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No more gear left behind with this simple trick

Ever gotten to a shoot on location and noticed you left some gear behind? It sucks. Be one step ahead next time with our tips below!

Never leave your gear behind again

Picture this: you've just arrived at a shoot on location, only to realize you've left a crucial piece of equipment behind. It's a nightmare scenario with a significant impact. It can delay the shoot, increase costs through equipment rentals, and generally cause a lot of stress.

Of course, we’re well aware that traveling with gear across the country is no small task. You have to deal with a LOT. You need to load the truck, ship it across states, and ensure all the necessary equipment for game day, interviews, and more is included. When traveling abroad, you might even have to create an ATA carnet to clear customs without paying taxes and import duties on your equipment.

That’s why it’s so important that you’re 100% sure you brought all the gear you need. Just imagine driving or flying miles and miles, only to arrive without SD cards or lenses. 🥴

Picking up equipment

The right gear for the right shoot with Equipment Picking

The first step when preparing for a shoot is assembling all the gear you need. You could use an Excel sheet or something similar and list all the items you want to bring on location. However, traditional methods such as Spreadsheets or whiteboards often fall short as you have to deal with the hassle of printing the paperwork and filling everything out manually. There's a simpler, more digital way with Cheqroom.

With Cheqroom, you can make a reservation for all the items you need, like cameras, lenses, lights, and C-stands. Don’t forget to add your Bulk Items - which are items of lower value - such as cables, sandbags, and apple boxes. After confirming your reservation, you’ll get an overview of all the requested items. The pro tip here is to view your shoots as standalone projects and give them an appropriate name, such as 'game day in Los Angeles' or ‘product shoot at client X’.

Next, as you load the truck - getting ready to leave for your shoot - you can start a Checkout with Equipment Picking. This is when you’re converting the reservation to an actual checkout, meaning picking up the equipment from the gear room. Make sure you have QR- or barcodes (or Asset Labels, as we call them) attached to every item, as this will make your workflow and life so much easier. Next, scan the QR codes on all the items on your reservation list. The items will automatically move to the ‘checked’ list, indicating that you've already put them away or loaded them in the truck.

💡 Are you not using QR codes or Asset Labels yet, but are you excited to try them out yourself? Check out Cheqroom’s Asset Label Store right here, and find the best practices for getting started here.

TL;DR? Equipment Picking basically forces you (kindly) to go over your reservation in detail, making sure you're scanning and packing every single item on the list. This way, you will always have complete reservations and always bring the right gear with you on a shoot.

Equipment picking in Cheqroom

Spotless shoots with Spotcheck

Alright, so you’ve made it to the location, and the first shooting day is a wrap. You want to ensure you still have all your gear and that no one ran off with your expensive items. Doing an intermediate check-up is never a bad idea, as you’d need to know ASAP when something’s missing. In case you used Spreadsheets, you can take the list you’ve printed or open your laptop and check your equipment list. Add checkmarks to the items you see or footnotes for items that broke down while shooting.

But what if there was an easier way…?

Enter Spotcheck.

With Spotcheck, the question “Hey, is my gear complete?” is forever in the past. Spotcheck allows you to do physical item counts faster. Instead of the paper-based checklist, you can use your phone or a scanner to check if the scanned item is at the right place at that specific moment.

In other words, when you’re on location and have an open checkout (the checkout stays open until all the gear is checked back in), you can easily verify if all the pieces of gear are still present. Either they’re needed for the next day’s shoot, OR you could go over your gear list once the project is fully wrapped up and you're ready to load the truck back in. In case certain items have disappeared (hopefully not), you simply flag it, and it’ll automatically notify the right people.

One of the major benefits of Spotcheck is that it reduces errors. Considering the hassle of printing out Excel sheets and the not-so-watertight error margin of RFID systems, a QR-scanning system is trustworthy and accurate. Furthermore, it's a system that can be managed by only one person, streamlining the process. Or, make it even smoother with one person scanning the gear and another handing them the items.

Scanning QR codes in Cheqroom

Broadcasting breaking news or sports games? Check Spotcheck!

Spotcheck is especially interesting when working on location for sports or news broadcasts, where the pressure is on to deliver results quickly. Because otherwise, the competitor might catch the breaking news first. Now, if you’re broadcasting breaking news, you’re clearly dealing with an emergency, making it impossible to make a gear reservation in advance. There’s literally no. time. to. waste.

What you CAN do, however, is check out all the gear with one simple scan as you're picking up the equipment and packing it. Based on that checkout, you can still do a Spotcheck on location as you're getting ready to return to the gear room. This way, you’ll be certain nothing was left behind, adding that extra layer of security.

Year-end audits? Check Spotcheck!

By the way, Spotcheck is also a great tool for your end-of-year inventory count or audit! Buh, who likes doing admin anyway? 🤢 Get an overview of everything that’s present in the gear room by simply scanning everything. Here are some tips on how to efficiently perform an EOY inventory count. Christmas is just around the corner… 👀

TL;DR? Spotcheck prevents gear from being left behind by enabling you to check on the spot if your equipment is complete. This means no more delays in production and no more forgotten or lost gear. Here are six reasons why you should start using Spotcheck.

No more gear left behind: The simple solution you need

Ok, that was a lot of info, so let’s recap for a minute.

Ideally, your workflow goes like this: You make a reservation (not obligatory), you check out the items in the gear room, you load everything in the truck or boxes, you move to the shooting location, you shoot, and at the end of the day, you do a Spotcheck on the open checkout.

In short, Equipment Picking and Spotcheck are a game-changer for shoots on location. While Equipment Picking helps ensure you bring the RIGHT gear to set, Spotcheck helps you return all the equipment to its home base. It eliminates the stress of forgotten gear and makes the process more efficient, freeing you up to focus on what really matters - creating great content.

Try Cheqroom today!

Start managing your gear like a pro.
Something about a cow and horns, you know.

Elke 4
Written by Elke Swinnen Oct 19, 2023

Elke Swinnen is Cheqroom’s video reporter and event queen. Most of the time, you’ll find her out in the world visiting Cheqroom customers and shows like NAB and IBC. She is passionate about sharing the latest gear updates, film industry insights, and top gear management tips and tricks. Her favorite pieces of gear are the ARRI ALEXA 35 and Aputure MC Pro. She’s also a Content and Social Media Marketer at Cheqroom.