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Problem Solver - August 2007

Expanding Event Programming Options


PROBLEM:
We run a series of outdoor concerts from mid-spring through fall every year, but we're limited to the one park where we have a pavilion. How can we expand our event programming options to include additional parks and events?

SOLUTION:
Special events-from festivals featuring nationally recognized acts to local fairs featuring the kids' choir-are growing ever more popular, as even the smallest communities look to entertain their citizens and foster a sense of involvement and fun. If you're looking to expand your options for programming events in your community, you might consider using mobile stages. Their mobility and flexibility means you gain increased programming capabilities.

Instead of holding all of your events in a fixed location like a band shell, pavilion or amphitheater, a mobile stage allows you to take the show "on tour" to as many different venues as you'd like. One weekend might find your mobile stage hosting a dance troupe in a local park, while the next weekend might feature a battle of the bands in the high school parking lot. If you add a new park to your community, what better way to celebrate than to host a park-opening festival, with your mobile stage as the centerpiece for the day's events? The best part is, once the event is over, your park quickly returns to its natural state, because you can simply close up the stage and move it away until it's needed again. This frees up valuable park space for other events and even simple passive recreational activities.

Old, rickety wooden staging platforms are a thing of the past. New developments in stage design allow more people to enjoy the performances on your mobile stage, and mean a safer surface for your performers. In fact, one park used its mobile stage to allow a touring opera group to perform in front of 20,000 people.

A mobile stage does represent a big investment for your community. The price can range from $85,000 to $125,000, depending on the options you go with. However, if you choose carefully, you'll be able to find a stage that can help drive down labor costs and provide possible rental income as well.

New technical features such as automatic leveling can save time and reduce needed manpower. All leveling and stage deployment can be done via remote control, without having to crawl underneath to unpin jacks or level the stage.

Remember that you're not just purchasing a trailer for concerts. Your mobile stage is a concert venue that just happens to be able to move from place to place. Improvements in acoustical performance and stage design have created stages that look more like acoustical shells than trailers. These changes have done a lot to improve the sound quality of the stage. Ceiling height is another important factor to consider, since low clearance will reduce sound quality and restrict certain kinds of activities-from acrobatics to choirs on risers.

There are plenty of optional add-ons you can find for your mobile stage as well, including the ability to add custom graphics, upgraded electrical systems, lighting packages, sound systems-even electric wheelchair lifts. The option to add stage extensions in front can allow you to adapt your mobile stage when you need a larger surface. Some manufacturers provide platforms that easily attach to the mobile stage, and can even function as stand-alone platforms. These should be lightweight and easy to handle.

If you consider all your options carefully, you'll soon see that a mobile stage will make a great moveable venue for your community, allowing you to expand your programming into new areas and entice more people to your events.


FOR MORE INFORMATION
Wenger Corp.:
800-4WENGER (493-6437)
www.wengercorp.com


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