7 Super Questions to Ask Your Lighting Partner
Jun 25, 2014 by DeDe Mulligan

Lighting – just like sound – can either enhance or degrade your attendees’ meeting experience. Lighting is meant to set the mood and create an atmosphere where meeting participants feel invited and welcome.

Most organizers, when event planning, rely solely on the venue to provide lighting options. However, the right audiovisual rental company can provide a plethora of excellent lighting options for your next event. The key is to determine who can and cannot meet your lighting needs.

BizBash recently consulted industry experts and came up with seven terrific questions you should ask any lighting vendor when you are considering using them. Here they are along with a few of my own thoughts.

Lighting Questions

  1. Do you own your lights? Sometimes when renting audio visual equipment, the vendor needs to subcontract to other suppliers due to the sheer volume of the request. However, if your partner owns very little of their equipment, this can be problematic because they ultimately do not have total control over availability and pricing.
  2. Do you have insurance and are your employees bonded? Ask to see the vendor’s certificate of insurance and make certain everyone that is working on your event is bonded. The last thing you want to happen is to have your lighting supplier have an unbonded workman rigging your lights onto a 20 foot ceiling. Don’t open yourself up to a lawsuit – keep those certificates with you onsite and make copies to keep back in the office.
  3. Does the vendor have enough power to run the lighting? Have your lighting partner come to your site visit and meet with venue personnel that understand the power grids in each meeting room. You want the vendor to accomplish two things at this meeting: 1) Determine if there is a potential for electrical overload and 2) Will the venue be charging you additional electrical fees and how much to expect. Try to cap that fee in your contract, as it is really a guess on the part of the venue when they bill you.
  4. What is allowed and not allowed by your vendor at the venue? Can your lighting vendor bring in, install and strike the lighting? Or do they need to rely on the union folks to bring in and rig your lighting? If it is the latter, how much will that cost you?
  5. Is a lighting console needed and how much space is required? If the answer is yes then you need to work this table (plus power requirements) into your meeting room schematic.
  6. What are my lighting options? Color, LED, pinpoint are all great options depending on what you want to accomplish. Make sure you ask what lighting works best in which environment. Don’t assume anything!
  7. Can the cables be hidden? It is great to have wonderful lighting options, but if the cables look unruly or are taking over your meeting space, all mood effect is lost. Work with your lighting experts to come up with a great plan to meet your needs.

SmartSource Rentals lighting designer can determine which type of lighting works best for your event and fits into your budget. They will work hard to provide you the light equipment rentals you need to create the mood and direct the attention to where you want it. Request a quote or call them at 800.888.8686 today!

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