For this corporate event the client informed us that there would be four venues on the property that would include the general session/awards/entertainment room, meal/party room and 2 spaces for outdoor receptions. They needed a big look to go along with their theme that was all about freedom so everything we did kept that concept in mind.
This process began with a site visit to the venue. As soon as we entered the general session ballroom, we knew that the walls would be perfect surfaces for projection mapping so that was our starting point. From there everything else just fell into place. Someone on the team suggested that a large format main screen with a slight curve would be the best way to compliment the projection mapping by keeping a clean look up front for the primary content. We were very conscious of the risk that the room could be over-designed and distracting. A simple and clean look in the front of the room, while surrounding the attendees in the digital environment, would be the perfect feel for this theme while giving us a ton of flexibility.
I began the ballroom design process with CAD drawings to figure out how large our main screen needed to be, how many projectors would be needed to complete the room mapping and how much budget would be left for the lighting design and other AV systems.
CAD Floor Plan Showing Banquet Seating
As always, the drawing process really helped bring this project from concept to an actual design. The screen would be custom built at 20’H x 105’W, and we decided to go with a custom half-round stage to compliment the curve of the screen.
My next step was to return to the venue to get accurate measurement of the walls to create a pixel map template for content development. The super high resolutions of the main screen and walls presented some challenges during the content development process, but nothing that couldn’t be overcome by our incredible team of creatives.
And here is what the room looked like in action.
The concept for the first outdoor reception was developed by our decór partner to advance the idea of freedom by creating an Americana feel with vintage campers, vintage cars and a hot air balloon. We even had a large 3D sign built that read “BE FREE” and was covered in license plates with each attendees name!
While I did not come up with the overall design for this part of the event, I did handle the layout as well as lighting and audio designs. Also, I worked with our scenic partner to design the BE FREE sign. Lots of fun!
For the second outdoor reception, we moved the BE FREE sign lakeside and used laser projection of various images to complement the freedom theme and even had skydivers landing just in front of the reception space.
The awards post party room will forever be called the “Tree Room” among the staff that worked on this event. The concept of building a tree in the middle of the room was suggested by our client, and that is exactly what we did.
My real challenge here was to figure out how to rig and light the tree. The trunk was fake, but all the branches were actual tree branches treated with flame retardant so they were heavy. How do you do rigging load calculations for tree branches? It’s not that easy, I can assure you. The rest of the environment was designed to feel like a lounge at one end of the room and a club at the other end for the band and dancing. The end result was nothing short of stunning.
The event was an amazing success. The six months of hard work and collaboration with all of our partners and clients made the process a joy and the end result was a tremendous source of pride for the entire team.
But most importantly, the client could not have been happier with the end result.