Sterling Event Group deliver the Eureka Global Innovation Summit 2019 at Victoria Warehouse
Sterling Event Group were invited to attend an early-in-the-process site visit with the end client and their projects team to discuss this event. It came to light that this event is repeated across the globe, with a new location and project team involved each year. Previous years have seen the event situated in pristine, white-washed conference centres with state-of-the-art AV built in. Therefore, Victoria Warehouse, whilst a brilliant and interesting space, was a vast departure from this image and it was clear it was going to take some work in terms of our experience in the venue and 3D visuals from our design team to assure the client that a good balance could be found between a unique experience and not unsettling their delegates who were used to a formal conference environment.
We began by mapping out the space in CAD software and working with the team to see how best to utilise each of the spaces and create a good delegate flow for the event. This was moulded and updated as the process ticked along but once we had a good idea of how each space needed to be used, we could begin to design the AV around this. The client worked closely with a creative designer to produce the design for all the print and screen content for the event, and he had put together a piece of creative that incorporated bold triangle shapes in the client colours. We borrowed from this style to bring the print and content into the design for the set in each space, to create a sense of fluidity throughout. From the stage to lighting and even the rigging, the triangle motif peeked through.
One of the visual highlights of the stage design were the Chauvet ÉPIX rigged in small triangles to create two larger triangles either side of the 11m wide central screen on the arena stage. These proved trickier than first thought to rig in such a format and yet still appear seamless and neat with the cabling and drivers needing to be run back to a central point. With some thinking and some expert woodwork from our set & stage department, we created a custom shaped backboard onto which the battens were rigged and then cabled back to discreetly to give the intended ‘floating’ look we were aiming for.
As much as the lighting was an important feature for the look and feel of the arena space, the screen was the most crucial element and the event in previous years had almost always featured a large projection blend, usually pre-installed at the venue in auditorium style spaces. We took a look at the options and suggested it would be a more cost-effective option and would give more punch to the content, to go for an 11m x 4.5m LED video wall created from our Absen panels instead of the usual 21k projector blend we could have stuck with. We are always keen to see client budgets used to their fullest potential in a way that gives the biggest impact for spend so will, wherever we can, suggest alternatives to suit and this was greatly appreciated by the client teams involved.
Outside of the arena space, the client’s key concerns were the light levels and the need to create relaxed spaces for people to network in during their time outside of sessions. They didn’t want their delegates to feel stuck in a dark warehouse during a bright week in May. Particular focus was therefore paid to use of lighting throughout the venue, especially in the two indoor social spaces. Warm white spotlighting was used where possible and festoon & ‘Edison’ style bulbs added to the brightness whilst tying in with the venue aesthetics. Where corporate brand colours were less necessary, such as the networking and catering spaces, amber hues were relied on to heat up the cool brickwork and concrete surroundings. We also made the most of the available outdoor space by covering harsh concrete with fluffy astro turf and erecting a clearspan marquee to keep the space looking open whilst letting the sunshine in, but also providing cover for the inevitable Manchester weather.
An extensive search for furniture was undertaken too, to pinpoint a solution that wouldn’t ‘jar ‘with the vintage, industrial feel of the venue, whilst also providing a practical yet relaxing setup for an audience that were used to modern, corporate, clean lines. We believe we found a great mix in using vintage style sofas juxtaposed with Scandi-cool seating & work tables and with the client’s addition of greenery and soft furnishings, the desired atmosphere was complete and these social spaces, both indoor and outdoor, proved the most popular throughout the week with great business conversations taking place over coffee.
Building a strong working relationship with the client project team and having regular update calls, and meetings where possible, combined with assigning a project lead for each significant area within the event, allowed the client to have an easy to reach point of contact at all times and a sense of trust that everything would be looked after on the day. This could be felt in the sense of calm on site during live days and filtered through in the brilliant feedback the entire team received post-event. We look forward to working with the team again soon!
The client and delegate feedback from this week has been outstanding, and without Sterling we would never have been able to achieve what we have. After all, we were taking an enormous risk persuading our client to hold an event of this nature in a dark, dusty warehouse on the outskirts of Manchester!
The onsite team was also excellent and an utter delight to work with. The show caller was wonderful and so accommodating with all the last-minute changes, requests and content coming in.
Client’s Event Project Manager
- 11m x 4m, Absen 3.9mm LED video wall for the main space
- 5m x 2.5m, Absen 3.9mm LED video wall for one of the theatre stages
- Use of Barco E2 and Barco S3 for full screen management
- Custom built set to rig a system of EPIX, arranged in triangles to tie in with the clients angular branding for the event
- 56ft wide triangular shaped stage from litedeck
- Clearspan marquee to expand outdoor social spaces
- Custom built gallery stands to showcase projects from around the globe
- Unique countdown timer plinths constructed from Absen panels
- Furniture coordination & curation
- Large quantity of print and install of signage included PVC banners, foamex & vinyls
- Construction of stud walling complete with acoustic rockwool to combat sound bleed in a venue with no doors and limited insulation
- Content management pre event and on-site
- Site-wide tannoy PA system for show announcements and update messages to delegates
- Carpeting to upstairs venue spaces to help with acoustics and give a brighter, cleaner finish to the rooms.