WHY IS LIGHTING SO IMPORTANT AT MY CONFERENCE & WHAT LIGHTING SHOULD I LOOK TO HIRE?
Lighting is a critical element of any conference production. Whether you're hosting a small symposium, or you're putting together the most prominent meeting of minds in the industry, a conference without the correct lighting choices is going to leave a poor impression. However, with the right lighting choices, you can instil that all-important air of professionalism and impress your attendees.
But what do you need to be thinking about before pulling together your event lighting plan?
+LIGHTING CONSIDERATIONS FOR CONFERENCES
First and foremost, your initial thoughts should be guided by your venue. Some lighting fixtures will be immediately ruled out due to the nature of your conference venue. For instance, if you are hosting a small networking conference, large, bulky lighting fixtures are going to look badly out of place. Small but powerful LED-powered lights, on the other hand, would work nicely and wouldn't feel intrusive at all.
Thus, it's worth visiting your venue, marking out key locations (such as where the stage/set will be positioned) and then locating critical items such as power sources which will help to solidify where lighting fixtures can be set up. Remember, some venues may prohibit you from affixing additional lighting to walls or ceilings, so make sure you check what the stipulations are before hiring inappropriate lighting equipment.
You may be able to get around venue restrictions by erecting truss structures. Some of the larger purpose-built conference venues may have these in place already, making your job a lot easier. Suppose you're struggling with drawing everything together. In that case, an experienced member of the On Tour Events team can come and perform a site visit if necessary to advise you of the best options for lighting your conference event.
+CHOOSING YOUR CONFERENCE LIGHTING EQUIPMENT
There are so many lighting fixtures on the market these days that it's impossible to list of the equipment you will have to choose from (we stock them all by the way!). However, it's worth running over the likely leading contenders based on the hundreds of conference events we have supplied our services to in the past. Your lighting choices will primarily be split between those focused on the stage or set, and those used to illuminate the rest of the venue. Let's start with the options for your stage.
CONFERENCE LIGHTING EQUIPMENT HIRE
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Most, if not all, conferences have at least one stage or set to facilitate presenters, keynote speakers, interviews, or panel discussions. Without bright spotlights, audience members will struggle to see those on stage properly. That's why they are almost always first on the list for conference lighting requests.
+LED PAR CAN LIGHTING
Another firm favourite for conference events is the LED PAR can. These versatile lights have benefitted from the introduction of LED technology, as they used to be power-hungry and became incredibly hot after prolonged use. Today they can wash a conference stage or set with any colour of the rainbow and provide a range of additional lighting effects to boot while remaining cool as a cucumber.
+MOVING HEAD / INTELLIGENT LIGHT FIXTURES
You'll likely want to pick up at least a few of these to add an element of "pizzazz" to your conference. These programmable lights are capable of a range of effects, colours, and patterns. If you're planning on having a light show of any description (perhaps as esteemed presenters or guests make their stage entrance), then you'll be relying on these showstoppers. You can also pair them up with gobos (see below) to add a real touch of class to your event.
+LED VIDEO SCREEN | VIDEO WALL
Not technically a lighting fixture, but crucial all the same, LED screens add to the lighting and visual experience on stage. Most conference organisers hire LED screens because they are so versatile. One moment they can be relaying video footage to the audience, and just a few seconds later, they can be playing a leading part in a dazzling lighting show.
With the leading contenders for the stage/set taken care of, let's turn our attention to lighting choices that will be used for the rest of the venue.
These ground-based, wireless lights are great for completely altering the mood and feel of a room or venue. For instance, you could use them to adorn a breakout meeting room with the colours of your brand to add a touch of class. These inconspicuous lights are also great lighting choices for communal areas and walkways in between stages.
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Gobos are an acronym for Goes Between Optics. They are small stencilled discs that can be attached to most lighting fixtures (see moving head lights above) to create a pattern that can be presented across a stage, on walls, across the ceiling, or on the floor. In the case of conferences, they offer you the opportunity to plaster your brand's logo all over the venue in a captivating manner.
+ADDITIONAL LIGHTING CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR CONFERENCE
Lighting is not just about the choices you make regarding specific equipment. You also have to look at the broader picture. For instance, as is the current trend, will you be filming and live-streaming your conference to thousands of virtual attendees? If so you need to think about the colours of your stage lights and spotlights to ensure that they provide a flawless viewing experience to those who can't be there in person.
The time of day your conference takes place will also be an important factor. Some lights are much more impactful in dark conditions, and you could be wasting your money if there's plenty of natural light streaming in through the windows.
Then you need to consider the stage and set itself. You might want to enlist our help to create a bespoke stage or set that has LED lighting built into it, for example. Either way, we can help you and guide you through the process backed by the experience of delivering hundreds of successful conferences over the space of the last two decades.
+CHOOSE ON TOUR EVENTS FOR YOUR CONFERENCE LIGHTING NEEDS
The right lighting choices can make all of the difference for a conference. It can be the difference between receiving an underwhelming reception or generating a buzz within your industry that has people lining up to return the following year. No matter the size of your budget, it's always best to start with a plan. Talk to your venue first to learn everything you can about the space before consulting the help of an expert conference event lighting hire company such as On Tour Events. We are actually the preferred lighting suppliers for many conference centres across London and the South East, so we may already have intimate knowledge of your venue.
We will carefully advise you before taking care of all aspects of conference event lighting, including event design, rigging assembly, and on-site setup and operation by expert technicians. Regardless of the size and scale of your next conference, don't hesitate to speak to us. Even if you're just looking for advice, we're always on hand to help you bring your conference from a mere concept to reality.