Events United meets Connection challenges
Friday, 13 April 2018
events-united-connectionsmEvents United illuminated the stage and the entire room with 110 Chauvet Professional fixtures
USA - Events United helped Fortune 1000 company Connection create a memorable setting for its annual kick-off meeting in Manchester NH, despite the limited space and unusual room dimensions at the site where the event was held.
The meeting, which was live streamed to Connection offices throughout the US, took place in the Armory, a venue in the Radisson Hotel near the corporation’s headquarters. Although the room presents some striking images with its steel beams and sloping ceilings, it also poses serious design obstacles for anyone hoping to create a professional lighting, video and audio presentation within its confines. Events United met these challenges to create a stunning panorama at the kick-off event with a clever design plan and help from over 100 Chauvet Professional fixtures.
“Our client gave us a few initial concept ideas that included projection and possibly video walls but left us with complete freedom to come up with the creative concept,” said Tim Messina of Events United. “The production design was challenging because of the limited space. At the highest point in the room we only have 17’ of usable height before we hit the building steel. The roof slopes from 15’ on the sides up to 40’ in the centre, but the steel trusses are placed every 14', which essentially creates a ceiling at 17’. We knew we wanted a big design but we didn’t know how we could do it in there with the ceiling so low.”
Messina got around this impediment by coming up with a plan to place the set design, projection screens, and rigging elements up inside of the 14’ cavities between the steel to maximize height. However, to do this, he needed an accurate measurement of the room. Since there were no blueprints of the Armory, he and his head video engineer Jon Martell spent one week taking detailed measurements of the room and creating an accurate model in Vectorworks.
Events United illuminated the stage and the entire room with 110 Chauvet Professional fixtures. “Our goal was to have enough lights to paint the entire room floor to ceiling,” said Messina. “The room was interesting in its own right, so we wanted to incorporate its architectural features into our design to get that wow factor.”
To turn the room’s roof into a vibrant design element, Events United positioned 10 Maverick MK2 Spot and 20 Rogue R1 Wash fixtures on 6’ truss uprights placed along the walls. These fixtures illuminated the highest sections of the roof, the spots providing texture and the washes adding extra colour. The trussing itself was woven into the design with uplighting from COLORdash Par Hex-4 fixtures.
Lighting of the walls, floor and downstage area was provided by 12 Maverick MK1 Hybrid, 14 Maverick MK2 Spot and four Maverick MK2 Wash fixtures. These fixtures were flown on two 80’ trusses that flew over the audience. Like the truss structures along the walls, the two massive ceiling truss pieces were warmed by COLORdash Par Hex-12 units.
Events United illuminated the stage backdrop with eight COLORado 2 Solos and an equal number of COLORdash Batten-Quad 12 fixtures. Behind the backdrop, the team placed drape and mesh screens that were lit by six Rogue R1 Wash fixtures. An additional six Rogue units were used for hair light on the stage.
“Having the right amount of lights for the room and a talented LD enabled us to completely transform the room and accent its unusual features, turning them into visual attributes,” said Messina. “The impact of the lighting rig was massive. Ryan Lane, our lead lighting designer/operator, worked with Rob Livie from Connection to complement Rob's custom video content.”
Along with its immersive lighting and video displays, Events United also moved the crowd at the kick-off event with its audio design. “We designed the system with d&b audiotechnik speakers. Due to the low steel in the Armory, Chase Clark, FOH Audio Engineer, had to hang a main L/R array and a delay array about 75’ back,” said Donald Van Slyke, Events United’s head audio engineer. “We used Q1/Q7s for the main arrays, B2s for subs, T10s for front-fills, as well as low profile E6s for stage monitors during the Q&A session. Chase used Smaart 8 to time align and tune the entire system in d&b R1 control software.
“Connection needed 16 channels of wireless for the various speakers and Q&A elements, so we deployed Shure ULXD and Wireless Workbench to coordinate and program all the transmitters,” continued Van Slyke.
Another very important part of the audio was the broadcast mix, since Connection was live streaming the event to their remote offices for live viewing, as well as archival recording for internal use. The company wanted people at the remote offices to feel as if they were in the room with the live audience. To create this feeling, Van Slyke deployed the Waves eMotion LV1 mixing system with DiGiGrid IOS and IOX interfaces.
(Jim Evans)

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