Reading Christmas Party at Yorkshire Event Centre

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Event Production / 18.1.17

Christmas Party at Yorkshire Event Centre

Premier supported a corporate client with their Christmas party for 900 people

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Brief

To transform the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate into a winter wonderland themed venue for a corporate Christmas party. The event itself was for 900 guests, Premier were to manage the AV production, décor and entertainment for the event.

 

Pre-Production

We typically conduct a site inspection before quoting for an event of this size. Hall 1 of the Yorkshire Event Centre was not built when we were contacted by our client and wasn’t to be finished for another 6 months and so we designed the event using the venues CAD plan.

Once the venue had been completed we did of course conduct a site inspection with the client to ensure that both the client and venue were happy with what we had designed.

As usual with an event of this size a number of revisions were made from the initial quotation to the final version. As a production company, we are fully aware that guest numbers can fluctuate and we are happy to re-design event spaces to accommodate these changes.

As part of the quotation process our in-house team of designers created a number of 3D visuals. These 3D visuals allow our clients to get a real understanding of what it is that we propose to deliver for them on the night of the event. We feel that this is a really important part of the process, it ensures that both the client and the supplier (us) have clear expectations on the look and feel of the venue.

 

Build

To deliver an event of this scale we required 2x 40ft Artics and a 26T truck. The venue was a complete blank canvas and so everything on site apart from the carpet, tables and catering was installed and de-rigged by our 20-strong team.

As well as the Hall 1 where dinner, awards and entertainment were to take place, Premier also installed equipment into the drinks reception space at the front of the venue.

As guests arrived at the venue we quite literally laid out the red carpet for them, 2 in fact, both flanked with chrome posts and black velvet ropes. We also installed a 3,000W search light at the front of the building, showing the arriving cars where to drop guests off for the party.

For the pre-dinner drinks area of the venue we used props and lighting to set the scene for a winter wonderland themed event. A PA system consisting of 8x L-Acoustics 8XT’s was used to pipe a Christmas themed playlist throughout the space. The walls of the venue were uplit using a mixture of 1m battens and battery powered uplighters in an ice blue colour. To help with the theming, we projected images of white snowflakes onto the blue walls, the ceiling and the floor.

We wanted the main hall to be a surprise for guests when they walked into the space, this proved to be a challenge however as the doors into Hall 1 were all made with glass. To counter this we installed a 17m wide white gauze, this was rigged to a kabuki system which allowed us to build anticipation before the grand opening using smoke and lighting effects and then to drop the material to the floor with the touch of a button to reveal the main hall to the guests.

In the Hall 1 itself our team built a truss structure to partition off the space, this was used to support a white drape. The drape was toned in an ice blue with the use of 55x Elation Sixbars. Snowflake images were also projected onto the drape using custom made gobos and ETC Source Four Junior profile lights. Starcloth was installed to the rear of the stage to create a focal point for the band.

An L-Acoustics KARA PA system was chosen for the event, this consisted of 12x Kara elements and 8x SB18 subwoofers with 12XT’s utilised as fills. The band monitors also consisted of 12XT’s. All sound content was ran through Yamaha digital desks and controlled by our sound technician.

To ensure that all 900 guests could see the content clearly we flew 2x 14’ x 7’ 10” screens from the truss structure and used Panasonic full HD projectors. An additional 6x 50” HD screens were installed around the perimeter of the venue to provide additional viewing angles. Content included live video feeds and PowerPoint slides.

A 46ft x 28ft white starlit dance floor was laid by the Premier team, with 168 panels to individually install this was a lengthy process but the final result looked superb and it was well used when the DJ and band performed.

We installed over 100 intelligent lighting fixtures into the venue, this allowed our lighting technician to create a number of visually appealing lighting designs throughout the event. A 1m mirror ball was flown from the centre of the circular truss to provide that classic ‘disco’ look over the dance floor. All lighting was programmed using an Avolites Quartz lighting desk and 23” touchscreen.

Entertainment for the night came in the form of a 10-piece function band that we work with on a regular basis as well as one of our resident DJs. The dancefloor was full for the vast majority of the night which is always a good sign.

 

Feedback

Feedback from the client was excellent, with one of the senior members of the team commenting that they could not believe how much work had gone into transforming the venue.

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