Image of Truss and Ballast

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

Image of Ballast and base supporting lighting and signage

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 Mudbug Bash at Main Street Gardens

Concert Production Services for CBS Radio Live Events

The staff at In Depth Events has a long history of working with broadcast companies.  Our unique blend of turnkey concert production services along with our marketing company experience is a natural match when working in terrestrial radio.

Thank you for all of your work this past weekend. Things went off without a hitch and your crew was great!  Andy Brooks

The Dallas office of CBS Radio is a recent addition to our client list.  However, after a successful series of events in 2015, we feel confident that CBS Radio will be a repeat client in the future!

CBS Radio called us to provide concert production services for several events in 2015 including the Mudbug Bash and Sausage Fest (both held at Main Street Garden in downtown Dallas) as well as support for a live event at Panther Island Pavilion in Ft Worth. We were also asked to provide concert production services at Fair Park in Dallas and a Christmas event at Farmers Market in Dallas.

Full Production Christmas event at Dallas Farmers Market for CBS Radio

CBS Radio Christmas event at Dallas Farmers Market

CBS Radio maintains several radio stations in the Dallas market and each radio station plays a part in the production and sponsorship of each live event.  As a result, every event for CBS Radio is completely unique.  Our logistics team makes sure that all the audio rentals, staging rentals, lighting rentals and video rentals arrives on schedule and our operators and stagehands provide the necessary skills to make sure the talent and audience has a great time.

Ask Us a Question today and find out why In Depth Events has one of the highest rates of repeat business in the industry.  We look forward to hearing from you and working with you!

 

CBS-mud-bug-production


Pop 2 Life – Conan O’Brien Dallas, Tx 2014

Smart Marketing…

Most live event marketing campaigns are based around other, larger events.  From concert lounges at SXSW, to sports apparel promotions surrounding the NBA All Star Jam, smart marketing teams combine their brands with the targets expected at national level events.

Conan O’Brien and a national level event…

The geniuses promoting the Conan O’Brien show targeted the hoopla surrounding NCAA March Madness in Dallas.  A weeklong mini-tour using a branded Conan O’Brien Airstream trailer was dispatched, and guests were treated to live music, memorabilia, and Conan giveaways.  Each tour drop was centered in an area guaranteed to have lots of walk-through, targeted traffic.

Production Needs…

Production Experience was contracted to handle the power needs, staging, audio, and lighting for each tour drop – as well as providing an ADA lift for disabled guests.  Even with tight turnarounds, the crew of Production Experience performed flawlessly, and the end result was a very successful promotion for the show.  Find out how our event experts can provide production for your live event marketing needs – contact us today!


Airbnb Park @ SXSW 2014

Airbnb Park was a big ol’ slice of Americana topped with a thin layer of Scandinavian designed icing. More importantly, it was another fantastic opportunity to help build out a true “experiential footprint” for a cutting edge client. When the uber cool Silicon Valley based, “Pirate’s of Couch Surfing” wanted to do something that was not only different but also memorable, we were more than happy to follow their creative lead.

Airbnb describes their park as, “an oasis amidst the craziness of SXSW, where attendees can enjoy an array of activities day and night including spa treatments, yoga, live music courtesy of emerging acts ranging from bluegrass to rock to hip hop, and specialty cooking events.”

Airbnb’s first move was to partner with modernist pre-fab revolutionaries, kitHAUS, who delivered 3 of their modular living spaces fully decorated by Snoop Dogg, Capital Cities, and Allen Stone, respectively. But who could possibly provide electricity, lighting and audio equipment for this massive activation, stretching over an acre across Austin’s hipster gentrified East-Side? Enter the electrical grid building prowess of Sound Mind Events. Providing full power for every food truck, drink vendor, kitHAUS; heck, we even lit up the porta potties at this one.

The final challenge we faced was how to adequately provide audio for this low-key hipster utopia. A lesser production company would have over-sold a thunderous system that would have shook the horned rimmed glasses right off the ironic faces of the easily startled audience. With the years earned experience of knowing how to dress appropriately for every type of event, Production Experience and Sound Mind Events were able to provide a compact sound and lighting system that paired with Airbnb Park like a crisp Viognier with mango lime chutney.

For more information on our production services, contact our experts.  We look forward to hearing from you, and working with you!