Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Event Planning & Stage Design Advice

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Advice on Stage Design

As our company grows we are finding more and more clients, not only need to rent audio visual equipment, lighting and staging but also need assistance in the planning phase of their events. The knowledge we gain, performing and teching on a daily basis, as audio visual technicians, is invaluable to a client who may only plan 1 to 2 events per year.
The ideas we have in our heads have been attained just by being present and observant during the shows we work day-to-day. I implore event planners, wedding planners, trade show organizers and the like, to pick the brains of your AV suppliers. Oftentimes, the AV sales rep may not even know the knowledge they possess.

Here are some improvement tips and ideas for your room, stage and overall event:

1. Lighting - An easy, valuable addition to your event is the simple inclusion of a few parnel (par) lights, strategically placed on stage.
First of all, I highly recommend moving to L.E.D. lighting over traditional lighting.
Why?...L.E.D. Lighting is green.
( eg. Traditional Pars can consume up to 90 Watts, while L.E.D. Pars consume approx. 7-10 Watts of electricity )
Additionally, L.E.D. lighting offers a multitude of color options and color mixing, without the use of gels. Adding lighting to your stage is an attention getter; be it basic up lighting or lighting mounted on truss. It provides the necessary 'wow' factor to your show and adds some eye pleasing color for the audience, photographers and videographers.
See Pic (L.E.D. Pars used along with draping): http://www.audiovisualrenting.com/gallery/index.php?gallery=./Marathon%20Lights&image=Pink%20Stage.jpg
Going one step further can be including intelligent / moving head lighting. L.E.D. Moving Head lights are great for the same reasons stated above; however, the price difference between L.E.D. and traditional moving head lights does not yet warrant blindly going with L.E.D. What you need to know if you plan to use intelligent lighting is...in order to get the full benefit, you will need a dedicated lighting engineer to set up and run the fixtures properly and efficiently.
Lastly, a major concern when using lighting is the available electricity in your event room. You should, when possible, consult the building engineer or put your AV and Lighting supplier in touch with the building engineer to ensure there are not any circuit breakers tripped or power outages during your show.

2. Trussing - Trussing is primarily used for mounting of lights, video screens (we will discuss later), speakers and adding fabric effects for lighting. The same lights discussed above can be alternately be mounted to truss towers. When deciding to use truss, or not, you must be aware of your available stage space and truss weight limitations. This is where you make your AV supplier earn his or her salary. With your supplier, you should be able to verbally explain your vision and have them execute the same vision, to your satisfaction.
For visual stage effects, using trussing and a few pieces of Spandex or Lycra fabric you can create a beautiful and professional looking stage
to serve as a dramatic backdrop during your show. When using truss for this stage effect be sure to use bases and/or enough trussing to ensure its sturdiness. the last thing you want is your trussing toppling over before or during your show.
See Pic (truss with fabric):
See Pic (extravagant truss set up with crane and hoist)
Comment - I really like working with trussing because in the long run it clears the stage by allowing us to truss mount almost anything.

3. Video - For the purposes of this blog, I have one idea and one word to add the 'wow' factor to your event; it is 'I-Mag'.
I-Magging is the act of shooting and broadcasting live video, simultaneously.
What Do I Need: You will need a video camera, LCD or DLP projector and projection screen.
What Do I Do: With the video camera, you will shoot the presenter, send the video output
to the LCD projector and project it on a projection screen,
most commonly placed behind the presenter. You can alternately route the video output to a plasma or LCD monitor(s). If you are using trussing you can easily mount a Da-Lite Fastfold screen to the trussing. If stage space is a concern, I recommend using a short throw projector to conserve. Lastly, be sure to use a projector with sufficient Lumens to not be effected or dulled by the nearby lighting.
See Pic ( Necessary Imag Rental Equipment):http://www.audiovisualrenting.com/events.html

If you are in the Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware area we would be ecstatic to quote and possibly be involved in your next event!

Bruce Johnson
A.V. Rental Services, Inc.
4039 Comly Street
Philadelphia, PA 19135