Tech Talk: Water Effects Questions Answered
Water is an intriguing effect and here are some precautions you need take when using water.by Warren K. Kong | Published in January 2009 tech talk | technology | Departments
Q: I’d like to use water in my event. Is it expensive? Is it dangerous? What do I tell the venue?
A: The minute water comes up, people automatically think, “Water and electricity don’t mix.” Or, “You can’t do water inside. It will make a mess everywhere!”
It is dangerous to mix water with A/V and electricity — but in the hands of a proper professional, it can be a safe, beautiful addition to your event. Various companies offer water-based products, from water screens to water shows, water fountains to water features. Whether you need basic accents or a centerpiece for your event, here’s how to include water safely and affordably.
Ensure that your water vendor puts down a plastic barrier between the floor and the equipment. This protects your venue and ensures that no water escapes.
Instead of one giant pool, which sometimes takes up too much space, see if your vendor can create smaller pools of water and do a water show from these. A narrow pool of water in front of the stage will blend well with your event and add an elegant extension to your stage. Smaller round pools placed around the room also create a nice effect.
Can your water vendor give control of the water features to your lighting designer? This allows for a uniform look throughout your event, and integrates water features into your décor and entertainment.
Some animated fountain vendors have pre-produced shows that they can use during your event. Consider asking your vendor to play these songs throughout the night, and then communicate this information to your lighting designer, who can program lighting to complement the water show. This extends the water show into the rest of your event and creates a custom look on an off-the-shelf budget.
Try to locate not only a water source close to your event, but also a drain for the end of the night. This makes for a quick setup and strike.
By giving control of the water to your A/V vendor, you can open up a world of possibilities. Creating a seamless extension of the water on your video screens or in lighting will create a customized perception on a value budget. You can even make the water your screen!
Water can range from inexpensive to outrageous, but one thing is for sure: When it’s effectively utilized, it’s a powerful asset for your dollar.