Coming Out of the Dark…to Light Up the Future

October 8, 2008 by Mobile Beat Staff Writer

Coming Out of the Dark…to Light Up the FutureBy Jorge Lopez

Learn to illuminate the big picture

We have all heard the statement “change is imminent.” For the mobile DJ this has become out industry reality. As we adapt consistently to every changing technology, we must, first and foremost, stay focused on what our clients want.

That’s what they depend on us for.

Of course what they depend on us for is sound, music and personality but what actually has the most intangible value is…creativity! An example of this is our ability to create and transform a dance floor and entire ballrooms with ideas. And this is especially true with lighting.

Atmosphere Around the (Cutting) Edge

Mobile DJs usually focus all of their attention-and lights-on the dance floor. This is definitely important, but we have a great opportunity to serve our clients better (and grow our business at the same time) by extending our creativity beyond the boundaries of the hardwood.

What I’m referring to is décor lighting, not in place of our dance lights but together with it, in a combination that provides a complete visual experience for party guests. Think about it: Especially for those of us that do corporate events, we would do well to keep in mind that the largest percentage of the budget for large corporate events is décor.

Remember also that a client may tell you that they only have so many dollars budgeted for entertainment, but keep in mind, they also have a budget for décor.

Décor Lighting: A Practical Example

The accompanying photo shows an event our company did earlier this year. It took place at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles in that facility’s Crystal Ballroom. It was an upscale 21st birthday celebration for a young man named Mark.

Here is what we used to create the rich atmosphere of color, reaching to all corners of the room:

1. 50 LED décor lights for up-lighting drapery
2. 2 Star Maze laser effects on drapes
3. 4 Martin MAC-250s (stage + dance)
4. 4 High End Technobeams (stage + dance)
5. 4 American DJ Mighty Scans (stage + dance)
6. 25 LED lights to up-light Lucite tables
7. 6 LED lights to down-light ice fruit displays
8. 4 LED lights to light martini bar
9. 1 Laptop with Martin Light Jockey software
10. 1 DMX cable complement
11. 1 DMX LED controller
12. 1 Wireless LED controller (back-up)

It is very important to remember that when you’re selling décor lighting that you’re really selling vision and ideas. Usually the client is less interested in how many lights you will be using and more interested in how their event is going to look and feel.

I understand that every event is different and not all are as large as Mark’s 21st birthday party. What I hope you take away from this article is the need to stop and ask yourself how you can improve your overall lighting inventory-beyond the obvious dance floor fixtures-so that you can service your clients even better and grow your business at the same time.

Your clients need lighting, and they’re going to get it from someone…it might as well be from you!

Power Tips for Décor Production

• Do a site inspection of the venue to confirm that there is adequate power
• Find out if there will be a cost incurred by the client for any additional power. You don’t want ANY surprises in this area!
• Make sure to use LED lights. LED lighting has made atmospheric lighting much easier to set up and offers a whole new spectrum of color control. Another key selling point is the savings in power-and, in turn, money-that low-power LED fixtures provide.
Jorge Lopez is the CEO of Invisible Touch and J&M Entertainment. Since its founding in 1979, Jorge has built J&M from a part-time mobile DJ business into a full-fledged, continually growing multimedia service provider for events of all kinds.

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Mobile Beat Staff Writer (228 Posts)

This is the general editors account for Mobile Beat Magazine and Website. Who reads Mobile Beat online and in print and attends Mobile Beat events? DJs, VJs and KJs to start with, especially those who own and operate mobile entertainment services. They provide music, video, lighting and a myriad other entertainment choices for corporate events, wedding receptions, dances and innumerable other gatherings.


Filed Under: Issues from 2008, Lighting