We delivered full production – sound, lighting and video – to a major event for business services group Rentokil Initial’ for their annual group meeting, a high pressure and high profile one-day international event staged at the Hilton Metropole Hotel at Birmingham UK’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC).
A large and talented CPL crew was project managed by Lee Gruszeckyj working closely with event producers Touch Associates and their senior technical producer, Rich Solado. The overall theming was based on a music festival, adding fun and vibrancy to the event.
The hotel’s Monarch Suite was set up for the main plenary session.
There were six ‘Business Unit’ plenaries (in the Monarch, Balmoral, Sandringham, Arden, Library and Pavilion suites), plus 13 breakout areas covering different Rentokil sectors, all fully equipped with technicals.
This enabled all the various different divisions of Rentokil to follow their own individually tailored programmes, and once the daytime sessions were completed, the plenary area was transformed into an evening dinner, disco and awards environment.
All the rooms were named like festival style stages / performance areas, and the Comedy Stage for the daytime meeting sessions ran as a real comedy stage for the evening.
This evening transition format is common in the world of corporate events, so this informed the technical designs and approach which was flexible from the outset.
We have been involved with this event for several years, so that and their familiarity with the venue also helped make it a smooth and streamlined exercise on site.
The World Stage / main plenary area featured two 9-metre-wide by 3-metre-high LED walls made up from our Roe Black Onyx 3mm HD surface, positioned at angles to the stage and powered by Brompton processors and this set the scene.
The stage had a thrust complete with a revolving B stage at the end of it, out in the audience where wireless pop band “Romeo” thrilled audience during the evening.
Content for the LED wall was fed via a Barco E2 processing system which handled a mix of graphics and feeds from a remote hot head camera above the rotating stage, which looked highly effective as the band played on a vinyl-style floor covering resembling a spinning record.
In addition to the LED screens on the main stage, a selection of 6K projectors were supplied for the smaller plenaries, with 12Ks in the Balmoral and Sandringham suites, all beaming onto screens stretched over truss frames.
The daytime conference content was all played back via i7 Windows 10 towers and laptops running PlaybackPro.
We supplied a full d&b line array sound system comprising Y8 left-and-right arrays, a Y7P centre fill and VSUBs, mixed via a Yamaha CL5 console, with a Sennheiser IEM system provided for the band.
The house trusses and rigging were used for lighting positions, and an Avo Quartz console with playback wing provided for control. The luminaires were ARRI L-7C LED fresnels and ETC ColorSource spots for the lecterns and to pick out the set and scenic elements – festival banners and flags, etc – during the plenary sessions.
“With the concept that Touch created this year, a more rock n’ roll look was needed to the production, with visible trussing and metalwork that’s not the norm for a conference” explained Lee, all of which was toned using around 50 x LED PARs.
Moving lights for the evening included Claypaky K10 B-Eye LED washes, Sharpies and Mythos with Martin MAC Aura LED washes.
The two conference sessions were scaled down versions of the plenary area, with 12K laser projectors and 16 x 9 fast-fold screens. The backdrop design mirrored the plenary with banners and visible trusses and a festival style stage roof, and the audio was delivered via d&b Y7s and Yamaha QL7 mixing desk.
Lighting for the conferences was a combination of Claypaky Mythos and Sharpy moving lights, ARRI L-7Cs and ETC ColorSource Profiles, with more Avo Quartz consoles, with each of these areas crewed by four of our techs.
A show crew of seven ran the Main Plenary out of a total of 25 of our techs, joined by 8 locals for the in and out.
The breakout rooms each had a screen – between 46 and 65 inches – a lectern, a laptop and clicker remote for the presentations, a set of mics / stands and a small stand-based PA with control at the back, all designed to self-run.
The Meeting Rooms each had a projector and a pull-up screen (between 32 and 55 inches) or a screen with a laptop.
Around 12 x 55-inch screens on stands running from memory sticks were dotted around the venue for digital signage – showing directions, seminar titles / topics, scheduling and other pertinent information.
The main challenges were keeping on top of the kit deploying logistics, a task aided by rigorous colour coding during the prep in our warehouse, and while they had a day to get in and set up, it was still tight for time given the complexity, amount of kit and number of locations.
As always, they enjoyed the great teamwork with the Touch Associates team in delivering another first-class event for the client.