Accounting specialists, Tax Assist asked CPL to provide full technical design and production – sound, lighting, video, staging and rigging – plus crew for their 2017 annual conference staged in the Caernarfon Suite at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales.
CPL has serviced the event for the last few years. It’s grown steadily in size over that time, and with that has come a commitment by the client to keep increasing the production values.
Production manager Mike Radford led the 12 crew, who got in at 4 a.m. on the day of the event … to be ready for mid-morning rehearsals followed by the conference session which started at 2 p.m. This ran until 5 p.m., leaving CPL two hours to transform the stage and room into a buzzing entertainment space to host a gala dinner with live entertainment.
While it’s a routine the CPL teams are all used to dealing with, the challenge is always achieving the goal in the timeframe and ensuring that all details are attended to in the quest for delivering a perfect ‘bigger picture’ framework.
The first task for CPL was installing the stage and setting up the room – in cabaret style complete with tables – for the conference.
The room was lined with black drapes for a smart business-like appearance, with a starcloth added to up the evening’s glam factor and a 10 metre wide x 3 metre high LED screen made up from CPL’s ROE Black OnyX 3.4 mm was hung from the house trusses upstage centre.
To make the room look more interesting, this was augmented with multiple LED columns constructed with variable height drops of the same LED. These were all mapped and looked highly effective, adding a bit of visual funkiness to what would have been a standard conference layout.
A d3 media server was used to store and replay all the video content which was compiled by CPL and approved by the client prior to the event. A Barco E2 system was used for creating PiPs and screen management including the camera feed to screen from a Sony HXC-100 stationed at FOH covering the speakers during the conference, and the various live acts and presenter for the evening.
Lighting for the conference was straightforward – a layer of good quality white light provided by an LED package of ARRI L5-C fresnels and ETC ColorSource profiles.
Sixteen LED battens – 8 flown and 8 on the ground – were used to tone the backdrop in between the LED columns.
For the evening session, this was ramped up with the addition of Claypaky Mythos, Sharpies and a.LEDA K10s with B-Eye lenses plus 24 x MAC Aura LED washes, all positioned over-stage and on the deck and controlled from an Avolites Quartz console, together with two hazers. All the lighting fixtures were chosen for their versatility.
For audio, a d&b rig was chosen for its compact dimensions, power and high clarity, with Y8 left and right hangs, complimented with a mix of Y7P speakers on the outer wings for floor fill, some E6s along the front of the stage and V-SUBs on the floor.
On the back truss a further four Y7Ps were flown to cover the width of the room thoroughly. Having worked there regularly, CPL has an optimum sound design for different events. The console was a Yamaha CL5 and two E6s were supplied for monitors, augmenting the band I Pop’s own complete monitor system.
They were joined by ventriloquist Nina Conti and impressionist / comedian John Culshaw for a full evening of side-splitting humour!
CPL’s brief also included providing a DJ / VJ coverage in between the band and the comic acts, for which they compiled a custom music-scape matched with special visuals on the screens. This looked and sounded very cool and proved perfect for maintaining the ambience and convivial atmosphere during the changeovers. It was finishing touches like these that made a real difference to the overall quality of the production.
In the morning whilst CPL was furiously worked to get everything set up, checked and running for rehearsals, the 450 delegates attended an exhibition set in another part of the Celtic Manor … for which CPL installed some LED and plasma screens and power distribution.
Mike Radford sums up: “The event was hard work with a few challenges along the way but looked amazing when finished. Roll on next year!”