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Author Topic: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs  (Read 1917 times)

Brandon Montagne

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2018, 07:31:48 pm »

Even for a bar gig we can load up a 1/2 pack case,  strap the monitors on top and the mains ride on the subs.

For most places it's a 5 minute push.

Also easier to take inventory at pack and then when back in warehouse.

One of the things I did 5 years ago when I started the business was put process in place. Do it now while you are small,  no time once you get busy.

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Checking out the 1/2 pack cases and also some 1/4 pack cases, I'll have to do a show alone sometimes, and have to be able to lift/handle the loads into the truck.
I really didn't want to buy cases (hard cases) for the loudspeakers and subs because I have the soft rolling cases for them,  but it sounds like that's the way to go. Also regarding the process, totally agreed that's a good idea from the get-go, albeit I know there's going to be trial and error along the way, likely in all aspects.   :o
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2018, 07:45:13 pm »

Looks like I need to source several cases and then be ready to have a helper or two for events at load-in and load-out since I probably won't have a trailer at first.

Hi Brandon, what kind of vehicle are you driving since you don't have a trailer yet?  I operate out of utility vans on small jobs and box trucks on big jobs.  I agree 100% with using road cases - that's what I do too, however they take up space and weight.  The trucks I use have lift gates, but for the van I installed a winch to pull my 300 pound cases up the ramp.  Cases under 200 pounds are a lot easier to work with though.  My speakers and subwoofers are just in soft covers.  Keep in mind that for corporate work your equipment needs to look presentable, so cases and covers are the way to go. 

To address your original question, I do have a cart for moving my speakers and non-wheeled cases.  If you buy one, make sure its wheels are large enough to handle off-road use, especially if you see yourself progressing to outdoor festival work.  3" casters don't do well on mud or dirt!  I also have a little cart that converts into a stepladder.  Quite handy for moving and hanging lights!
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2018, 08:13:39 pm »

Indeed, small corporate events to get started, hoping to eventually move into live music festivals and concerts, but at first just the small corporate events.

We help folks flesh out business plans all the time.  What exactly is small corporate?

It is much easier to start picking up music gigs than get into the corporate AV space.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Brandon Montagne

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2018, 01:43:00 pm »

Hi Brandon, what kind of vehicle are you driving since you don't have a trailer yet?  I operate out of utility vans on small jobs and box trucks on big jobs.  I agree 100% with using road cases - that's what I do too, however they take up space and weight.  The trucks I use have lift gates, but for the van I installed a winch to pull my 300 pound cases up the ramp.  Cases under 200 pounds are a lot easier to work with though.  My speakers and subwoofers are just in soft covers.  Keep in mind that for corporate work your equipment needs to look presentable, so cases and covers are the way to go. 

To address your original question, I do have a cart for moving my speakers and non-wheeled cases.  If you buy one, make sure its wheels are large enough to handle off-road use, especially if you see yourself progressing to outdoor festival work.  3" casters don't do well on mud or dirt!  I also have a little cart that converts into a stepladder.  Quite handy for moving and hanging lights!

I have a GMC Sierra 4x4 crew cab with a 3" lift and 33" tires, so the tailgate height is pretty tall. So far I only have 2 loudspeakers, 1 projector/screen, a small mixing board, and all the mics/cables to do a public speaking event. Pretty sure at this point I could fit all my gear in the cab of my truck if needed. But once I get road cases, everything will have to be loaded into the bed.
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Brandon Montagne

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2018, 01:46:34 pm »

We help folks flesh out business plans all the time.  What exactly is small corporate?

It is much easier to start picking up music gigs than get into the corporate AV space.

While a music gig is definitely more attractive to me in terms of passion and enjoyment, I live in an area surrounded by corporate businesses and hotels that host corporate events such as sales conferences, breakout sessions, technical conferences etc. The typical setup will be 1-2 screens and projectors, 2 loudspeakers (or none for  small ~30 person breakout room) a mixing board, a laptop, all cables and a few wireless mics for the larger rooms (~100-300 people). For a 300 person room I'd source 2 additional loudspeakers, and if they want loud music, I'm in the market for 2 subs.
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Brandon Montagne

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2018, 01:48:54 pm »

While a music gig is definitely more attractive to me in terms of passion and enjoyment, I live in an area surrounded by corporate businesses and hotels that host corporate events such as sales conferences, breakout sessions, technical conferences etc. The typical setup will be 1-2 screens and projectors, 2 loudspeakers (or none for  small ~30 person breakout room) a mixing board, a laptop, all cables and a few wireless mics for the larger rooms (~100-300 people). For a 300 person room I'd source 2 additional loudspeakers, and if they want loud music, I'm in the market for 2 subs.

Also, pipe/drape is a bit of a surprise to me, more expensive than I planned, and there doesn't seem to be much custom-fit drapery for projector stands, screens, etc. Any help you guys can point me for more affordable pipe/drape fit-for-purpose would be awesome as well. I'm sure there's a forum topic for that as well already so I'll do some digging.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2018, 05:59:14 pm »

I have a GMC Sierra 4x4 crew cab with a 3" lift and 33" tires, so the tailgate height is pretty tall. So far I only have 2 loudspeakers, 1 projector/screen, a small mixing board, and all the mics/cables to do a public speaking event. Pretty sure at this point I could fit all my gear in the cab of my truck if needed. But once I get road cases, everything will have to be loaded into the bed.

Yeah, weight would definitely be a big concern here.  You might also want to think about how to keep things dry in the rain (and/or snow if applicable).  In other words, I'd strongly consider expediting your purchase of a van, box truck, or trailer. 

While a music gig is definitely more attractive to me in terms of passion and enjoyment, I live in an area surrounded by corporate businesses and hotels that host corporate events such as sales conferences, breakout sessions, technical conferences etc. The typical setup will be 1-2 screens and projectors, 2 loudspeakers (or none for  small ~30 person breakout room) a mixing board, a laptop, all cables and a few wireless mics for the larger rooms (~100-300 people). For a 300 person room I'd source 2 additional loudspeakers, and if they want loud music, I'm in the market for 2 subs.

As a member here who does a large majority of work in corporate, I tend to agree with Scott.  Availability aside, the corporate market is very unforgiving of any mistakes or shortcomings on your part - your fault or not.  Most clients will also want to see references, certificates of insurance, etc.  Are you prepared to accommodate all that right out of the gate?

Also, pipe/drape is a bit of a surprise to me, more expensive than I planned...

Most things aimed towards the corporate market won't be cheap.  You mention wireless microphones - you'll need those and they need to work.  In this line of work you can't have mics cutting out or music skipping during the singing of the National Anthem or the playing of the customer's product launch video.  The pay is nice but the stakes are high!  Best of luck to you though!
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Rob Spence

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2018, 06:45:45 pm »

I have a GMC Sierra 4x4 crew cab with a 3" lift and 33" tires, so the tailgate height is pretty tall. So far I only have 2 loudspeakers, 1 projector/screen, a small mixing board, and all the mics/cables to do a public speaking event. Pretty sure at this point I could fit all my gear in the cab of my truck if needed. But once I get road cases, everything will have to be loaded into the bed.

I was able to push 70lb stuff up a 6 ramp into my old half ton. It was not lifted. I suspect I will be getting one of the 8 foldable ramps for my one ton as it is a couple of inches higher.


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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2018, 01:57:00 am »

Yeah, weight would definitely be a big concern here.  You might also want to think about how to keep things dry in the rain (and/or snow if applicable).  In other words, I'd strongly consider expediting your purchase of a van, box truck, or trailer. 

As a member here who does a large majority of work in corporate, I tend to agree with Scott.  Availability aside, the corporate market is very unforgiving of any mistakes or shortcomings on your part - your fault or not.  Most clients will also want to see references, certificates of insurance, etc.  Are you prepared to accommodate all that right out of the gate?

Most things aimed towards the corporate market won't be cheap.  You mention wireless microphones - you'll need those and they need to work.  In this line of work you can't have mics cutting out or music skipping during the singing of the National Anthem or the playing of the customer's product launch video.  The pay is nice but the stakes are high!  Best of luck to you though!

You must not be looking in the right place.  All the major screen vendors have dress kits.  Drape is $200 a panel for the good stuff.  You must have a fire certificate.  Steel bases and tons of uprights and laterals are needed. 

Wireless must be very high quality.  Figure $1500 a channel and high quality mics run $600 plus (DPA is our favorite).

You need scrims for your stands too.

Now we get to wash lights.  Battery operated wash lights are about $300 a piece.  I have $7000 worth and often have to cross rent.

Now we get to projectors.  You need to have short throw, long throw lenses.  HD lenses with 10k lumens of output.

What size market are you in?   The big players in Cleveland have millions of dollars in inventory.  It is tricky finding a niche.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
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Brandon Montagne

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2018, 06:48:09 pm »

You must not be looking in the right place.  All the major screen vendors have dress kits.  Drape is $200 a panel for the good stuff.  You must have a fire certificate.  Steel bases and tons of uprights and laterals are needed. 

Wireless must be very high quality.  Figure $1500 a channel and high quality mics run $600 plus (DPA is our favorite).

You need scrims for your stands too.

Now we get to wash lights.  Battery operated wash lights are about $300 a piece.  I have $7000 worth and often have to cross rent.

Now we get to projectors.  You need to have short throw, long throw lenses.  HD lenses with 10k lumens of output.

What size market are you in?   The big players in Cleveland have millions of dollars in inventory.  It is tricky finding a niche.

Do you have a preferred online store for drapes? Also looking for projector table skirts. Is a Fire Certificate a training course I'd have to take, or something that I have to obtain for each project site, from a fire marshal? Most of the projectors I've seen at similar small corporate events are 3000 lumens, and the other AV gear is not exactly top-notch either... Mackie loudspeakers, 4 Ch Yamaha sound boards... very entry level. And they're charging a hefty price tag.
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