So, I've probably got two groups of people scratching their heads right now. The first are those readers of ED, saying what's that SRO logo doing on the cover? And the second are the readers of SRO, saying, what happened to my SRO, and why won't this damn thing fit in my mailbox?
Let me explain. Staging & Rental Operations, the bi-monthly magazine providing practical information on technology, business, and applications for the rental and staging market, has been folded into the pages of Entertainment Design, the magazine covering design and technology for live events. Every other month, ED will devote a chunk of real estate to SRO and the rental and staging market, with the same core features the readers of SRO have come to expect: case studies, business columns, and technical information. Subscribers to SRO will receive ED with the SRO content every other month, ED subscribers will continue to receive ED every month as usual.
Yes, this was a decision based partly on economics — I don't think I'm telling tales out of school by saying it's a tight market for magazines out there right now — but it was also a question of practicality. Well before we took over stewardship of SRO at the beginning of the year, it was pretty clear to us that there was significant overlap in the editorial content of both books. The technological components of any live event, be it lighting, rigging, audio, or video, are essentially the same. As for applications, just as ED has covered corporate events in the past, SRO has covered concerts and other entertainment-related events. Yes, the core readerships are different — ED's consists of designers and technicians, SRO's is more geared to technical directors and shop owners — but at the end of the day everyone's goals are essentially the same: they want to know how to make a production better. That's what we've always provided with ED and SRO separately, and that's what we intend to provide in this new incarnation.
This issue is a perfect example of how these two worlds intersect. First, we're offering you not one, but two stories focused on projects recently staged in that awakening economic giant known as China. Each story — one look at a new ballet based on the classic film Casablanca, which was staged at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the other a first-person account of staging a corporate event for FORTUNE magazine at the Temple of Heaven, also in Beijing — details not only the design and technical challenges of both events, but also delve into the trials and tribulations of overcoming the social, political, and even language barriers of doing business in China. Second, you'll find a report from InfoComm, obviously a key component of the SRO world, but also an increasingly important component of the convergent world of live entertainment.
For the readers of ED, I'm sure you'll find the additional coverage informative. And for the readers of SRO, you'll be getting all the usual coverage, plus information you wouldn't find in SRO. So take a look, and let us know what you think; we'd love to hear how we can make this new venture even better, short of making it fit in your mailbox.