This Saturday, the pyrotechnics club I am a part of shot a 1.3g (professional) show in Topeka. From the time we arrived to the time we left was a little over 12 hours. On my drive home, I realized how much the planning, timing, and detail goes into shooting a successful fireworks show kind of relates to PR planning.
Budget- The budget determines the amount, quality, and size of the product used. If you have a small budget, you wouldn’t want to a lot of large sized shells with only a case or two of two and a half and three inch shells. Your show would be very short, leaving the spectators disappointed.
Timing- Timing if important because you have to account for set up, lunch/dinner, testing, etc. You have to be ready to start shooting at dark; if spectators are kept waiting a few hours after dark, odds are they might leave, and you may not be invited to shoot at the next event.
Planning- When planning out a show, you will need to know distances, so you know which size shells you’re aloud to shoot during the show. Next, you’ll need to know the types of effects you want to have shot with each other; if you mix effects, sometimes it can look sloppy and unprofessional. If you’re shooting to music, it is important to match the effects with the music. For example, you wouldn’t want to start your show with heavy, fast music if you’re going to only be firing strobe pots; it is more fitting to fire strobe pots to soft or slow music.
Contingency Plan- During a show, there’s always a chance for something to go wrong, such as a fire or personal injury. You should always have fire extinguishers at multiple spots in the shoot zone with everyone on the crew knowing where they’re located. There should be a first aid kit handy for minor injuries, as well as a phone with service in case an ambulance is needed.
Evaluation- After every show, a crew is always thinking of ways to make the next show better, such as matching effects with each other or shortening or lengthening the show.
You may be wondering why I didn’t give any examples of the how the words in bold play a part of PR. Reason: you’re all bright juniors and seniors in the program, so you should already know. =]