A Tale of Two Political Parties

In Depth Events is a true bi-Partisan live events company!

Ask anyone that works in live events, and they’ll tell you – The event business is a hard way to make a living.  However, even in this challenging industry, there are levels of difficulty.  For example – providing a pool cover for a holiday event is relatively straightforward.  You set a date, bring in the equipment, set it up, and take it back down again.  Weather can always present a challenge, and yes, it’s hard work.  But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can prepare you for providing gear for political events.

Political events are the most challenging types of events in our industry.  Most political events happen without warning – at most, you have 5 working days to prepare, and even that is a luxury.  Political events are rarely held in a typical event space – they are in factories and manufacturing facilities, in outdoor environments, private homes, and children's centers.  Security is tight.  Timelines are tight, and they’re made worse by mandatory security sweeps.    However, by far the most challenging thing about political events is that it has to be right, on time, every time, no excuses.

At In Depth Events, because of the unique experiences and characteristics that Matt and Robert possess, we are really good at political events.  In fact, we are one of a small handful of companies that do them with the level of consistency that is demanded by our clients.  To that end, he’s the Tale of Two Political Parties, and the four events we’ve done for them this past spring!

Event #1

Trump at the International Union of Operating Engineers in Crosby, Texas

President Trump came to the Crosby, Texas IUOE training and education center specifically to sign two Executive Orders designed to boost the oil and gas industry.  This historic visit was attended by several prominent Texas Republicans, as well as a host of working engineers from all corners of the United States.  However, it started with a single phone call, three days before the event.  When the call came in from Jarrad Scott, founder of PM1, (Production Management One is the most prominent political production company in the United States) Robert knew the clock was already ticking.  In 72 hours, In Depth Events staff, with Robert on site, was able to provide audio, lighting, press feed, backstage monitors, and generator rentals for an event that took place inside a non-climate controlled welder’s training facility.  Every single word of the President’s speech was heard, and the lighting served to make sure the press saw every interaction on the stage.  We worked directly with White House staff to make sure this event went off without a single hitch.

Event #2

 

Trump at Sempra Energy in Cameron Parish, Louisiana

Less than a month later, In Depth Events was on site in Louisiana at Cameron LNG getting ready for another Presidential appearance.  This political event was spearheaded by Streamline Event Agency, with Justin Zebell at the helm.  Cameron LNG is a brand new facility that provides LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) for export.  Matt was the lead on this site, bringing four trucks of equipment to the outdoor event space.  After three grueling days of setting up staging, press risers, seating risers, and photo risers in the Louisiana heat, the President arrived to discuss the number of jobs that the new facility would create in Louisiana.  This event was exceptionally well-attended and covered by the press, with news reports and sounds bites of the President’s speech going all over the world.

Event #3

Biden at a private residence in Highland Park, Texas

In June, we got a call from the other side of the aisle – Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden was coming to Dallas.  His first stop was a campaign finance appearance at a private home in Highland Park, Texas.   Private homes are always tricky because they simply aren’t set up for live events.  For this private home, load in was through a rear alley and then hand carried through the back yard.  Robert spearheaded this event and carried most of the gear himself!  Luckily, production requirements we not difficult, with a small podium and stage, as well as an audio system with a wireless microphone.  The event went exceptionally well, with everyone in attendance able to hear Mr. Biden’s message.

Event #4

Biden at SPARK Children’s Center in Dallas, TX

From the private event that Robert was handling, Mr. Biden hopped in his SUV and drove over to his second stop in Dallas – a speaking engagement at the non-profit children's center called SPARK! At Southside on Lamar.  This event required a lot more production gear and some special backdrop treatment!  Matt brought In Depth Events skills in force with HMI lighting panels, a multizone audio system, and staging for the press.  The event looked great, to the point that the CNN cameraman told Matt it was “the best lighting he’d ever had at a political event”. The venue was particularly happy with the way our crews respected their art and children's installations through the venue.

As I said before – political events are by far the most challenging events we handle as event professionals.  From Presidents to Presidential contenders, National, State, and even non-profit rallies, our co-founders Matt and Robert have been there and we have you covered.  Let us show you how our founders and crew work together with your planning staff to provide the best in event management and event technology.  Contact us today for a quote!


A Tale of Two Theme Parties

How two very different events had a very successful theme party – courtesy of In Depth Events!

The Spring of 2019 had some amazing clients for In Depth Events.  As a live event production company, our focus is bringing audio, lighting, staging, and power together to make memorable, fun events that people talk about for years to come.

Women With Promise - Disco Ball

American Campus - Lubbock, Texas

Our first theme event in 2019 was with Cindy Latch and Women With Promise.  This charitable organization is made up of successful women in the North Texas area.  The Women with Promise annual fundraiser is designed to empower women to build a future filled with promise and success.  This year, the committee chose a Disco theme, and the fundraiser was held at the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas.  In Depth Events was chosen as the vendor to handle the audio, lighting and staging needs in the main ballroom and in the pre-function area.

Matt and Robert started with our ever-popular LED Dance Floor, and added modern lighting effects with a throwback Disco ball.  The audio system was a solid performer throughout the night, with both a DJ and a celebrity impersonator.  The event was so successful that we had several hotel guests that had been invited to other, unrelated events in the hotel come to crash our party.  A great evening with a great client – for a great cause!

From black tie to poolside – our next theme event was a collegiate outdoor black light party in Lubbock, Texas!  American Campus is a company that provides off-campus apartments for college students at several major campuses across Texas and other parts of the United States.  One of the many bonuses in living on an American Campus property is the parties that management throws for the residents.  In April of 2019, In Depth Events was selected as the production and talent management vendor to throw a massive pool party at the Raiders Pass property in Lubbock, with students attending Texas Tech.

To make sure the party was a major success, Robert set them up with a thumping audio system, black lights, and used his talent management skills to book one of the best turntablist DJ’s in the State.  Matt took his expertise onsite to provide special effects for the party, including dry ice effects, UV effects, and CO2 cannons.  This outdoor poolside event was a favorite with the student residents in Lubbock, and with the management at American Campus.  This theme party can be a success at your outdoor venue as well – just call our experts for a quote!


Pool cover on a cruise ship? Sure, we can do that.

Industry insiders know that for custom swimming pool covers, the only company to call is In Depth Events. Our experts have handled everything from wedding receptions in private backyards, Bat Mitzvahs in palatial garden manors, chic clear installations for private events, and corporate parties at hotels, casinos, and country clubs across the US. Our staff is used to the challenges that come with providing clear, frosted, and utility pool covers. In fact, we are the ONLY company in the south that can provide flush mount pool covers for our clients.

In other words – we’re used to challenges when it comes to building custom swimming pool covers and stages. However, when the Tom Joiner people called us, we have to admit that we were taken a little off guard. Every year, the Tom Joiner Fantastic Voyage brings a Christian celebration of music and ministry to its attendees. In the spring of 2018, the cruise ship Carnival Breeze was selected as the host ship or this seven-day cruise. The Tom Joiner people wanted to know – can we build a performance stage over a pool – on a cruise ship?

Of course we can! After several meetings with Carnival staff, several sets of drawings, and several conversations with our engineers, we loaded our equipment on the pool deck in late April using a crane. We had to make sure every last part was in our pack – there are no Home Depots in the Gulf of Mexico. When the night of the build finally came around, our crew faced a rainy night and rough seas. It’s hard enough to build a stage in a swimming pool – it’s even more difficult when the swimming pool is moving around you!

However, our expert stage builders prevailed and finished the build well in time for the headliner, Anita Baker, to perform. The Tom Joiner people were amazed at the transformation of the pool deck, Cardinal’s staff was happy with our respect for their performance area and their engineering staff, and our stage builders went away with a sense of accomplishment for a job well done.

For your next swimming pool cover, make sure to contact the experts at In Depth Events. We look forward to hearing from you, and working with you!


A Personal Dr. Pepper Ramp Build Blog

One of the great things about working for In Depth Events is not having one day that is the same as the last. All of the previous events I have worked included stage and riser set up. This event was extremely different. I was assigned to work at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark on a wooden ramp. This ramp was being built in one of the seating sections by 3rd base. It was built in order to get equipment from the road down to the field so they could redo the field.

Preparing for Build of the Ramp

I showed up for this job on the third day of the build without any previous experience on a wood project. All risers and stages I have worked on in the past were steel with premade holes in the legs. As soon as I turned the corner I saw the massive wooden ramp about halfway built. An entire section of seating had been taken out and there were stacks upon stacks of wood. We had a team of nine (including myself) working on the ramp that day.

Two of us started working on putting together bolts for the ramp by taking a bolt and adding two washers and a nut to each one. Putting together these bolts saved a lot of time when we actually started inserting them into the wood on the ramp. Another person was using the power saw to cut wood pieces to the exact sizes needed for each piece of the ramp.

Building of the Ramp

Once the braces were in place we took a drill bit and made holes wide enough for the bolt to go through. After the hole was drilled another person would go behind inserting and tighten the bolts. This was repeated in the next step adding an extra piece of wood on either side of the brace and inserting four bolts. This was done ensure that each section was strong and stable. Finally, trestles where added flush with the braces using wood screws. The trestles were added in a pattern that had every other row of braces placed at the exact distance from the other.

The space available to work in while putting the pieces together was very small. It took a lot of patience and focus trying to drill each hole and insert each bolt. The gaps between each wood piece were just large enough to put one leg and a small handheld drill in. Our team quite literally worked side by side on this project, the entire duration of the build.

After all braces, bolts, and trestles were put together precut pieces of plywood were then added to the top. Two layers of the plywood covered the entire surface of the ramp. The plywood created the smooth surface needed for them to drive on. This specific project used around thousands of bolts and screws along with hundreds of pieces of wood.

My first day on site ended up being 10 hours of making, inserting, and tightening bolts. This project taught me many new and extremely useful skills in carpentry. It also tested my balance, focus, and patience throughout the build. I look forward to the next project with In Depth Events, I’ll be writing about it!


Facebook Event Page Set-Up

Using Facebook to Promote Events

Facebook is one of the greatest ways to promote your events. With over 490 million users that utilize the Event Pages per month, you’ll definitely increase attendance of your public event by using Facebook Event Pages properly. As a frequent Facebook user I see multiple events around my area daily and have had great success utilizing Facebook Events Pages to promote past events.

How to Set-Up a Facebook Event Page

To start, I always set up an event page in such way that the cover photo or video and event title are compatible with phone screens since most people scroll Facebook on a cellular device. At the time of writing this article Facebook's Event Tips Website claims the photo must be "at least 1920 x 1080 pixels (16:9 ratio)". The information popup when creating a new event page contradicts this telling you to make it 1200 x 628 pixels for an aspect ratio of 1.9:1. In reality 1200 x 628 is closer to 1.91:1 if you want to nit pick. To make it more complicated not  all devices will display this image or video at the same resolution with some mobile devices displaying it as wide as 1250 pixels. If you want to be really safe I suggest going with the 1.91:1 aspect ratio at a minimum size of 1920 x 1005 pixels and leave room on the edges for what ever random cropping Facebook decides to do. I would avoid using text in your cover photo as it can be hard to read on smaller devices. Also, Facebook will not approve any photo that is more than 20% text.

Pro Tip
When possible use a short video for your cover instead of a photo. This is a great way to grab someone's attention.

Once I have chosen a cover photo/video and title, I set the page with the exact date, time, and address for the event I am promoting. This allows people in the surrounding area to view the event and plan to attend. When choosing the name for a public event, I try to keep it short, to the point, and attention grabbing. Finally, I add a description with exciting details and encourage people to join us at the event.

Pro Tip
When adding the description for your event use hashtags and @mentions. If your event has acts or special attendees planned, add them as Co-Hosts or Relative Groups of the event. This will showcase your event on their pages attracting another group of people.

Facebook allows you to edit your public event up to three times but, changes can greatly affect attendance of people who are interested so I try not to edit events after they are published. I always work on a draft until I am sure it is ready then publish it for Facebook users to see. You want your Event Page to look professional but also be engaging at the same time.

Why Should You Use a Facebook Event Page to Promote Your Event?

Facebook Event Pages are like flyers who help reach more people than any piece of paper ever could. Designing the page and being able to post videos and continuous content grabs and holds people’s attention. Creating an Event Page allows you to showcase your public event in a unique way.

There is so much excitement in creating a Facebook Event Page. Each event has such great potential to showcase and promote. I would love to help you create a Facebook Event Page that could significantly increase the attendance of your public event.

For more information about how Facebook can be used to promote your public event, feel free to email me at media@indepth.events. I would love to answer any questions you have and discuss how I can help you promote your event.

Look for my next post soon: The Basics of Promoting Public Events Using Facebook