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  • Episode 041 – Planning Your Big Event (Pt 1)

 November 6

by LearnStageLighting.com

Learn Stage Lighting Podcast Episode 41This week on the Podcast we are going to review the steps of Planning Your Big Event. While this will reflect on Lighting you can also apply these steps for Audio, Video, or Set Design.

Lighting News! (1:38)

For the ENTTEC and DMXIS users, there has been a new Software Release of the DMXIS Platinum. What is interesting about this software is that it appears to be an upgraded version of DMXIS. It comes with Video and some Pixel Mapping.

You can read additional information and even Download the Demo here: DMXIS Platinum

The LDI Conference that takes place in the US was a big hit this year. I took a unique approach by reviewing the new product lines and discussing how these products can improve Lighting. My goal was to provide more than the features of the new products and give an honest overlook of how these products could benefit your Lighting strategy.

You can check out my videos on the Learn Stage Lighting YouTube Channel LDI 2018 and let me know what you think!

Lastly, The Learn Stage Lighting Podcast is now available on Spotify! If you use Spotify be sure to Subscribe to listen to the latest episodes: Learn Stage Lighting Podcast

Main Segment (5:50)

While working in many shows and in different areas I’ve been able to see various types of Productions. While doing this I’ve seen some great events as well as some events that didn’t go as smoothly as they could have.

There are 7 Steps that I’ve put together to help you plan your Next Big Event. In this episode, we’re going to cover the first 3 steps. In the next Main Segment, 2 weeks from now, we will go over the last 4 steps.


All shows or projects simply start with an Idea. Once there is an idea you can go into the Dreaming Phase. By finding inspiration with previous events or looking online you can begin by gathering ideas and figuring out what you want the show to look like.

The next phase is Budgeting. You’re not only considering the costs and volunteer scheduling. You also should take inventory or what assets are available to you.

Then you can focus on the Artistic Design. Realistically, you will be working with a budget. So between your visions for the event and what you have to work within the budget needs to have a fine balance.

Lastly, you can focus on the Technical Design. When doing this you can focus on the equipment, cables, and gear that you will need. A great tool I have used in the past is Draw.IO where you can lay out the design and figure how much gear and cables you will need. You can download the Tool Here.


Once you have the design and know what you want are in place you are ready to move on to the Preparation step.

Now, you can focus on getting all of the gear together and sourced. A great way to help keep the stress to a minimum is scheduling to get the equipment to the location a Day before or if it’s an evening event have it together by the morning of the event.

The next phase, Label, loom and pre-plan, is a good way to help avoid unnecessary stress of putting together a big event. Getting a head start is pre-addressing the lights. Begin by labeling the light’s addresses and what the Light Number is.

Another idea is setting up and hanging the lights up before getting the power to them. Getting these lights prepped and ready beforehand will help you with stress and save time. Lastly, I’ll keep the cables, jumpers, and the lights together. Because when you’re setting up and the equipment is together it makes it so much easier to set up.

When working with Volunteers or those that are helping it’s important to remember that it’s important to stretch out the cables or loom them. What looming is taping the cables together so that when they are set up on a truss or stand they just need to be plugged in.

You can normally use Electrical Tape or even Friction Tape to loom the cables.

The last phase of this step is to Pre-setup your console. At the very least patch up the lights to the console. A great way to pre-setup is setting up some groups on your console ahead of time.


In the previous steps, you’ve worked to plan, prep, and get things in motion. Now it’s time to Execute the plan. Follow the plan and make it happen.

Work with the people that are helping to set up. Communication is key and working together and sticking to the plan to make it happen

Once everything is set up it’s important to Pre-record Groups, Presets/Palettes, and Cues. They key is getting as much done before the Rehearsal Step which we will cover in the next Main Segment Episode.

Closing (28:39)

If you’re new here, I have a Quiz that will help me send you a customized Guide on getting started with Lighting: FREE Guide @ LearnStageLighting.com/quiz.

Be sure to tune In next week as I take on questions from Listeners just like you. If you have a question be sure to visit the site and submit your question. We’ll see you next week!


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