Up-Lighting On the Fly

October 5, 2016 by Rick Hardesty

How many of you use to DJ back in the old days before computers were popular and before CDs existed we use to DJ with tape decks and turntables. The way we use to keep track of all our employees was each employee had a calendar and they would check off all the dates that they did not want to work through-out the year and then we would use those calendars to keep track of all the jobs going out through-out the week for that employee. Typically, we had 15 calendars to keep track of and some weeks it was not pretty because there were so many jobs going out that we had a hard time keeping track of all the employees; mistakes were made some good and some bad.

This was the one mistake that was a turning point for us was back in 2012. We had a party that was all the way up in the middle of nowhere in Michigan all we saw driving up there was corn field after corn field. We were driving to community center for a party When we finally arrived at the community center for the party it was beautiful inside plus everyone was extremely helpful and friendly.

The lady that was in charge of the event comes over to me and says do you have a minute to go over all the party details? I told her sure no problem I have all theUp Lighting-picture time in the world. This is the reason that we get to the party early to make sure there are no mistakes and make sure we have everything dialed in before the party. She says to me you guys are providing the photo booth and DJ services and up-lighting, correct? I told her to back up the bus here DJ services no problem we have you covered photo booth we have you covered but up-lighting we do not have you covered. Nobody told us that we were providing the up-lights there is nothing attached to the paperwork or the planning guide. Well, we decided to add the up-lights last minute. I said, let me call the office and find out what’s going on. The lady says ok no problem worst case scenario you can run back to the office and pick them up. Yeah right we just drove 3 ½ hours to get here there is no way we would make it back in time your party will be over by the time we get back.

The lady in charge of the party was very upset, the tone in her voice said it all. I had to find a solution to make homemade up-lights. I asked one of the ladies at the party where the closest Walmart was she said we don’t have one of those near here the closest one is 2 hours away yikes not good what stores do you have close by she said mom and pop stores and dollar store just opened up down the street. I told her great I will go there.

So I flew to the car drove over to the dollar store as fast as I could and I purchased Christmas boxes that you put wine in for gifts during the holiday season and then I purchased tin foil to cover the boxes up inside and out I needed a reflector to bounce the light off. I then needed a light source I asked the employee do you have any flash lights she said yes we just got a case in the back in I said a case how many come in a case? She said 24 with the batteries I will take the whole case. She said ok I can do that I get to the check out and by bill came to $52.00 dollars. The lady at the check-out said what are you building? I told her up-lights for a party. She said then have fun with your project. I left the store and flew back to the party and started assembling the up-lights I covered the Christmas wine boxes inside and out with tin foil and then bought a big yellow flash light to go in the center and put it up against the wall we had a custom designed up-light that looked great. I assembled the rest and the lady comes over and says I am sorry to bother you again but we wanted blue up-lights for our under the sea dance. So I went back to the dollar store and purchased some blue cellophane cost me a dollar and then dollar for tape I cut a square out of the cellophane and taped it to the top of the box and the light now turned blue. The lady in charge of the party comes over again and says. I am so sorry to bother you again but I have just one more question. In my head I am thinking I am going to go crazy what does she want now. She says to me I am first of all blown away the up-lights transformed this room into something amazing our guest are going to go crazy over this dance this is best one we have ever put on, but here is my question how many times have you watched MacGyver?! I said all the time when I was a kid, but you will be happy to know that there was no duck-tape used when making these homemade up-lights.

Now days we use a CRM software called Customer Manager Pro that we build for our business and it allows us to keep track of our entire business right from our personal computer, tablet or cell phone. By using Customer Manager Pro at Planet DJs Entertainment we have cut down on the number of mistakes and have increased the amount of business by 50 percent. Stay tuned for next week’s blog post.

Rick Hardesty Rick Hardesty (7 Posts)

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