Questions People Ask About Show Venues
Things I am asked about what kind of venues work well.
It's possible to stage a hypno show in almost any kind of venue. The main thing is to have enough room, comfortable seating for the audience, and not too many distractions such as noise or people coming and going. Ideally a hall or theatre type space works best. Cabaret style seating (like a café) or theatre style seating (rows) allows for a good number of people. Remember that the volunteers will need to be able to get from their seats in the audience to the stage. Also, if the volunteers can leave the stage and interact with the audience during the show we can use more skits and gags than we could if the volunteers have to remain in the stage area.
One of the principal considerations is whether or not there is enough power for the lighting and sound equipment. Even a modest stage lighting setup can overload a standard power outlet, and if all the equipment has to operate off the same standard domestic fuse then the fuse will certainly blow. Bang! Dark. No Show.
Most larger establishments have the necessary power outlets, especially those that are equipped with a stage and are used to having bands or theatrical acts. But sometimes halls and other venues have limited power and this can pose some restrictions on their use for a show.
A stage is useful for raising the action up higher so that everyone can see it, though a proper stage is not always necessary. There does need to be plenty of space for the volunteers to sit in one or more rows, while the hypnotist needs to be able to easily walk along behind them. There must also be enough room for the volunteers to lark about on the stage. If there’s not enough space, they won’t be able to express themselves fully, and too little space with a steep drop is a safety risk.
There are some special requirements for the chairs used by the volunteers. They must be able to sit comfortably with their feet flat on the floor. The chairs should not have arms, as chair arms restrict movement, and prevent the participants falling asleep on each other. Sleeping on each others shoulders and laps is an important part of the hypnotic setup – it can be funny in itself, and breaks down the mild inhibitions people have when seated next to complete strangers.
We have used some softer chairs with great success, but armchair styles and sofas are generally too deep and don’t allow people to get up easily enough to be used for the show. The basic cloth or vinyl padded chairs used at many halls and restaurants are usually quite good for the purpose of stage seating.
We have done outdoor shows, in daylight and evenings. We still need power and shelter so as not to ruin a bunch of expensive equipment if it rains. If the show will run past dusk then lighting is essential and it pays to take into account that outdoor sound needs more powerful equipment than indoor functions do.
We will need a full PA sound system for your show. We can rarely use the in-house PA if there is one, because they are usually unsuited to a hypnosis show. So typically it is necessary to hire one in or we can arrange one to bring along (for smaller events).
We can bring a mixer and microphones, but the PA is always worth discussing. It has been our experience that many venues have a house system that does not delver the good vocal presentation essential to a hypnosis show, and while suitable for prize givings and announcements, is neither clear enough nor powerful enough to allow us to deliver good vocals while 100 or more people are laughing loudly, and while music is also playing. Especially when those vocals must be hear clearly on stage (every word of them).
The additional cost to hire in a suitable front of house system is no that much, and well worth it to ensure a good show for everyone.
We really prefer to have access to good stage lighting for our events. In technical terms, we mean DMX controlled theatre lighting and effects. Many people don't really give it much thought, but the sound and light for our shows is generally fantastic! And this is because we make the effort to have good lighting when it is available.
We will discuss options with you for your event, but lets face it, a show under fluorescent tubes is never going to look that great. So as with sound, a small investment a some rentals can make a huge difference to the event.