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Finding Gear Just Got Easier

by PLSN Staff • in
  • Editor's Note
• Created: August 7, 2014
PLSN Editor Justin Lang

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From time to time, I get a chance to do some work in the DCMA — the Washington DC metro area, for those of you outside of the Beltway.  Typically, they are quick gigs, and the jobs range from running a desk to pushing a road case.  Yes, I am never above pushing a case — it builds character, and some of the stories my fellow stagehands tell are priceless.

When I show up to these random gigs, it is with a wrench in hand and all the equipment ready to load in.  It happens from time to time where someone forgot to put something on the original order. You wanted a console for the gig, right? Or lines of communication may have gotten crossed. The designer thought a console was provided by the venue, or the venue thought someone else was taking care of it.

Now everyone seems to be in panic mode. Where in the world do we get that missing piece of gear? We need it NOW! You can ask the local crew members, and, most of the time, they know the local shops.  But I’ll be honest. I have been in the DCMA for more than 20 years, and even I couldn’t give you a full listing of every local shop out there.

The Printed EPD

As a subscriber to PLSN, each spring you get a printed copy of our Event Production Directory (EPD). It is an extension of our extensive and searchable online database of manufacturers, dealers and production/rental shops around the country and around the world — a printed, 150+ page categorized directory packed with information provided by the companies listed.

I can hear you grumbling under your breath. “Now you want me to carry around a copy of PLSN and the EPD?” If you are a fan of print like me, then yes. Mainly the latest copy of PLSN. If not, you can always get PLSN online, or on your mobile devices.  For two and a half years now, we’ve managed to cram even the biggest issue of PLSN into our reader’s cell phones and other mobile devices with the launch of the PLSN app (www.plsn.com/app).

Good news, we just lightened your load even more!  As of Aug. 1, 2014, we are offering the EPD App. It is currently optimized for the iPhone, but will work on any iOS devices, and a version for Android devices is now under development as well.

The EPD App isn’t the first electronic alternative to the printed Event Production Directory, of course. We started offering EPD readers the ability to browse the printed listings online at epdweb.com more than a decade ago, giving web surfers access to categorized listings of lighting, staging, video, sound and more than 15 other product categories.

Location, Location, Location

So why all the excitement about something that basically does the same thing, but on a smaller screen? Along with mobility and convenience, now you can harness the power of location services thanks to the iOS and use it to filter through the vast database of companies from our database to not only find products you need, but, critically, find the products you need that are closest to where you are.

The EPD App (www.epdweb.com/app) lets you search from any radius of your current location, or by the radius of any city where you plan to be in the future. You can search by gear brand or search for a particular rental company’s name. Once you find what you’re looking for, a simple touch makes the call or emails your look-up contact. And the company’s websites are all there, along with their exact street location.

The EPD App is perfect for filtering through the offerings of lighting vendors when a crucial piece of gear was forgotten. And if it’s a crew member who didn’t show, there’s the “Labor Companies” category, which will probably give you someone who’s more qualified to do the job than just an desperate plea for help on Craigslist.

If you’re like me and tend to turn off location services on your iPhone to help save battery life, or if want to advance a different city, the app has you covered.  Rather than relying on the iPhone to know your location, you can enter a location and do a radius search that way.

I hope that you enjoy this latest app and take advantage of our extensive database to make your job easier. And did I mention the price? FREE! When you have had a chance to download and explore the app, we encourage you to give us some feedback via iTunes with a rating, or even better, a review.

For more on the Aug. 2014 issue of PLSN, go to www.plsn.me/201408ednote.

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