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Transforming Your Space This Holiday Season
By: Chuck Copper

It’s the busiest time of the year for churches around the country. While faith is important year-round, it’s in these winter months where entire communities come together to accentuate and celebrate Christ. For worships center, which serve as the center of these communities, it means all sorts of special events, parties, and festivities.

Almost every church has the drive-by nativity scene, the youth play or choir performance, and the Christmas Eve dinner. Although rewarding, it can be stressful for the event planners to put together these holiday celebrations.

The first question for any planner is: Where do we start?  Below are a few places to start.  Drive the most reward in the transformation of your space with any size budget – small or large.  

Transform Your Space with Custom Carpeting
One of the best ways to truly transform your space is with specialty and custom flooring. After all, the floor is the one thing everyone interacts with, and what better way to instill your theme or message than with a festive floor space? Whether your room is tiled or carpeted, adding a custom colored or themed event carpet is a great way to make your holiday events stand out. Custom event carpets can be designed to feature scripture, biblical imagery, or just simple festive designs like snowflakes.

The possibilities are endless: sand colored carpet and artificial turf for a nativity scene, a snow white plush carpet for a winter paradise, or red and green carpet runners for a Christmas pageant. A themed floor can really be the centerpiece that transforms your event space.

For example, we recently helped a youth organization that wanted to provide their members a VBS camping experience outside the boring gym floor they currently had. Our tan gym floor protection combined with our artificial event turf made for an “outdoorsy” environment while campers stayed warm in the church gymnasium.

Create a truly memorable and transformative experience this Christmas with custom flooring. Remember that every great event starts with a solid foundation.

A big trend in the event carpeting space is custom inlayed design. Typically, custom carpeting providers will take a design and print it over the carpet piece with a paint or ink, much like your standard ink jet printer. While a very quick process, it does not always produce the best results.

The painted on design or image can very easily be distorted over time, and, after repeated uses, the paint chips and your beautiful, custom design fades away. That’s why, for event planners concerned with quality and durability, custom carpets made using an inlayed process. In this process, sections of a design are cut from carpeting of the designated color and texture, and then these sections are pieced together to from the custom rug, like a puzzle. These pieces are then glued together using a specially formulated carpet adhesive. This ensures a better looking and longer lasting installation.

Elevate Your Event with Portable Staging
Don’t stop with the carpet and turf. Create a raised platform or stage for your youth group’s play or the choral performance. Space is limited with more than one event going on at a time, so take advantage of extra rooms for smaller productions or auditions and rehearsal for the big pageant. Using portable staging allows you to use the chapel for one event and your multipurpose room for another at the same time.

But, not all staging is created equal. It’s important to look into the details of your staging product. While all temporary or portable staging products will claim to be, of course, “highly portable” and easy to transport, their exact use case may not be clear and could lead to delayed event, or worse, injury.

Portable staging can be made with two purposes in mind: to provide a light-weight, grab-and-go platform that is extremely quick to set up and dismantle, and a strong, highly stable, bulkier stage that is still easy to transport for more professional uses. The former is usually the best option for most churches or small community events. But, bigger, more lavish events, especially ones where lots of on-stage movement is involved, may need something a little more robust.

It’s important talk to your sales representative and tell him or her exactly what your stage will be used for to ensure that you have the right product and that everybody is safe.

Shine a Light and Let Your Voice Be Heard
For displays and plays, lighting can play just as crucial as a role as your actors and props. If your facility is equipped with professional stage room, then, chances are, you’re well equipped when it comes to lighting best practices. But, for smaller stages, temporary installations, and more DIY set-ups, lighting can be a tricky concept to master, namely when it comes to placement.

The rule of thumb for performance stages is each “acting area” is illuminated by two separate lights. These lights should be positioned above at a 45 degree angle and on each side of the acting area, so that each light beam meets on stage. This creates an effect that draws your actor or subject away from the background. In addition, a generally dimmer light should be placed be behind your actors to create a three-dimensional environment. With just these lighting essentials down, you’ll have adequate stage lighting in any environment.

Tied in with lighting is audio. Don’t forget to perform your simple check routine before every show. Check audio levels, make sure mics are on and working, and adjust for any unwanted feedback or distortion. All of these important steps toward making sure your performance goes off without a hitch.

Spread the Word with Graphics, Backdrops, and Decorations
Everyone’s favorite part of the Christmas season is the decorations, of course. They are crucial for any holiday themed event. But, if you’re willing to go an extra mile and really transform your event space, temporary backdrops or wall graphics are an easy-to-use and affordable asset that can really increase the immersion of your guests.

Whether it’s a purchased print or a homemade banner, these backdrops and wall mounts are a great idea for truly transforming any room. Surround your members with a white Christmas countryside or cover the walls with scripture and biblical imagery to reinforce the true spirit of the holidays. Or, give your youth group and church school children a fun holiday project by having them create their own backdrops by painting their own winter wonderlands.

Imagine all the events you want to pull off this holiday season and know that it’s all possible. But, whether you want to go all out with festive backdrops and professional staging, or just a cheerful custom carpet piece at the entryway, know that the true spirit of the holidays is being with your congregation, friends, and family.

Chuck Copper is the key account manager for hospitality and worship facilities for Signature Systems Group, www.signaturesystemsgroup.com

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Religious Product News