Our client held their latest conference at the Alton Towers resort in Staffordshire in January 2016. The hotel and function rooms are all ‘travel’ themed with a pirate ship located at reception and ‘around the world’ props throughout the resort.
The event itself took the form of a build day for the AV install, a full day conference with gala dinner in the evening and then a half-day conference. The State room was to be the home for all 3 elements.
Having worked with the client previously we were aware that they were happy for us to be creative with the set and stage design and so we took inspiration from the venue during the design process.
Our in house designer Andy produced a 3D visual, which we were able to show to the client in advance allowing us to showcase what we would provide on the day. The design included a hot air balloon basket hanging from the ceiling, a set that looked like a boat, props and an airplane.
The client loved the design and commissioned us to create the set as well as to provide full AV production for the event itself.
The set and stage was 36ft wide and consisted of both flat and circular panels. The circular sections were covered in a custom printed vinyl with a map of the world on each.
We wanted the set to look like a boat and so we custom fabricated a bow, this attached directly onto the stage. Both the stage and the bow were covered in a wood effect vinyl covering. To complete the look we added a few props including a port hole, ships wheel, anchor and telescope.
A full size hot air balloon basket was flown from the ceiling as well as suitcase props placed underneath it. A model airplane was also attached to the ceiling and flown in front of the set.
The speakers used for the event needed to be multipurpose as they were used for vocal speeches during the conference element as well as for live entertainment during the gala dinner.
Having ran the venue dimensions though the L-Acoustics sound vision software it was decided that the L-Acoustics KARA boxes were the most appropriate to use. We were able to fly the 6 KARA boxes from the ceiling of the venue to avoid the need for speaker stands along the perimeter of the venue. Four L-Acoustics SB18 subwoofers were placed in pairs at the side of the set to provide additional low-end reinforcement for the live act. An additional pair of 8XT’s were placed at the side of the stage to act as fills.
A mixture of Sennheiser EW300 G3 hand held and lapel microphones were provided for the presenters as well as DPA headsets. All audio inputs were run though a Yamaha LS9-32 channel digital desk and amplified using LA8 amplifiers.
Video content was a mixture of PowerPoint slides and videos, all of which we processed through an Analogue Way seamless switcher / scaler to ensure the smooth running of all content. A mixture of MacBook Pro’s with Playback Pro and dedicated windows show laptops were the sources for all video content.
The screen chosen to display the content was 12’ x 6’9” and was projected onto from the rear using a pair of Panasonic 5,600 lumen full HD projectors. Having these projectors double stacked ensured a brightness level equivalent to roughly 8,000 lumens as well as added a level of redundancy should one have failed mid show.
For the comfort of the presenters a 27” full HD screen was positioned on the stage, this duplicated the content on the main screen. A hand held ‘clicker’ was used to allow presenters to easily transition between slides.
When designing the event we were aware that the lighting selected had to be very versatile as it would be needed to be used for both the daytime and evening elements.
To provide a warm white wash for the stage four ETC Source 4 Jnr lights were flown from the ceiling of the venue. These fixtures were connected to a Zero 88 BetaPack 3 to allow our lighting engineer to dim these when appropriate throughout the event.
Eight of the extremely versatile Elation Platinum Spot 5R moving head fixtures were also flown from the ceiling of the venue. These fixtures were used to provide breakup lighting through the conference as well as for faster movements when a new speaker was welcomed to the stage. For the ‘disco’ element of the event the fixtures were programmed to cover the dance floor and walls of the venue to create a nightclub look and feel. A Look Unique 2.1 hazer was also installed to allow guests to see the beams of light around the venue.
Twelve of our chrome plated battery powered uplighters were used during the evening event to add some colour to the walls of the venue as well as add some warmth to the room.
The set was illuminated using the super bright Elation SixBar 1000 LED battens. With full control over each LED we were able to create a number of chases of light as well as static colours.
All of the lighting was controlled using an Avolites Quartz lighting desk with the majority of the fixtures receiving wireless DMX.
On the day the event was managed by a dedicated project manager with the support of two technicians who ensured the smooth running of all of the AV equipment on site.
Feedback from the client has been exceptionally positive and we are already working on the design for their next event.
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