events you probably know, watch, or maybe even attended, in the worlds of fashion, food, space and sports.
One thing is apparent throughout the show: whatever the industry may be, there are passionate people who put their all into their hobby, job, or in some cases, almost even a calling. Dale Romans, a horse trainer featured in the "Kentucky Derby" episode of 7 Days Out, immediately comes to mind.
With so much time, passion and money invested into these iconic events, pulling them off without a major hitch is necessary. And really, that’s the premise that ties all the episodes of 7 Days Out together and makes them intriguing.
“We’re seven days out,” said Will Guidara, co-owner of Make It Nice, the hospitality group that includes Eleven Madison Park. The second episode of the show follows the reopening of the legendary restaurant after it was named “Best Restaurant in the World” in 2017. “So what’s at stake? I guess everything.”
Here are seven lessons from 7 Days Out that show what factors into the success of any event:
- Hire an expert. Maybe you’re an expert in the industry of your live event, but you’re probably not an expert in every industry. In the "CHANEL Haute Couture Fashion Show" episode, the team of set designers know how to design and construct a runway show set. They are not experts in landscaping and in order to create a trellis garden set, they needed to hire a landscaper. Don't be afraid to ask for help!
- Leave your ego at the door. Or stable. Or runway. There’s no time for an ego when up against a deadline for an event. Everyone will have to jump in at some point to fix a problem and get it done.
In the "Eleven Madison Park" episode, Will Guidara is seen taking off his suit and shirt to rearrange an area rug just moments before opening.
- Teamwork. It really is important. There are a lot of moving parts in all live events and the only way they will all run smoothly is if there is successful teamwork.
At the Westminster Dog Show, there are competitions for each dog breed at off-site piers prior to the show itself, which includes seven group competitions and then the Best in Show finale. That’s a lot of dogs, trainers, owners and handlers to organize and move around and in just a few days.
Westminster Dog Show, Credit: a katz, Shutterstock
- The event is happening. The production, game, opening, or whatever it may be, will happen when it is scheduled to happen. It doesn’t matter if you are ready or not.
“Deadline is probably not a very friendly word,” said Amanda Harlech, creative director for CHANEL. “But actually, when you’re up against it, you produce your best work.”
- There are things out of your control. In the "Kentucky Derby" episode, it was the heavy rains the day of the derby. In the "Eleven Madison Park" one, the entryway floor of the building the restaurant is in was being refinished up until the day before opening, blocking the front entrance.
Things will come up, they will be unavoidable, but how to you deal with them? How do you react?
Table Setup at Eleven Madison Park, Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky, Shutterstock
- You must think on your feet. In the "Eleven Madison Park" episode, the bar ceiling is sealed the day of opening, which produced a strong odor. Chef and co-owner Daniel Humm stepped in and used herbs and a blow torch to mask the smell. Sometimes you have to get creative to solve a last-minute issue.
- Celebrate and then rest after the event. Enjoy the live event as much as you can. Celebrate during or after. Or celebrate that it's over. Then rest while you can before the next event.
Have you watched 7 Days Out on Netflix yet? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comments section below. Hopefully it at least gives viewers a taste of the highs and lows of planning events!