Headphone companies eager to branch out
One of the newest event trends are headphone parties, where patrons can listen to music or any form of entertainment broadcast by a radio transmitter to wireless headphones.
A patron can switch through two to three channels, depending on the brand or type of headphone. This encourages a friendly battle for listeners between disc jockeys. Therefore an event that normally has disc jocks fighting to play the hits before another takes over the controls, can have proper management of music by way of agreeing that the DJs stick to one genre.
The advantage of utilising the headphones at an event hosted, whether at night or during the day time, is that it eludes the obligations to the Noise Abatement Act. Music can be enjoyed at the volumes that the user chooses to play the music, without causing disturbances. Additionally, it can help to reduce the execution cost for promoters who normally have large sound systems to set up for events.
POTENTIAL TO EXPAND
However, the trend has the capability to expand beyond the niche market that it appears to be focused on. Three main companies that provide the equipment and services for headphone parties islandwide are Quiet Jamaica, Silent Noise by Delano and Sparkles Productions.
Andrew Patterson, local director of Quiet Jamaica, who are known for being the first to publicly introduce the technology in Jamaica, says, "We have done many other events, but not limited to fitness series, hotel events, and private parties including a couple Corporate events. However, as you can imagine, our most profitable channel is the nightlife events, so we tend to target those the most."
The cost for renting the equipment is also affordable, ranging between $500 to $1500 per headphone, depending on the amount being rented and the type of event. Many 'silent events', however, have been partnerships between the suppliers and their clients, which helps to maintain an agreeable profit margin and advertise a reasonably priced admission to the public.
Stephen Wong, general manager of Sparkles Productions, says, "The trend is catching on, but our company does not publicly advertise that the headphones can be used for a particular type of event, we advertise for you to be as creative as you want to be."
Both public and private events, including weddings, exercise and dance sessions, as well as Corporate launches, have applied the trend to their events, but there are a few setbacks and concerns, such as the sanitary conditions and safety.
Delano 'DJ 3D' Thomas, local director of Silent Noise, says, "Our company always assist clients with creating new event concepts that involve the use of the headphones, but because the trend is fairly new, persons are afraid to try it and become hesitant when they consider wearing headphones for the duration of an event, which can last up to five hours. We don't want to force clients to use it, so we host events where we invite persons to give the technology a try."
All three companies are determined to invade the educational sector, to provide the services for lectures and general classes, as this area may be one of the unexplored areas.
"We continue to believe there is tremendous opportunity to penetrate the other channels, especially the schools, and we are devoting more resources there," said Patterson.