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CropLife America Tribute Show


LAI Live recently teamed up with an organization known for having a good sense of humor, CropLife America, and helped bring their vision of a 1970’s talk-show to life.

You don’t need a large budget to develop a tribute to an individual who has made a profound impact on an industry with over 30 years of service. You just need a few key ingredients, like a witty script, solid attention to detail, and a true cast of characters!

Tribute Show Overview

LAI Live recently teamed up with an organization known for having a good sense of humor, CropLife America, and helped bring their vision of a 1970’s talk-show to life. 

The process began four months prior to the show when we first developed the framework. We asked ourselves, "What do the 'guts’ of the show need to be to pay proper homage to the format?" and decided that it needed a host and sidekick, opening monologue, quick interview segments with guests, video clips to showcase projects, sponsor breaks, and, most-importantly, the comedic skits. Here's how we did it.

Flipping The Script

For this show, scripting and developing the "voice" of the program was a huge focus. The client provided a list of inside jokes, industry jargon, and some little-known facts about our guest of honor, which was a great launch pad. From there, LAI Live took off running, creating a banter between the host and sidekick as well as crafting barbs at the industry and attendees. And, of course, we had to make time for proper tributes to our honoree by choosing questions for our guests that celebrated his accomplishments and tapped into the humorous side of his career. To draw from a specific decade, we looked to classics and integrated such greats as a "Top 10" segment, with each point being read aloud by someone from his professional rolodex. We also incorporated an "Amazing Psychic" segment with our talk-show host seeing the future.

Down To The Last Detail

Next, we shifted our focus to the small, but vital, details. First was the backdrop and working with the designer to create the feel of a warehouse loft, with big picturesque windows looking out into the city skyline. We selected and sourced vibrant yellow furniture, reflective of the decade, with coordinating end tables, throw pillows, and a desk. The finer points included props from a VHS tape, to the long game-show emcee microphone, to animals for our Wildlife Expert, to the costumes, and the cue card person with an ‘applause’ sign. Choosing the right show opener music to capture the late-night vibe and adding in sound effects and background music for skits was another way to add a level of authenticity to the program.

Taking The Lead

To really hit it out of the park, you need a true cast of characters. While we can’t take credit for the casting of each role, it’s imperative to have the main roles filled with individuals who will have fun on-stage, but also take the time prior to the show to practice their script. We instituted Table Reads for the main characters, which allowed them to ask questions about the script and jokes, as well as work through the timing of some of the back-and-forth banter.

The Finishing Touch

To ensure the blood, sweat and tears put into this program wasn’t in vain, an LAI Live Producer and Stage Manager were on-site to take the lead with the production. We ran rehearsals with the entire cast, as well as technical rehearsals with the tech team. During the show, we kept the talent moving on and off the stage, guaranteed props were set and ready, and directed the technical team so all cues were hit. In the end, four months of work paid-off with a solid one-hour program filled with tributes, a few misty eyes and tons of laughter.

Managed and Designed By

With more than 20 years of experience as an event producer, Shannon has produced everything from multi-million dollar, nationally-televised events to a nationwide…

Elizabeth has over 10 years of experience working with LAI customers in all aspects of our business. She maintains production schedules, manages workflow and tracks…

Katie Nesbit-Blackburn joined LAI Live with over a decade of experience in all facets of event production.

With over a decade of experience designing a wide variety of engaging visual media solutions, Benjamin McGeever brings a refined eye and a fresh approach to…