We delivered full production to business services group Rentokil Initial’ for their annual group conference which was staged at the Hilton Metropole Hotel at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, and took over a substantial amount of the hotel, with a main plenary session in the Monarch suite.
Producers Touch Associates and DBMT initiated the designs and outlined what was new and different for this year’s one day event with our project manager Lee Gruszeckyj. We have been involved with the event’s technical requirements for the last 5 years.
Additional spaces included a smaller conference set up in the Queens Suite, 24 x breakout rooms all needing different technical elements and lots of digital signage.
This year they wanted an epic widescreen video wall look for the main room, and a 20 metre wide by 3 metre high surface of our 3mm Roe LED, which was flanked by a pair of striking scenic red hearts. An angled thrust protruded from the front of the stage for the conference session allowing speakers to get close to the audience.
The screen was fed with content via a Barco E2 presentation system driving the Brompton processing and a disguise d3 media server, running full HD stings, award openers and bumpers. The content was all specially created by Touch.
A full flown lighting rig was installed on the house trussing, designed for flexibility and dynamics. This featured a selection of moving lights including Clay Paky Mythos and B-Eyes, Robe Spiiders and Martin Mac Auras.
These all ramped up the drama an excitement for the awards section, complete with dancers onstage.
There were a lot of ETC ColorSource Spots and ARRI L5-C fresnels plus LED battens onstage, and some of the Mythos were positioned across the stage floor bat the back for additional effect. ETC ColorSource PARs were used to create pools of light around the set and on the stage floor for additional vibrancy.
An Avolites Quartz was used for lighting control with a playback wing and a touch screen monitor.
The audio was all d&b – a Y8 system and V SUBS for a solid sound, plus E8s for foldback, all powered by D20 amps. It was configured as left-centre-right arrays as they were working lengthways down the room. A Yamaha QL5 console was used to mix the conference and awards audio.
As it was primarily a spoken word requirement, a selection of Shure mics and DPA headsets completed the audio detail.
The Queens Suite featured a more compact version of a similar set up, for which CPL provided a Panasonic VRZ 12K laser projector to feed the screen and a Barco PDS switcher to route all the sources. Some lighting fixtures together with a small d&b PA and a Yamaha QL1 desk made up the technical package.
The breakout areas featured four mini conference areas each with a small set plus another 20, each with 55 – 75 inch LED screens. These were also all crewed, which required a lot of personnel co-ordination ensuring 40 CPL contingent were in the right place at the right time!
All the sessions ran throughout the day, so it was an all-action environment for the delegates. Three crew were on standby throughout the day looking just after the digital signage which comprised multiple screens dotted around, fed with USB content.
The challenges were in the logistics and co-ordination of that many crew, 30 tonnes of production equipment and multiple rooms that all started and finished at different times. Our task was made significantly smoother by their experience of the event and knowledge of the venue.