Design Team

executive producer: David Lawson
production designer: Sean McCarthy
technical director: Mark Perkinson
lead video engineer: Drew Griffiths
show call director: Blake Brown
lead audio engineer: Rusty Bumgardner
break out room producer: Kevin Wiggins

The HP Technology Forum & Expo took place at The Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas earlier this year and called for a dynamic and engaging vehicle to effectively roll out and deliver a new brand strategy to the marketplace. The client really wanted something new, cool, and out of the ordinary for an audience of 7,500.

The goal of the meeting was to deliver the corporate message “HP is Turning IT on its Head” on a senior management and executive level, while introducing a new concept of business technology. The idea was to provide the client with an experience which had never been used on the corporate scene before.

The biggest challenges faced were timeframe and using new, unproven technology. Staging Solutions only had 42 days to deliver a flawless event from the time of the first meeting to the day of delivery. It all had to come together­—thanks to a huge team effort of leadership, organization, the right staff, and a collective determination to identify problems, followed by an organized delegation to solve these problems.

The set was a platform displaying the cutting-edge technology to the attendees using a 20’x36’ motion controlled LED wall, two 25’x75’ multimedia projection canvases, 8’x8’ hydraulic platforms used to reveal products and demos, and a multi-tiered curvilinear stage to bring the presenters into the audience with multiple entrance opportunities. But it didn’t stop there—we wanted these sections to move both horizontally and vertically. In order to make that happen, we needed to rewrite the system software with new programming codes. Showrig out of Los Angeles and Las Vegas provided the automation technology and equipment.

The event was designed to be alive and vibrant with different acts and performers. The Anti-Gravity Troupe of flyers dropped from the rafters and flew across the stage accompanied by a dynamic soundtrack performed live by the event band as themed video fog came rolling in. All of this action centered on the CEO for his opening statements.

To make it happen, we had to design a catwalk for the performers that was above an already complicated lighting, audio, and video truss system. Then we had to install cameras and a special lighting system to ensure show directors and talent managers could keep an eye in the sky and safely and timely staff the different entertainment acts. Showrig provided all the flying talent animation and the entire rigging systems.

For the live band, which had its own designated pit, we designed special entrances to the stage enabling them to be part of the show at certain times, appearing and disappearing without interrupting the presentations. Two 36’ jibs were used to assure that we got all the camera angles needed for a live band performance. The stage was designed by production designer Sean McCarthy of Staging Solutions and custom-built by PRG Scenic Technologies of Las Vegas.

As the client had several items to display on stage that were heavy but still needed high impact entrances, we designed and installed two 8’x8’ hydraulic stage elements that were used with lighting and fog effects to create a dramatic reveal of a 1,200lb multi-functional color printer and the customized HP chopper made by Orange County Choppers especially for this event.

Daily general sessions, along with 47 breakout/training sessions, and 53 hands-on labs impressed even the most skeptical Las Vegas hotel executives who claimed they had seen it all.

Selected Gear

16 universes of DMX
34 Color Kinetics ColorBlaze LED fixtures
12 Color Kinetics iColor Flex
High End Systems Catalyst media server
Vista Spyder System with 12 outputs/14 layers
Barco ELM R12 DLP projector
Barco iLite 10 LED wall
Barco D320 processors
2 25’×75’ multimedia projection canvases
1 mile of rigging truss with 128 points
70 moving lights, including:
Vari-Lite VL5s
Martin MAC 2000 Performances
Syncrolite SXB5/2 B52s
ETC Source Four ellipsoidals
ETC Source Four PARs
ETC Source Four Sensor+ dimming
2 MA Lighting grandMA consoles
4 MA Lighting NSPs