Screen shot 2013-07-24 at 3.06.52 PMToday, I was at Watermark Church for Day 1 of the Echo Conference. Went up with three Bethel staffers (communications, family/downtown campus and worship/downtown campus). Since there’s so much stuff packed into a the days, breaking up the blogging into sections is the only way to go.

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Packet – brochure, sketch pad, cool rubber band.

My first session went a little long, so I booked it all that way back to the worship center for the Watermark tour. As many of you know, Watermark is a huge facility and well-known for it’s beautiful design. To be honest, I wasn’t all that interested in talking about sound boards or projectors – there just weren’t any second session material that I wanted to see.

The tour was nice; better than expected, really. Instead of gear, our host gave us a very clear overview of how the service works each week. I find it interesting that much of the discussions and “teachings” I heard at the conference were about Sundays. Only Sundays, really. While a great deal happens in our churches on Sunday, we all now that church is way more than that. Hoping some future sessions will have broader scope.

I did get some takeaways from the tour. First, I was surprised to discover that ProPresenter Stage Display is built into the software. As a guy who really struggles with remembering lyrics, that gave me a lot of hope! It took me about 40 seconds to text my tech guy at church and start dreaming a bit.

The second thing that surprised me was how basic some of the stuff was. Our host was very honest about the fact that much of Watermark’s gear is industry-level, very expensive product. But he also was upfront about the stuff they’ve they just got from BestBuy. He also talked about the economics of buying two projectors to create brightness without burning through lamps instead of trying to buy some massive, hundred thousand dollar single projector to try and do the job.

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Wide shot of Watermark sanctuary.

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Stage screen – actually large scrim that can be moved/removed.

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Church woodshop where sets are designed. Interesting quote from the builder: “We make stuff that looks good 40 feet away. Up close, it’s terrible.”

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I know an old worship leader who needs something like this.

And we still weren’t done! We took a meal break in between the second session and main session at 7pm. Not only did we get dinner provided, I had a very cool meetup…but you have to come back for the next blog to hear about that one!


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