David Keene- The Staging market is back strong this year, and no more was this more evident than the InfoComm Rental & Staging Forum that took place yesterday at the InfoComm show in Orlando. The annual Forum, hosted again this year by Tom Stimson, and kicked off by Rental & Staging Council Chair Janne' Mummert of VER, drew a full room on Wednesday afternoon at InfoComm. The Forum was a lively blend of stagers in an interactive environment with audience polling, and a panel of four show producers responding to those questions and issues.
The four top-level producers, Marty Fuchs, of Fuchs Management and Consulting, Cat Virca, Panoptix Events; Dan Castor of Encore Productions; and
Nancy McFarland of Integrated Event Management; offered stagers a rare chance to get feedback on what producers are looking for when they sub out staging work and manage shows.
When asked by Tom Stimson whether owning a good amount of gear, as opposed to mainly using sub-rented gear, was necessary for a staging company to be in the running for top shows from top producers, the panelists indicated that not just how much gear a staging company owns is important, but also how they manage and brand that gear– for example, some producers want the staging company to indeed own top-tier gear, but sometimes don’t want them “branding” that gear at the show with their logos everywhere.
Another lively issue was the use of HD in events. Surprisingly, about 44% of the staging company audience reported that they did not do HD productions, while the producer panelists agreed that the majority of the events they produce are using HD, for IMAG, post-show capture, or both.