Super Bowl LI 2017 Image

Super Bowl LI 2017 A Production Company’s Retrospective

Super Bowl 2017, like any of the really large, international events, fills the host city with a dizzying array of private parties, AirBNB reservations and car rentals. For a week during February, 2017, all eyes were on Houston for the Patriots vs the Falcons national showdown (with Lady Gaga at halftime). Of course, lots of private events means an increased need for super bowl event production elements like staging, rooftops, lighting, and electrical rentals. As the marketing companies descended on Houston along with the attendees, the production crew got ready for a week’s worth of event services!

It turned out to be a pretty hectic week! Traffic in a grid-locked Houston affected event times. Security was tight, which affected truck delivery schedules with constant X-Ray scans at high security venues. However, our warehouse staff in Houston made switching trucks and gear seamless. Our expert techs worked together to handle over a dozen client events through the week. All of the staff had the opportunity to work with client names like Comedy Central, DirectTV, MKTG and Nike – all in one weekend!

We would like to thank our clients and vendors for making our portion of Super Bowl 2017 a huge success. We’ll have several other busy weekends in 2017 coming soon. After all, SXSW is fast approaching. And large holidays like Cinco de Mayo, Fourth of July and Fiestas Patrias will keep our staff hopping. We look forward to working with both new and existing clients this year. In the meantime, view the list below to see all the shows at Super Bowl 2017 that we helped make successful!

Comedy Central – ManHouse Productions:Comedy Central ManHouse Productions Image

The second show for our old friends at ManHouse consisted of taking over the outdoor space at Kirby Ice House for a week and doing live broadcasts of Comedy Central’s new show, “The Barstool Rundown”.  In Depth Events staff built the stage as well as a rooftop for lighting and protection. Our work on this show earned us a 5-star rating from our client!

 

MKTG for DirecTV:

Our first crews in Houston began Super Bowl week with the staging and carpet bones for the DirecTV setup inside the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. A last-minute pickup of 3,000 square foot of silver carpet rounded out the two main 24 foot x 24 foot stages and ADA ramps for this booth.

 

NFL Network Stage:

There was nothing more exciting than a 24 foot X 24 foot stage in this booth. Other companies provided the lighting, audio and trussing for this booth. But the stage was there first!

 

Angel City Designs – Hilton Americas:

One of the many host hotels of the NFL needing lighting techs for setup, changeovers, and finally, strike.

 

Angel City Designs – Lot 97:Angel City Designs Lot 97 Image

Our second show with this prestigious event company out of LA was called “Lot 97”. In initial conversations, Angel City couldn’t even disclose the end client for security concerns. As a result, the site of this location was the identifier for the show – even after we found out who the end client was. We provided a custom 24 foot half round stage as well as regular staging. We also provided a small army of lighting technicians for setup, changeovers and strike.

 

IMC Productions – Superbash:IMC Productions Superbash Image

This four day party ended with a bomb threat. But still, we provided the stage, rooftop, lighting and generators for this outdoor event. On Saturday night, someone called in a bomb threat to the police. When SWAT and police showed up, they evacuated the event space. Luckily, the threat was a fake, but it still had devastating effects on the party.

 

 

Nickelodeon:Nickelodeon Experiential Event Image

Another broadcast event with trussing, staging, labor, and special effects for this wacky taping of a Nickelodeon game show inside the George R Brown Convention Center.

 

Pro One – Nike:

This outdoor event was held at a local event center. Nike came in to play with a revamp of the football field, portable bleachers, food vendors, and all the other aspects of a “Friday Night Lights” event. We provided generators and electrical distribution, making sure that all vendors had electrical power.

Metroplex Gymnastics:Metroplex Gymnastics Metroplex Challenge Event

Not all shows on Super Bowl weekend are Super Bowl shows! The Metroplex Challenge is an annual gymnastics event where we provide staging, audio and lighting. This 11 year repeat client began our week with a three day show at the Ft Worth Convention Center Arena. Check out a highlights video from the event here.

Barrellhouse Media:

Another event that just happened to fall on Super bowl weekend. This stage was for a corporate event.

Hopefully this blog has been informative for our event planner clients! For more information on In Depth Events and our event production capabilities, please Ask Us a Question today. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you on your event!


Image of Event Activation at the Essence Festival

The Perfect Event Activation for the Essence Festival!

At In Depth Events, we work with marketing firms all over the world to help promote their clients brands.  Our clients range from sports marketing firms to guerrilla marketing firms – and everything in between!  Our marketing firm clients promote cutting edge products and we are here to make the technical production side of their event activation work flawlessly.

Professional Marketing Event Activation at the Essence Festival

For the last two years, the founders of In Depth Events worked with one of the most respected  marketing companies in the world on a very specific live activation.  The Marketing Arm needed a an event production partner to create an event activation at the Essence Festival.  This annual event in New Orleans was started to support Essence magazine and is “The Party with a Purpose” for African-American women from all over the United States.

The end client in this event space used our signature LED Dance Floor as a centerpiece to the activation.  Paired with the eye-catching floor is a custom built DJ booth with LED lighting on the front and sides as well.  This dynamic look blends perfectly with the other set pieces in the event activation and provides a virtual magnet to get people into the booth and boogie down on the LED Dance Floor – all while getting eyes and impressions on the client logo and branding!

Custom LED Lighted DMX Controllable DJ Booth Image

Custom LED Lighted DMX Controllable DJ Booth

The Essence Festival is certainly not our largest activation.  However, it offers a highlight to one of our fun, niche products that included some custom work as well.  This activation remains one of our favorites because of the great companies we get to work with, the fun atmosphere of the activation and the seamless way that all the elements come together to promote the client brand.

Are you interested in finding out how In Depth Events can help your clients brand?  Ask Us a Question today and let us know how we can bring your activation ideas to life!


Bad Weather Conditions and Live Events

Extreme Weather Conditions at Live Events

Outdoor events and activations are in a class by themselves.  In addition to the difficulties of production requirements, parking and crowd control, you also have to add fencing, porta-potties and the tempestuous moods of Mother Nature.  In this post, we’ll discuss how to plan for bad weather conditions at live events and the specific conditions that our technicians are trained to look for when determining whether or not to continue an event in bad weather.

Unpredictable weather and live events

Image of Safety During Bad Weather Conditions

Safety During Bad Weather Conditions is the Number One Priority for In Depth Events

In our home State of Texas, weather can be…  fickle.  It’s an old joke here that “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait a minute and it will change.”  Of course, our touring and logistics groups handle activations and experiential events all over the nation.  We’ve been drowned in Denver, deluged in Duluth and snowed on in St Paul.  We’ve been hailed on in Helena, had sleet in San Antonio and tornadoes in…  well, you get the idea.  The point is we are very experienced with bad weather conditions at live events and how to make sure the equipment and your attendees are safe before, during and after bad weather strikes.

As a production company, we have to be ready for all types of weather at an outdoor event. Rain gear and pop-up tents are part of every single pack that goes on the truck.  All of our electrical distribution systems are water resistant and rated for outdoor use.  Our ballast plans for our rooftops are specifically designed with high wind conditions in mind.

Speaking of rooftops – whenever we do a stage and roof system, we will always have a roof tech on site to monitor the roof and the weather conditions at any time there is activity on the stage.  On most of our outdoor rental stage and roof system builds, you’ll see a weather station including an anemometer and a rain gauge on the structure.  Monitoring the weather at all times is a big part of our commitment to safety on the event site.

 

Make sure your event company has a bad weather plan

Image of bad weather from concert stage

After the rain – back to the show!

Especially when using rooftops or mobile stages – it’s imperative that production company that you have contracted has a bad weather plan.  With our company, it’s our Rooftop Emergency Procedures.  This document has very specific tolerances for wind and rain and clearly explains our responsibility to our clients in case of bad weather.

In addition to this document, it’s also important for everyone to sit down long before the event and discuss the issues related to bad weather conditions at live events.  The promoter, production company, venue owner and (if possible) the municipality should all be given well-defined roles and responsibilities for dealing with bad weather.  Knowing these roles beforehand can save precious minutes and provide a well-organized response for attendees.

Do you have questions about weather and your outdoor activation, concert, or festival?  Ask a Question of the bad weather safety experts at In Depth Events.  We’re happy to take our knowledge and experience and apply it to your event.  We look forward to hearing from you and working with you!


Confetti Blower at a Graduation Ceremony

Graduation Stage Rentals – An Event Planners Guide

Commencement and Graduation Stage Rentals – Identifying Specific Needs

Graduation Stage Rentals and Choral RiserWhether it’s for a community college, a high school, a four year university or even a vocational school, commencements are an important transition for students, instructors and attendees. Identifying specific needs for your graduation stage rentals is the first step in making sure the graduation ceremonies go smoothly for everyone.

There are several questions to ask that will determine stage size and height. How many people will be on stage? Is the event outdoors or indoors? Will you require seating risers on the rear of the stage for professors and administrators? How many graduates will you have? Additionally, you need to consider the venue. For example, many high schools will use the football stadium on campus for commencement. A stage that would look huge in a small room may look tiny in this environment. Is there a game the night before or the night of? Has anyone else reserved the stadium? How will vendors get staging and chairs onto the field?

 

 

Graduation stage rentals, the ADA and vendor selection

Graduation Stage Rentals With ADA RampThe ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act, was signed into law in 1990. For staging vendors, it mandates on a federal level the use of handrails and ramps on temporary and permanent stages. In addition to compliance with the ADA, graduation stages must also comply with municipal building codes for staging and structure builds. Some municipalities will also require review by the county Fire Marshall for safety and accessibility.

It’s incredibly important that your stage meets or exceeds local building codes as well as ADA requirements. The most successful staging vendors will verify building codes, ADA requirements and fire code requirements long before they arrive to setup your stage. Look for staging vendors who are Certified Building Contractors within your local municipality, or the nearest large city if you are in a suburban or rural area.

 

Image of Collin-College Graduation CeremonyThe shameless sales pitch for graduation stage rentals

 

We have been providing graduation stage rentals for many years as well as other production and rental services. Chair rentals, sound system rentals, press risers and audience risers are all within our range of services to our clients.

Ask Us a Question today and find out why our clients return to In Depth Events event experts year after year. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you!


Image of Sports Marketing Event

Live Event Production Services for Sports Marketing Firm Game Seven Marketing

Game Seven Marketing and the founders of In Depth Events began our business relationship back in 2013, doing a marketing event at the Galleria Mall in Houston. This four day event during the 2013 NBA All Star Jam was one of the incredibly successful sports marketing events that launched a mutually beneficial relationship between the two companies that has endured through dozens of events.

Image of Game Seven Marketing at Seven Penn SquareSince then, we have provided audio, lighting, video, staging and décor rentals for all types of sport related live events for Game Seven Marketing and their clients’ brands. In 2014, we handled events in New Orleans and Oklahoma City and 2015 saw us in Fort Worth, Dallas and back to OKC.

Our most recent event was an interview format event with a live audience. Marketed to an exclusive audience, this event was held in the Penn Square mall at a chain store. Not only was the audience engaged by the celebrity guest, they were also engaged by branded product on the shelves and featured on the video screens. At this event, we provided full turn key production services including audio, staging, video; and even chairs, pipe and drape and tensa-barriers.

In Depth Events is proud to call Game Seven Marketing a loyal client. Ask Us a Question today and find out how we can promote your clients brand!

Image of Game Seven Marketing at All Star Jam


Image of AT&T Stadium for College Football National Championship

ETZEL Agency Truss and Gateways for NCAA Football Championships 2015

Anyone who follows college football knows about the NCAA’s decision to create a national college football playoff. That first playoff happened at AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, TX in 2015.  In this historic event, Ohio State defeated Oregon in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship.

There were more players at this event than the ones on the field, however.  The ETZEL Agency was in full force, one of the most recognized sports marketing firms in the world.  The City of Arlington staff were everywhere making sure that attendees were safe and having a good time.  And, of course, our staff were there providing sporting event production services for the very first NCAA Championship Tailgate Party!

For this show, our staff provided a list of live sporting event production services. Attendees at both entrances were first greeted by our three-dimensional gateway towers, complete with lighting and custom signage. The Postano social media tower was a three-sided video wall that projected sponsor and event information. Our staff custom designed a 20 foot tall ballast and vertical truss structure for signage in twelve locations over the entire site. Our staff also provided a laundry list of staging and scaffolding structures, including a stage thrust, camera platforms and spot platforms for the main stage performance area.

ETZEL Agency T-shaped-runwayAs always, our first priority is safety. When the City of Arlington required each vendor to have individual permits for every structure, the staff promptly provided the engineer drawings needed. As a Certified Building Contractor with the City of Arlington, we were able to get the permits and inspections taken care of before most of the other vendors. And In Depth Events was the first vendor to receive green tags on inspection day!

Entry Gantry at College Football Championship Tailgate EventThe day of the event was overcast and cold. But that didn’t stop the fans from attending the inaugural Championship Tailgate party and, of course, the game itself! we were proud to be a part of NCAA history and we look forward to working with our new friends and colleagues at ETZEL in the future.

postono social media and video towerThe staff at In Depth Events has a long history of providing live sporting event production services for sports marketing firms like ETZEL. You can see our page devoted to sports marketing firms here. If you are interested in finding out how In Depth Events can provide production services for your sports marketing firm, then Ask a Question of our sports marketing events experts. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you!

 

Truss and Ballast for ESPN Signage


Image of Glow Party Events with DJ

Glow Parties, Neon Parties and Black Light Parties – An Event Planners Guide

At In Depth Events, we provide large scale glow party events for corporate clients, outdoor glow runs, college events and other large events with high numbers of attendees.  We work with event planners and organizers from all over the country to provide events for thousands of people.  This blog post is designed for this level of event.

If, however, you are putting on a glow party for a sweet sixteen birthday party, your personal Halloween party or a backyard party for your favorite 50 people – we respectfully suggest you go to Cool Glow and order for your specific needs.  They have an amazing selection of glow stuff for smaller, private events.

So, what is a Glow Party, anyway?

Glow Parties, Neon Parties and Black Light Parties can be indoor black tie corporate parties or they can be nighttime outdoor festivals. But the main thing that unites them all is FUN!  Whether it’s an outdoor fun run, a Neon New Year’s party or a college party, Glow Parties are a great way to have a memorable, exciting event.  There are three different types of products that are used for all Glow Parties:

1 – UV lighting.  Black Light lighting rentals, also called Ultra Violet lighting, are necessary for a glow party.  Using UV lighting allows UV reactive clothing, paints or other items to glow.  Although it’s nice to have specific items purchased for their ability to glow, you’ll be surprised at how much stuff you normally carry around, interact with or wear will glow under UV.  There are even several bar items that will glow under black Light without special treatment!  The major manufacturers of conventional UV lighting are Wildfire and Altman – and, of course, there are LED products from large scale to small flashlights that project UV.

2 – LED battery powered items.  It’s hard to remember a time where LED lighting wasn’t in everything – from the flash on your phone, to lights in your car dash, to security lighting – and party items!  You can buy battery operated LED’s in almost any shape or size.  There are wigs with LED lighting woven in them, clothing, as well as buttons, teeth, ice cubes and even furniture.  More formal corporate events can use LED bars, set pieces and DJ booths.  Many events use LED Dance Floors as the centerpiece of the party.  Since LEDs provide visible light, they are used in conjunction with UV lighting to create vibrant, saturated colors.

3 – Chemical glowing items.  These are the glow sticks that you ‘break’ to activate the glowing liquid inside.  These plastic tubes are filled with two non-toxic chemicals.  What you bend the plastic, a thin tube of glass inside the plastic tube breaks, mixing two chemicals that provide glowing light for 2-4 hours.  You can find these most often in necklaces, bracelets and, of course, glow sticks.  They are great as fun, inexpensive giveaways at outdoor and indoor parties.

college-glow-party image

Production rentals for large scale Glow Party Events

As you may remember from your college dorm – Black Lights don’t produce visible light.  As a result, you need a combination of UV lighting, LED lighting, and theatrical lighting rentals to provide the perfect glow party.  Wall washes work well, but why stop there?  Moving light rentals, LED Dance Floors, gobo projection – even special effects like confetti and cryo bring a Glow Party together for your attendees!

It’s incredibly important to find the right vendor for your Glow Party Events.  Whether it’s a thousand people in a hotel ballroom, ten thousand college students in an auditorium or twenty thousand people at a 5K fun run, you need a vendor with specific experience in Glow Party events rentals.  Not only will an experienced vendor have the rental UV lighting fixtures, special effects equipment and rigging equipment in their rental inventory, they will also have the knowledge and experience for rigging in indoor environments, working with fire marshals to provide engineered drawings and working with electrical power necessary for both indoor and outdoor Glow events.

The right vendor will be able to provide pictures of previous events – and pictures of more than one event!  Check references of both clients AND vendors.  Finally, get a Certificate of Insurance.  A reputable vendor will have no problem providing a CoI to your organization and your selected venue.

blacklight College Glow Party Audience Image

The Shameless Sales Plug

The staff at In Depth Events has been involved with Glow Party events and Black Light production rentals for several years.  We are one of a handful of companies that provide large scale UV for all types of events.  You can visit parts of our site that deals with production rentals for Glow Parties – from Glow Party Experts to our All-Inclusive College Glow Parties. Make sure to visit our LED Dance Floor pages – once there, you can even get an instant rental quote!

Once you’ve checked us out, then make sure to Ask Us a Question about your upcoming event.  Our experts will work within your budget and vision to make sure your Glow Party Events are incredible for your attendees.  We look forward to hearing from you and working with you!


Image of Holiday Concert Production Rental

Selecting the Best Production Vendor for your Holiday Concert – An Event Planners Guide

There are plenty of blog posts you can find that will talk about china selection at a small, private, home-based Holiday gathering.  You’ll find page after page talking about how to make your own centerpieces.  I’m sure there are entire databases dedicated to the perfect napkin ring complement to your curtains and how they match your Holiday scarf.  This is NOT that type of blog.

We are NOT talking about Holiday Decor here – we need Concert Production Services!

Large, ambitious Holiday events with thousands of attendees need live holiday concert event production services and rentals to get the party off the ground.  Maybe you are a casino doing a Neon New Years event, or possibly a municipality having a Christmas Tree lighting festival.  You could be organizing a Holiday themed 5K run, a corporate Christmas Party or a college Holiday party. Whatever your Holiday responsibilities, you are going to have to find a vendor to provide staging rentals, professional audio rentals and concert lighting rentals – quick!  Depending on the party, you might also need Christmas lighting rentals, special effects such as confetti or lasers or even an LED Dance Floor!  Whether you have a 20 piece swing band, a rock and roll cover act, or just a DJ – you need to make sure that all your production needs are covered for your event by choosing the best live event production rentals vendor possible.

Each Holiday event is unique, but the steps in vendor selection are largely the same for all these types of events.  First rule – take the time to research and select the right holiday concert event production vendors!  Finding your choice vendors will make you the Holiday hero.  The wrong vendors can turn your event into a real Nightmare before Christmas.  Never fear!  We’re here to give you a few pointers to find the perfect vendors for production rentals for your Holiday event – and along the way, maybe a few pointers for your other vendor needs as well.

LED Dance Floor at Holiday Party Image

Selecting a Holiday concert event production vendor for large scale events

Step One – Recognize you are in a different league.  The simple fact of the matter is that once you get past the 1,000 attendee mark, the whole game changes.  At 5,000 people, it changes again, and at 10,000 people, it’s a REAL party!  You need to have professional audio and lighting services that fit your crowd size, and your expected number of attendees.  Many times, this will necessitate bringing in additional power to handle the needs of the equipment, especially in outdoor environments.  In some venues, it may be advantageous to ‘rig’ equipment; that is, hang it from ceiling supports to increase the look and feel of the space and the equipment.

The successful concert production services vendor will have experience in producing events relative to the amount of attendees you are expecting.  If rigging is an option, choose a production vendor with rigging experience.  Understand the venue you have selected may require insurance information from the concert production vendor – this is something a reputable vendor will be happy to provide.  Likewise, a reputable concert production vendor will be happy to supply the power needs and requirements they have for their own equipment.

Step Two – Go with your instincts!  Did the vendor listen to your needs on the phone?  Did they ask questions and pay attention to your responses?  Did they offer to do a site survey?  Did they offer to provide you pictures of past events?  In many cases, you want (and NEED!) a vendor who you are comfortable with.  You’re not hiring a plumber here!

A good relationship between you and your vendor is key.  Meet the potential vendor on site and perform a site survey with them.  Asking for both customer AND vendor references is perfectly OK – in fact, a reputable vendor will welcome your request.  A reputable vendor will be happy to provide photos of recent events.  You should always take the time to check references with any vendor, but especially when choosing a concert production vendor.  Obviously, avoid vendors who are condescending or rude.

Riser Design Drawing and Actual Installation

Step Three – Ask your concert production services vendor for design advice.  This is an often overlooked step that can really help you select the best concert production vendor possible.  During the site survey, ask the vendor what other services they may be able to provide that will bring your party to the next level.  A good vendor will be happy to brainstorm with you on design ideas.  After all, they do hundreds of events per year – they might just have some ideas that will be great for your event!

A good holiday concert event production vendor can help with design.  The best production services vendor will be evaluating the venue during the site survey for potential roadblocks as well as design ideas.  Look for concert production vendors that are knowledgeable with fire codes and building codes. The best way to do this is to ask if they are Certified Building Contractors with any municipalities.  Your vendor should be also able to help you with ideas for crowd movement and making sure your attendees are safe during your event.

Image of Holiday Concert Performance

 

The Shameless Sales Pitch

The staff at In Depth Events has provided holiday concert event production services and rentals for hundreds of large scale Holiday events – from huge corporate Christmas parties, to Neon New Years events for casinos, and everything in between.  In our regular season, we’ve provided live event rentals for thousands of events of all shapes and sizes.  We’ve also got some great production services that are ready for your guests, including the largest LED Dance Floor in the nation, as well as being one of the most experienced Glow Party Experts in the world.  Our clients rely on our production experience – shouldn’t you?  Make sure and Ask Us a Question to see how we can help with your next Holiday event.  We look forward to hearing from you and working with you!


Image of Swimming Pool Cover

Swimming Pool Covers – An Event Planners Guide

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Create an amazing look and maximize event space!

Image of Clear Acrylic Pool Cover

A stunning clear acrylic pool cover at a private event

In the production world, swimming pool covers are used as temporary flooring for a live event.  There are a lot of options available to the event planner when it comes to the rental and installation of swimming pool covers. But first, let’s talk about some scenarios where a swimming pool cover might be used:

  • A marketing firm or DMC may rent the pool deck at a hotel for an evening, open-air cocktail hour.  The client doesn’t want a ‘swim party’ atmosphere; rather, a semi-formal sophisticated gathering is the goal.  By covering the swimming pool with flooring, additional space is made available for cocktail rounds and seating.
  • At home wedding receptions can benefit from pool covers as well.  Many times, the bride’s family will have a pool cover installed when the reception is to take place in the home.  Not only does a rental pool cover allow additional space for guests, it also keeps younger guests from exploring (and possibly, falling in to) the edges of the pool.
  • Corporate clients as well as family clients can both benefit from using swimming pool covers as dance floors.  Imagine an effect where your guests appear to be dancing on the surface of the pool and you’ll see why a see-through acrylic pool cover provides your guests with a truly unique experience.

The three types of flooring available for rental swimming pool covers.

Swimming pool covers can be customized by changing the actual surface of the flooring.  Below you’ll find the surface options available for swimming pool covers.

Wood Surface – most wood topped swimming pool covers have a black surface, although vendors can provide a white wood surface or other color to client specifications.  This is the most cost effective option for rental swimming pool covers.

Frosted Acrylic Surface – this surface consists of a semi-opaque acrylic.  It allows light to project up from the pool to the floor itself.  This surface is best suited for cocktail and casual atmospheres.

Clear Acrylic Surface – this flooring type is used in black tie and elegant events.  The surface is completely clear, allowing guests to be able to see through the floor into the pool.

Clear Plexi Pool Cover at Hotel Grand Opening

This clear acrylic swimming pool cover was used at the grand opening of a hotel.

NEW – Flush Mount pool cover rentals – With the previous three types of surfaces, pool covers had to built up over the surface of the swimming pool which creates a “step up” onto the floor.  No more!  In Depth Events can now provide a flush mount swimming pool cover. This means that the swimming pool cover is inset in the pool and custom made to be at the same height of the pool surround.  Take a look at this blog post for Flush Mount Pool Covers to see how a custom pool cover might benefit your event!

 This article brought to you by:

At In Depth Events, we are swimming pool cover experts with experience doing LOTS of them all over the United States!  In addition to providing wood or acrylic swimming pool covers, we can also provide the decor lighting, audio needs and other production elements your clients demand.  Make sure and Ask Us a Question about how a swimming pool cover can add to your next event. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you!


Image of Event Production Plans and Rolls

How Engineer Certified Drawings for Events Can Make (or Break) Your Activation – An Event Planners Guide

 

Custom structures at your indoor or outdoor activation

Tower Base Drawings ImageIf you are an event marketing professional, then you have probably used a production company to build a custom structure for your client at an activation or trade show.  Custom structures built from truss or staging can be used as elevated seating for attendees or VIP’s, gateway arches or signage towers.  These structures can be huge show elements, massive custom stages or as small as a single piece of trussing.  However, they all have one thing in common – they are subject to inspection by a city official and will need engineer certified drawings for events of this kind.

In an indoor activation, the person from the city is typically the Fire Marshall or a member of his or her staff.  In an outdoor activation, it will typically be a city building inspector.  However, this is not an absolute – either one can show up at either event type.  Both have the power to write very expensive compliance tickets to your end client, hold the doors closed until you comply with city regulations, or in extreme cases, close your event and escort all attendees out of the event space.

So what is an engineer certified drawing?Guy Wire Attachment Drawings Image

With any custom structure, the city can require an engineer certified drawings for events.  This is a CAD drawing of the structure to be built with detailed instructions on how it is to be flown (in indoor environments), ground supported (for both indoor and outdoor shows) and ballasted (for outdoor events).

These engineer certified drawings for events may incorporate elements of the venue for flown rigs and will definitely incorporate tolerances for wind speed, ballast weight and banner types for outdoor structures.  These drawings are created by a engineer who is certified to do business in the State you are working in.  When the drawing is complete, the engineer will apply a stamp to the drawing which signifies the structure is safe to be built.

Truss Connection Drawings Image

It’s vitally important that the engineer and production company work together in the creation of the original drawings, as well as the execution of the structure build.  If the structure is not built to the specifications the engineer has outlined, the city inspector can fail you (also called a ‘red tag’) and require changes to be made before a second inspection is carried out.  If the build is correct, you get a green tag and a sign off by the city to have your event.

Here’s a list on how most permitting is done in US cities:

  1. The client or show designer has the initial idea.
  2. A production company is contacted and they take the idea and turn it into a rendering or quote for client review.
  3. On review, the production company contacts an engineer licensed in the State.  The engineer reviews the drawings or specifications from the production company, then creates his own set of drawings showing ballasts, accepted tolerances and detailed installation instructions.
  4. Once drawings are complete, a permit request is filed with the city with the drawings attached.  Some cities will require an event permit to be filed first.  Occasionally, a permit will not be required, but a review of the drawings will be required.
  5. The structure is built on site and the city makes an appointment to review.  Hopefully, the structure is passed, or green tagged.  If it fails the review, you will have to request a second time slot for a re-review.  Typically, a city official can only fail a structure if it is not built to the specifications that are in the drawings.
  6. The event happens and exceeds your clients wildest dreams.  You are so impressed with the production team that you take all members of the production company on a week long, all expenses paid vacation to Hawaii.

It’s always a good idea to have an engineer certified with the State to be on site when the city inspector or fire marshal is scheduled – even if the engineer was not the one who created the original drawings.  Any certified engineer licensed to practice in the State you are working in can provide a stamped ‘letter of compliance’. This is basically a letter stating the production company has built the structure to the drawings supplied in the permitting process.

Wow – this is some great information. And you are an incredibly talented writer. Any other advice?

Well, since you asked – certainly!

Dealing with city officials can be incredibly frustrating.  It’s important to remember that their job is ultimately to make sure your attendees are safe.  Fire Marshals can be downright obstinate about exits being blocked, but there is a good historical reason for concern.  A city inspector can (and will) hold the doors closed to your event until your production company reads the plans correctly and installs the right amount of ballast to a gateway.  The majority of them are not trying to make your life difficult – they simply have a job to do. And frankly, it’s a job you really want them to do to the best of their abilities.

With that in mind, treat city employees with respect and they will do the same.   Be positive, polite and factual.  (This works well for police officers, DMV employees and social security employees as well.)  If you don’t know the answer to a question, find the production company.  If they don’t know, call the engineer who put the drawings together.  Answering a city inspector with “I don’t know” will not work well.  Select one knowledgeable person to meet with the inspector, not a group of people who don’t know anything about the build.  Your clients are the absolute wrong person to meet with a city inspector.  If you step back and allow the production company and engineers to interact with city inspectors and fire marshals, you’ll be much happier (and stress-free).

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article.  When you are ready, take a moment and Ask Us a Question of the professionals at In Depth Events.  We have nationwide experience with building structures with engineer certified drawings for events and we’ve love the opportunity to show you our skills.  We look forward to hearing from you and working with you!


Image of Concert Production for Univision Radio Event

Turnkey Concert Production for Univision Radio

Univision Radio is one of the major players in the Dallas Fort Worth hispanic market. Their radio promotions department do a large concert event every May that pulls in a very targeted demographic of people and a large chunk of sponsorship dollars. With an estimated 20,000 people in attendance, sponsors get impressions to their potential customers via banners, logo rotation on jumbotrons and a VIP riser directly to the right of the stage. The attendees get a day long, non-ticketed event with multiple national acts, food vendors and on stage giveaways.

Without even contacting us, Univision Radio began checking our references. As a certified building contractor in Dallas, a preferred vendor at Fair Park, Univision checked with some of our satisfied clients and on our solid reputation within the City of Dallas. Univision finally contacted us to request a bid. When our bid was accepted, Univision let us know that we were the only bidder – after checking our references, they knew that we were the vendor for their show.

Univision – Festival De Mayo – Fair Park Dallas, Tx

It’s always a pleasure to know that your work is recognized by your peers. When your reputation speaks for itself, then clients like Univision Radio (and our other clients) stand up and take notice. We lived up to their name and reputation by handling full production for this event. We provided a 40 foot x 40 foot load bearing rooftop structure, lighting, audio system, power distribution, scaffolding and barricade for this concert. Our stage ran on time all day and set changes between the acts were smooth and trouble free. At the end of the show, the Univision Radio contact told our owner that it was the best, smoothest show that he had ever been involved with.

Now, that’s what we like to hear! If you are ready to show your clients and sponsors how a festival stage should look and sound, then Ask Us a Question  about your upcoming event. We are ready to promote your brands anywhere in the nation. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you!


Image of Concert Lounge at Night

New Trends in Live Event Marketing – Concert Lounges, VIP Lounges, Skyboxes and Viewing Platforms

 A New Way to See the Show – Concert Lounges, VIP Lounges, Skyboxes and Viewing Platforms

It’s an age old problem for marketers at concerts, festivals and sporting events – how do you actively engage the audience for your product or service from a 20 foot x 10 foot booth space?  Your potential consumers are walking by your activation with strollers in front and children trailing along behind.  The last thing they want to hear is a sales pitch as they walk from the parking lot to the event – or even worse, from the event back to the parking lot.  In this unfortunate environment, you reduce your street team to carnival barkers trying to get another dollar at the ‘pitch till you win’ tent.

A new trend, however, is emerging from experiential experts and marketing firms which may come as a surprise to some.  The new trend is to engage the client by giving them place to *gasp* sit down and enjoy the event!  Instead of trying to steal their attention away from the event and on to your product, simply provide concert lounges or skyboxes that complement your brand along with the event they came to see.  This radically simple idea is starting to take the live event marketing world by storm. And the production experts at In Depth Events are here to guide you to the right activation for your brand!

Concert Lounges at Music Festivals

GMR Miller Lite Lounge, SXSW 2014

GMR Miller Lite Lounge, SXSW 2014

Outdoor festivals are a lot of fun – for about 30 minutes.  After you throw your blanket down, it’s only a matter of time before someone steps on your fingers, blocks your view or lights up next to your kids.  (“Dad, what’s that smell?”)  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a comfortable place to watch the show without…  well, the rest of the attendees?

At SXSW 2014, the largest outdoor festival of its kind in the world, two beverage companies provided concert lounges.  These activations were off-the-ground platforms with security personnel, comfortable seating and beverages; along with a live video feed of the event.  Both lounges were general admission and provided outstanding views of the main stage at Butler Park.

The first activation was by the energy drink, Monster.  They served their namesake product along with non alcoholic soda and other beverages.  With a ground level seating area and a covered platform, they were able to represent their brand to attendees without actively ‘pitching’ their product.

The second use of concert lounges by Miller Lite was built from the ground up by our production experts.  The activation footprint featured a commanding 100 foot x 40 foot raised platform where attendees could charge their mobile devices, relax on furniture and see the Main Stage show in real time on several video monitors.  Of course, the bar served ice cold Miller Lite with graphics scattered around the activation to reinforce the brand.

These activations showed that attendees could both enjoy the event they came to see and the marketing firm could promote their client’s brand in a complementary way.  Most importantly, at both activations, attendees were charged for the beverages but not for entry to the concert lounges.  In other words, the marketing firm was able to show sales figures as a direct link to impressions.

“Best Seat in the House” Viewing Platforms at Concerts

Liberman VIP Lounge Pepsi Viewing Platform

Liberman VIP Lounge

VIP Risers at concerts are not a new idea.  However, providing a “Best Seat in the House” viewing platform takes an old idea and puts a new twist on it – plus the ability to market to a select group of consumers!

Pepsi has had a great deal of success with viewing platforms at Liberman Broadcasting concerts.  This hispanic-themed event garners 20,000 attendees in the Dallas market for both spring and fall concerts.  A 20 foot x 20 foot platform is erected off stage right, raised at the same level of the stage and covered with tents.  Then, a select group of attendees are invited to the platform to watch their favorite bands.  Of course, Pepsi brand ambassadors are there to give away plenty of ice cold beverages and CPGs to the lucky attendees.

While this concept doesn’t work for general admission, it gives a few lucky attendees the ability to see the show from the “Best Seat in the House” and garners the Pepsi brand lifelong consumers.  The platform and the marketing banners attached to it are easily viewable by the main audience, so not only do you get ‘eyes-on’ impressions in the audience, you also have the ability to interact with general audience members who might want to be on the platform during the next concert.

 

 

 

Skyboxes and VIP Lounges: Perfect for Outdoor Sporting Events or Indoor Trade Shows!

Image of Heineken Viewing Platform

Heineken Viewing Platform

Providing an elevated viewing platform is a great way to get your potential consumers around your branding and engage your specific product – while still being able to relax and enjoy the event.  While this is not a new idea at events like golf tournaments (where the attendee demographic includes top income earners), the concept is making new inroads at other events.  Automobile racing events, large corporate sponsored ‘tailgate parties’ for professional football, baseball and basketball events and even extreme events like the X-Games and motocross events are now seeing skyboxes sprout up around their events.

What about a viewing platform at a trade show?  Heineken is the latest to provide an elevated viewing platform at a beer convention in Houston, TX.  This commanding L-shaped viewing platform was 11 feet tall and was an amazing way for invited guests to view the trade show in style.  Of course, the structure was branded with Heineken graphics so attendees were able to see exactly which company provided the biggest and best presence at the show.

Now, to find the best provider!

Providing a potential consumer a way to relax and enjoy the event they came to see, while still being able to promote your brand, is a simple but revolutionary new concept.  These new trends in experiential and live event marketing are already here.  Your client will be utilizing these new types of activations to communicate with their consumers.  Make sure to bring your clients the best solution for their specific needs – or they’ll find someone else to do it!

When providing concert lounges, VIP lounges, skyboxes or viewing platforms, it’s important to choose a production company that can work with your activation staff to provide the best experiential footprint for your clients.  The professionals at In Depth Events are experts at providing structures for your next footprint, as well as the audio, lighting and video requirements to make sure your message is clear.  Ask Us a Question today and find out how we can help you take advantage of these new trends!


Image of SXSW Main Stage

SXSW Music 2014: A Production Company’s Retrospective

I had doubts about going to this year’s South by Southwest show.  Not just my typical jaded and cynical doubts over a perceived loss of authenticity, I couldn’t find my passion for the experience. Looking over different press junkets, twitter feeds and blog articles, nothing I came across about this year’s SXSW musicreally seemed to speak to me. Where was the giddy excitement of SXSWs gone by? I mean, I had a minor panic attack in anticipation for a Mogwai and Stephen Malkmus show I saw at a South by in college…  Had it finally happened? Was I the frog in gradually heated water that had finally succumbed to the inevitable? Am I irrelevant?

Phew, for a minute there.

The journey begins…

My drive into Austin was uneventful. My idle mind drifting in and out of fantasy. I imagine myself as a post modern Hunter S. Thompson or possibly David Attenborough, sent deep into the jungle of SXSW to document the lives of indigenous flora and fauna.  I pull into the KOA Campsite late Friday to join the rest of the crew who had been in Austin for over a week setting up and maintaining the various stages and experiential footprints we had throughout downtown Austin.

The campground was still. The only activity I see is coming from the KOA kitchen. I see a familiar t-shirt and park my car. Inside, I find enough scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage to feed a small army. Most of our crew was coming back from show site and the available stagehands make sure hot meals are ready for them. I decide to turn in early and prepare for an eventful closing Saturday at SXSW.

By the time I’m up, the campsite is empty. I call the lead to figure out where everyone else is.

“We’re already on site. Get down here, park your car and get to our events…And TAKE PICTURES!”

Downtown Austin is already alive and bustling with activity. I grab a cup of coffee, park my car off 3rd St. and begin my trek throughout the vast wilderness that is SXSW.  The hipsters and credit card hippies had already begun their migration to the newly located Main Stage at Butler Park. Streams of bicycles, pedestrians, skateboards; I even saw a pack of Segways all cautiously crossing the South Congress bridge to graze on the endless fields of food trucks and carnival vendors surrounding the Main Stage.

You could hear the roar of the stage miles before you could see it. Crisp and clear, the distinct push of the line array speakers cut through the thick and damp morning air. The pied piper’s song was luring millennials away from their lofts with promises of free promotional sunglasses and caffeinated energy drinks. I am led into a maze of metal stockade to be inspected and branded with a wristband at the main entrance before I am allowed to proceed into the festival grounds.

Image of Miller Lite concert lounge

My first visit to one of our many job sites at SXSW music festival was the Miller Lite Lounge at Butler Park.  Our crews provided the structure, trussing, video and lighting for this amazing lounge overlooking the main stage at SXSW this year.  The Miller Lite Lounge was massive and easily had the biggest footprint around the Main Stage. Looking from a distance, the structure looked like a giant cargo ship bringing in huge shipments of domestic beer.

Image of Miller Lite concert lounge

Too early in the day to be active, the sleeping giant rests, waiting to receive the thousands of concert goers looking to rest their legs and recharge their mobile devices.

Image of Miller Lite concert lounge

The Miller Lite Lounge is spotless. A gleaming white beacon unsoiled by tracks of mud and dirt. I carefully mind my steps and decide to move onward.

By this time it was early afternoon and the haze of morning had cleared.  Downtown Austin was in full-on SXSW music mode. Live music seemed to blare from every direction. Around every nook and cranny, if there was room to fit a band,  it had been filled. I make my way through the cacophony, stopping frequently to watch glimpses of each performance, not having a clue as to who they were or where they were from; only that they had made it to Austin with their instruments. From across the city, the state, the country and the globe, artists of every shape and size have descended to this single location to collectively spawn their creative energies and contribute to this living and breathing event known as South by Southwest.

Image of The Complex Complex Lounge

I make my way to my next destination, The Complex Complex.  Back in my relatively quiet offices, I had been the event planner for this show, coordinating the audio, location and load in times for the talented crew.  Dwarfed in size and scale by the Miller Lounge, it was located in the backyard of a small house outside of the Austin Convention Center. Walking up to the front door, I am stopped by security.

“Entrance is in the back. Only artists come through this door.”

I shrugged and continued to walk to the back alley entrance. Before I could turn the corner there is more security and lines of people. It’s only 2pm. Surely, this can’t be for Complex…

“WE ARE AT CAPACITY!” yelled the muscular man in a tight fitting shirt.

“If you don’t have an RSVP don’t waste your time,” says the person in front of me. “It’s been this way since early this morning.”

I try to shake off the fact that I have just been turned away from my own event. I mean, I don’t remember “muscles glasses” making furious last minute calls around Austin to find backline equipment. I text the crew lead to see if our audio engineer can pull any strings for me as I head east to AirBnB Park.

Crossing over I-35, I immediately sense a change in climate. There is a more mellow and laid back atmosphere on the East Side. Recently gentrified by mustachioed mixologists and fixed-gear bike riding baristas, the neighborhoods lack the circus-like energy of 6th St. The stages are hidden behind bars which are peppered throughout a landscape of vintage clothing resellers, record shops and food truck parks.

Image of AirBnB Park at SXSW

The next stop on my tour of our production events is at AirBnB Park.  This experiential footprint sits comfortably in the East Side neighborhood on the corner of 6th and Onion. The entire space is covered in a bright green astroturf and marked with accents of 50’s Americana. Contemporary styled lawn furniture surround faux fire pits that sit outside of superbly decorated modular living areas. I peruse the grounds, catching glimpses into the living quarters designed by Snoop Dogg and Capital Cities.

Image of AirBnB Park at SXSW

I imagine the well manicured environs of AirBnB Park to be a human exhibit in a zoo on a distant alien planet. The tour guide instructing the alien observers to keep their all their tentacles inside the car and to not feed the humans anything other than locally sourced, farm to table food truck tacos. “The humans have very specific dietary requirements,” the alien zoo guide says as a mother alien scolds her son for attempting to poke a tentacle at a sleeping human.

“Paul?”

“Oh hey, Matt. I was just–”

“Great, grab this DJ equipment and carry it to the center pavilion. We have bags over the speakers in case it rains again. Don’t let any of the wires get wet.”

Image of AirBnB Park at SXSW

As the finishing touches to the DJ booth are set for tonight’s final performance at AirBnB, I finally get a text from the lead with entry instructions for The Complex Complex. I text our sound engineer and begin walking back that way. Just before crossing 35, I spot one of our trucks already on the move for one of our clients. “Do not go gentle into that good night,” I think to myself…

Walking up to The Complex Complex again, I try reaching out to our audio tech, this time by phone.

“Hello?”

“It’s me, Paul. Your show has been at capacity all day. Can you get me in?

“Come to the front door.”

Success! I had finally been given the nod to access my own event. As I hop the mini picket fence and slip back into the backyard, I can hear the crowd going nuts.

Image of The Complex Complex at SXSW

“This show has been packed all day. What’s been going on?”

“Are you kidding? Have you heard of a DJ from LA called, Skrillex?

“SKRILLEX is on our stage?!?”

Image of DJ Skrillex Performing at The Complex Complex at SXSW

I had gotten in just in time to see Skrillex end his set with Toto’s “Africa” to a jam-packed group of lucky SXSW music attendees. This party had been so exclusive that I not only couldn’t get in, but I didn’t even know that the biggest dubstep DJ in the world was performing on the stage.

I left The Complex Complex in a daze, barely able to comprehend what had just happened. I had just seen a 6 time Grammy winning  DJ who re-invented the genre of dubstep play an exclusive set on our stage to less than 300 people in a tiny backyard. I didn’t even know Skrillex was in Austin!?

I decided to stumble back to Butler Park. The streets were now filled with a sea of people. Riding the momentum of the crowd and often unable to see street signs or other familiar landmarks,  I was a sea turtle returning to the same moon lit beach from where it had once hatched. The darkness of night had now completely wrapped around the Main Stage giving it a more menacing appearance than I recalled from earlier that day.

Image of The Miller Light Concert Lounge at SXSW

The Miller Lite Lounge was a buzzing hive of activity. People were gathered around in circles sharing the days adventures like bees sharing the location of local wildflowers.  I located a quiet and comfortable spot to roost, recharge my phone and enjoyed the final show on the SXSW music Main Stage.

Image of the Main Stage at SXSW

Relaxing with my feet up and a cold Miller Lite, I can’t believe I actually thought I had outgrown the festival. South by Southwest is not Texas’ version of Coachella or Bonnaroo. It’s a completely different animal. With over 2,000 “official” shows and an untold number of spontaneous pop ups blooming from every square inch of downtown Austin, SXSW is uncategorizable. It is simply a force of nature that refuses to be contained. Don’t attempt to structure an itinerary. You won’t make it 200 yards before you get completely hypnotized by performances of unknown name and origin. So, dive in; head first. And if you can find an area that doesn’t already have a concert stage on it, give us a call. It’s moments of clarity like this that make working for In Depth Events so rewarding.

I hope this blog has been informative for our event planner clients! For more information on In Depth Events and our event production capabilities, please Ask Us a Question today. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you on your event!


Image of Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony

Sochi Olympics 2014….The Ultimate Live Event

Every 2 years, we anticipate what is arguably the biggest live event in the world; The Olympic Games.  Nasdrovia, my friends from Sochi, Russia, it’s the 2014 Winter Olympics.  Millions of people watch from around the world to see top athletes deliver emotional and dramatic performances and to hopefully capture a gold medal for their country.  Of course, the Olympic Games are also a huge opportunity for marketers to access millions of consumers looking for the next “it” tech product or automobile.

The modern Olympic Games (French: Jeux olympiques) are the leading international sporting event featuring summer and winter sports competitions wherein thousands of athletes variously compete. The Olympic Games are considered the world’s foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart. Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894. The IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority.

                                                                                                         -Wikipedia

Everything you’re seeing in the Olympic Games broadcast is connected to some sort of production support.  Every single event is live and needs to be organized and executed by top production companies.  From the opening ceremonies to the medal presentations and literally everything in between, the Olympics are one enormous and continuous live event needing 24/7 assistance by event organizers and production crews.  You don’t get a second chance to capture the magic and drama of the Olympic performances.  Everything has to be fine tuned with little or no room for error.  The slightest miscue in production support could cost an advertiser millions in potential consumers or even worse,  a severe injury to an athlete or attendee.  So far, the biggest story out of Sochi has been the lighting malfunction during the Opening Ceremony. There is no bigger live event than the Olympics and it takes thousands of stage, lighting and audio crew members working around the clock to ensure a successful execution and broadcast.

Image of Sochi Olympics FireworksFrom cross country skiing to curling, fans and attendees alike are flocking to the snow covered tundras of Sochi, Russia or simply to their smart phones and televisions to experience the Sochi Olympics events in live HD resolution, where ever they may be. Advertisers know this and are continually searching for new and innovative ways of aligning their product or service in a relevant and memorable way.

Oh…One last thing.  Don’t forget about the currency factor.  Behind every international vault lies billions of dollars just waiting for their chance to circulate throughout the Olympic Games.  The opening ceremony of the Beijing Games reportedly cost $100 million with much of the cost incurred in the artistic segment. The concensus figure for the Sochi Olympics is 50 billion dollars and that figure is out-matched every 4 years.  The 1984 Summer Olympics became a watershed moment in Olympic history. The Los Angeles-based organizing committee, led by Peter Ueberroth, was able to generate a surplus of US$225 million, which was an unprecedented amount at that time.  Television leads the way, spending surreptitiously in their board rooms and executive offices.  CBS paid US$375 million for the rights of the 1998 Nagano Games, while NBC spent US$3.5 billion for the broadcast rights of all the Olympic Games from 2000 to 2012.

Continue to go for the gold, my marketing minions, no matter what size or influence of your live event.  Treat them all like it’s your Sochi Olympics and shore up the production element, giving you the best opportunity to have the biggest impact.

Hopefully this blog has been informative for our event planner clients! For more information on In Depth Events and our event production capabilities, please Ask Us a Question today. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you on your event!


Image of Party Like a Rockstar

Is Your Nightlife Bad for Your Health? How to Sustainably Party Like a Rockstar

 

I’d like to consider myself your average, run of the mill thirty something.  I wake up, go to work and come back home like any other red-blooded, taxpaying American.  I am becoming increasingly aware, however, that most of what I consider to be standard weekend nightlife activity is not doing me or my health any favors.  After years of cheese fries and buffalo wings being the only thing between my liver and an onslaught of an untold number of sugary, overly-caffeinated alcoholic drinks, part of me is turning to more sustainable behaviors as I quickly approach my 40s.

“We’re meeting on the baseball diamond at 5,” the instructions said. “Park behind Right Field and DON’T BE LATE!” I give myself a 15 minute cushion because, please… I’m a responsible adult. I am WAY beyond all  the careless and haphazard decisions of my youth. Meanwhile, I follow my GPS directions to find  a single file line of cars 2 miles long directly in front of the entrance. Ok, panic. Text the Event Leader to cover my tail, plead with the parking attendant not to charge me for parking… By this point, I already feel the bass rumble from our massive sound system as I duck under a broken fence post and arrive on the field just in the nick of time.

“Glad you decided to join us,” I hear behind a wall of Electronic Dance Music and cheers. The rest of the Event Team had arrived hours earlier to survey the site, unload the trucks, and setup over 5 tons of Professional Grade Sound and Stage equipment. “This is just the pre-party. We’re expecting over 11,000 runners, tonight.”  Over 11,000?!?  On a cold and windy February afternoon? Why had I never considered this?

Black Light Run Crowd

And they came. Wave after wave of bright-eyed runners poured onto the baseball diamond with various bits of neon flair, a sea of candy-colored athletes waiting for their moment to attack the black light run course, stage by stage.  My first task is to ride along with the Event Lead, fire up the electric generators, turn on the high power black light towers and crank the speakers with trance inducing dance music.  “The runners are beginning to line up. Get to the Starting Line, ASAP!”

Image of Starting Line at 5K Run Event

As the sea of glowing distance runners pour past me onto the course, I shamefully recount all my past weekend activities.  It’s mostly sitting or standing in one place or another for hours, over paying for food and drinks while I complain about some silly first world inconvenience. I wonder if any of the runners are planning on stopping by Taco Bell after this…

As the runners finish the 5k black light run distance, they file back toward the stage on the baseball diamond. It’s dark now, and what was just bits of flair is now a glowing sea of bright neon colors. I’m having flashbacks to all the raves and outdoor tent parties I’ve been to, but this party has a different vibe.  Take all the magic and power of the biggest warehouse parties you went to in college, remove the sketchy and dangerous elements, add a free range, grass fed kale shake or two – and what you’re left with is a pretty good description of a Black Light Run. Loud music, pretty people, glow sticks, but what do we have here? Clean bathrooms? A safe family environment? Concession stands? It IS a rave party… only grown up!

The DJ effortlessly mixes underground dubstep with Katy Perry to the delight of the crowd. A hype man on stage is throwing out handfuls of glow-in-the-dark party favors, as fast as he can. What happens next was MIND BLOWING.

5K Black Light Run After-Party

After a knowing look to the DJ and the crowd, the hype man begins a count down from 10.  It’s my first Black Light Run, so I look around as the crowd joins in. 3..2..1..

5K Black Light Run After-Party Crowd Image

BOOM! The beat drops as clouds of neon colored powder (I later learned is treated corn starch) envelopes everything in sight. I can’t see the hand in front of my face but I can feel the crowd explode with energy as they disappear behind the cloak of colored fog.  As the neon dust settles and the stage and lights slowly come back into focus, it dawns on me. THIS IS REALLY FUN!  Looks like I’ll be spending more time with my new co-workers at In Depth Events!

Hopefully this blog has been informative for our event planner clients! For more information on In Depth Events and our event production capabilities, please Ask Us a Question today. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you on your event!