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Ask the Pro: Mobile Stages

December 1, 2017 jill Blog
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For a traveling ministry, effective use of time, space, and physical labor are of utmost importance when trying to bring their message to as many people as possible in a given time period. A mobile stage provides a safe, durable, reliable, and efficient venue for this purpose.

Apex Stages is a leading manufacturer of mobile stages in North America. Tate Beckham of All Events in Birmingham, Alabama, uses Apex stages and counts churches among his clients.

He said, “Churches rent from us when they want to do outdoor praise and worship services, special events, or Christian concerts.”

Beckham continued, “Church leaders can expect top tier customer service and safety. All APEX stages exceed the national standard and regulations set by the local, county and national government agencies.”

What are stage trailers?

Stage trailers are trailer devices that, with the flip of a switch, hydraulically transform into event and performance stages. It is similar to Transformers in movies and cartoons.

Who uses stage trailers?

Stage trailers are purchased and used primarily as capital investments. Event production companies buy them and then rent them out to local festivals, fairs, and community events for a daily fee.

However, these stage trailers are also purchased by municipalities, schools, ministries and other non-profit entities for the sole purpose of having a stage that is privately owned and at their disposal for any event or ceremony where it might be needed.

How did this product come into being?

For many years, when a temporary stage (particularly an outdoor stage) was needed for an event, the most common technology was a stage made up of multiple 4’ x 8’ decks that were attached together to make a stage platform.

Imagine taking 100 card tables and piecing them together like a jigsaw puzzle. This method is very time-consuming and requires several stagehands, resulting in countless man hours in terms of labor costs.

In 2005, Apex began making the Mobile Hydraulic Stage. This device can turn from a trailer into a stage in less than 30 minutes, using only two stagehands.

This was an extraordinary advancement in staging. It not only reduced the time and labor setting up the stage, but breaking it down, as well. The convenience of being able to just close the stage up by pushing a button, and then hitching to a pick-up truck and driving off to the next destination, was revolutionary.

What are some product features and advantages?

Stage surfaces are covered by a roof canopy that keeps performers and equipment out of the elements. The roof is also built to hold several thousand pounds of lighting, speakers, video screens and other types of rigging.

Another advantage to the Mobile Stage Trailer is the safety aspect. It is much more reliable in high wind scenarios than the aforementioned 4×8 deck staging, making it less vulnerable to collapse.

What sizes are available?

Apex produces four different stage sizes: 40’, 32’, 24’, and 20’. These models range in price from $400,000 to $65,000. The stages have an average build time of 6 weeks. There are over 70 APEX stages in circulation, located in every region of the U.S., as well as Mexico and Canada.

The most commonly purchased size is the 32’x24’ stage. The 3224 provides the most flexibility to event production companies.

Wallace Looney of All Events sets up the 3224 model on a weekly basis as part of his job. The event planning company uses their stage 75-100 times a year for a variety of corporate and church outdoor events.

Looney said, “This stage is easy and quick to set up, even by one person, and can be customized. We have a wing that we can build off either side of the stage, and we also have a thrust that we can build from the downstage. We can build as far out in all directions as our clients want to go.”

What is the product most used by churches/ministries?

The APEX model that is most commonly purchased by towns and ministries is the 20’x16’. Starting at $65,000, the 2016 can often be easier on the budget of a smaller town or non-profit church or ministry.

This was the case with Grace City Vegas Ministry in Las Vegas, and the cities of Culpeper, Virginia, and Las Cruces, New Mexico. All of these good folks are owners of an APEX 2016 Mobile Stage.

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