Welcoming hospitality leaders from across the EMEA region, a flagship international hotel brand's GM Conference was hosted recently in Dubai. Having brought about in-venue technical production services on a range of interactive and immersive projects, eclipse was called upon to supply all technical elements, including audio, video, lighting, power and lasers for the event.
Chad Smith, Project Manager at eclipse Venue Services comments, “We had an ultra-wide, ultra-high-resolution LED screen, distributed audio system and an incredibly versatile lighting rig. We also added in lasers with the support of our sister company, Laser FX, to assist with the opening sequences’ wow factor and add something new to the standard corporate format.” He continued, “The challenge was in sourcing sufficient mains power supply and electrical distribution throughout the venue ensuring all elements of the 1500A on a three-phase power spread, could be met in order to establish the total power requirements for the event”.
The biggest component was the video which was a monster to create. Using a pair of Green Hippo Boreal media servers for displays, programmed to a grandMA 2 with a Green Hippo Taiga at FOH for content management and the four Analog Way Ascenders, controlled by the Vertige console played a pivotal role in delivering the video requirements for this production where speed and reliability were of the essence. “The backend processing was incredibly complex,” recalled Chad. “To put it into perspective, with over 550 panels of 2.6mm LED, the total pixel count is well over 20 million so we had to run full redundancy on all backend elements, ensuring that at no point during the show, would there be any issues. The overall weight of the screen also meant we had to design the right type of back support with 11 tonne of counterweight, to ensure the screen was safely supported.”
Versatility was on top of mind when putting together the video rig. “It was essential that the deployment of video solutions results in the flawless execution of presentations, VT playback and live camera feed. The comfort monitoring was also key, as numerous presenters had individual requirements for their own sessions. We set up a separate rehearsal room which was a mock of the main stage monitoring in order to get the presenters comfortable with the layout before going onto stage in front of their peers,” Chad explained.
The audio element consisted of a combination of Y-Series and T-Series d&b loudspeakers coupled with the punchy V-Series subs, all powered by D80 and D20 amplifiers and controlled by the DiGiCo SD9 mixing console. With the LED screen taking up almost the entire back wall of the ballroom, line arrays were not possible. The main PA system used was 4 x flown Y7P, ensuring a very powerful full range system with adequate and precise dispersion. The delays were 4 x flown T10 per side. The system also comprised 4 x T10 placed in as front fills. The audio department also deployed an array of 4 x V-Subs out wide and 2 x Y-Subs in the center of the stage for sub reinforcement. For communications, the crew chose a mixture of Clear-Com's FreeSpeak II wireless comms and HelixNet systems. Wissam Shaheen, eclipse Staging Services’ Senior Audio Engineer, adds, ”Our audio design was Point Source based – an almost invisible PA system that was optimized to cover the conference and gala dinner as well as the live entertainment, complementing the massive screen with a cinematic sonic effect.”
The space utilized a combination of 30x Clay Paky K10 which allowed the added flexibility of wash effects at key moments during the show and 12x Robe Pointe on and around the stage for the low, tight beam work. Also incorporated were 24x Clay Paky Mythos to fill in the profile movements needed to tie the lighting together. Stage wash was taken care of by 20x 1.2K Fresnels to ensure that the presenters were precisely lit for the live broadcast fed to the IMAG screens. Helping the lighting designers meet the weight load restriction was to conjure up the lighting plot with select fixtures from eclipse’s extensive inventory and ensuring the fixtures were placed in the right locations.
Looking at the highly visual resulting set with an impressive widescreen look, Chad concludes, “This was a large production to put together in 28 hours from the initial load-in until we had to be ready for the first round of rehearsals. The pre-production planning is always key to ensuring a well-delivered show, in any venue, but that’s not nearly as important as having the right people on the job. The crew that delivered this production worked tirelessly during the show week and this just demonstrates the level of dedication, professionalism and absolute passion for this industry which is testament to the crew’s capabilities who helped ensure the event was a tremendous success.”