When I was first hired by the HHOF last summer, the first question I asked was "Will I be working Induction Night?". Thats where I was told all employees work that night. Since then, that was the one night I was looking forward to. However, Induction night wasn't till November 13th, so I still had 2 and a half months to get my feet wet there.
So as I got more experience at the Hall, I heard all the stories and different jobs that people do on this night. The things to do then range from doing coat check and being on washroom duty to being a runner and escort the guests to where ever they need to go and being someone who stays at the hotel and makes sure no one hassles the honored members. As a newbie myself, I fully expected to be on coat check.
Anyways fast forward those two months and we're on Induction weekend. On the Friday, the Montreal Canadiens came to the Hall to sign autographs because they were in Toronto to play the Leafs on the Hockey Hall of Fame game. On Saturday, Dave Keon and Jean Beliveau came in and we were giving out collectible cards while they signed them. While the day before Induction Day, the Inductees, Patrick Roy, Charlie Hotchkiss, Richard Duff, and Dan Brooks (Herb Brooks' son) came in to sign autographs and answer questions. After this a bunch of workers spent a good portion of the night (around 2-3am) setting up for Induction the next night (I wasn't one of them).
So the next day, I went to school in the morning for my only class that day, and then went straight down town for the Hall of Fame. I had to be there for 4pm where the HHOF bought pizza for everyone working. We all sat and talked for awhile and then they told us where we're all going to be to start the night. I ended up being a Runner, which like I said before is one of the people who escort guests to the various rooms, which is either the Great Hall or the two theaters. They also gave us our uniforms for that night, which different from every other day. They are gray Hockey Hall of Fame uniforms with the name of the inductees on the back. Only the employees are issued these uniforms and are considered collectors items too. So me and 7 other people had to stand on the red carpet and take whoever wants to the room they want. But because of where we were we got a close up view of all the celebrates walking though, so I remember seeing Gary Bettman, Lanny McDonald, Daryl Sittler, Frank Mahovlich, Johnny Bower, etc all walk through. One of the people I escorted down was George Chuvalo, which I found to be pretty cool.
After this, because they didn't need people to stand around on the Red Carpet all night they had a few of us to go to where the games area would be, and make a human wall to the podium there. On that podium is all the NHL trophies, including the Stanley Cup, as well as the giant book of signatures of all the inductees. The wall were were creating was a path for the inductees to get to that podium and sign the book. So I again got an up close look at this historic event.
When that was done, they had me go help out in the coat check, which isn't really anything more than it sounds. They ask for their coat, they give us a number, we find the coat and give it to them. However, I wasn't there for long, they were low on security where they pulled me out of coat check to help out.
While doing security my main two jobs were to make sure everyone had their ticket to get in, and to make sure no media outlets other than TSN were able to get in after a certain time because TSN had the exclusive rights since Gretzky's induction in 1999. So I had an argument with a French Journalist because I wouldn't let him in and I got to see a whole bunch of honored members walk by and such.
By the end of the night I was alone on the Red Carpet and I was the one wishing everyone who left the Hall a good night. From there the Big M shook my hand said I was doing a good job, Mr. Bower waved good bye to me, and really it was just a cool night.
After we were done they let us have the left overs of the food and then I was good to go. This was around 11pm, which I was told is much earlier than normal, where when I was done i went outside, hung out with another co worker and watched the Inductees head back on the bus and go to the hotel. By the end of it, I had a massive headache due to all the excitement, while I had to work the next day (the hall was closed down during the day to get ready for Induction). But it was fun and I look forward to doing it again next year.
So that was what my experience was there, and it gave you guys an idea of what happens behind the scenes on this day. All I can really say it is really cool to see everyone all in one spot, it was almost overbearing but it was worth it.