West Midlands, UK, based video and production specialist Central Presentations Ltd (CPL) supplied sound, lighting, AV, cameras and co-ordinated full technical production including set and staging - plus crew - to the Audi National Forum event staged at London's ExCel Centre.
CPL was working for production company, Twofour. The event covered eight different independent areas - Reception, Tunnel, The Hub, Leaders, People, Fans, Business and Car Showroom - in ExCel, and was one of CPL's largest projects to date in terms of total equipment supply.
Over sixty moving lights, 150 generic fixtures, 80 LED PARcans and one and a half artic's worth of trussing were deployed.
Smaller breakout rooms featured a quantity of 85” HD plasmas; Business and the Hub utilised HD Panasonic PT-DZ110X projection and over 60 d&b speakers; The Car Showroom had an NEC HD 4x4 46” flown plasma wall and all the rooms were built from set panels which alone filled another 3 trucks.
It was also the first time CPL has helped deliver the event, which accommodated up to 200 of Audi's key European distributing partners a day for four days. It follows on from previous very successful work with both Twofour and the end client.
CPL's project managers were the late Scott Pearson and Simon Haydon. Their expertise, combined organisational skills and meticulous pre-planning all ensured that the operation ran smoothly and seamlessly, including the co-ordination of 31 technical crew.
Having a single source for all technical elements also greatly improved the efficiency of the operation, giving the client one point of contact, and enabling CPL to offer real quality and value in a single package.
The central area and meeting point of the event was an open space called â€˜The Hub' where delegates gathered for briefings and listened to keynote speeches, etc., before moving off to all the other differently themed break-out areas, all accessed via The Hub.
Several box trusses of different sizes were flown in the roof of Excel to facilitate the technical production equipment needed for each different area.
For The Hub itself, CPL supplied (2) Sony HXC cameras for IMAG relay, and a 16 x 9 ft flown projection screen fed with a 10K Panasonic projector. The sound system was a d&b Q-1 line array, chosen for its neat profile and high clarity performance, and the mixing desks in this and all the other areas were Yamaha LS9s, picked for their great sound and expedient footprints.
The five break out areas were all individually themed, e.g. â€˜business' , â€˜people', â€˜fans', etc. and designed so delegates could feel and imbibe different atmospheres to match the strategies and information being communicated.
The â€˜fans' area had an epic stadium feel, with seating 270 degrees around the room and colourful graphic â€˜wrap' panels depicting sporting action around the perimeter.
Into each of these five spaces, reception and tunnel areas CPL supplied individually tailored technical requirements for sound, lighting and AV.
All the areas featured d&b sound systems of varying sizes which were installed, complete with a selection of lapel and hand held mics.
A wide variety of plasma screens were deployed around all the spaces, the largest being an 85 inch Panasonic complete with stand. Projection systems and control were installed in to two of the rooms – featuring Panasonic DZ10 machines and screens.
The video and presentation playback control systems site-wide consisted of MacBook Pros, spec'd by CPL for their reliability and universality, all running Keynote and Playback Pro for the VT presentations.
Content was supplied by Twofour on behalf of Audi, and formatted for the screens by CPL's engineers.
For lighting, CPL supplied a mixture of ETC Source Four Profiles, JTE PixelPAR LED PARs and Selecon 650W and 1.2Kw fresnels, with over 60 Martin Professional MAC 700 Profile and Wash moving lights spread out across the various spaces. Each area's lighting was controlled independently, with Avolites consoles used for programming the main moving light and LED lit areas.
CPL also co-ordinated the supply and build of all the necessary staging and scenic elements in the different areas, all produced to the client's design.
Flat Earth from Bristol were commissioned to create the sets, and London-based Blackout were brought onboard to deal with all the draping and soft goods requirements, which included fitting casement roofs over each breakout area. CPL worked closely with both companies in advance on the overall design, look and feel of the event, as well as on site. They were each chosen for the quality and detail of the finishes they could produce.
The main challenges were the tight get-in time and organising the different crew schedules, which involved two teams (day and night) working 24 hours for the build, so everything pieced together in perfect jig-saw style. CPL's crew, including set and stage carpenters and the two project managers completed the task with a little time in hand ….. over a build period of three - long - days.
Says Simon Haydon, “Massive effort went in to detailed advance preparation and comprehensively briefing the different departments, which paid off when it was a hive of activity on site and we were working against the clock.”
He and Scott Pearson worked closely with the team from Twofour including senior event producer Kathryn Brewer and senior event manager Kerrie Preston to deliver a very slick, successful and stylish looking event for Audi.