Rigging rules and rates are weighing down the live events industry
A long time ago, the live events industry did not have all the safety regulations in place that you see today. An audiovisual company could go into a hotel with truss and motors, and rig the equipment for the show. Regulations were lax, prices were reasonable, and companies were given freedom to put on events without many restrictions. Unfortunately, there are many potential hazards in live show environments, and minimal safety regulations can lead to accidents if an equipment provider is not properly trained. Ultimately, hotels realized that hoisting heavy equipment over people’s heads posed a serious safety and liability issue, and began to implement restrictions that gave them control over rigging in their venues. While added safety is critical, a new era of rigging was born where complete control by the venue opened the door for price gouging and exploitation of the system. (more…)
Recognizing and measuring great service and its impact on the show process
Today, the live events industry is booming with technological advancements. The digital age has produced an era with new innovations continually emerging, transforming live events into a range of new interactive and immersive experiences for the audience. Technology gives us immediate access to news and information, and we can interact with each other nearly instantaneously through various communication tools. While this influx of technology allows us to work more efficiently and deliver faster results, it has also changed expectations. People want everything bigger, quicker and cheaper, and this expectation can come at the cost of providing a great customer experience. (more…)
The value in bringing order to the chaos of backstage.
In the process of delivering shows within the live events industry, the backstage has traditionally been considered this elusive and hidden space where all the ‘magic’ happens. The reality is that backstage can be a very dangerous place, especially for people unfamiliar with a show site environment. For many years, the importance of the backstage look and layout was ignored compared to the front of house and show stage. Today, a new trend has emerged where the design of the backstage has become a great concern. (more…)
Understanding the True Value of Technical Directors to Ensuring a Successful Event
Live events come together in many ways. Some firms bring in their own internal teams, while others employ a professional known as the technical director to facilitate the process. Essentially, the job of a technical director (TD) is to make a show run efficiently. From beginning to end, the TD plays a pivotal role in ensuring the event is executed not only successfully, but also in the most efficient way for the client. The benefit of a TD can sometimes be undervalued because it can take solving a problem for their role to be recognized, when the true value of what they do is minimizing any issues on show site. But, whether an event goes off exactly as planned, or experiences challenges, a good TD is well worth the investment and the value they can provide pays for themselves, significantly more than the cost. (more…)
The Critical Importance of Choosing the Right People for the Right Job
In the wild west of live events, it’s clear that the technicians rule the world. They transform black boxes of miscellaneous gadgets and gizmos into these amazing displays and moving experiences for the audience. Whether a small, medium, or large show, it is critical to have a talented crew to ensure a successful outcome. The team in place can either make or break a show, and it is extremely important to take the proper measures to place the right people in the right jobs for your next event. (more…)
What is the Catalyst for Change When Using Legacy Technology Providers?
Many events take place year after year using the same technical providers and crew. A successful show can often lead to the show producer developing a trusted relationship with the technology provider, and a certain comfort level is established. As a result, the same team will often end up in the fortunate position of supporting that show every year. There are benefits to having that level of trust and familiarity with your team. There is less risk involved supporting an event with a time-tested crew, technology, and staging approach that has proven to be successful in the past. Given that, why would a show producer ever change staging providers? What is the catalyst for a change? (more…)
Engage the staging company early in the creative process to maximize results
There are many players involved in developing the creative elements for a live event. The initial idea may come from someone in executive management at a firm, and then either an internal creative services team or outside production company develops the vision and messaging to bring the idea to fruition. There are also the people doing the actual presentations at the event. (more…)
Preparing to Navigate and Negotiate the Pitfalls of the Venue Contract
When planning a live event and trying to budget effectively, meeting planners may not realize what they can do to prepare on the front end to save time and money. During the planning process, companies commonly talk about equipment discounts, shipment costs, providing local labor and/or using in-house audiovisual to save money for the overall event budget. Although important items to consider, these types of savings occur much later in the overall planning, after the most important step in the process has already transpired – the execution of the venue contract. (more…)
How do you choose the right mix of technology for the right audience?
The fundamental essence of live events is driven by a group of people coming together to receive, understand and communicate a message. Whether in a hotel ballroom, arena, convention center, or any other type of gathering place, companies that put together these meetings are trying to create an experience for the audience. (more…)
Everyone Loses with Current Paradigm of In-House Hotel Audiovisual Services
A hot button issue right now within the live event industry is the current state of in-house hotel audiovisual services. Twenty-plus years ago, audiovisual departments within hotels offered reasonable commissions to the venue, which allowed them to provide a quality service to the customer at a reasonable price, and were able to make a profit. It was synergistic relationship between the provider and hotel, and it presented value to the customer. Today, the majority of in-house hotel audiovisual companies operate on a model with highly inflated commissions going to the venue, resulting in prices that have skyrocketed to rates well beyond market pricing. The value in this proposition for the customer is virtually nonexistent. (more…)