We were approached by Champions PLC to provide full production for the annual Leicester Mercury Business Awards, taking place at the Maher Centre. This was the second consecutive year that we have been awarded this event.
This event required a combination of Staging, Set, Draping, Lighting, Effects, Audio and a Live Camera feed, to create the complete production, for the awards night including a drinks reception area.
The event brief given was an awards dinner celebrating the best Leicester businesses and individuals over the past year, this included a live music act and various raffle prize giveaways. There was also to be a drinks reception area with a live music act in the same space.
Leading up to the event a site visit was carried out to access the space at the Maher Centre, various measurements were taken as well as making sure adequate power and access was available for the night.
After the site visit we began designing a suitable set and staging for the space, making sure it would fill the room as well as being practical. As the brief was to have a drinks reception area located in the same room, a wall of double-sided drape was designed to split the venue into two spaces.
To make sure we could fit all the equipment necessary and work out the correct space needed for the 700 guests in attendance we used a 3D CAD rendering software, this allowed us to plot all the equipment and tables within the space and work out where we could install the drape line dividing the dinner area from the drink’s reception.
Using L-Acoustics Soundvision allowed us to map out the event space and ensure that we spec the right number of line array cells and point source loudspeakers to achieve an even coverage throughout the whole room.
Many discussions between us and Champions PLC were had to ensure all stake holders were happy with the proposed plans for the event. This also involved being in contact with the live music act to ensure that we delivered their technical needs for the night.
With the sheer amount of technical equipment, we were planning on bringing in, careful power calculations were worked out making sure there was enough power over the three phases. From this we could work out what each phase was drawing making sure we balance the equipment loads over them, safeguarding us from any power trips.
With the room being wide but not very deep, we incorporated a set with two large main content screens. In the middle of the set we installed a portrait screen which was displaying a constant loop of all the sponsor logos. This worked well within the space and gave the set an interesting aspect. To increase visibility even further we increased the height of the set/screens by installing it all on a 1m high stage platform, this also took full advantage of the ceiling height.
As space was quite tight to fit the all the tables for the 700 guests and the drinks reception area we designed the room so that the Set and Stage line was very close to the back wall. Using 2x Panasonic PT-RZ970 projectors equipped with specialised mirrored DLE030 lenses meant we could still use rear projection for the two outer screens. For the centre portrait screen, a Panasonic PZ670 projector was rigged onto some ground support truss located at the back of the room. An Analog Way Pulse2 – 3G was utilised to create smooth transitions from the content laptops, to VT’s and to the live camera feed.
For audio as we had already plotted the room in Soundvision, we knew exactly what loudspeakers we required. We made use of L’Acoustics KARA range made up of 4x line array cells and 3x SB18 subs a side. These SB18 subwoofers were installed in a cardioid array, adjusting the amplitude lobes of the subwoofers, minimising decibel level at the rear of the array. We added additional X8’s around the room for some side fills as well as on the stage. This gave us even coverage throughout the whole space.
As there was a live music act during the event we utilised 2x 12XT loudspeakers for monitor wedges. All the amplifiers used were L’Acoutics LA8’s, these were controlled and monitored through the LA Network Manager software, this gave us real time analysis of each amplifier as well as letting us delay the amplifiers powering the side fills etc.
Each lectern was equipped with a pair of AKG CK43 Lectern microphones used for backup. Whilst the presenters used DPA headset microphones connected to a Sennheiser EW300 G4 wireless radio rack. All the music stings for the awards were loaded into the Qlab software giving us full control and precise firing of each sting. Using a Yamaha QL1 gave us full control and the ability to fine tune the whole PA system.
To create an impressive light show we incorporated several different fixtures across the entire space. As mentioned before, given the wide room we needed to make sure we could cover the room with enough lighting effects. To achieve this 10x Elation Platinum Beam 5R Extremes and 8x Chauvet Rogue R3 Washes were installed across the entire length of the 22m staging platform used for the set. We also installed 16x Elation Sixbar 1000 battens, this created an uplighter effect across the whole set that could be set to a wide range of colours. Along with all the stage lighting 18x Event Spots were used around the perimeter of the room for even more up-lighting, as these fixtures are battery powered it minimised cabling along the floor of the venue. To highlight the beams emitted from all these fixtures 2x Unique Haze Machines were used.
To accompany each award sting, we installed 4x Sparkulars, on the four corners of the stage giving each award winner a real WOW effect. These were remotely fired in time with the music stings and the announcement of the award winners. Finally 6x ETC Source 4 lighting fixtures were rigged on the ground supported truss located at the back of the room. This allowed us to have full control of how much light we had in the room at any time, meaning the presenters and winners were nicely highlighted for the live camera and photographer. All this equipment was controlled by an Avolites Quartz lighting console using a combination of DMX and ArtNET.
Total Equipment Value: £302,221.50
Total Weight: 9,748.74kg
Transport: 1x 44t Arctic
1x Production Manager
1x Senior Video Technician
1x Video Technician
1x Camera Operator
1x Senior Sound Technician
1x Lighting Technician
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