Pulling Back the Curtain: The Guide

High fives and congratulations all around. 

Another great live event completed.  Attendees are happy.  The client is happy. We are happy.  But…How did we get here?

When you get to “pull back the curtain” and see what happens behind the scenes most people immediately picture a fast paced world of organized chaos and people moving from place to place at a dizzying pace.  In the center of all of this action, developed from the very beginning stands a steadying force.  To quote Donald Millers, Building a Story Brand book, it is the Guide. 

Those in front of the curtain, whether it be companies or artists are the rock stars. We are the guide.

Donald Miller – Building A Story Brand

It starts in the whiteboard discussions of the who, what, when, where and why’s.  If we understand the goals and challenge conventional thought, then we build a roadmap together that takes our clients from behind the scenes to in front of the curtain with ease.  You see our job as a guide, mirrors our company world view which lays out in this order:

  1. Client Needs
  2. Project Needs
  3. Our Needs

As a guide, we are responsible for the needs of our clients first and foremost.  We have been down this path before.  We know the pitfalls and the challenges.  We have the bumps and bruises to show. We exist to make this journey painless for those we support. 

Pulling back the curtain starts at the beginning. 

The guide has to be in place before we start down the journey of design and production, creative content, and storytelling strategies for companies and artists.

Justin Zebell, President + CEO, Streamline Event Agency

A Clean Slate

New Years Re-solutions

I am an avid fan of sensational storytelling and if you don’t already, I strongly urge you to set your DVRs weekly to record CBS Sunday Morning.  They produce stories in a way which keep you interested on any topic…you may not know you care about – or have something to learn about bird migration patterns as affected by the gulf stream around the Galapagos Islands, but lo and behold, 15 minutes later, I’m fascinated!  So as we enter new year with all the talk about goal setting and resolutions (re-solutions as you’ll discover in the story), leave it to CBS Sunday morning to hit me right between the eyes.

Making A Masterpiece

For me, and Streamline as well, there was much to celebrate in 2017 as we worked with incredible artists and managers, were blessed to move into fantastic new office space, we expanded our roster on both the touring, and corporate side and developed deeper professional and personal connections with each other and our community.  But if we’re honest, there were lines drawn which we’d like to erase and retrace.

There were small cracks in our plans that needed repair. SO…enter Faith Salie and the brilliant storytellers at CBS Sunday Morning to hit me in the heart with two words I’ve never before heard or knew the meaning of:  PENTIMENTO (Italian) and KINTSUGI (Japanese).

Looking Closer

Pentimento is a process brilliant artist Matisse sometimes used when he drew. Upon closer look at certain sketches, he kept the bad lines visible to show how he got to the end result.  Kintsugi is a Japanese process of repairing broken ceramics with gold – to not only show the cracks, but to accentuate them with beauty.  WOW, what a concept I needed to hear.  The ‘bad lines’ and ‘broken vases’ are all part of making a masterpiece and honestly looking at how hard work (life, relationships, marriage, business) can be…but we’re building a masterpiece.

So, as we enter 2018, our wish is for all us to embrace the brokenness and turn it into art as we are being shaped into something beautiful!

Here’s the entire CBS Profile, it may be the best 2:13 you’ll spend today!
Happy New Year from our team to yours.

‘Tis The Season

The Holiday Season

It is the season of Christmas and I truly do love this time of year. From carolers (we had some at our house) to Christmas lights of all colors, it truly is a special time of year.

At Streamline, it is one of our busiest times of the year and this year was no exception. We will wrap the last of our five Christmas tours this Saturday night the 23rd. We have been celebrating Christmas since the end of October and it will be nice to take a breath two days prior and reflect on the year and most importantly the reason for the season.

Meaning of Christmas

Christmas is a celebration of Christ’s birth, as well as time with family and loved ones. It is a time to turn our devices off for a few days, watch movies, sleep in, stay up late in engaging conversations around the fire with no fear of the alarm the next morning. It is still the one time of the year that the majority of people shut down. It is permission to breath. Each year, I feel that this time of year get crazier and crazier and if we aren’t careful we miss out on the magic and wonder of the season.

From the Streamline team to you – Merry Christmas. Enjoy the wonder, the grace, and the miracle that is the Christmas season. Breath now for in another week you will feel the pressure to make those infamous New Years resolutions:)

Merry Christmas to all.

What Are Some Of Your Favorite Holiday Traditions?

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With Thanksgiving

Changing Seasons

For the last few weeks each drive into the office has offered a unique canvas.  From leaves that are slowly starting to turn colors, to today, where the sidewalks, grass, and street corners are covered in a colorful array of fall. This is without a doubt one of my favorite times of the year.  I always wish that it would last longer but it seems to come to an end after Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving and the fall colors will give way to Christmas music, shopping, iconic Christmas movies, and more.  So, while we have today and tomorrow, I am reminded to be thankful for the things that I love.

Yes, I love fall. I love brilliant colored leaves and the way they dance in the street in front of you as cars pass them by. I love the cooler temperatures and the glow of candles throughout our home in the evening.  Yes, I am thankful for all of these things but none of it would be quite as fulfilling, if I wasn’t surrounded by great people.

We Are Family

Streamline Event Agency is a family of great people and we work with some amazing clients. You know who you are and we are so thankful each and every day that we get to do the work we do together. We have great vendors and partners that have gone the extra mile for us in 2017, and we thank you. We are thankful for new friendships and new partnerships.

They tell you when you get out of college to find something you love because it won’t feel like work. They are right. I love what I do and what we do and most days don’t feel like work at all. For that I am incredibly thankful.

Make Space For Reflection

Last and certainly not least. I am thankful for my family. With all the things, we “do” in our day to day work lives, we couldn’t do it without the love and support of our families at home. My wife, Wendi, is an incredible mom to our three children and manages to keep the ship on track, despite long hours and the travel that can be required. I am thankful to her and you should be thankful to her as well. Without her support, Streamline wouldn’t be who we are today.

Take a moment over the next 48 hours and ponder what you are thankful for and why. We should have a sense of gratitude every day, but sometimes we need a reminder. So, stop and smell the turkey and dressing and listen to the laughter and chaos in your home. Soak it in. Happy Thanksgiving from Streamline Event Agency.

What Are You Thankful For?

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Touring Case Study

Working With The Gettys

In August 2016 we got the esteemed privilege to take on the Tour Producing, Management, and Production duties for Keith & Kristyn Getty (aka The Gettys). With a sold out set of shows in Ireland, a 30 city fall tour, and their annual Christmas tour coming up, they were looking for a solution to quickly get up speed an ensure the tour operation would run smooth on all fronts.

Bringing on a new client takes time. You need to learn what makes them tick, how they like things to be done, etc. In this particular situation we had just under 4 weeks from the time we were brought in until the first song was sung to a sold out house at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, Ireland. In the few short weeks from SEA coming on board until the first show we spent time meticulously learning the client and how we could best meet their needs and ensure everything ran smooth. During this time of integrating the SEA process into the fold of Getty Music, we were able to apply our proven systems to their touring organization.

Touring Results

The result was a smooth set of overseas dates, a successful fall tour and a great run of Christmas shows including dates at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Fox Theater Atlanta and many more. During this season we were able to bring our company standard of touring process to the table and daily make touring life easier for the client.

As a busy 2016 came to a close and went into early 2017, we were able to have the opportunity to work with their team to continue to improve the overall touring process specific to their organization. We spent the first few months of 2017 debriefing what we learned during the 2016 tours, and discussing what was working and what was not. Getty Music was gracious to let our team at Streamline speak into how their touring life as a whole could be improved and how Streamline could best fit their needs as the relationship continued down the road.

Good Things To Come

Now, over a year into working with Getty Music and weeks away from launching this years Christmas tour, the touring operation is running smoother than ever. We have also been able to work with them on our events side as they launched their annual conference. As with anything we continue to work to improve the process and look forward to another set of evaluations at the end of this touring cycle! It’s been an exciting year for our team to watch the Getty Music tour become an enjoyable touring environment as they perform fantastic music across the world!

Ready to take your tour to the next level?

What Makes Our Team Different?

What makes our team different?
  • Core Values
  • Don’t put me in a box
  • “We are who we say we are”

When someone asks me, “what makes a great team?” Or, “what makes your team great?” To me, the answer is easy – but also highly subjective to the environment you create. We have built an environment around compassion, honesty, and integrity – that is our core. We handle every interaction with our core values in mind, and we make sure our vendors and partners feel that as well. When you combine that with our team’s relentless dedication to our clients and their projects, you’re getting awful close to our secret recipe!

Another ingredient in the Streamline recipe for success is our search for teammates who possess a broad and diverse skillset. Not all creatives are created equal – and we like it that way.


Our founder built this company while working on the road for 20 years and learning from some of today’s top musical artists and business leaders.   This experience shaped who we are today.  One of us spent over 14 years with a leading non-profit and has channeled this attention to detail and ROI into our client experiences.  Two of our team members have pursued their own musical career and bring their creative talents to our day to day.  Personally, I have been working in production management on projects of all sizes for the last ten years.  We all bring our unique experience and leadership to Streamline Event Agency.


We believe that if you empower a teammate by giving them the creative freedom to experiment and make mistakes knowing that they most likely won’t (and honestly shouldn’t) nail it the first time, you’re going to end up with a much more creative and thought-out product. We don’t put people in a box. Our current team consists of some of the best minds and attitudes in the business, and that’s not an accident. There are plenty of individuals full of talent who wouldn’t be the right fit. We look for dedication to our core values, and a thirst for personal growth.

So, what’s it all mean? We are who we say we are. When we tell you that we are going to do something – we do it. We don’t make excuses and we always deliver.

Get To Know The Whole Team

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How To Set Up An Artist Tour


Touring is a fairly large industry today- you see artists like Justin Timberlake, U2 and Garth Brooks doing World Tours, and most of those are year-round or longer. While not every tour is that extensive, every tour IS just as important, and requires just as much prep work. From the moment we receive the contract, to when we execute the show day, every minuscule detail has to be discussed, entered, and fulfilled.

Here at Streamline Event Agency, our initial work with our touring Artists begins when we receive the signed contracts from the booking agent. Our first step is to reach out to the Promoter, as we know that good communication is an important aspect of any show day and tour. From this initial email, we receive the necessary contact information for the Venue, Technical Director, Caterer, Volunteer Coordinator, and any other contacts we might need.

We also begin with a Preliminary Schedule, including the times for Load-in, VIP experience, Meals, Doors, Showtime and Load-out. Lastly, we discuss the tour’s Hotel and Travel needs, as these generally need to booked at least a month in advance. From there, we will connect with those other contacts, and begin advancing the details for each show.


While we’re laying the foundation for communication with the Promoters, we’re also working on the minute details of the tour, and what the Artists, Band and Crew will need to know. We need to know who the Artist’s accompanying personnel will be (full band, trio, any openers?), and what kind of Production (sound/lights/staging) the tour will be using- do we need to rent and carry with us or use the venue’s in-house production?

This will help us determine what Crew will need to be with us. We need a fairly accurate head count, as that determines our hotel rooms, busing and catering counts. During this time, we’re creating a Tour Book, that will be given to all Tour Personnel. This will include essential information like a General Schedule, Rehearsal Info, Tour Contacts, Tour Routing, and even details like Bus/Bunk Assignments. We also create a Tour Calendar that all Tour Personnel will have access to. The information we drop in includes information specific to each show day, as well as Bus Call information. Each show day will have the Schedule, Hotel Address, and relevant Venue information like Address, Wifi Log-in and Password, and Shower details.


Great communication is critical in having a successful tour. As any touring personnel should know, flexibility is key on the road- there are ever-changing details, no matter how well the show may have been advanced. We need to make sure that everyone knows where to look when information is revised, and that all personnel have the most up-to-date materials. Once all of this is established, you’re ready to hit the road!


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Hospitality, A Lost Art

Hospitality Matters

Think about your favorite experiences. What made them special? What made them memorable?  Most memorable experiences are ones in which you felt cared for, thought of, and the feeling that someone went above and beyond for you. You can tie all of this back to hospitality. Hospitality matters whether you are at a
company event, or an artist on tour night after night.

There is a saying for those on the road with artist touring management; great hospitality and food cover a multitude of sins. We remember shows often based on that hospitable experience.  For example, there is an arena in Tulsa, OK known as The BOK Center. It was by far the best hospitality that we experienced last year on the Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith Christmas tour.  They went the extra mile in providing a comfortable atmosphere at the highest level. The tour is returning this year and can’t wait for that same experience.

Put in the Work

Take that same approach into a live event setting. It can be easy to identify line items tied to hospitality and look for budget cuts here to help the overall short-term bottom line. Your audience won’t know the difference, right? WRONG. Being greeted on arrival after a long day of travel, easy check in and welcome gifts, great food and beverage, thoughtful room drops, and parting gifts all contribute to how your audience feels about the event and your brand.

Remember, they gave up time at home with their family to be with you and your company. If you pay attention to these details, it speaks volumes to your customers about how they will be treated in the moments they need you most in the day to day grind.

Keep It Simple

Hospitality doesn’t have to be expensive, but rather just well thought out. Saying hello by name and thank you do not cost us anything. Get to know your audience or your artists. Being on the road, whether night to night on tour or at a week-long sales conference is not easy.  Hospitality is a lost art and one that makes all the difference in the world.

Talk with our team about what can do for your customers or artist to create memorable experiences by doing the simple things that mean a lot to all of us.


Needing some hospitality?

What We Do For Artists

Creating an “Advance”

We make life easy by creating a consistent and controlled environment on the road that allows our tour entourage to perform at their max potential. While this obviously pertains to the artists on stage, it also applies to the crew behind the scenes. By meticulously managing the details (or the “advance” as we call it) prior to, during, and after each show, we set our crew up for a successful show day and therefore lay the ground work for our artists to do what they do best.

Remove Barriers before the Day Begins

Perfection is hard to come by on the road, as you deal with different local personnel and layouts at each venue in each respective city, but having a solid show advance and proper communication to your crew allows all barriers we encounter to be dealt with easily. Going into a show without a plan and with no communication to a team is a recipe for disaster. People don’t like surprises (unless they result in a celebration of your birth followed by presents). So we have the foresight and communication of upcoming circumstances to set the tone for how a difficult day can be tackled.


Create Consistency

With great detail we approach every show, no matter what the size, with the same amount of care and detail in an effort to create consistency along the way that isn’t affected by circumstance or location. Being able to create the same environment daily, allows the tour personnel to find a routine. Much like life at home, you fall into a routine on the road. While you may not be waking up in the same bed and prepping for the day in your own private bathroom at home, being able to find a routine on the road, allows your team to stay mentally fit and go about their day at 100%.

Manage the details. Communicate with your team. Create consistency. Make that happen and you have set yourself up for a successful day on the road, followed by an amazing show put on by your team on stage and behind the scenes!

Leave Your Company Events Singing the Same Song

Keep Your Audience Engaged Throughout Meetings

Because Streamline Event Agency has the privilege of working with both business owners and artists to plan their events, we’ve found they can both benefit from one another.  One question we hear regularly on the corporate event side, “How do we keep our audience engaged in our message throughout our meetings?” One statement we hear a lot from artist managers, “We need new audiences for my artist to be in front of.”

Event Content Must Be Sticky

Enter Streamline Event Agency. The light bulb truly went off when overheard one CEO leaving his three-day corporate event where they spent a significant amount of money educating their employees on new strategies for corporate goals. “I’m not sure anyone here retained what we said,” said this frustrated CEO, “What I really need is everyone to leave singing the same song.” Wow, that makes total sense to us! The corporate meeting is in dire need of reinvention and retention. A new, younger, more nuanced work force is coming in at the same time the veterans are leading. We believe in content must be designed that is sticky for both audiences.  

Creative Content is Right Under Our Nose

When we discuss merging entertainment and corporate events, historically that has meant booking a band for the closing night party. That is almost the opposite of what we mean. Actually that can be a massive waste of money unless the entertainment is connected to the content. Our database is filled with creative people in songwriting, filmmaking, storytelling, illustrators, video producers, recording artists, and credentialed Universities who teach on the rise of creativity in the work force.

If you’re a business looking to spice up your next corporate event, we’re happy to help. We believe we are on the front end of a massive movement in reinventing the meeting template from something you must attend, to something you can’t wait to attend.  And as we say in Nashville…the content is the key. Let Streamline Event Agency work up a pitch for your group to create content they will retain all year long.

Want to create content for your corporate event that sticks all year?


Streamline Event Agency