A few years ago, On Tour Events were approached by the Mercedes Benz World to design and deliver stage, screen, lighting, and sound production for one of their corporate clients.
Before we discuss what this project entailed let’s give you some more information on what Mercedes Benz World is and the events, they run there…
For those of you who are unaware MBW is a Mercedes show facility with the capacity to hold events, open to the public. The Brookland’s racetrack was first opened in 1907 and was the first built banked motor racing circuit becoming one of Britain’s first airfields and largest aircraft manufacturing facilities in the UK.
The Brookland’s long and historic history forms part of the Brookland’s museum next to the racetrack- making this an iconic site. It is a premium high-class event space. We can see the appeal for corporate clients to book this space out.
Most clients that come to us want the same thing, the best production for the least amount of money! What we are trying to do with our productions is offer something that has not been done before which can be hard without an unlimited budget. Clients that come to us with unlimited budgets this is easy but if you are a small advertising company, blue-chip company or alike certainly now in the current economic state this can be difficult. People who disagree with this are in denial! That is why people like working with us because we offer bang for buck, a premium service with innovative ideas at an incredibly competitive cost.
This conference was for a blue-chip technology company from Germany holding an event for 200 delegates and high-profile investors in their new technology. The relatively new company wanted the stage set and production to be slick & eye catching but most importantly memorable. As with most events and conferences lots of money is spent on the production and getting the right spokesperson in and hundreds of hours are put into the right advertising to ensure the event is a success. However, a key part to any conference, production or award show is selling a product or service to someone else and thus it must be memorable. We often refer to the Apple model as a good analogy- they are innovative and current.
From our initial meeting with the client it became apparent that a large format tiered stage was high on their list of what they wanted to achieve. With a maximum of 4-5 delegates on the stage at one time they still wanted a minimum of 10 meter wide stage and we ended up supplying a 10 meter x 4 meter stage.
Set at the back of this stage was a large format 7x4m LED screen, ground supported using truss and stage weights giving a seamless video screen and avoided any awkward or ugly rigging hanging from the roof. At Mercedes Benz World they do not have a heavy payload or the facility to hang heavy materials, so this was the only option. This screen size was chosen as the content was to be made in a 16:9 aspect ratio so minimal scaling and processing was implemented which is always a good thing when it comes to video screens.
On this note if you are looking to hire an LED screen for indoors, outdoors for a conference or festival it is important to understand the content that you plan on showing and in what format the content will be produced. By doing so you save costs by hiring the right size screen for your content and not having dead blank spaces but you also eliminate the use of video processing software for problems which could have been sorted before.
What do you do when you have a large space on the stage? You add in some special effects and some lighting, using discreet but high impact lighting effects.
Moving forward next up is lighting…. As mentioned above we have explained they wanted a large stage and of course there was a purpose for this. The stage was to be tiered across 5 sections with each stage step lined with pixel tape. The stage was covered in a dark blue representing the company’s corporate colour. They wanted an expressive, memorable entrance for the speakers who would be stepping onto the stage, so they opted for a tiered stage with a dry ice effect running across the stage.
The event was to start in the evening and there was a 3-minute opening video for the audience to watch which was one of the main reasons the client and us opted for a large format video screen. After the video, the 2 founding members of the company were to walk out to welcome everyone to the event. They wanted to walk out to a memorable and different entrance. As the presentation video finished and the CEOs walked out the room was put into darkness at which point 300 kilos of liquid dry ice was pumped onto the stage falling down each step giving an incredible wow factor with the addition of 60 moving light fixtures.
Think the X factor but conference style!
The 60 lighting fixtures that were then used had been flown in the ceiling and positioned on the large stage to produce an eye-catching entrance.
The walkout would last 30 seconds making it short and sweet but leaving a lasting impression on the audience setting a good standard for the rest of the evening by grabbing everyone’s attention.
The company’s vision behind this was we are always playing on our phones /laptops the purpose of the overkill entrance was to grab people’s attention.
What plays a massive part in any production is the audio. Although we can’t show footage of this event for copyright reasons instead, we can explain what we did with the audio and how again this was slightly different to your normal setup.
A slightly larger than average PA system was installed using our d&b Audiotechnik series where we not only hung speakers and hid subs under the stage, we also set up an advanced surround system round the outside edge of the conference space. Giving people a cinematic audio experience when watching the videos and content on the large screen. This also helped by having a distributed PA system minimizing dead sound spots which can happen in large spaces but also served as a secondary purpose making sure the audio-visual aspects were married closely together.
To explain in a little bit more detail the spec of the system and why we chose them…
The flown array consisted of 5 x d&b Q1 line array elements flown left and right above the stage with the addition of a Q sub flown above each array.
One of the reasons we fly subs as well as midtops is to give the audio some punch and warmth which is often lacking in other sound system designs.
The speakers distributed around the venue were taken care of by the d&b Q7 point source midtop. This was chosen as acoustically it is the same as the Q1 so there were no additions to EQ or trying to get both speaker systems to sound clear across the venue. Straight away this is already done. It was just a matter of making sure the speakers were delayed correctly making sure there were no ‘’chatter’’ issues.
Just to expand a little more you have probably all been at a conference or event where the audio sounds thin, weak and echoey or have had feedback from the mics and you cant hear the presenters clearly. This should not be tolerated at any event especially when you have high corporate clients wanting to get their message across, you need good sound so the message can be heard and received in the way it was intended.
Control for the sound we opted for our trusted Midas M32r with the addition of the Midas M32 DL stage rack & Shure UHFR handheld radio mics. These were given to the presenters on stage with the addition of some small clip on DPA lapel mics. For the duration of the event we had a sound technician, lighting engineer and of course a video screen technician onsite to make sure the event ran as seamlessly as possible.
We also supplied 2 additional tech engineers to place mics onto guests who were speaking on the stage and to inform them where to stand for production ques.
Now to give a summary of the event and feedback from our client…
‘’An exceptional production designed and produced by an exceptional production company, we will certainly be using On Tour Events in the future and see them as a key supplier for future events we will hold here.’’
From the start of this production we had to incorporate and accept that there were some logistical obstacles in the way as Mercedes Benz World had events prior to this event and had events booked in after. When they contacted us although there may have been other companies that could have supplied stage, screen, sound & lighting for a normal conference, what they didn’t get was the reassurance from other rental companies that everything could be loaded in, rigged to be setup and working within the small timeframe we had. However, we could!
This was the same on loading out as the event had to be switched around for another conference the following day. All of this was achieved with good planning and putting together a production which was very pleasing to the eye but quite simple in terms of the technical rigging and building.
As with most things the simpler something is the better in some cases and this was one of them!
We would like to thank Hannah and Jack at Mercedes Benz World for their continued support over the years and we very much enjoyed working on this project.
If you are looking for an audio-visual company in the London or Surrey area and you are reading this blog liking what you hear this is a good starting point! We would suggest you read some more blogs describing the events we have worked on; you name it we have done it! With a long and reputable history working within the events industry On Tour Events has become an in-house name for delivering exceptional events at a competitive price point whilst maintaining that creative edge. This is much sort after in today’s market. Not only do we cover the corporate market we do supply our services for weddings, festivals, birthday parties other indoor/ outdoor events.
If you are looking for an AV supplier for your event at MBW in Surrey, please find our contact details below.
On Tour Events: Technical Audio Visual Event Services London OFFICE & WAREHOUSE: +PHONE: 020 8058 0093 +MONDAY - FRIDAY 08:00 - 20:00 +EMAIL: INFO@ONTOUREVENTS.CO.UK +POST: Office 108 Belgrove House Belgrove Street, London, WC1H8AA +FACEBOOK.COM/EVENTPRODUCTIONHIRE +TWITTER.COM/ONTOUREVENTS +INSTAGRAM.COM/ONTOUREVENTS +Google My Busniuess Page & Reviews https://www.google.com/maps?cid=11919891004926379003