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Author Topic: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs  (Read 3810 times)

Ray Aberle

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2018, 11:52:47 pm »

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.
Brandon,

So there's a thread in the Basement that's great reading for a couple of hours. Nathan Riddle started it, and asked GREAT questions regarding getting into our business. Price lists, gear, even back end considerations like insurance and Who's An Employee? were discussed.

In no particular order:

- Yes, for wireless, you're going to want a minimum of the $600-$700/channel range- Sennheiser G3/G4 EW100 or Shure ULXP (no longer available new). Shure QLX-D is the new "standard" for breakout rooms. You want "combo packs" -- both a h/h tx and a b/p tx with lavaliere.

- As noted, pipe & drape needs the fire certification. Pipe and Drape is a pain in the butt to deal with, but it's a good profit line. Having 40-60' of 14-16' high black or light gray will be invaluable. "Trade show booth" is what's called "Banjo Drape," and you definitely do NOT want it. "Performance Velour" is what you'll end up with. Through Georgia Expo, 58" wide panels are $70-$80 each for the 14oz black PV in that height. Get 25# sandbags from the Las Vegas Sandbag Company. One per P&D upright. Don't forget a small control booth drape package.

But here's the takeaway from all of this: The reason those "other" corporate AV groups are charging the premium pricing is that they are delivering an absolutely reliable service. Yes, you see SRM450s and small mixers in those breakout rooms, but the AV company also has a pair of backup speakers for every four or five rooms. They have extra mixers on hand. There's extra RF for "hey, let's do this!" Spare projectors. At that level, as was mentioned, there's absolutely no margin for error. And, you're going to end up being the catch-all "make this happen."

I'm onsite at a show in Santa Clara, CA right now, doing a small music and gaming festival. I have a main concerts rig, and then 5 smaller breakout room setups in varying spaces. Beyond the actual gear ordered, I have plenty of extra AC cables, power strips, rat-tails, and dongles of all types. Pretty much, I can take any computer from the last 20 years and get the audio and video into the projector. And that is the service that the client is paying for.

To the initial post- one thing we use for breakout rooms like these is a pile of these. They're cheap ($80 each) and great for moving cables and supplies from our grip area (backroom space where we store extra speakers, cables, etc, for easy access) to a space. They're also handy for actually deploying the mixers on in the breakout rooms.

-Ray
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Brandon Montagne

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2018, 07:37:16 pm »

Brandon,

So there's a thread in the Basement that's great reading for a couple of hours. Nathan Riddle started it, and asked GREAT questions regarding getting into our business. Price lists, gear, even back end considerations like insurance and Who's An Employee? were discussed.

In no particular order:

- Yes, for wireless, you're going to want a minimum of the $600-$700/channel range- Sennheiser G3/G4 EW100 or Shure ULXP (no longer available new). Shure QLX-D is the new "standard" for breakout rooms. You want "combo packs" -- both a h/h tx and a b/p tx with lavaliere.

- As noted, pipe & drape needs the fire certification. Pipe and Drape is a pain in the butt to deal with, but it's a good profit line. Having 40-60' of 14-16' high black or light gray will be invaluable. "Trade show booth" is what's called "Banjo Drape," and you definitely do NOT want it. "Performance Velour" is what you'll end up with. Through Georgia Expo, 58" wide panels are $70-$80 each for the 14oz black PV in that height. Get 25# sandbags from the Las Vegas Sandbag Company. One per P&D upright. Don't forget a small control booth drape package.

But here's the takeaway from all of this: The reason those "other" corporate AV groups are charging the premium pricing is that they are delivering an absolutely reliable service. Yes, you see SRM450s and small mixers in those breakout rooms, but the AV company also has a pair of backup speakers for every four or five rooms. They have extra mixers on hand. There's extra RF for "hey, let's do this!" Spare projectors. At that level, as was mentioned, there's absolutely no margin for error. And, you're going to end up being the catch-all "make this happen."

I'm onsite at a show in Santa Clara, CA right now, doing a small music and gaming festival. I have a main concerts rig, and then 5 smaller breakout room setups in varying spaces. Beyond the actual gear ordered, I have plenty of extra AC cables, power strips, rat-tails, and dongles of all types. Pretty much, I can take any computer from the last 20 years and get the audio and video into the projector. And that is the service that the client is paying for.

To the initial post- one thing we use for breakout rooms like these is a pile of these. They're cheap ($80 each) and great for moving cables and supplies from our grip area (backroom space where we store extra speakers, cables, etc, for easy access) to a space. They're also handy for actually deploying the mixers on in the breakout rooms.

-Ray

Thank you Ray, this was very helpful for me. I'll continue reading through the discussion in the Basement you provided as well, it's definitely covering some of the other questions I've had. I suppose with 14-16' pipe, a longer trailer becomes necessary, unless they come as shorter lengths that connect together via threaded connections? Having backups of speakers, projectors, screens etc is certainly a big part of reliability, and a huge additional chunk of change for someone just buying gear to get started.
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Brandon Montagne

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2018, 07:42:29 pm »

Not to keep echoing Scott, but heís absolutely right (and knows wireless better than I do).  It all comes down to reliability and whatís good enough for you, but Iíve used the Audio Technica equivalent to your BLX and would never trust it to work on corporate gigs.  The absolute lowest grade of wireless product Iíll use is the Sennheiser EW100 kit with paddle antennas, and thatís just for very simple applications.  Beyond that youíre looking at QLX/ULX/Axient. 

Also, youíll want the beltpack/headworn mics for those too.  Some presenters will want the clip-ons and headsets, and as youíve probably guessed the $29 capsules that come included with the beltpacks wonít cut it either.  Unfortunately this line of work is one of the most expensive ones to just jump into!

Good stuff, thank you. I'll check out the Sennheiser EW100 kit as you suggested simply for the very small, easy events. The QLX is much more than I planned on spending (per ch) but "sounds" like it will be well worth the investment and the peace of mind vs the BLX system, which now I suppose I will only use for small bars or remote locations without interference issues.
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Brandon Montagne

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2018, 07:54:05 pm »

BLX should not even bear the Shure name.  It had hideous performance in high RF environments (like busy hotels).   I am not saying you need to run out and buy a rack full of ULX-D and DPA mics but a couple of QLX-D and some Countryman earworn would get you a lot closer to where you need to be.


I'm hearing you guys, and thankful for the advice before I learn the hard way. Since the majority of the work I'm targeting initially will be in hotels, I'm definitely going to invest the $600-700/ch for some higher quality gear.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2018, 08:17:44 pm »

I'm hearing you guys, and thankful for the advice before I learn the hard way. Since the majority of the work I'm targeting initially will be in hotels, I'm definitely going to invest the $600-700/ch for some higher quality gear.

Iím very glad that youíre open to advice and not taking offense to constructive criticism.  Many people here have saved me from wasting money several times over, so tough love is definitely a good thing.

Honestly, before dumping money into equipment that you may or may not need, itíll will help you substantially to come up with a business plan if you havenít done so already.  Which specific types of corporate gigs are you planning on bidding?  Who can you network with for rentals when needed?  Whatís the best plan to phase your investments?  Figuring all this out now will help you grow the fastest while minimizing money spent on equipment you donít need or didnít get the right type of. 

As example, this will be the year that I finally buy a ďlargeĒ digital mixer.  Based on my type of work and the networking opportunities available to me, it didnít make financial sense to own one until now.  That money was better spent on other equipment in prior years that provided better return on investment and/or growth opportunities.  No sense in buying 8 channels of wireless if you only need 2 most of the time and can rent more in when needed!  Hope this helps!   
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2018, 08:53:12 pm »

Iím very glad that youíre open to advice and not taking offense to constructive criticism.  Many people here have saved me from wasting money several times over, so tough love is definitely a good thing.

Honestly, before dumping money into equipment that you may or may not need, itíll will help you substantially to come up with a business plan if you havenít done so already.  Which specific types of corporate gigs are you planning on bidding?  Who can you network with for rentals when needed?  Whatís the best plan to phase your investments?  Figuring all this out now will help you grow the fastest while minimizing money spent on equipment you donít need or didnít get the right type of. 

As example, this will be the year that I finally buy a ďlargeĒ digital mixer.  Based on my type of work and the networking opportunities available to me, it didnít make financial sense to own one until now.  That money was better spent on other equipment in prior years that provided better return on investment and/or growth opportunities.  No sense in buying 8 channels of wireless if you only need 2 most of the time and can rent more in when needed!  Hope this helps!

This is great advice too.  Once you get a feel for your cash flow take the hit and start taking on larger gigs.  Partner with a competitor.  Rent the gear you don't have.

Make sure you and your business process is ready to grow.  Depending on your risk tolerance you can start to buy into categories.

Our capital plan FYI is more wireless, a small box truck with lift (Isuzu city truck), ADA yellow jackets and high quality truss. 

Next year will be lifts and stageright decks and Z braces.

Made some mistakes along the way but have grown from three QSC systems to enough gear to do an 8k attendee main stage and 12 side stages (two weeks ago, largest event we have ever done), phones are already ringing.  It's fun!

BTW one other thing.  Don't compete on price, always value.  A race to the bottom benefits nobody.  Event planners are very loyal and very reticent to risk their reputation on a new provider.

Buddying up to a competitor and taking overflow business is a way to fast track this business.  Never ever card a client when working on someone else gig.  That's a huge betrayal.  If you are working a gig for another provider and get asked what your rate or availability is simply say, I am working with Sphincter Boy Productions, give them a call and ask for me.  That will cement your relationship with other provider and keep you busy.



   
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Ray Aberle

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2018, 11:05:37 pm »

I suppose with 14-16' pipe, a longer trailer becomes necessary, unless they come as shorter lengths that connect together via threaded connections?
Pipe and Drape uses either fixed uprights (usually no more than 8' high) and then adjustables. Like this---- the ones on the left are the original P&D, which you will still find more often in the wild. The ones on the right (that they call "castle top") is the new P&D v2.0.

The uprights range from 7-12' to 8-14' 9-16' and even 9-23' high. So, what you actually carry in is only 8-9 feet high, but it'll expand to as high as you need it.

-Ray
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Brandon Montagne

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2018, 03:50:25 pm »

Pipe and Drape uses either fixed uprights (usually no more than 8' high) and then adjustables. Like this---- the ones on the left are the original P&D, which you will still find more often in the wild. The ones on the right (that they call "castle top") is the new P&D v2.0.

The uprights range from 7-12' to 8-14' 9-16' and even 9-23' high. So, what you actually carry in is only 8-9 feet high, but it'll expand to as high as you need it.

-Ray

Thanks everyone for the information, truly has been a big help for me in my purchasing decisions. I searched the other thread someone mentioned in the basement, and I couldn't find answers to the following question I currently have: What kind of Laptops are needed for typical jobs, whether it's a corporate gig with PPTs and embedded HD videos, or a concert with animated graphics or videos etc. I see specs like RAM, Hard Drive, Processor and Speeds etc., and wonder what is most important and actually needed for the type of work we do. Last thing I'd want is videos playing sluggish/jerky because the PC can't handle the graphics/file size/format. Assuming sometimes the machine is just rented to a customer, other times used directly by my company to operate the PPTs, videos, downloaded music, etc. Thanks!
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Brandon Montagne

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2018, 05:05:58 pm »

Thanks everyone for the information, truly has been a big help for me in my purchasing decisions. I searched the other thread someone mentioned in the basement, and I couldn't find answers to the following question I currently have: What kind of Laptops are needed for typical jobs, whether it's a corporate gig with PPTs and embedded HD videos, or a concert with animated graphics or videos etc. I see specs like RAM, Hard Drive, Processor and Speeds etc., and wonder what is most important and actually needed for the type of work we do. Last thing I'd want is videos playing sluggish/jerky because the PC can't handle the graphics/file size/format. Assuming sometimes the machine is just rented to a customer, other times used directly by my company to operate the PPTs, videos, downloaded music, etc. Thanks!

Also, any ideas for projector stand skirts? I have tripod style projector stands, essentially glorified music stands, and just want to have a drop over black skirt (even better with a hole for the cords) to make it look nicer at events. Seems like these would be easier to find, but so far no luck....
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
« Reply #39 on: September 05, 2018, 07:11:51 pm »

Also, any ideas for projector stand skirts? I have tripod style projector stands, essentially glorified music stands, and just want to have a drop over black skirt (even better with a hole for the cords) to make it look nicer at events. Seems like these would be easier to find, but so far no luck....
Check out Drapes 4 Show.

Youíll probably either use a 34Ē cart or a Safelok stand for typical meeting room projection.
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Re: Best Equipment Carts/Wagons for Event Gigs
¬ę Reply #39 on: September 05, 2018, 07:11:51 pm ¬Ľ


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