Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design (UVLD) teamed with The RJO Group to dazzle the sales force of a major pharmaceutical company with the high-impact launch of a new drug. Although the sales meeting for 3,300 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas had a quick, three-week turnaround, under the direction of RJO CEO Robert J. O’Leary, it didn’t shy away from extensive, complex creative direction in general and media content in particular.

After the initial approach by long time collaborator Gregg Hermanson, principal of technical services firm ShowTX, it was clear that the project was going to be driven by its schedule. “The client wanted to make a big splash for its sales force, but time was of the essence,” notes UVLD lighting designer Gregory Cohen. “Instead of the usual two to three months lead time for something like this, we had about three weeks. We had to move fast with staffing and equipment, but RJO and ShowTX trusted us to pull off a sophisticated, media-driven show in a short time frame.”

The Arena’s stage was set with a soft LED curtain upstage, a slanted Versatube HD wall downstage, and two 16:9 VIDEO/IMAG screens flanking the stage. A big, circular lighting truss was centered above the space.

"We wanted to create an energetic and motivational experience for the sales reps," comments Carolyn Wade, Producer for RJO. "The time challenge was a formidable one, particularly as we intended to focus our creative on the lighting and video elements of the stage and did not get access to the arena until the day before opening sessions. Greg and UVLD were great at producing and testing the elements off site so that we only needed to fine-tune after roll-in. They work very fast. "

RJO’s design was to use the video sources as the medium to carry the client’s critical branding messages being stressed. Giant text on the LED wall was choreographed with animated video graphics on the side screens to convey sales and marketing messages. Cohen notes that “the collaboration with RJO was remarkable—it worked so well; their creative directors were able to give us content and direction while also giving us the free reign to create stuff that was appropriate quickly.”

UVLD controlled the lighting and media from a grandMA console; the media server was PRG’s Mbox. UVLD sourced images from its vast clip library, manipulated their color and choreographed their display on the soft LED curtain and Versatube wall in coordination with RJO’s staging. Giant text elements and brand logos were also displayed on the LED curtain, and UVLD projected brand logos from custom gobos onto a giant disk, which was flown in for the dramatic product reveal.

The show’s lighting was designed to give a big-arena feel to the meeting with bold aerial focuses in primary colors. More than 250 fixtures were supplied, including 94 Source 4 750-watt ellipsoidal spots, 34 MAC 2K Profiles, 16 MAC 2K Performances, 42 MAC 2K Washes, 18 Vari*Lite 3000 Spots, 24 Atomic 3K Strobes, and 24 ColorBlast 12s.

In addition to the General Session, the client scheduled 16 hours of breakout sessions in the MGM Grand Hotel supported by a full broadcast studio and remote truck. This enabled video to be fed to smaller meetings via the hotel’s CCTV system. UVLD provided TV studio lighting for this application.

"Everything worked together to fill the room with color, light and excitement," concludes Wade. "It was an exhilarating process; Greg could clearly understand what I wanted to do and then make it happen. It looked spectacular, we accomplished our goals, and we received tremendous feedback from the client."

At RJO Group, Carolyn Wade was executive producer for this project with ShowTX’s Gary Ware serving as technical director. At UVLD, Cameron Yeary served as associate lighting designer and programmer; Mark Mead was the show’s production electrician. Robert Cangemi lit the broadcasts with Tom Bagley serving as his electrician. Jeff Newburger of Lionfish Design was the set designer.