London, UK lighting and visuals rental specialist Colour Sound Experiment supplied lighting and LED screens to Vodafone UK’s Annual Conference staged at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel at the National Exhibition Centre.
It was the first year that CSE has been involved in the event, where they were working for producers, The Red Lodge Agency.
Three main areas needed technical production – the conference sessions in the hotel’s Monarch Suite; a gala dinner and awards ceremony in the Palace Suite and then the after-show in the Kings Suite.
Colour Sound’s Project Manager Fletch created a production lighting and visuals design for all three rooms and led a team of 11 technicians and engineers who worked closely on site with Rhys Sion from Red Lodge. Great teamwork produced some spectacular results.
“The main challenges were the scale of the event and a short timescale - as is often the case,” explains Fletch. “Having a really strong crew on the case and doing as much detailed pre-planning as possible all helped things run smoothly on site”.
It was also the first event for CSE’s brand new BT6 high definition LED screen, 100 square metres of which had just been delivered to their west London HQ … and all 100 square metres of it went straight on to this job!
With over 1000 delegates a day over three days, it was important for visuals to have a big impact. For the conference section, Colour Sound supplied an upstage centre screen measuring 10.5 x 3.5 metres and two side screens each 4 x 2.5 metres wide, which ensured that everyone attending had a clear view of the stage action.
The stage was an ovular shape with tiered seating. There was no flying, so Colour Sound installed a substantial trussing ground support system which was utilised to rig all the technical elements.
Video content was a mix of material supplied by the client together with custom created footage produced by Toby Vogle for Colour Sound, all stored on Mac’s running PlaybackPro. A Barco Encore system was used for screen management, operated by Rob Scott.
The generic element of the lighting rig comprised 38 x ETC Source Four Parnels and ten ETC Source Four profiles.
The moving lights were 24 new Robe LEDWash 300s and 12 Robe MMX Spots – all part of a recent investment in Robe moving lights by the company worth £300,000 … and it was also their first outing. “They are brilliant,” declares Fletch.
There were also six Martin MAC 250 Entours on the floor for stings.
All lighting in the Monarch Suite was controlled via a Chamsys MG300 console, operated by Chris Steel and Sam Campbell.
Colour Sound also supplied all the PA rigging. Over 50 points were involved in total, needed to distribute the relatively weighty rig across the ceiling area. The two front trusses were also ovular shaped to match the stage and set which was built by Joint Style.
The scene and a very cool ambience was set for the gala dinner with a massive chandelier feature in the centre of the space.
This was constructed from 13 x 1 metre square mirrored boxes each with a metre square section of 20 mm LED inside, plus 700 Blackberry smartphones, all with their screens covered in mirrored material so they caught the video content and shimmered and reflected it as they spun around suspended off mini-steel wires.
The centrepiece concept was created by Rhys Sion, suspended on a 7 x 7 metre square box truss and looked awesome!
At the back of the stage, Colour Sound installed a 5 metre wide by 3 metre tall BT6 screen, and the whole room was atmospherically lit for the dinner.
Fletch’s design utilised a series of ground supported trusses with a mix of Source Four Parnels and Profiles, Robe LEDWash 600s and MMX Spots plus some GLP Impression Spot Ones – around 75 fixtures in total.
The MMXs were used highly effectively for texturing and throwing funky break-up patterns around the room.
Lighting was controlled by Neil Marsh using an Avolites Pearl Expert, and video control and content was supplied by Safe & Sound.
Tinie Tempah headlined the after-show entertainment playing on a circular stage in the middle of the room, above which Colour Sound flew a 10 metre diameter spherical truss with a 48 inch mirror ball suspended in the centre – a sort of disco meets bling vibe!
In addition to this were eight Robe ColorSpot 170s, 14 x Robe ROBIN LEDWash 1200s, 12 x Robe ColorSpot 575s and six ETC Source Four profiles. David Kyle operated using an Avo Pearl Expert.
As well as supplying the PA rigging for SSE, Colour Sound also rigged all the décor that needed to be flown. The décor scheme was created by Becca Friedrich and included peacocks, chandeliers and large mirrors!
Fletch sums up, “We really enjoyed working with Rhys and his team from Red Lodge, and in transforming each of the different venues into functional and interesting visual spaces for the event, each of them diverse and different”.
In addition to those already mentioned, making up the Colour Sound crew were Lloyd Cornish ( PlaybackPro Operator), Jon Curtis (Lighting Tech), Zac Layton (Encore Operator), Jason Tuffin (Lighting Racks) and Tony McMann (LED Screen Tech). The riggers were James Hind and Neal Murray.