A live event need not be hair raising
It’s a mid-sized event for us, but I’m pleased to say TechPro take the same care and attention in preparing for it as if it were a huge international event. They know what we expect to achieve. From design and set-up to management and de-rigging they make the whole process as stress-free as it’s possible to be in the live events sector – there’s always something waiting to trip you up, but TechPro ensure it never gets in the way of a memorable event for our clients.Galina Griffiths
Account Executive – TMB Events
Product Workshops and Innovation Showcase
The Belfry Hotel & Resort Sutton Coldfield
This annual two-day event is now in its 22nd year for this successful international corporate client, renowned for its professional salon hair products, hair colour ideas and styling inspiration.
This event offers the perfect balance of serious business motivation, networking and inspiration, with a host of guest speakers to connect with and engage an audience of salon owners, managers and their teams.
Famous for one of the UK’s most iconic golf courses, The Belfry Hotel & Resort is an increasingly popular venue for conferences and corporate presentations, given its proximity to the motorway network and a choice of 22 conference and event rooms.
Around 230 industry professionals were due to arrive and register at 9.00am on a Monday, with the welcome and first session due to start at 10.30am in the impressive Warwick Suite.
It was laid out in cabaret style, which proved a bit of a squeeze for so many people in the room, but TMB specified a few smaller tables to sit alongside the larger ones, to ensure the client had the look and feel in the room they wanted.
TechPro resources close by
TechPro had previously undertaken this event for the same client and given its success, was once again appointed with plenty of time to specify and manage the lighting, video, audio, set and stage for this prestigious event.
Constant liaison with the team from TMB Events, led by Account Manager Sarah Moore, guaranteed any last minute changes would easily be resolved by the TechPro team, experienced at taking the pressure off clients to help ensure another flawless delivery.
Our large inventory of quality assured equipment held within our Tamworth headquarters, just a 15min drive from The Belfry, provided all the necessary hardware, all of which was specified following a site visit by TechPro Project Manager Adam Taylor.
Site visits make the day
Site visits, made well in advance of the event, are critical to its smooth running, allowing us to assess access and specify the right equipment to exploit fully the space available in each of the rooms being used on the day(s).
In this instance, the site visit revealed that the venue’s rigging points were only rated to 50kg, which for most AV service providers would mean specifying smaller, lighter, less capable equipment or using floor stands, which typically get in the way and can obscure the stage.
Deciding to remove ceiling tiles and rig our heavier, more powerful equipment direct to the building’s structure, having first undertaken the necessary calculations, ensured a better outcome.
We insist every member of our rigging teams have achieved National Rigging Certificate level 2, which guarantees a safe working environment.
Health and safety to the fore
We believe the only thing more important than flawless delivery of live events, is ensuring the space is safe for those working before during and after the event, as well as all the delegates and speakers.
Our H&S consultant was present throughout our set-up and rigging day, to undertake a site assurance survey. Every aspect of our work was monitored, to check everyone was working safely, with even the smallest detail noted in a report presented to TechPro after the event.
The report we received was a glowing testament to our H&S procedures. However, one of our sub-contractors brought to site lightly damaged ladders that wouldn’t pass a ‘LOLER test’. Our follow-up on the report’s finding has subsequently led to a change in their own procedures.
We treat every event as an opportunity to learn and improve our H&S practices. In our experience it’s important to offer our clients greater peace of mind when it comes to site safety; no risks and despite all the fun of the event, a safe environment for their client’s delegates.
Check and then check again
A two-day live event of this nature requires three days on site for the TechPro team, with stage build and equipment set-up beginning early on the Sunday prior to Monday’s start. Of course, three days on site is just the culmination of all the days spent planning, specifying and packing the equipment.
Although we are all set at the end of Sunday, Monday morning offers the speakers and presenters their first sound check and rehearsal opportunity.
To ensure every word of the presentations is heard clearly, we specified a Beyerdynamic 8-Channel TG 1000 Radio Microphone System, along with 8 OFCOM wireless licences.
Using unique radio frequencies for the two days of the event, reduces the risk of interference from other radio systems in use in other conference rooms or by venue staff. It requires others to stick to the rules, but reflects the TechPro ‘better safe than sorry’ approach which serves our clients well.
The audio output was controlled through one of our Yamaha QL1 digital mixing consoles and ouput via a mix of Nexo PS15 loudspeakers and Nexo LS18 subs for the audience, with D&B audiotechnik E8 loudspeakers taking care of the front fill and presenter foldback.
Two is always better than one
The pre-designed video content to be played to the delegates was projected using our Panasonic PT-DZ770 HD projectors, combined with Panasonic standard zoom lenses. Even though one will do the job perfectly well, we used two on this event, building redundancy into the outcome.
The second projector was exactly the same specification as the first, delivering a pixel-for-pixel overlay of the first. This not only increases the brightness of the projected images, but ensures that if one develops a fault, the presentation will continue uninterrupted.
We believe it is detail like this and our ‘better safe than sorry’ approach that instils confidence in our clients that we have allowed for every eventuality. It costs slightly more, but like insurance you only really feel the benefit if something bad happens.
Quality shining through
We recognise that lighting plays a massive role in setting the right mood for any live event, whether it’s used for emphasis, simple scene setting or to highlight the presenters as they move about.
We designed the lighting solution to deliver the desired impact, combining some of the most effective lights from our extensive inventory of quality assured equipment with ETC source 4 lamps providing the highlights and Chauvet COLORado battens delivering the wash effects.
The lights are managed by our Avolites Quartz lighting console, controlled by one of our experienced TechPro lighting technicians, who ensures the lighting is memorable for all the right reasons.
Playing it for laughs
After the day’s presentations in the Warwick suite had finished, it was re-set for dinner, with the delegates enjoying drinks in the Sutton Suite beforehand. The evening’s entertainment was to take over the Bel Air nightclub, with well-known comedian Chris Ramsay providing the humour.
TechPro was tasked with setting up the stage, audio etc., for the performance, but on a very tight turnaround schedule, that only allowed four hours from the room becoming available and the first rehearsal.
On the day the room was available ahead of schedule and thanks to TechPro always being prepared for the unexpected, even when it works in our favour, we were able to stage the nightclub early and allow more rehearsal time – just one more way we deliver added peace of mind for our clients.
As always, the high-quality TMB Events team worked closely with the experienced TechPro project managers and crew to ensure another flawless delivery of a live event. Feedback from the salon professionals was all positive, with all looking forward already to next year.
One extra touch we managed on the day, was to take the photographs from the event’s official snapper and create a slideshow of the day’s best to be shown during the pre-dinner drinks reception.
It’s these little extras and our attention to detail that once again ensured we received an email after the event thanking us all for the effort expended and the extra miles covered.
It’s enjoyable working with experienced live event agencies like TMB Events, who know what they want from every event, large or small. They lean on our experience to deliver not just the basics, but the enhancements that turn a good event into a great event. I’d be surprised if any of the delegates on the day gave much thought to the effort that goes into producing such a high quality event, but a part of our art is to go unnoticed and so yet again, this was another flawless delivery.Adam Taylor
Project Manager – TechPro