After several years of designing and managing the production for this client, I decided to make a change from the projection technologies to which they had been accustomed. Now that LED screen technology has become so prolific, it is well within the budget of many corporate clients to make the change, and through my deep understanding of the culture and functional needs of this client, I believed this was the time to make the change.
For this program there was an understanding that turning to LED as the primary display technology would mean compromising the overall size of the design from previous years, but the decision was made that the amazing look of high resolution LED would be well worth the trade-off.
Because the client was unfamiliar with LED technology, there had to be a certain level of trust that can only be fostered through a history of successful design and execution. Fortunately they had enough trust in my judgement that I was allowed to charge ahead with a design which I presented to them in some basic renderings to show how the LED configuration would look. I presented several different screen configurations, but ultimately landed on the look shown below. As always, certain compromises had to be made due to room limitations such as rigging capacity, ceiling heights, chandeliers, etc.
Once the LED configuration was approved, the real work began.
I started by producing technical drawings and floor plans which included rigging and lighting design, AV system design and seating plans for the various functions.
After collaborating with the client on seating plans, I decided to increase intimacy by configuring the seating in a concentric layout. Also, soft seating was added to the first two rows with cocktail rounds and highboys to the back of the room to give the room a bit of a lounge feel.
Next I produced pixel templates for both the main and header screens for the video and graphics teams to use in content development. These were fairly simple except for the cutout in the main LED wall for a presenter entrance from backstage. There were other places I could have put this entrance, but I thought it looked cool to have it cut out of the LED wall.
Due to budget restrictions and rigging capacity, we did agree to use projection for the outboard I-mag screens, and I have found this to be a reasonable solution if bright enough projectors are used. In this case we used converged 20Ks, and they looked great.
Here are the screens in action.
In the end, the LED technology was a huge success. The client liked the look so much that they were convinced that they would never return to projection for their main displays. I’m not so sure about that because LED is not always the best solution, but even the CEO remarked from the stage about how incredible his graphics looked on screen. Those are the types of compliments that make your day.
I now use LED displays on many of the programs I design. Sometimes the LED is the primary display technology and sometimes it is used in a supplemental way as digital scenic, but I am convinced that this technology will surpass projection as the primary display technology for most corporate events in the very near future.
In fact, this client liked the LED screens so much that they insisted on using LED for some of their smaller programs as well, and they always look amazing.