Only the Los Angeles Convention Center was large enough to stage a series of ten corporate meetings over the course of three days for 10,000 attendees at a cosmetics company event. Timing on the 2001 event was “tight,” Charles C. (Chet) Towle says dryly. But Newport Beach, Calif.-based Charles C. Technical Production and Van Nuys, Calif.-based Creative Technology pulled it off, maneuvering “40 semi trucks with more than 100,000 pounds of equipment, 150 rig points, 400 moving lights, 52 miles of cable, 15,000 amps of power, 2,000 feet of truss, a stage larger than the Academy Awards', and 8,400 square feet of projection surface to be loaded in, aligned, and ready for rehearsals in one eight-hour period,” Towle says.

CAD (computer-aided design) was vital to meeting deadlines and saving money, Towle says. “The plans show everyone what they need to bring, where to put it, and who or what else is next to them. We make floor plans and 3D computer modeling renderings so that we can stand in the virtual world and see what it looks like and fix problems and anticipate issues long before we arrive.”

Other essentials? “Timelines followed by action lists,” he says. “All your work is done here. Organization is key. Once you show up, everything will materialize before your very eyes with no Excedrin if you plan properly. Also, I am a huge advocate of facility walk-throughs. Most people say, ‘No problem; it will work.’ But when you get everyone on site, it's quite funny to see how they have a much better understanding of the environment and each other. Plus, [walk-throughs] create a camaraderie that helps in time, money, and the end result.”