Wednesday, April 13, 2011



So yes I have not kept up with this Blog as much as I should- but who's reading anyway-- "unsuspecting" Brides and Grooms I should hope!! This edition will be about a phenomenon known as "IN HOUSE" sound/lighting/AV equipment which is infiltrating its way into the South Asian banquet/convention center market.

For those that might be clueless as to what hereinafter will be referred to as an "in house" - basically a prospective DJ and or Sound/Lighting company will go into a new or existing banquet facility and permanently affix into the ceiling, a sound system, intelligent lights, screens and projectors, and for the lucky few halls PINSPOT/TABLE lighting (where each individual table can be lit up and colored with a light). This complete installation is done at a substantial cost- over and above what it would cost someone to haul 4 big black speakers into a hall placed in front of granny and blasting her head off. But I digress. The benefits are a clean look, more space on the ground, and yes- granny saving her already aged ears!

So above is the definition. In the European (mostly Italian) halls in the city- every single hall has an in house. In fact bride and grooms EXPECT an in house. And they have had them for years (think Paramount, Belle Vu Manor, etc). In the South Asian market- a few halls tried to install their OWN systems - meaning without a DJ/AV company (on the cheap as Desi's tend to do) and within months- the REF from the DJ/Video/Photo combo came in and blew up the system rendering it useless. It is not until recently that our company EMPIRE ENTERTAINMENT resurrected this idea (others quickly bandwagon jumped- but that's another BLOG!). We installed into our 1st hall about a year and half ago- spent the money on top gear- and we maintain the gear. It has worked out fairly successfully. We subsequently have or are in the process of installing in more halls.

So above is the history. Now to get brides and grooms (and heaven forbid their parents) to understand some of the realities. When a hall has a GOOD in house system- you should use it!


There are certain things that define good:

1. For South Asians- there needs to be BASS (built in preferably- not hauled next to the stage)
2. Is it top quality gear- JBL, Lab Gruppen, Martin. If its not- its sub par AND YOU SHOULD NOT USE IT!!! (Confirm the equipment is the following brands-- speakers JBL, amps LAB GRUPPEN, lights MARTIN)
3. Is it value for the dollar

Number 3 is most important. I have such a hard time sometimes explaining to brides and grooms that for what you are getting - its a steal!!! When it is packaged together a screen and projector comes out to $200- you cant even get someone to bring a high school style pull up screen and projector for that much. Essentially what happens is in an house - you get a lot more than you would than when someone brings it in. Sure the overall cost is more- but the individual item (i.e. screen) is actually cheaper. For example- 1 screen for mobile setup- we would charge about $400- for in house about $200- but we may have 4 screens - so you pay $800 for 4 screens instead of $400 for 1! Do you need 4?? Well we wouldn't have installed them if we thought that it wouldn't add to the event. You can cut corners with 1- but I can tell you- 4 will be way better (you wont get those uncles who complain all time they have to squint- that's for sure!).
Also, for those that say- it will only be used for 15mins- it makes no difference really- if they weren't there- you would have had to pay to bring them in anyway!

Lastly and probably MOST IMPORTANT!!! For the people who might think because its already INSTALLED in the hall its "INCLUDED". Unfortunately its not..Not...NOT...NOT!!!! Funny- I get those people that say- its already there- just flick a switch. This is what I tell them- why don't you invest $250,000 in a condo (which you plan on renting, just like we plan on renting the equipment) and simply give me the key to crash a few nights-- it's already own it...would it kill you to let me stay a month for free??? Do you see my point? Sure you bought a condo and its sitting there empty- but would you start letting people tenant it for nothing? Likely not. Why? Not because you are trying to be difficult (as I am told sometimes)- but because you made a big investment- and that investment needs to pay off.

So what does it all sum up to? Most of the higher end halls are starting to, if they haven't already, install an in house. As long as the pricing is fair, and the quality is there you should book it (if you need advice on quality- ask other REPUTABLE DJs- THERE ARE SOME HALLS THAT HAVE AN EMBARRASSING IN HOUSE). Yes- it will likely end up costing you slightly more- but you will be getting A LOT more, which will add to your event! (4 large screens will ALWAYS trump 1 flimsy pull up!). Yes South Asian weddings are SO much bigger than European ones and those sheer numbers add up to bigger halls, which require more equipment- but that's the reality. Maybe we will start to follow our European cousins and scale down the size of weddings eventually....In the meantime- if you book a NICE hall, have 600ppl attending, and are looking for your night to be perfect- do it right!!

ps. For those who have booked halls without an in house...not to worry- have you seen our Illuminated Truss Lighting, or LED lighting...

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