Event Tune-Up: It’s Still Good to be Green

September 23, 2015 by Bill Goode

Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day! (this article was originally written several months ago but thought you still might like it)

As is the American custom, wearing green is part of the day. If you are caught not wearing green, expect to be pinched.

The same still holds true for event planning, DJs, and other event pros.

Some of the ways you can be green without breaking your commitment to client service, your bank account, and your back are listed in no particular order below:

– Lights: It is safe to say LED lighting has transformed the marketplace. In the last couple of years, consumers have discovered the joy of LED lighting in the form of replacement bulbs for home and in Christmas light strings. Event pros have been into this for about five years in the form of transformative event lighting. The pros far outweigh the cons in that they burn far less energy, are safe to touch after running for a while because they do not get hot, can be “daisy-chained” together on a power circuit, are easy to transport and will take an amount of abuse, and can make an array of colors. The only cons we see is that they are more expensive than regular lighting and require some knowledge about expressing brightness in lumens vs. the old way of determining brightness by bulb wattage.

– Sound: DJs and bands have never had as many options for sound reproduction as they do today. Forty years ago, sound equipment was heavy, got very hot, and required stocking a supply of tubes because of the constant risk of burning out a tube in an amplifier. Starting in the mid-seventies, solid state circuits became the rage and gave way to the iconic “chip” that can be found on just about every circuit board made today. This allowed amps to become cheaper, louder, and more efficient with power management and sound reproduction. Mixers became controllers that worked in concert with computers and software. Turntables became controllers with control vinyl discs replacing records. Albums became cassettes and compact discs, then became computer files on big, then small form factor hard drives. Amplifiers were built into the speakers. Lightweight woods and plastics made speakers sound richer, weigh less, and provide a smaller footprint to occupy space. Instruments became lighter and utilize electronics to enhance and alter sound. Backing tracks cut the size of the band. Wireless technology cut the microphone and speaker cord. For better or for worse, every instrument can have their sound reproduced electronically. That is only scratching the surface!

– Video: Until the last several years, video was a very expensive pipe dream to incorporate into an event. There are visual options that can enhance the look of any event. Flat panel monitors of all sizes, projectors, LCD curtains and squares, holograms, projector mapping, monogram/gobo projection, computer video editing and playback, high definition, streaming media, and new conferencing feedback and polling tools have taken three dimension viewing to an exciting new direction. A room becomes a blank canvas of visuals.

– Catering: Food has undergone such a transformation. Beef and chicken have become tasty feasts fed by recipes from many talented chefs. Presentation is a fine art form. Microwaves and food warming and cooling technologies have changed food prep and storage. Beverage machines look like computer terminals. Coffee can be made in a variety of ways and not taste like coffee. Mouths water just by reading the menu!

– Décor: Materials are lighter, less expensive, and can be reused for many events. Reclaimed scrap wood has been cleaned and reused to create amazing, inventive décor. Metals are saved from the scrap heap and melted, welded, and shaped into works of art. Fabric can be sewn and reused. Cleaning technologies and expanded the life of table linens. Flowers can last days longer with the right water/fertilizer combo. Themed events offer more décor and design choices, using non-traditional items that can be rented or borrowed. Imaginations run wild with choices that simply did not exist in the design and décor world only a few years ago.

– Other Ideas: Electric vehicles are becoming very handy and flexible. Over the next few years, the range on electric cars and vans will be anywhere from 200 to 500 miles on a single charge. Charging these vehicles will range from a dollar to two dollars per charge. Imagine working a few events each weekend, and gas is not even a factor, only a few dollars to charge the vehicle battery is. As of now, tax breaks are still plentiful for purchasing or leasing.

Non-traditional venues have been coming online for some time. Instead of a hotel ballroom, old homes, farms, barns, train stations, factories, lofts, offices, and abandoned buildings have been saved and outfitted to provide a unique place to host an event. The property is saved, and can be pressed to serve for any meeting or party.

Paper products? Use good china and silverware, which can be washed and reused. Recycled paper can be used for invitations and printed collateral. Notes and files can be used electronically on a tablet or computer.

Green is here to stay, and you most likely are utilizing products that contribute to the green side of your business. If not, there are some ideas that may get you started in a green direction.

Bill Goode Bill Goode (17 Posts)

Filed Under: Lighting for Mobile DJs, Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Misc, Sound Engineering for Mobile DJs, Video Jockey Tips