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. Ultimately, it’s their message and they are key in developing the overall theme and need to be comfortable in how it is conveyed to the audience. Then, staging company enters into the process to develop the technology solution to execute on the creative design to deliver the message effectively to the audience.
While it might seem obvious that each of these key players would work together from the planning to the execution phase, this is typically not the norm. More times than not, the standard is to bring a staging company onboard after the creative process has already taken place, and a design is in place and already been approved by the end client. This approach can sometimes lead to design changes once the staging company is brought in to develop the technical solution. What once looked great on paper in terms of design may suddenly not seem as appealing when it comes to the cost of equipment and labor needs to accomplish the plan, or any environmental restrictions or technology limitations that might alter the initial vision.
Ideally, the best way to achieve the maximum results in planning and designing an event starts with collaboration. The collaborative process should start with all the key players responsible for the event, the creative production team, and then inviting the staging company to the table at the onset of the planning and brainstorming stage. This approach allows for optimal budget planning, and gives the client the best opportunity to maximize cost savings for the technology execution of the event.
A staging company can work with the creative team to reverse engineer any proposed designs before anything becomes finalized, to ensure feasibility of the ideas. Whether the production involves large flat screens, ground supported or flown technology, curved LED, or takes place indoors or outdoors, a staging company will be able to assist with ensuring the final design will work successfully in the event space and be able to convey the benefits and risks to the team. In the end, knowing a design is feasible in the early stage of event planning will save time on making changes later in the process, and allow the event team to budget effectively.
A staging company can also assist with proposing technology that is economically viable. They can work with the planning team to offer alternative suggestions for different technology options that may accomplish the same end result. For example, they can provide input on using LED versus projection, or multiple screens as opposed to superwidescreen, and go through the cost savings associated with each solution. Furthermore, an experienced staging company will be able to assist with budget planning when it comes to the requirements at different venues in terms of rigging fees, in-house service charges, and power costs, which may impact the budget and subsequently the scale of creative event design.
In addition, a staging company can also bring ideas to the table. Not only can they work with the event team to discuss the range of technology options currently on the market, but also present new innovative solutions that may not be in the mainstream and open up new concepts for the production design team. In turn, this may to help spur the creative process and assist in sculpting the vision. New technology is always coming onto the market, and a quality staging provider will be up to date on the latest solutions to help with creating fresh ideas, when an event producer is setting out to accomplish an “industry first” for an audience and give them an experience they have never seen in the past.
Collaboration also has the added benefit of making everyone feel like one team, not just acting as the production people, or the staging people, or end client. Simply put, everyone working together builds cohesion, and a united team, on the same page from the start, is going to be a stronger one. It takes a village to execute a large event, and the better the communication and planning for all parties involved that make it happen, then the chance of success is increased exponentially.
People tend to get comfortable in their approach, and collaborating with the staging company as part of the planning process is not the current norm in the live event industry. But, hopefully the benefits to be gained will motivate a movement for change in the current climate and create a new paradigm in the future. By rethinking our approach, event producers can not only create synergy among all the key players on the event team, but maximize cost savings and get the biggest bang for the buck. Whether collaborating for budget purposes, brainstorming different ideas, or to simply ensure that a design will work as planned, working together helps everyone win and creates great shows.
Les Goldberg founded LMG, LLC, a national provider of video, audio, lighting and LED support in 1984 with a small loan from a relative. He also acts as CEO of Entertainment Technology Partners, LLC, the parent company of a collection of exceptional brands within the live event and entertainment technology services industry. He recently published the book, “Don’t Take No for An Answer, Anything is Possible,” available on Amazon and iBooks. For more information, visit www.lmg.net and www.lesgoldberg.com.