Category: Uncategorized

Site visit for designing event production!

This blog outlines some key aspects that you should consider when doing a site visit for your next event. Choosing the right venue or site for your upcoming event is one of the most crucial steps of any event.

We are involved in event production and mostly liaise with organisers when the site has been confirmed. Most organizers are unaware of the venue constraints until we start looking into the production requirements.

Choosing a venue with a high number of constraints can easily blow out any production budget, we also acknowledge that nobody likes to go over budget!
If you wish to stay within the budget allowance, I outline some basic technical elements that you should consider on your next site visit.

Technical considerations during a site visit –


Without sufficient power, there isn’t a suitable production! The term sufficient is dependent on the scale of your event, smaller events can possibly get by with few 240V circuits, medium to large events will require 3phase power and sometimes multiple 3phase outlets.

It is normal to hire generators for events; however, you can reduce the running costs of an event if a portion of the power (if not all) is provided by the venue/site itself.


Loading area’s and parking

One of the biggest drivers of cost to any production is labour.

If you put on your ‘Bump-In/out’ hat (crew’s POV) for this, you will quickly realise, the easier the access to the event area the less time it is to get the equipment from the truck to the event area. The closer the loading zone to the space, the shorter the distance.

Essentially as an event organiser, you can save big on labour costs when you think like this during the site visit.
Also consider obstacles such as stairs, lifts, no dedicated loading zones, and no car parking.


Production design vs Venue constraints 

This is a common challenge in galleries but it is definitely not limited to just galleries. Most AV aspects can be tweaked to suit the site, when we consider projection, there is very little wiggle room. There are set parameters to work within, if the space has not considered the guidelines during the planning stages.  It is unlikely that you will achieve the desired outcome.

These parameters are dependent on many variables and are based on your event requirements. If there is an element of projection in your event, general things to consider should be –

  1. Competing light in the room
  2. Distance (from the projector to screen)
  3. Projection size (size of the image)


Off course there are many other things your production company will need to consider once the production requirements have been locked down. However, considering the above during initial planning stages can leave you pretty close to your desired outcome and with some spare pocket change, they will end up being fairly deep pockets too!

I hope this post helps you get better prepared for the next site visit!
If you need further assistance feel free to call RTR Productions! We can provide technical advice, production design, audio production, staging designs, and temporary structures/Rigs services.

Before I end this blog, below are some general things event planners often forget to clarify upfront.

General considerations during a site visit –

  1. Venue operating times
    • Make sure the production company bump-in/out during the allocated times.
  2. Request for site floor plans
    • Forward this to your production company at the very start, helps us quote for things accurately.
  3. Storage areas
    • We need a place to store our road cases.
  4. Essential tools for your next site visit.
    •  Get yourself a laser tape. That’s what we used to measure up the very uneven floor at Fed Square, check out this link to see the structure you can buy one here quite cheaply
    • Leica D2 in action during our site visit for designing an event production .

Why and What: Outdoor stage for events

Why hiring and what outdoor stage and cover to hire for an outdoor event?

These are 2 questions we get asked all the time, so here are my 2 cents.

Please keep in mind this is only my opinion.

Why: Most people think that they should hire an outdoor stage and cover just in case the rain comes or the forecast looks bad.

Of course, as you know, you need the stage for the band so they can stand out and everyone can see them, but why the cover?

The cover is used for multiple options:

  • Protect from the rain, (electrical equipment doesn’t mix well with rain), the punter may still be dancing but the musicians will stop playing and you know what I think about looking after the musicians and performers! If not read an older article here:
  • Protect from the sun: depending on where you are in the world, the sun can be much more dangerous than rain, here in Melbourne, try to stand under the sun in summer for 1 hour while performing…..I’ve done it and if not fun!
  • Bright light: The band or the speaker/presenter may be the centrepiece of your event and to have them not been able to see and read their speech would be detrimental to the event, give them a lectern, mic and a stage and cover and they will love you forever!
  • Wind: Having sides and back wall, either full or mesh, will act as a windbreak, keeping the stage quite, the mic stands up and the performers happy.
  • Lighting rig: If the event goes into the late hours, you want to light up the performance and have some eye candy lights for the crowd and if you have an outdoor stage and cover set up you have the infrastructure already for the lighting rig… and also for the sound system if you choose the options with “PA wings”
  • And last…. The outdoor stage and cover is great to protect the equipment (but I know you don’t care, the equipment is not yours… fair comment I think)


Here a couple of examples of a stage and cover that RTR Productions supply and install:

Outdoor stage Fat Boy Slim Melbourne Concert St Kilda
Outdoor stage and sound system for Fat Boy Slim Melbourne Concert St Kilda
Outdoor stage 10m x 8m with cover, sound system and lighting rig set up
Outdoor stage 10m x 8m stage and cover with PA wings, sound system and lighting rig

Not that we (should I say I) talked about WHY hiring an outdoor stage and cover, we (I) should have a brief chat about what……

To hire an Outdoor stage and cover you need to have an idea on a few different things as you have a lot of choices.

Here are some guideline points that will help your supplier suggest the right outdoor stage and cover for your event:

  • Where is the stage been set up, what ground is the stage been set up on. (Grass, concrete, sand, Etc)
  • Access to the setup place. I strongly suggest organising a site visit with your supplier as they may notice things that you are not aware of that could delay the installation of the stage.
  • Size of the biggest band you have on stage
  • Coverage you want to achieve with your sound system, so you can choose the outdoor stage and cover with or without PA wings
  • What you want your stage structure to look like, for example, Corporate black roof and black background, white canvas with lots of coloured light reflections, curved or square etc etc,
  • Front or side steps depending on the sort of event you need the stage for.
  • Ask your supplier if they can also supply a solution for audio and lighting as they may be able to offer you a cost saving on the all package


As per any services supplied to the event industry, OH&S is a most important point.

Please make sure that your supplier has all engineering documentation for the stage and cover structure as per requirement by the local government laws. Sometimes a S.W.I.M and the certificate of compliance (design) will suffice and some other times you will also need a certificate of compliance (Install/built). At RTR Productions each and every stage and structure has been engineered and designed as per the New Australian standard for Temporary structures.

The last thing you want to happen at your event is for the stage and cover to collapse and injure someone, trust me this has happened many times… have a look at this video link


Should you have any questions about staging hire, sound system hire, lighting hire, stage and cover set up or about this blog, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Smoke vs Haze:difference and which to use and where

Smoke vs haze: difference and which one to use where?


Haze and smoke over the years have been used in events to maximize the effects of lighting and lighting beams. In the old days with fix lighting fixture the haze or smoke created a nice effect and was somewhat important to create the atmosphere and improve the light effect. In recent years where moving lights are used throughout most events, the effect created by the smoke or haze is so much more pronounced and outstanding and the moving light beam can be much more visible.


I won’t go into too much detail on how from the technical point of view the fog machine is different from a hazer machine and how it vaporizes the fluid with heats rather than use a compression chamber as the hazer does, but if you want more technical explanation check out this link from the great Wiki…


Hazer. These machines are quite common throughout the events and live productions / hire companies. There are entry-level units that normally are ok for small events / small rooms or small stages. Once you step up to bigger events you also would have the need to step up to professional, high output Haze machines. Sometimes we also use haze machines for big outdoor stages but we normally tend to use multiple units on the same stage as the wind is an enemy of haze.


Fog machine. These units have been around for a very long time and have been over the years cheaper and cheaper to buy, however, there are quite big differences between professional units and “ consumer” units. One major difference, in my opinion, is the warm-up time and the reheat time where the unit needs to go back to a certain temperature before it can pump out smoke again, which could cause issues when you have specific cues to follow in an event… can you imagine the main act coming out from backstage and you trying to pump out smoke and the machine is in re-heat mode!!!!  That’s one way to annoy the client and piss off the performer and you know what I think about keeping the performers happy… you can check my previous article, follow this link

Using professional smoke machines, means you overcome this problem as most of them don’t have gaps in re-heat which means continuous smoke distribution and happier clients. Other differences are, more smoke, faster outputs, DMX control not only remote, self-cleaning cycle when the unit is turned off and overall peace of mind that the unit works when you want it to!


On a quick note, I suggest you use water base fluids for both machines as in my opinion they are better for the environment, people and equipment than oil-based fluids.


This is Paul, looking for the light beam, with some smoke he would have found it straight away.


Paul lighting

You can use a combination of each, the hazer to keep a continuous haze/mist of smoke over the stage or dance floor so the light beams look awesome and the smoke to accentuate some special situations like songs, part of songs, special light effects etc.

In short, I would say that I normally use Hazers to create atmosphere and smoke machines as a special effect….. And of course you can argue that you prefer dry ice special effect or the faze effect which is more cost-effective, but this is a discussion for next time… till then…. I see you later unless you just turned on your smoke machine at full blast and you can’t see past your nose…. Ciao


Photo of stage lights with smoke fx

stage band


Speakers facing the band…why?

Speakers facing the band… why? most of the people will be on the dancefloor!!

This was a question that a very nice lady asked me on the phone on Monday when she called in to hire some “Speakers and Party stuff” for her son 18th birthday.

“So” she told, “we will have a band and we want some speakers so everyone can hear the band”

“Great” I told her, “We can definitely help you with that”

Everything went quite smooth throughout the process when we talked about FOH speakers, mixing console, microphones, stands, staging and some lighting.

So the nice lady on the phone seemed quite happy and she gave me the phone number of the band manager to make sure that we had everything they needed.

A quick call to the band manager, we agreed on speakers, digital mixing console, microphones set up, foldback positions and everything else we needed for the gig…. All great!!!


After few minutes I finish the quote and email it to the nice lady email address with a note saying: “Please let me know if you would like to go ahead with the booking and if you have any questions”

Well, a few hours later I get a phone call from the nice lady which at this stage seemed a little annoyed.

Me. “Hi how are you, what’s wrong, did I miss something?”

Nice but annoyed lady: “No you didn’t miss anything, actually you added another 4 speakers that we don’t need. No one is going to be on the stage to listen to the band, most people will be on the dancefloor, so why would you charge me for an extra 4 speakers  -pause- stage monitors?”

I went on to explain that the Stage Monitor speakers (foldback as we also call them) are for the band so they can hear themselves and the whole band. Without the stage monitors, the performer/musician could probably only hear the instrument that is closer to him/her.

A quick reply from the nice lady was: “well the band knows what they are playing, they don’t need to hear themselves”

It took a while and quite a bit of discounting to convince the (now back to nice) lady that after all she needed to book the stage monitors.


My view on the moral of the story:

If you want to save some money on your event, buy fewer canapes food trays, don’t spend the extra money on the balloons (which by the way are bad for marine life), go cheap on the table setting but make sure you look after the musicians and performers and they will look after you.

I can’t remember last time I come back from a party and mentioned to anyone…. Ahhh the table setting wasn’t very good!.. But I do remember last time I came back from a party and told my wife…. The sound was bad!!!


Here is a quick link to a very good explanation of why you need Foldback speakers for your next event or stage set up.

Example of a Stage monitor speaker / Foldback speaker RCF NX12-SMA Powered Foldback Speaker (Thank you RCF for the photo)

Image result for photos of foldback speakers stage set up

You can find foldback speakers, mixing consoles, Microphone, staging equipment, rigging equipment and more on our website

Compact PA Systems for Hire

and also you can contact us for more information about Staging, foldback monitor speakers and any Audio-visual requirements you may have.



Example of foldback set up and front fill..

Sound systems, Concerts and Ear Plugs.

Sound systems and ear plugs at a concert, a personal point of view.

A couple of weeks ago I went to The Prodigy (BTW I started writing this blog on the weekend and yesterday I got the news that Keith Flint died.. Really bloody sorry, he was an awesome performer!) concert in Melbourne, was awesome, brought back some memories… here a quick link

It really amazes me when I see people at a concert with those cheap foam ear plugs that you can buy at a service station. Those earplugs I think are designed to make the music/noise softer, (I guess that’s the result they want) but also muffled. Leave those for sleeping or for when you have a 2 months old crying baby.

I totally agree that hearing loss is something you want to avoid.

Here is a link to some very helpful notes from the Ear Science Institute of Australia. (I think they know a thing or two about it)

Music at a concert can reach above 110 decibels, I know, I’ve been to few in my life, also I’ve been setting up sound systems, Stages and lighting rigs for many years. Soundcheck sometimes can be worse than the actual concert. Some sound engineers, love to turn up the sound system to 11 (yes I’ve watched Spinal Tap once or twice) just to make sure that if the speakers, amplifiers or processors have any issues, it will show before the show….(see what I did there?).   At 110 decibels and over, hearing loss can happen after only a few minutes of exposure.

Here a link to a Decibel scale example


The more time you are exposed to these kinds of levels the more chance you have to get permanent hearing loss.

So if you like to go to concerts like I do and you want to get the best sound possible but are concerned about hearing loss, invest a couple of bucks in some dissent earplugs.

Here is a cheap but ok Ear Plugs option

And here is a more expensive Ear Plugs option


High-Fidelity Electronic Musicians Earplugs

BTW, last but not least, it would be a shame for the Sound production company to invest so much money in better speakers, Amplifiers, Microphones, Lighting etc and for the sound engineer and the artist to spend so much time to make sure the sound is great if people turn up with foam ear plugs……..

Big sound systems, loud and clear… unfortunate if you use cheap foam ear plugs.   Setting up a stage lighting and sound equipment before the concert

Humpback Whales Singing…..

Well, this is something I never thought I was going to write on an AV/Production company page…..

I like the sea and I like the animals in it. I was looking around for some cool facts about sea animals with my daughter, and being a sound guy, I started to look at the audio side of it. Well, I just discovered that a Humpback whale produces moans, grunts, blasts and shrieks (called songs… possibly better than some of the songs I’ve seen on the net).  Each part of their song is made up of sound waves. Some of these sound waves are very high frequency but the Humpback Whale also emit very low-frequency sound waves. The range of frequencies that whales use is from 30 Hertz (Hz) to about 8,000 Hz, (8 kHz). These sound waves can travel very far in water without losing energy. Researchers believe that some of these low-frequency sounds can travel more than 8,000 miles in some levels of the ocean!


Here is a bit of background why the sounds travel that far.  I know some of you won’t believe me.

We all know that sound is a pressure wave, but this wave behaves slightly differently through the air as compared to water. Water is denser than air, so it takes more energy to generate a wave, but once a wave has started, it will travel further than it does in air.


Sound in air

In a gas like air, the particles are generally far apart so they travel further before they bump into one another. There is not much resistance to movement so it doesn’t take much to start a wave, but it won’t travel as far.


Sound in water

In water, the particles are much closer together, and they can quickly transmit vibration energy from one particle to the next. This means that the sound wave travels over four times farther than it would in the air, but it takes a lot of energy to start the vibration. A faint sound in air wouldn’t be transmitted in water as the wave wouldn’t have enough energy to force the water particles to move.


So basically, I think the Humpback Whale has a great set of lungs, can you imagine what they could do on a stage with a mic and a big PA?  


BTW Humpback Whales need to remember to breathe.  Differently, to humans, who breathe automatically, humpback whales do it voluntarily.  My daughter told me this….They breathe using their lungs and blowhole and have an amazing capacity for holding their breath.

Hee is a link from the National Geographic.  Thank you!

Image result for humpback-whale

Sales Executive / Coordinator

Sales Executive / Coordinator

We are looking for a passionate sales person with proven experience in AV and event sales, to join our team to develop new business and service existing accounts.  This is an important role as you will be responsible for driving sales by promoting the range of products and services RTR Productions can provide. You will be working closely with the Production and Operations team to ensure client needs are fully addressed and their expectations exceeded. The successful candidate will have a successful track record in building and maintaining strong customer relationships.

What we’re looking for:

  • Solid track record in AV sales, Events or Hospitality industry
  • Proven event sales and planning experience
  • Strong negotiation skills, resilience, and determination
  • Confident, professional communication skills.
  • A sales hunter.
  • Highly motivated and driven with a desire to learn and progress within the business
  • A passion for providing excellent customer service
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills
  • Ability to close the sale and build lasting relationships.
  • Good organisational and administration skills with attention to detail
  • Supportive of your fellow team members and ready to help whenever it is needed
  • The ability to multi-task

Technical knowledge of AV equipment, as well as experience with Current RMS, is highly beneficial.

As part of the Sales Team, the role involves managing clients through the beginning of the contact cycle. The Sales Team manage events from the initial enquiry stage through to the planning of the event with the Production team, and then handover to the Operations team, ensuring client satisfaction to gain repeat business.

To successfully fill this role, you will:

  • Be involved in booking, contracting and coordination of events
  • Seek opportunities to increase sales and conversions within the Team
  • Focus on a consistently executed up-selling approach
  • Develop strong relationships with key accounts
  • Build strong relationships with customers to fully understand their needs and ensure sales are not a ‘one-off’
  • Create sales and marketing activities
  • Research industries, companies and attendees – using these insights to generate quality leads.
  • Convert leads into sales through urgency and strong ability to close the deal.
  • Utilise all facets of our booking system, administer and coordinate all sales and event activity including proposals, planning, contracting and invoicing to maximise business potential and cost efficiencies
  • Receive and convert incoming enquiries to achieve targets and maximize revenue

Why you’ll enjoy RTR:

  • You’ll never get bored.  We thrive on providing creative encounters that are distinct from our clients’ other events.
  • Our clients are our partners.  We create with our clients, not just for our clients.
  • We work hard but laugh harder.
  • If you grow, we grow as a company.
  • The more you give, the more we give.  Be part of a two-way relationship, not a dictatorial one.

Please note, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. We thank you for your interest in this role.

Email application to –

White Night – 2018

White Night – Melbourne 2018

Photo album to follow soon.

Encore – St Kilda

The RTR Productions team has been very busy this month with upgrades to some of our Venue partners. Most notable we spent a lot of time at the Encore Venue and function center making changes to the Video and Audio system.

It’s truly an amazing space if you’re looking for a venue to host your event we highly recommend Encore. The St Kilda beach sets a visually impressive view from within Encore. Great for weddings and corporate functions!

Here are a few photos from their website at


Merry Christmas

We thought we’d share a funny video that will help you capture some of those special moments over the Christmas and New Year break.

And a special thank you to all our clients, staff and friends who have made 2017 a huge year. Thank you for the memories.