Does your church rent space rather than stay in a single dedicated location? Does your worship team often travel for events or holiday celebrations? Maybe you just need the ability to move from one church location to another on a regular basis, but can’t afford two sets of gear. Whatever the reason, there are many ways that you can make your tech more portable, so your team is ready to go wherever you’re called. Here are some basic tips that you’ll need for setting up in new spaces fast, plus some ideas on how your tech can serve you better in these situations.
Cases with Wheels
If you do nothing else to help yourself out, get some cases with wheels, or at the very least, a rolling cart. If you move your gear often, though, dedicated cases will keep the lighting and sound equipment safer. You’ll also save your back by choosing the wheeled option, and that makes it easier for volunteers to help out, regardless of their physical ability.
Don’t forget a dedicated extra case for all the odds and ends, as well. It’s far easier to set up when your cables, batteries, and other extra gear isn’t tangled up inside a spare bag. It also makes it easier to keep track of items, so you’ll notice if anything was forgotten before you leave.
Labels for Everything
Invest in a label maker and use it frequently. This helps prevent mix up when you’re frequently using spaces that aren’t the church building. It’s also another good way to give volunteers a leg up. It’s far easier for someone with little tech experience to fetch cables or other small equipment if they can readily identify it.
Additionally, label anything that appears to be broken or malfunctioning so that it doesn’t keep getting tossed back in with the good gear. This makes it easier to get set up without trying to remember which cable is “the good one”.
Consistent Set Up
When setting up a portable worship team system, it’s important that you try to keep everything as consistent as possible. That can be challenging when you’re dealing with different spaces, which all have different layouts, acoustics, and specific needs; but the alternative is trying to design an entirely new system layout each week, while scrambling to get your environment set up. The best thing to do is create a basic set of standards that must be the basis of any layout for your tech, no matter the space. For example, you may say that the projector must be so many feet from the screen. The first thing any volunteer must do is set up the projector. Then the rest of the space is built around that requirement.
Early on, the church leadership should tackle the questions that don’t necessarily have to do with tech requirements, but can act as consistent bench markers for set up all the same. Considerations like “should manned cameras be seen or unseen?” or “should the tech area be behind the congregation or off to one side?”. Of course the technicians will be able to inform the decisions, but having a cohesive look that the leadership team agreed upon will offer a basic list of bullet points that must be followed at each space.
The key word for any portable worship service or church service is flexibility. While consistency helps keep the set up and take down running smoothly, leaders should always be prepared for challenges that must be tackled on the fly. With the right attitude and plenty of practice, portability can be a fairly simple process.