In late 2018 the managing director from Cut & Click, a creative design company based in London specialising in award show design & TV set design, contacted us in need of some technical production assistance for their award show. They required us to work alongside them overcoming some difficult hurdles of producing an award show on a battleship constructed in 1936! We are pleased to say the ship was pretty solid, but the low ceilings, narrow passageways and extremely awkward access wasn’t much fun!
This small boutique, corporate event had to be designed in such a way that all of the production could be loaded onto the ship set up & installed within a very small window of time and this was the same for the load out. Time restriction was one of the major players in ensuring good organisation and planning for this event were put into place as well as the kit being fully prepared beforehand.
The centre piece to this production would be a 5 meter wide x 2 meter high indoor LED screen. This huge widescreen video wall would be ground supported using 1700mm high box truss sections and stage weights at the bottom of truss, allowing for a seamless LED wall from floor up & across. The remaining truss would later be boxed off with a carpeted top giving a seamless finish to the stage & screen.
We installed a small white tiered stage at the front of the screen which was only 1.5 meter deep by 3 meters wide but the challenge with this was the height of the stage. One of the detailed requirements they had was the stage must have 3 custom tiered sections, something they wanted to achieve even on this scaled-down version of a tiered stage. Now with no more than half a metre in height to play with due to the low ceiling height we had to install flat, wide tiered sections every 160mmm (allowing for a little flexibility)
We have used this type of stage at some smaller conferences as well which has now become a popular alternative.
Moving onto event lighting! 46 wireless uplighters were positioned around the floor of the set aside room, allowing us to wirelessly control all of the uplighters individually or in groups meaning we could completely change the feel of the room within seconds. The lights had to be wireless as cable had to be kept to an absolute minimum so the wireless lighting option was an absolute must on this occasion. We couldn't resist adding some form of moving head fixtures so we opted for 8 x Robe Pointe lighting fixtures. The main reason being they are small, very versatile & we know it would give us that sharp modern lighting effect which the client wanted to achieve. Fixtures were placed on custom 1600mm high F24 truss sections with bespoke top plates and base plates made for this particular event. All lighting was controlled via a ChamSys MQ80 again this is very small & importantly very reliable. To finish off the small stage we installed four E.T.C Source4's for stage key light.
The audio system for this event had to be small, discreet, quick to set up & of course sound amazing. So we installed 8 x d&b E8's on smart round base K&M stands, allowing for a minimum footprint but maximum flexibility. The E8 speakers are very light, have a small footprint & sound incredible making these particular speakers ideal for this event.
A pair of wireless hand-held microphones took care of the speeches for the awards, two additional d&b B12 subs hidden in the corners extended the range of the E8's nicely allowing for music playback and video content to be not only heard that also felt.
Now for some of the techy bits for those that are interested ...
The wireless hand-held microphones had to be flexible as they were in an unknown environment. Using radio equipment on a big metal ship we needed to make sure there were not going to be any problems. For absolute reassurance we used the trusted Shure UHF-R system. Another key part of this whole production was the audio control surface which had to be again flexible, small and great sounding so we opted for the Midas Pro2C compact mixing desk. The d&b E8's were driven by one of our newest investments which was the latest amplifier / DSP controller from d&b Audiotechnik, the D80. The D80 amplifier has 4 channels for processing meaning this whole event only required one amplifier plus one spare which is incredible considering what these can do!
So how did we get all of the sound, lighting, stage and this huge LED screen onto a battleship in the middle of London without one hiccup? Well that is where it comes down to planning and making sure that everything is pre-designed & built beforehand. Obviously the sound equipment element of this project you can only prep so far for but the stage, set and the large LED screen was built at our warehouse to make sure that what we drew in 3D actually was possible in real life... (you never know ;) and secondly by having built the stage & screen at a warehouse this allowed us to create some quick shortcuts beforehand meaning on the day of the event everything was almost pre-assembled like lego (almost).
On Tour Events specialises in event equipment hire in London as well as being experts in wedding lighting hire and being recognised as one of London's premium AV hire rental houses which may explain why On Tour Events is one of the UK's premium event production companies in London.
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