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Staging School

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Rental & Staging Systems' executive editor, David Keene, welcomes attendees to the first Rental & Staging Roadshow, held at Altman Rentals in Yonkers, NY. Attended by over one hundred fifty industry professionals, the first Rental & Staging/InfoComm International Roadshow was a resounding success. Hosted by Altman Rentals in Yonkers, NY (a close-in suburb of New York City), on July 25, the Roadshow was a chance for rental and staging professionals in the Northeast to get technical and product training, and business planning/and management seminars-all in an intimate setting on the banks of the Hudson River.

Rental & Staging Systems magazine produced the event. Primary sponsors for the Roadshow were Barco; Unique Business Systems/R2 (rental management software); A-Line Acoustics; Video Roadshow; and Agenda magazine. Pro Sound News magazine and Systems Contractor News were NewBay Media co-sponsors of the event.

The Roadshow was comprised of technical and business tracks addressing key issues for industry rental and professionals, with a focus on the corporate event market. InfoComm's Rental & Staging committee chairman Tom Stimson taught classes for the business track, delving deep into issues of business and management. Stimson touched on how to make your staging company more profitable, He also spoke on trends in technology and how the simplicity of newer gear is effecting everyone's bottom line. From the art of proposals to the ever-complex issue of labor, Stimson educated attendees on the intricacies of the staging business.

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Andre Lejeune covers show preplanning during his morning session in the InfoComm tech track.
InfoComm International provided the tech track for the Roadshow, which featured in-depth seminars from Andre LeJeune and Stas Ushomirsky. Andre LeJeune of MVP Audio Visual related advice on pre-show planning, and support/signal distribution for presentation systems. Everything from the decorations to the rehearsal schedule can be disastrous to a show if not properly dealt with in advance. LeJeune emphasized the importance of a proper site survey, detailing the project manager's role down to the dock height and the fire exits. Simple inquiries to the facility manager about the venue will save a project manager time and face in the midst of a complex show.

In the tech track as well was Stas Ushomirsky of Sky Creative. Ushomirsky explained the role of the "Screen Designer" in today's staging world and how companies need to pay attention to this important task. The Roadshow also featured manufacturer training from Barco, IntelEvent, Unique Business Systems, Christie Digital, and Sony Electronics.

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Stas Ushomirsky and Tom Stimson discuss value preposition with attendees in a joint afternoon session.
Exhibitors at the Roadshow included, in addition to the sponsors, The Screen Works, Altman Rentals, AV Stumpfl, CAVS, FSR, A.C.T Lighting, Kramer Electronics, Projector Lamp Services, Sonic Foundry, Wybron, Media Vision, and Stamford Tent. The Screen Works provided all of the projection screens for the seminars and joint sessions. C.A.V.S. (Corporate Audio Visual Specialists) provided video projectors for all sessions.

The event proved to be a success for both attendees and manufacturers alike, as A-Line Acoustics' Tony Faranda pointed out after his company's presentation. "It's great for us because a lot of powerful people that can make equipment decisions in some of the biggest rental companies in the industry are here. This ambiance is great. Having all the big guys from the Metro area is amazing."

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The Roadshow was an opportunity for attendees to network and discuss industry issues with other staging professionals.
Brian Brooks, president of MB Productions, who stages high-profile corporate and entertainment events in New York City, saw the Roadshow as an opportunity to learn from top industry professionals, as well as a chance to check out different gear. "It's great to meet reps and talk at this time of year, it's a perfect occasion to check out different equipment in a relaxed environment."

The Rental & Staging Systems magazine Roadshow held July 25 was the first in a series produced by Rental & Staging Systems magazine, working with InfoComm International, to bring product training and business and technical seminars to the rental staging community where they work, in intimate, hands-on settings. Upcoming stops in other U.S. cities will be announced soon by NewBay Media, publishers of Rental & Staging Systems magazine. For more information visit www.rentalandstaging.com.

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