Award night low on power but high on success

This is an important event for our client and each year TechPro have helped us deliver something we can all be proud of. Our client understands the level of technical excellence brought to these evenings by TechPro and it makes the decision to appoint them each year an easy one. They provide a one-stop shop for events, combining creativity and technical knowledge in equal measure to deliver the right experience.Jenni Harris, Senior Project Manager (WRG)

2018 Awards Evening

Cambridge Guildhall, UK


This Awards event was designed to celebrate innovation and development, recognising the extraordinary individuals working within the business.

The Cambridge Guildhall, designed in 1939 by Charles Cowles-Voysey, in the centre of the historic city was the venue for this prestigious live event, as it has been for four consecutive years.

The event attracts almost 200 people from across the organisation, meeting to network in the bar, before settling down to a meal laid out banquet style in the main hall, with a number of awards announced and presented throughout the evening.

A client well-known is a client well-served

Since the first in 2016, the award night has been organised and expertly managed by WRG, a member of The Creative Engagement Group and one of the UK’s most creative event agencies.

The firm, with a team of 150 talented individuals spread across offices in Europe and the US, is a longstanding client of TechPro and has built a reputation for creating and delivering live experiences, strategic communications, video and interactive content.

Having planned and provided AV services at this venue for similar previous live events, Cambridge Guildhall is well known to the project managers here at TechPro, but the age of the venue creates challenges that required detailed planning to overcome.

Tunnel of light adds to experience

The venue struggles with power issues, with only a three-phase 63 amp supply for all the equipment we hoped to use during the event. Despite the power efficiency of modern equipment, like switching to LED lights, we had to specify carefully during planning to avoid overloading the system.

The first task was to plan, design then build the bar area in the side room, where all attendees would meet and mingle, prior to sitting down to dinner in the main hall. There is little to work with inside, so we crafted a stunning bar for use on the night to ensure a degree of professionalism.

We designed and manufactured in aluminium, a hexagonal-shaped tunnel lit by LED lights to allow every guest to make an impressive entrance to the bar area, which was built, lit and staged to match the main hall – a common shape in science and the basis for skeleton formulas.

Our reputation for delivering standout events is based not only on the technical services we provide, from initial design and site visit to rigging and implementation, but also on our ability to start with a blank canvas and make any venue look special. Clients like WRG Live trust TechPro to deliver and appoint us time after time, which is gratifying, given the hard work put in by every member of our team.Mark Stokes
Project Manager, TechPro

Having worked closely with the team from WRG, it was decided to create a 10m x 3m display to show all the live films on the night, along with videos from sponsors and films about those individuals short-listed for awards.

To create the high quality images required, we combined four Panasonic PT-RZ970 projectors – two in use, with two as back-up. These deliver the required blended video, with up to 10K lumens, managed and controlled by one of our recent investments, the Barco S3 event processor.

Combining the projectors to give the size of display we needed, requires precise calibration of the images being projected, which typically takes many hours. This time though, we cut the time needed to just minutes, thanks to Panasonic auto-screen adjustment software, another of our investments.

A galaxy of stars sets the scene

To reflect this gathering of the ‘stars’, we designed a lighting effect to depict the galaxy high up onto the hall’s ceiling, using 14 MAC Viper lights with printed glass gobos, on 6 floor-mounted truss towers, that all combined to deliver an impressive experience for any who looked upwards.

For the host to be heard clearly and for everyone to enjoy a rewarding audio experience, we specified an XO digital solution, incorporating Beyer headsets and radio-microphones. Our site visits had provided the measurements needed to calculate and design the best possible soundscape.

Set-up and rigging for the event took place the day before, with a lorryload of around 250 TechPro flight cases pulling up ready to be unloaded by hand, with 14 TechPro technicians on site to connect all the quality assured equipment and ensure another flawless delivery.

The goods lift, which can be temperamental in operation to say the least, added hours to our usually efficient unload and set-up process – fortunately, our project managers understand the need for contingency plans, with room to spare for the occasional hiccup.

The set and staging was designed to incorporate the best elements of the Guildhall, whilst hiding others to create a new presentation stage, that could be easily accessed by the award winners on the night.

Rigging the day before and ensuring everything was operating as expected, we were able to work with WRG and their client to undertake a full rehearsal to ensure the event would be memorable for all the right reasons, with no last minute alarms.

On the night, our project manager and technicians were on site to run the event, including the camera operators delivering live footage to be mixed and recorded, before being projected to the expectant audience.

Reasons to engage TechPro

Aspects of the event are the same each year, including the challenges presented by the venue, but the project team always make a site visit and liaise with the client to understand what is expected and how the delivery of each event can surpasses the previous one.

The Cambridge Guildhall was a blank canvas, with every piece of equipment for sound, video and lighting effects for the event supplied from TechPro stock, held at our headquarters in Tamworth, with the staging manufactured especially for the night.

Essential to a memorable event and a successful relationship with each client, is the ability to deliver on promises made to that client and enhance their reputation, with their client.