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10 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Event

10 Ways to Save Money on your Next EventSure, everyone wants to save money, but how do you accomplish that without giving up quality? After creating hundreds of events, we’ve learned 10 ways to do just that. Here they are, in no particular order…

#1: Negotiate with your Venue. You have the most negotiating power before you sign a contract. Take your time and really think about everything you’ll need for your event. Ask your venue to include as many of these items as they’ll agree to. Make sure everything is included in the final price.

#2: Go Paperless. Wherever possible, rely on digital instead of paper. Send evites instead of paper invitations. Create an event page on Facebook where guests can get information or communicate with you about the event. Also, provide online access to any event or speaker materials. For marketing, use social media, your blog, website and eNewsletter instead of paper flyers or postcards or hard copy newsletters.

#3: Reduce Food and Beverage Costs. Forgo the full liquor bar, instead offer wine and soda. For dinner, choose buffet style over plated food.

#4: Get Sponsors. Seek out one or two who are relevant to your event. They’ll cover some of your event fees in exchange for brand awareness and marketing at your event. Write up a contract so everyone understands their obligations and what to expect from one another.

#5: Use LEDs. These fixtures will save money and power consumption, especially in ballrooms where they charge you for power. There are lots of LED options available at an affordable price.

#6: No hanging fixtures. Utilize ground support fixtures only. Rigging equipment is a huge expense, cut this out entirely if you can.

#7: Try piggybacking. Before booking your venue space, look for another event happening around the same time you’d like to host yours. If the venue is available the day before or after, strike a deal with the planner of the other event to share the cost of setup, food, drinks, etc. There are lots of ways to use this to your advantage, but be prepared as it will make planning your event more complicated.

#8: Choose your guests wisely. If you’re having a 500 person event in Tampa Bay, you’re options for venue space are limited. For 1000+ person events, there are VERY FEW options.

#9: Hire Students to Help. Marketing, graphic design and photography undergrads get experience and in return, you get fresh ideas and cheap labor. It’s a win-win!

#10: Don’t Book Celebrity Speakers. Opt for lesser known, but still great speakers who live nearby. This will also save on flight and hotel costs.

If you want to cut costs at your next event, using these 10 tips will help you do that. Just remember to balance your cost savings by spending money on the items that are really important. NEVER cut costs when it comes to the safety of your guests!

Bay Stage Live is your one-stop shop for event creation. To discuss your next event, simply call (813) 877-1089 or visit us online at

5 Questions to Ask your Production Company BEFORE the Lights Go Up

 In the last few exhilarating moments before your event starts, the only question you should be asking anybody is, “Are you ready to rock?” And the answer should be a deafening – “YES!”

But to get there, you need to ask the right questions… Here are 5 very important questions you should ask BEFORE you hire a production company:

  1. Have you done an event like this before? Get some examples to make sure the production company can handle what you’re looking to do. Ask for recommendations. Request to attend one of their events to give you a sense of what to expect.
  2. Is all of your production done in-house or do you use outside suppliers? Bay Stage Live is a one-stop shop where all production is done in-house. It keeps everything running very smoothly and makes our client’s lives easier.
  3. How do you ensure all tasks are handled so that my event occurs on-time? A professional production company will have some sort of timeline tool to handle the numerous tasks involved with your event. Find out what that is, and how/if you will receive updates along the way.
  4. When the event is over, who handles the tear-down? What you’re really asking is, “Do I have to do anything and if so, what would that be?” Be aware of your responsibilities before, during AND after your event!
  5. Do you have insurance, and what/who does it cover? Get some specifics regarding what the production company is liable for, in case an issue should arise. At a minimum, insurance should cover the crew, guests, and venue.

Bay Stage Live welcomes any other production questions you may have! Contact us online or give us a call at (813) 877-1089.

Event Lighting: The Many Benefits of LEDs

LED lights are the #1 choice for your event. They’re safe, convenient, and as of 2015 they’re your best option for event lighting. If you haven’t heard – 2015 is the year when incandescent lights were officially outlawed. That’s right – these lights are no longer manufactured, and it took a lot of people by surprise.

It didn’t bother us a bit when incandescent lights were banned because at Bay Stage Live, we use LED lights. Why? They’re a superior light source! LEDs are safer, more lightweight and use less power than incandescent lights. It’s amazing how many lights you can truly utilize, due to their small size and weight. Both of which make transportation and setup much easier.

There are many options in LED lighting to suit your needs! If you need flexibility, choose battery-powered LEDs. There are no wires attached so this allows for more possibilities in placement, making wireless battery powered LEDs especially handy for uplighting.  You won’t be restricted by the location of power outlets or have to hide extension cords.

LEDs come in a variety of colors and you can get multiple colors out of one fixture. Newer filters now mimic a warmer look, similar to that of an incandescent light. Some LEDs even offer wireless communication –this is an exciting topic for another day!

Incandescent lights consumed a ton of power and became very hot. In fact, all that heat was necessary for the light to work properly. LEDs just don’t need that much heat to work. They do get hot, but much of the heat disappears through metal heat sinks, which wick away the heat from the light source itself. Less heat means less energy and that’s exactly why you get more life out of an LED light than you do an incandescent one.

Incandescent lights are history, and LEDs are here to stay. That’s just fine with us because we know LED lights are the best choice for your next event! If you have an upcoming event you’d like our help with, contact Bay Stage Live today.

This One Event Fee Surprises Almost Everyone

Fire Flame via SkitterphotoLet’s make one thing clear – if you hire the right company, there won’t be any surprising fees. A great production company will ensure you’re aware of all costs associated with your event. At Bay Stage Live, we pride ourselves on consistent and full communication with our clients. Event fees are always disclosed and discussed.

That being said, here’s the one fee which surprises most people looking to host an event… Permits/Fire Marshals.

Did you know that 99% of all events require a fire marshal on-site during rehearsals as well as the live event? Additionally, if you’re including any special effects such as pyro, fog/haze or lasers – it must be approved by the fire marshal beforehand. Even decorating passageways can require fire marshal approval!

Permits cost money, sometimes as much as $10,000 to $12,000. If you’re building an outdoor stage for over 200 people, it requires a permit. Any structure that’s bigger than 10×10 – requires a permit, plus it must be approved by the fire marshal.

The best advice we can give is to make friends with the fire marshal. They can shut things down 2 minutes before your event starts – for any number of reasons. Don’t give them a reason.

There you have it, the one most surprising but completely necessary event fee. It’s worth noting that this fee is not billed to or by your production company. It is a separate charge from the City based on your venue, its location and the special effects of your event.

The easiest way to avoid a surprise like this is to choose a great production company! Are you in need of lighting and/or production services for your next event? Contact Bay Stage Live today!

New Gear for the New Year- Part 3


blog post_newgear_3

Welcome to the 3rd and final installment sharing Bay Stage Live’s new equipment.

Bay Stage Live Wireless Battery Powered LED:

A few years back, we introduced the Bay Stage Live wireless battery powered LED. We’ve now taken this already phenomenal product, and made it even better!

Ultimately they will be offered in either white or black casing.  Meanwhile, we are updating and improving our white Wireless battery powered LEDs, so the black ones will take their place for now.  These LED’s use RGBA (red, green, blue, white) color mixing technology, giving you a great range of color options. There are no cords or extension cables to mess with and you’ll get up to 18 hours of battery life per LED.  Unless, of course you would like to plug them in, there is that option too.

Setup is as straightforward as 1- Place it, 2-Turn it on and 3- Choose a setting. Charging couldn’t be easier with the rechargeable battery built into the road-case. Not only are the LED’s simple to operate, they’re compact and super lightweight for stress-free transportation.  Don’t forget the remote option that comes with preprogrammed colors and scrolls.

These light fixtures will bring something extra to your wedding, corporate meeting, birthday party and any other indoor event. Just use your imagination! We currently have (10) 12 packs available for rent allowing us to accommodate any size event whether large, small or something in between.

Chauvet Freedom Par Hex-4:

This compact, colorful, battery-operated LED can be used as an up light on the floor or hung overhead.  These will serve as a great alternative to the Par 38 uplight.  Eliminating your need for gel or a power outlet, however you can still plug directly into the wall should your application call for longer life.

At Bay Stage Live, we constantly update our equipment and technology so we can provide you with the best possible products and service for your event.

New Gear for the New Year- Part 2

Last month we shared some of the goodies we received from Santa for being good boys and girls. Here’s part two!

Hog 4 Controller Console:

The Hog 4 is the flagship in our newest range of consoles. It embraces the latest technology, while retaining the Hog’s familiar control surface. Users will be able to walk up to the Hog 4 and start programming without having to learn a whole new interface. Retaining the sleek look of generations past, the Hog 4 offers the user an advanced programming experience in an established environment. The Hog 4 console, at the top of the Hog line, is designed to handle the largest shows.

Bay Stage Live

 HedgeHog 4 Controller Console:

This array of HedgeHog 4’s are the littlest of the range and still pack quite a punch, running the same software as all the other Hogs. They come with ArtNet and CITP capabilities and are designed for small to mid level shows. They are compact, lightweight and easy to take on a plane! Running on Linux, they are fast, stable and ready to Hog. Whether being used in a school theatre, nightclub, corporate event, medium scale rental job or church, they are the perfect consoles. Retaining the same programming layout as their larger brother, the Road Hog 4, as well as being able to load show files from any of the range (and vice versa) means that this compact console range is extremely flexible and easy to use.

Bay Stage Live

Look for our blog next month to see the last of our new equipment from Christmas 2014.

Got any ideas for your upcoming event? Call us today! We would love to bring your ideas to life! Bay Stage Live services the Tampa Bay Area, all of Florida and beyond.


Wedding Lighting 101

Bay Stage Live

A wedding is arguably the most important day of your life. You’ll be creating a memory that will last a lifetime. Don’t let the lighting be forgotten or trust your DJ or band to take care of the lighting. Take as much care with your lighting design as you have with every other detail of your wedding.

Bay Stage Live is here to help! Here are five tips to make sure that your space looks as beautiful as you do.

  1. Up lighting– this is by far the easiest way to transform a space. You can change the color of a room without ever picking up a paintbrush. Don’t be afraid to use colors. Conversely, we don’t recommend that you try to match all the colors from your theme, flowers or the bridesmaids’ dresses. Often, a complementary color works best. Keep in mind we cannot make certain colors out of light…Burgundy, gold, silver, grey are just a few colors that cannot be created out of light.
  2. Highlighting the Head Table and Wedding Cake. These are areas that are often forgotten or ignored but consider that they could and should be highlighted and stand out from the rest of the space.
  3. Patterns are an option- Instead of a wash of color or used in conjunction with up lighting, patterns can be used to transform a space. We can even design a monogram using the bride and grooms initials, or a custom pattern from your wedding stationery.
  4. Have a budget in mind- This may be the most important tip of all. We prefer to have at least a budget range to work with. Be honest with us. We promise to give you as much bang for your buck as possible. We want to look good in front of your family and friends too. Wedding lighting packages can range anywhere from $500-$100,000 and we are happy to work with any budget in between
  5. What’s the process? We work with planners and/ or brides and their mothers. Depending on the package you select, we will set up a time to visit the space and design according to the space specifications and the wants and desires of the bride. We can even recreate your wedding space in our 3D Visualization software, complete with your floor plan, lighting design, and color scheme. Once we have approval, our crew will set up the day of your wedding or the night before. We run and test all equipment to ensure everything is working properly and as planned. The very best part of the entire process is when the bride walks in to preview the space. There is no greater pleasure than the look on her face as she admires how stunning it all looks. Lastly, we will strike all equipment and leave the venue just as we found it immediately following your guest’s departure.

New Gear for the New Year- Part 1

We were very good boys and girls last year, so Santa brought us lots of new equipment to share with you!

Below you’ll see some of our new gear in action!

Chauvet Legend:

This fixture features a 2.25° beam angle creating a bright tight beam of light. Compact and agile, it also features a zooming 8-facet prism and 17 gobos (plus open) for beam shaping effects, along with automated focus. In addition to 14 solid colors plus white, the color wheel delivers seamless split colors.  We now have 24 in our rental inventory.

Chauvet Legend

Chauvet Q Wash:

This is our new LED moving wash light.  They feature a wide zoom range and a variable beam angle. The incorporation of 91 high intensity and calibrated RGBWA Cree LEDs ensure a uniform wash, excellent color rendering and a vast color palette of soft pastels and vivid hues.

Chauvet Q Wash

Chauvet RGBA Fog Machine:

This is the newest kid on the block for Chauvet and adds serious fog and effects to our tool kit!   Vesuvio™ RGBA brings together high output LED washes to towering fog output with ferocious intensity. The Vesuvio™ RGBA atmospheric effect generator allows you to add red, green, blue, and amber color mixing (RGBA) to voluminous fog output for multi-colored atmospheric columns, bringing a new level of effects to your production.

RGBA Fog Machine

Look for our blog next month to find out what other new products we’ve added to our inventory.

Got any ideas for your upcoming event? Call us today! We would love to bring your party ideas to life!  Bay Stage Live services the Tampa Bay Area, all of Florida and beyond.


7 Basic Lighting Terms That You Need to Know for your Next Event

From mild to wild, elegant to bizarre, we know that great events thrive on impressive but appropriate lighting systems. Of course, it’s always a good idea to consult the professionals, but wouldn’t it be nice to know some expert terminology before your consultation time? Not only will you have an edge, but you’ll also be able to plan ahead and on budget.

Here, you have a basic event-lighting term list:

Non-Intelligent lights: Basic static fixtures only move to the music. They have an on/off switch, which make them easy to control. However, like most of the light and special effects packages provided by Bay Stage Live, the hardware does need to be installed by a professional.

Intelligent lights: These lights can be controlled and programmed to music or ambiance; they must always be supervised by an on-site technician.

Vertical and Horizontal Truss: If you’ve recently been to a concert, chances are that you’ve seen vertical or horizontal truss systems on/ or above the stage.

Vertical truss systems are usually set on either side of the stage’s floor; they stand like long, steel, hollow columns that support special lighting. On the other hand, horizontal truss columns are supported from above or below the stage to allow them to lay over or below the stage for a unique, specific lighting design.

Up lighting: Paint walls, columns, ceilings or doorways or simply light up a special moment of the event or location, without picking up a paintbrush.

Pin Spot: Highlight centerpieces or VIP sections at your event with pin spots. Pin spots may hang from the ceiling, or put on poles around the perimeter; the poles can be covered to match your event’s theme. Note: this feature can be limited by floor layouts and rig points in the ceiling

Custom Gobo: Gobos are a simple way to customize your event and bring fun to the party! Whether you choose patterns or names, custom Gobo projections will make your party much more personalized and charming.

Haze: Haze reflects beams of light without any health hazard, which makes it the perfect selection for a safe but impressive event.

Haze is a clear, reflective water particle that works well to create an exciting ambiance and highlight the beams of light at your next theme party. Thinking of a concert with a local band, or maybe a themed Holiday party? Haze is your answer.

Got any ideas for your upcoming event? Call us today! We would love to bring your party ideas to life!  Bay Stage Live services the Tampa Bay Area and beyond.



Advantages of Using Battery Powered LEDs

The invention of the efficient battery powered LED light is only twenty years old, but it has already contributed to creating light in an entirely new manner to the benefit of us all. In fact, this past October, three Japanese scientists Isamu Akasak, Hiroshi Amano, Shuji Nakamura won the Nobel Price “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.” In other words, they invented an LED lamp that requires a very little amount of energy as it is cheaply operated by solar power.

The greatness of newly invented LED lighting has helped, and will help millions of people internationally, however the already advanced and efficient battery-powered LEDs have been making a difference in all sorts of ways, especially in the event industry.

In honor of the recent Nobel Prize victory, we took the time to list the top 5 advantages of using battery operated LED lights at your next event:

1. Less Need for Cables
Avoid unfortunate accidents, extensive set up and break down time.
Thanks to battery powered LED lights, there is now less need for cables in live event setups.

2. Low Energy Cost
LED lights are preferable to incandescent lights for many reasons, the biggest one, however, is that they burn cooler and produce more light for less energy cost. You can stay confident that your event, power wise, will be very affordable.

3. Variety of Colors and Styles
Corporate event? Wedding? Concert? LEDs are suitable for any ambiance. LED lights are available in a variety of colors and styles, making them suitable for any event.

4. No More Overloaded Circuits
One of the biggest dilemmas in event set up is the logistics of plugging in lights and making sure not to overload circuits. Battery power eliminates this problem entirely. Lights can be placed anywhere they are needed without regard to the nearest outlet or how many other lights are already near it.

5. Switch-Free
What is arguably the most popular feature of battery-powered LED lights is the remote control capability. The lights have a wireless controller allowing you to control up to 16 different lighting design options with the touch of a button. This adds excitement to any event you use these lights for, but makes them especially useful for live performances.

Our knowledgeable staff will help train you on the proper use of the lights to maximize performance, and we have a 24/7 customer service “emergency” hot line should assistance be needed outside of business hours. Contact Bay Stage Live to rent battery powered LED lights for your next event.

Let’s make your event, BRIGHTER!