Image for Truss and Ballast

Event Outdoor Signage and Structures for Sporting Events and Festivals – An Event Planners Guide

For large scale events like sporting events, large festivals and Municipal events, signage becomes a serious issue.  If your event spans an area over several acres, how to you point people to the main stage, restrooms or the emergency services area?  No less critical is the branding of the event and the branding of your vendor areas.  At In Depth Events, we are experts at event outdoor signage using a variety of media.  Read on for more information!

Live Events – Structure and Banner Solutions from In Depth Events

At In Depth Events, we are experts at event outdoor signage solutions.  We’ve used structures with vinyl banners as well as structures with large scale video walls.  Our technicians and engineers work hard to make sure these structures are safe, look great and fulfill the needs that put them there in the first place – to inform your attendees about a specific direction, scheduled event or vendor message.

Here are the four types of structures that you can easily use at your next festival, sporting event, or marketing event:

Inverted “U”:

Image of Inverted "U" event outdoor signage

An inverted “U” is a mini-beam truss structure.  It’s a great way to display a large banner such as a backdrop for a small stage or a step and repeat banner at a selfie station.  These structures are incredibly wind resistant, inexpensive and look great.

 

 

Media Towers:

Image of Media Tower event outdoor signageA media tower is either a triangular or square structure designed to hold large format LED Video walls.  These structures are usually about 20′ tall and very, very strong. They work well at central locations with lots of foot traffic – like outside the food court area.  The screens are used for vendor promotion, calendar/schedules of your event and live tweets.  When equipped with loudspeakers, these towers can also be used for announcements of upcoming events as well as emergency messages.

 

 

Truss and Ballast:

Image for Truss and Ballast event outdoor signageA Truss and Ballast structure is a proprietary type of signage that only In Depth Events has.  In combination with a 20-foot tall vertical piece of 24-inch x 30-inch truss is a 3600 pound ballast made of concrete and steel.  These units can be placed anywhere for very tall, very visible banners.  We also use them for outdoor light towers and as support for commercial bulb stringers.  These unique outdoor signage structures have been engineer certified to withstand well over 70 MPH winds while only using a 4-foot X 4-foot ground area.

 

 

Gateways:

Image of an Event Gateway event outdoor signageA gateway is a mini-beam structure that is engineered to allow people to pass under or through it.  They are most often used at the event entry or exit or, when attendees are passing through to a different part of the festival.   Gateways are usually lighted with signage towers on both sides.  Gateways are typically where the event name and sponsors are located, but it’s also become a great location for a selfie station.

 

 

 

The Bonus Structure Type  – Custom Signage Towers:

Image of Custom Signage Tower event outdoor signageDo you see something here that inspires you to create a new idea?  Do you have an idea that is completely off the beaten path?  The experts at In Depth Events can (and have!) provided event outdoor signage using custom structures that don’t look like anything else.  From truss vaults to branded outdoor seating lounges and even toboggan slides – our experts can create something completely new for your event.  Challenge Accepted!

 

 

Choosing the right vendor for live event outdoor signage structures

In Depth Events handles event outdoor signage structures for events all over the nation, so make sure to contact us first.  However, our Canadian and international event planners may have a difficult time finding a reputable vendor.  Here are a few pointers:

First and foremost – trust your gut.  Don’t settle for a company that doesn’t seem right for your needs.

  • Make sure the company you choose is capable of providing engineer certified drawings.
  • The company needs to be registered as a certified building contractor in at least their home city.
  • The company should own their own equipment, especially the trussing, tie-downs and ballasts.
  • Find a company that has recommendations for a signage or vinyl firm.  Having a good relationship with a signage vendor means they know what specification are needed.

Questions?  Feel free to Ask a Question of our experts.  We hope you enjoyed this blog post and make sure to check out our other Event Planner Guides while you are here.

 


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Truss and Ballast for Outdoor Events – A New Product Showcase

The staff at In Depth Events like to flatter ourselves that we engineer products that improve the production industry as a whole.  Occasionally, we’re right!  Some of our innovations really have been influential to the industry.  The best example is our LED Dance Floors – which was one of the first available in the rental market when we began designing them seven years ago.  It’s in this spirit that we are beginning a New Product showcase series.  Sign Up Here to receive information on our New Products as we discover them!

“Necessity is the mother of invention”

The Development of the Rental Truss and Ballast

About three years ago, a tour with a 5K run required a more immersive experience for their attendees.  This client asked us to design a series of outfield towers that could be placed up to 200 feet from the stage.  Each tower would be required to hold a significant amount of lighting as well as holding signage.  It would also require certified engineer documentation.

Engineer Drawing of Truss and Ballast Design

A side view from one of the engineered drawings used in the initial product design.

Our engineers got to work.  Using trussing from our rooftop department, we began with 20 foot vertical truss towers.  This pin-together truss (sometimes called fork truss) is 30 inches x 24 inches and is part of the perimeter truss of our monster 70’x50′ rooftop.  Now, we have the vertical space and strength.  But how do we anchor it to the ground to keep it from falling over?

Using the concept of a typical truss and base (which uses 70 pound steel plates as ballast) we set to design the mother of all truss and base.  Using 3/8″ steel plate, our welders built a box 4 feet x 4feet x 36 inches tall with fork lift receivers.  Then, using rebar and a piece of the perimeter truss, we set a die for the fork ends.  Finally, our stagehands mixed 3200 pounds of concrete, and poured it into each box.

The end result is a surprisingly good looking product with more than it’s fair share of weight.  The steel base is painted black and looks great on site, but it can’t disguise the 3600 pound nature of it’s being.  Our final engineering review allows the towers to be used in almost any weather environment with virtually no danger of them falling over.  Of course, the trussing looks great – it’s a vertical tower of aluminum that holds several hundred pounds of lighting in the air as well as flat vinyl banners with three times the signage space as mini-beam towers.

The multiple uses of Truss and Ballast in outdoor events

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Ballast and base supporting lighting and signage during a spring 2016 tour stop not too far from the Vegas strip.

When we unveiled the new Truss and Ballast, the client was thrilled.  Our engineers had created a product that allowed for the immersive experience their attendees demanded (later, we carried that design to over 150 cities in the United States – but that’s another story).  However, as we started using them on other shows, other advantages of our 3600 pound Truss and Ballast started to present themselves.  Take a look at the list below:

Image for lighting placementLighting Placement:

This should be obvious, since it was one of the main initial specifications.  However, the sheer ability of our design to accommodate lighting fixtures became an asset.  Rather than just holding a few fixtures, these towers can hold hundreds of pounds of weight – meaning more lighting.  Our Truss and Ballast towers have been used with moving lights, conventional 6 bars, lekos and FX lighting – many times all at once.  They are a vast upgrade compared to the traditional usage of scaffolding or truss and base for outdoor lighting!

 

Banner Placement using truss and ballastBanner placement:

The banner sizing is where this product really shines.  Before, spot signage at festivals had to be either scaffolding towers or towers using 12 inch mini-beam.  With our Truss and Ballast, signage is 30 inches wide x 20 feet tall!  This allows for readable signage for logo placement or directional signs.  Since our bases are stand-alone units, you can erect a square signage tower literally in the center of your main thoroughfare, and it provides a easy to read signpost that has very little effect on traffic patterns or slowdown.

 

Commercial Bulb StringersSupport for Commercial Bulb Placement:

Commercial bulb stringers are a mainstay for weddings, receptions and corporate outdoor events.  However, commercial bulb stringers can be difficult to have in open areas.  Our Truss and Ballast make commercial bulb stringers a dream to setup and install.  Our towers can support multiple strings – or use as a corner piece without worrying about wire tension.

 

 

Inverted U gatewayGateways and Gantries:

In January of 2017, a good friend and client asked us about building a gateway entry.  These are usually built with mini-beam, but in this instance the gateway footprint had to be minimized.  We designed two corners and a spanning truss to go with our Truss and Ballast, and in doing so, created a new use for our towers.  These new gateway structures boast a limited footprint, while providing exceptionally wind tolerant signage.  Multiple sections can also be used to create ticket gantries.

 

Using experts to help with your next event

Do you have a idea that you don’t know how to make work safely?   Contact our experts and let us turn your idea into a reality! Look no further!  At In Depth Events, our staff and technicians can help provide staging, audio and lighting, and electrical distribution for your next event.  Ask Us a Question to get started on your next event!


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


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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 Marketing Event Activation on College Campus

Choosing the Right Marketing Campaign Production Vendor

 

How important is the marketing campaign production vendor? A touring marketing campaign can be made or broken depending on the choices the marketing firm makes in the planning and during the entire run of the campaign.   In today’s live event and experiential touring campaigns, production rental is a huge part of the event.  Choosing the right vendor for audio, lighting, video and staging rentals can make (or break) your activation.  The number one key element for a smooth running program is having the right production support.

Production elements such as sound system needs, LED Video Walls and décor lighting – can make or break your touring campaign.  You are literally moving a footprint from one side of the country to the other with pitfalls waiting for you at every turn.  It sounds daunting, doesn’t it?   Why would any sane person even attempt this Barnum and Bailey circus?

Get the attention your brand deserves – engage the consumer!

Simply put – it’s the most effective way to communicate a brand to the consumer.  Live event marketing allows a company to communicate directly to the consumer in a one on one dialogue.  This has far more impact than a radio ad, print ad or billboard.  Consumers want to feel special and unique – not just a number in an overpopulated society trying to step over each other to get noticed.  To get this attention, you’ve got to have a marketing campaign production vendor providing the technical requirements that make a live event possible.  None of this could be possible without the right production support.

In Depth Events to the rescue!  With over 10 years of experience as a marketing campaign production vendor, we know how to get the circus from point A to point B in the most effective and efficient way possible while having your campaign stand out from the crowd.  You have enough to worry about.  Leave the logistics to In Depth Events and sit back and enjoy the show while clients rave about how well the campaign is running.  Staging, lighting, audio and promo vehicles are just a few elements we do best.  You can’t have a successful campaign when you can’t communicate to your target audience.  They need to be able to hear, see and experience the brand in a seamless fashion so they walk away with an experience they’ll remember for a lifetime. Get the right production support and take your marketing campaign to the next level.

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!


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Experiential Marketing – Cost Effectiveness for your Brand

Quality Interaction with Potential Consumers

In this day and age of media bombardment, one on one interaction is becoming increasingly more essential to get your product or service in front of consumers. As the consumer interacts with a real person in a branded setting, the consumer gets the opportunity to ‘touch and feel’ – which increases brand loyalty. The need for this type of quality interaction has never been more important than it is today.

The average attention span in 2012 was 8 seconds. I’m sure it’s gone down this year. Companies need to get in front of consumers. What is the best way to accomplish that? In my opinion, it’s Experiential Marketing – creating a memorable experience for the consumer in a short window. The days of billboards being effective as they once were are gone. Radio and TV ads are not even remotely as effective as they once were. Where does a company go to truly affect their bottom line instantaneously? Experiential Marketing, along with social media, can support a brand like no other marketing strategy.

Cost effectiveness is one of the first thing companies look for when sourcing ways to promote and Experiential Marketing comes in at far less than ‘traditional’ marketing. According to On Board Experiential Marketing; the average cost per impression was $.04 compared to $.033 for a national magazine ad and $.19 for prime time TV ads. Clearly Experiential Marketing is the more cost effective way to go while getting in front of the consumer and maximizing that 8 second window.

Choosing your Marketing Firm and your Production Company

Image of Sports Marketing EventHow does one go about securing the right marketing agency? Seek out those with experience, knowledge, and the right production company to support the campaign. Whether you’re looking to promote the latest razor or introduce the newest blockbuster movie, you need a marketing team that will work with you from start to finish. You must check references and do your due diligence when sourcing a marketing firm. How long have they been in business and what campaigns have they worked on in the past? These are just two of the crucial elements in selecting the right agency for you.

Having the proper production support, including the audio system, staging needs, and generator rentals is critical to making any marketing campaign work. The staff at In Depth Events has been doing this for awhile and know their stuff. Based in the great state of Texas with a logistics team that goes all over the nation, the good people at In Depth Events have been supporting events and marketing campaigns for years – proving that they’re among the best at what they do with state of the art components.

At the end of the day, an Experiential Marketing campaign, coupled with the resources of a top notch Marketing Firm and Production Company will help market and promote your next hot product or service for the best return on investment. Sit back and see the impact on your bottom line.

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!