If you’re planning a gala-style event, with seated dining or low-light ambiance, you’re probably considering using pin spots. Pin spotting (pins, table spotting) is the use of a narrow-beamed light to illuminate centerpieces, tables, and other important decor elements. Many people incorrectly refer to pin spotting as “spotlighting,” which is a different lighting service.
Illuminating Flower Arrangements & Floral Decor with Pin Spotting
Pin spots are most florist’s favorite light. That’s because when florists and lighting companies work together, pin spots are often what comes up. Along with a host of other uses, pins are one of the best ways to illuminate your floral centerpieces.
There is no such thing as the best angle for a pin spot. Technicians place lights at various angles to create dramatic shadows, great for a moody feel and less detailed centerpieces. They can also be placed so that the centerpiece is completely and evenly lit. This is great for detailed florals and topiaries. Unfortunately, often venue, budget or both prevent optimal placement of pin spots. A lighting company with any kind of skill will work around this by using ground-support options and a diverse range of pin spotting options.
As with any lighting or decor item, the sky is the limit. Keep it simple with a warm-white 2-angle wash, or get creative with some of the customization options below.
Pin Spots Customization
Color – Pins are typically white or warm white, but a well-equipped event lighting company will have LED lights that can change to your specified color.
Angle – Different types of supports can be brought in to place your lights at the angle of your choosing
Diffusion – While they typically have a 1 degree angle, pins can diffuse anywhere from 1(narrow) to 40(wide) degrees.
Intensity – The intensity of your lights can be controlled so that they don’t overpower other natural lighting or design effects.
Getting the most out of your pin spots
When you talk to your lighting company, make sure you come well-informed. Most companies will charge per table for pins. In most situations, two spots are required per centerpiece, to get total coverage so ensure that’s what you’re getting.
Why use pins? Click the pin spot function on our color picker app, and you can see the difference that they make!
A guide for event planners, coordinators, and brides.
It almost goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many folks don’t lead with the location of their event. Production companies need to know the location of the venue for multiple reasons. The primary reason is knowing what the layout of the venue is. This helps with costing services and knowing what will work in the space. Any kind of custom design needs exact dimensions, so being able to get a look at the venue is often crucial to the success of the design team.
Why your lighting company knowing the exact date is important
Lighting companies also need to know when your event is. It isn’t unusual for a lighting company to book events several months, or even a year in advance. While most lighting companies can service multiple events in a day, every company has its capacity. An exact date is the only way to determine for sure that equipment and labor resources will be available for your event. Try to make sure that this information is included in your initial request for services.
Why you need to get your lighting company an up-to-date schedule.
Lighting equipment can sometimes take longer than anything else to set up. Lighting companies have a pretty good idea of how long a service will take based on past experience. They use this information to get the most out of their equipment and crew during a somewhat lopsided work week. Corporate events and meetings often happen during the week. However, a large majority of events take place on the weekends. Lighting companies service all types of events year-round, but most event companies see a huge boost in activity during the fall season. This leaves them with a large amount of events, all happening at once. Because of this, event companies stick to pretty strict schedules that can get pretty tight. It is important to update all of your vendors with any schedule changes, to prevent any issues.
3. Event Type/Theme
After providing lighting services for thousands of events, we’ve learned a couple things. We like to handle different types of events differently, and with the care they deserve. Because of this, we’ve developed several departments that specialize in different event areas. It’s useful to know early on what type of event we’re dealing with so that we can get it in the hands of the right event expert. Chances are, we’ve dealt with a very similar event, and can call upon that knowledge when designing your event.
4. Total Attendance
Knowing total attendance is important for a few reasons. For a simple wedding in a hotel ballroom, your production company probably doesn’t need to know this information. But for larger events, especially where there’s sound involved, be sure to mention this number. More people not only create more background noise that the system needs to project over, they also obstruct the sound by physically being there. Knowing how many people will be there helps audio technicians bring the correct equipment. This ensures that your event audio will be heard loud and clear.
6. Power Requirements/Availability
Your lighting company needs to know more than just the power available at the venue; they also need to know what other vendors expect to use it. Caterers often require a large amount of power for heaters, and appliances such as coffee makers or food warmers. Many large-scale coffee makers require an entire circuit to themselves. In fact, everyone from the DJ to the photo booth could require power. Insufficient electrical availability could mean an important aspect of your event might go dark or without power.
7. Onsite AV or Lighting Technician
For many events, lighting is basically just a decor item. The lighting team will unload, set up the lighting, and take off. For events with simple uplighting, drape, or string lighting, this is the way to go. Although a technician is not always needed, some event coordinators prefer to have one standing by for the very rare chance that something goes wrong. However, if anything has to change during the event, you will need onsite staff. This includes everything from tying up drape pieces into gathers, to changing the color of the uplighting. The cost of this will depend on the length of time that the tech is needed, but work calls usually have 4 hour minimums.
8. Service Needs
The more you can let your lighting company know about your needs, the better. You can save a lot of time by preparing a list of the exact services you need, and the details of each service. Ultimately, many people don’t have this information in the early stages of even planning. If this is the case, save time by making this clear to all of your vendors, so you can avoid them fishing for the information.
9 . Load In Procedure
More often than not, your lighting company will already be familiar with the venue. But for unusual event spaces or private residences, it’s important that an information sheet with any relevant rules and procedures is generated not only for your lighting company, but for all of your other vendors as well. Ideally, your lighting company won’t be loading in at the same time as other vendors.
Parking is something that many people take for granted. Venues in urban areas can often have parking that is quite limited. Some event setups can take anywhere from four to eight hours, so it’s important to think about where your vendors are going to park during this time. Most lighting companies drive extended vans or box trucks, so keep in mind that there may need to be more room than usual for them to park.
11. Venue Rules
As an event planner, you are often the center of communication between other vendors. The venue is no exception. While many venues are proactive and reach out to all vendors to provide information, every experience varies. It’s important to pass any essential information down the line to your vendors. Often, the venues expect this, and rely on planners and coordinators to pass information along to vendors.
If you want to learn more about lighting, The Lighting & Sound Co. offers tons of resources for people of all knowledge levels. Reach out by phone or email to speak to a pro.
Looking for an AV Company? We are The Lighting & Sound Company, a national design, production, and AV company based in Richmond, Virginia. We provide lighting, AV, logistical support, and design concepts for upscale events and serve a broad range of industries. Our experienced crew helps major brands and groups of all sizes conceptualize, design, and execute unique visions and successful events.
Like any AV company, we offer more than just lighting, video, and audio services. Our services also include a large range of decor lighting, fabrication and soft goods options. Because of this, we’re able to provide a “one-stop-shop” for most events.
Live Event Audio with your AV Company
Our modern audio inventory has all the elements needed for large-scale events. Most importantly, our live event audio crew has experience working in corporate events and meetings, concerts, broadcast, large-scale sporting & worship events and more.
Full-sized PA systems from multiple high-end brands, such as DB and JBL. Our crew of professional audio engineers will ensure that not a single word or note is missed.
Our audio techs have experience mixing for national and international acts from a wide range of genres. Consequently, they have the skills they need to operate in high-pressure event situations
We can field audio consoles to fit any rider, including favorites like the Venue, and standbys such as the Behringer X32.
Stage Lighting with an AV Company
Our lighting team consists of classically trained designers and experienced lighting technicians.
Turn-Key stage lighting systems including conventional and LED stage lighting, available to fit events of any scope.
Indoor and outdoor stage lighting available, we like to think of ourselves as “weather-friendly”
Conventional and LED TV Lighting available for broadcast and live streaming events. This includes Kino Flo LED lighting with adjustable color temperature for TV Stages.
Range of moving lights to fit most riders and needs. This includes both arc source and LED beam, profile, wash, and hybrid fixtures.
Effect lights for stage decor and effects also available. Strips, bricks, cycs, blinders, whatever you need to make your event outshine the rest.
Event Video and Image Magnification
Our AV team comes full equipped with any video equipment you might need.
Projectors and fast fold projection screens in all standard sizes for corporate events and meetings.
LED Video walls for concerts, corporate events, and high-visibility outdoor image magnification.
High-lumen projectors available for projection mapping and large-format projections. Perfect for corporate parties, meetings, and displays.
TVs up to 70″ for digital signage displays and AV for small breakout rooms.
Live streaming and recording options available, including live image magnification and onsite camera teams. High quality cameras will help to ensure that not even the smallest detail is missed.
We can do a lot more than just stage lighting for your event. For instance, our decor lighting is unrivaled. Along with design services, we offer a huge number of decor lighting options that will blow your event attendees away. Work with our experienced designers to craft a design. Or, come to us design-in-hand and we’ll make your vision a reality. In other words, it’s completely up to you how involved you are in the process.
Powerful wired and wireless uplighting to change the look and feel of your event space.
Bistro lighting for tent and outdoor events. String lighting overhead is the perfect way to light large areas with a warm and intimate charm.
Pin-spots to light centerpieces, or tables in low-light scenarios such as galas or holiday parties.
Custom and Texture Gobo projections are great for making your event look unique. Moreover, we have an enormous inventory of patterns that can completely change the look of the event space, or just accent it a little. For example, if you have a winter theme, you can choose from a long list of frost, snow, and other winter-themed patterns.
Soft Goods and Design Elements
In addition to being an AV Company and decor lighting wizards, we have one of the largest collections of drape in Richmond. As a result, we do a lot of custom event designs. Our creative fabrications team can help design and build a set to support events of all types.
Velour, poly premiere, banjo, and sheer draping in many sizes and colors.
Custom drape backdrops both simple and elaborate.
Custom set pieces.
Textured vacu-form plastic pieces.
Texture tiles, illuminated blocks, and other common elements available.
For party rentals & linens, check out our friends at Party Perfect
If you’re interested in working with an AV company for your event, there are a couple things you should know before you start the hiring process.
What is the goal of your event?
Before you contact your the company you want to do your event AV, make sure you know what you want your event to be. Will it be a educational presentation? Will it be an engaging activity? Different equipment can drastically change how the event feels.
What are your needs vs. wants for the event?
Your basic needs may be a screen, projector, a few speakers, and a microphone, but adding small details will go a long way to help your audience stay engaged. Lighting, drape, projection mapping, and much more can all help make your event unique and fun. It’s up to you to decide how important everything on your list is, especially when budget is on the line.
How big is your event?
The size of the venue and the amount of people in the room can call for a wide range of equipment needed for the event. The dimensions of the room and the head-count should be enough for a technician to know what is required.
2 screens, face-light, and a PA flying from truss at Main St. Station in Richmond, VA
Choosing an Event AV company
After you know your plan, the next step is to choose an event AV company. The most important job of an audio visual company is to provide solutions, not products. Instead of trying to sell you equipment, they should look at your goals and needs and provide the answers that will result in a successful event. Many companies will use the same equipment, so you should make your choice based on how knowledgeable they are and how their solution fits into your budget.
Event AV can help to make your presentations unique, lighting backdrops are very versatile
Originally opened more than a century ago in 1901, Main Street Station remains an iconic and historic landmark in Richmond. The train shed has recently been renovated, and is now one of Richmond’s largest and most popular event venues. Main Street Station is a fantastic venue for large corporate events and meetings. Our crew loves working in this beautiful space. MSS is located right down the street from our Richmond Office!
Richmond Magazine held the 2018 Elbys in the renovated train shed.
The new event space is pretty large, seating nearly 2,000. The old shed roof is easy to rig from, and most types of shows can fit between the glass-encased walls. Since it’s re-opening in 2017, the popular venue hosts political events, weddings, awards shows, charity auctions, corporate meetings & parties and more. Many annual and biannual events, such as the Richmond Wedding Expo, are moving from smaller venues to the new space.
The Lighting & Sound Co. provides production for the Richmond Weddings Fashion show and has since 2015.
Because of it’s convenient location down town, MSS is the perfect venue for corporate events. Main street station is walking distance from many hotels, restaurants, and bars. It’s also a train station, which originally worried us because of the noise. Thankfully, the trains aren’t loud enough to be distracting from any event we’d done so far. For a production company like us, ease of load in is very important. The train shed doesn’t have loading docks, but it does have multiple loading entrances that are easy to access, making it easy to load in alongside other vendors.
Rigging in Main Street Station is made easy by the multiple on-site lifts.