When incorporating scenic elements into your event for the first time or when expanding upon your strategy, there are a million-and-one things to think about … but here are a few to get you started!
- Ceiling height. Basically, a 16’ set will not fit in a room with 11’ ceilings.
Obstructions. Soffits, change in ceiling heights throughout the room, pillars, oddly configured rooms, even built-in stages (not always a perk) should all be taken into consideration.
- Do I have enough room to do what I’m looking to do? Ask your AV partner to draw the room with the appropriate seating, stage size, backstage area if necessary, and any technology… especially if you plan on doing rear projection. Then work on scenic design.
- Do I have enough time to set this up based on my room contract? Setting up scenic takes time and while light programming can take place during preproduction in your AV partner’s shop, it will need to be fine-tuned on site.
- Prioritize. How valuable is the scenic to your message? Are you designing an immersive space that integrates the AV or will AV dictate the shape and size of the set?
- Adding in scenic to an event may require you to book your room for an extra day depending upon the complexity of the event, and maybe even several install days, dependent upon the rigging plot, lighting elements, etc.
- Many custom sets need to be “retouched” after they are set up, meaning a Carpenter could need additional time before and after meetings to make adjustments (i.e. if air bubbles are forming, seams becoming visible, etc). The venue’s HVAC or environment can easily affect this and are considered unknowns.
- Additional crew, and specialized crew, will be needed to build the scenic. Additional light will be required to make the set visually appealing and more power may be required too. Also, while some sets and lighting can be ground supported, it is sometimes required to rig your design … and all of these cost money. IMS can help you budget for these expenses.
- Are any special actions necessary on my part? For example, do I now need a Fire Marshall through load-in? The entirety of the event? Will this require me to get a permit?
The FUN stuff
- What am I looking to achieve by adding scenic into my event? How will this complement the event theme and event goals?
- With what emotion are attendees walking into the room, and how do I want them to leave feeling?
- What type of “look” do I want? Remember, your venue may dictate this slightly. Don’t fight the aesthetic of a room, work with it!
- Am I looking to do digital scenery, a hard set, soft goods, custom branded materials, modular pieces, or a combinations of mediums?
- Make sure your partner can provide you with to-scale renderings or conceptual visualizations of digital scenery elements.
- Where can I go for inspiration? I KNOW, IMS’s Scenic Portal!
- Who ya gonna call?!?! GHOSTBUSTERS! JK, IMS. Specifically, Julie Renninger. 610-883-6162.
Article written by Julie Renninger, Director of Sales at IMS.
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