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Corporate Events Cut Loose

Posted on June 2, 2014
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They say that every cloud has a silver lining, but the rain clouds that washed out Expressworks’ 30th anniversary pool party had something much better. Their lining was multi-colored; complete with LED video images and vibrant eye candy courtesy of 108 PVP S5 panels, 16 Nexus 4×4 tiles and a plethora of other products from CHAUVET Professional.

When an approaching rainstorm made it impossible for Expressworks to have its poolside party, the company was forced to move the bash inside Fort Lauderdale’s W Hotel. It was then that Dan Cohen and LD Albert Contreras of UPLYTE (Dania, FL), stepped in and saved the day, creating an instant ’80s dance club for the high-powered global consulting firm’s 30th anniversary bash.

“The storm was kind of a blessing in disguise,” said Cohen. “Expressworks was going to have a VJ with a couple of small video screens by the pool, but instead they ended up enjoying a high energy club with an LED dance floor and a 10’ high by 30’ wide PVP S5 LED video wall that left everybody saying, ‘Wow!’”

Cohen didn’t just happen to be passing by when his help in making this quick and stunning transformation was needed. He was at the W Hotel as the designer of the two-day business conference Expressworks was holding. Many of the CHAUVET Professional products that created the impromptu dance party were also used at this corporate event.

“Harry Bouton of Nextwave Creative (Dallas, TX) who we’ve worked with often in the past, retained us for the Expressworks conference,” explained Cohen. “The poolside party was just something that the company was going to do after the business meetings. Of course, when the rain came, they had to go to plan B.  We learned about this at lunch and by 6:30 that evening we had the ’80s club open.”

Despite the short notice, Cohen and his team were able to create one rad ‘80s club scene in the same room where, just hours earlier, Expressworks had concluded a two-day corporate conference.  Running the massive PVP S5 video panels on an ArKaos media server, Cohen mixed the VJ’s video images with other stored content to create a dynamic show.  The 16 Nexus panels bordering the video wall were controlled by Kling-Net and delighted the crowd with sizzling pixel mapping displays.

Cohen also used 12 COLORado Batten 72 Tour fixtures to wash the stage in hot, vibrant colors evocative of an ’80s club. The color theme was continued throughout the rest of the room by 24 battery-powered WELL 2.0 uplights, controlled by wireless DMX, and 8 Rogue R1 Beam moving  yoke fixtures, which were directed at the room’s chandeliers to create added club-like glitz.

“The lightshow created an immersive experience for everyone,” said Cohen. “Ironically, it would have been hard to match this if the party was held poolside as originally planned.”

Many of the fixtures used in the ’80s theme party were already in the room from the corporate conference, but Cohen also added new lighting to create a club atmosphere. Included in this group were the 24 WELL 2.0 units. “During the conference, we used the Batten 72s to light the stage area, but when we had to create a club-like atmosphere we wanted to have uplighting throughout the entire room, so we rushed over the WELLs,” said Cohen. “The colors from the WELLs gave the room a whole new look; so when the people who were at the conference came back for the party, it was a completely different experience.”

Although the corporate conference did not have the outright party atmosphere of the anniversary bash that followed, it was anything but drab and buttoned down. “Corporate events are changing,” said Cohen. “Clients are moving away from calling in a local AV guy with some projectors and a few lights. Today, they want to engage attendees with a seamless professional production that creates a memorable impression and has people leaving more energized. This is where services like UPLYTE’s and products like CHAUVET Professional’s come into play.”

Of course, even though clients want more excitement in corporate presentations, the focus is still on business. This is one reason why the PVP S5 worked so well at the Expressworks event. “A really nice thing about the PVP S5 is that it has a high and tight pixel pitch so you can use it to show detailed text and PowerPoint-type information at a conference without worrying about definition – everything looks nice and crisp,” said Cohen.

By bordering the PVP S5 LED video wall with the Nexus 4×4 tiles, Cohen was able to give the stage a finished look that helped capture and hold attention. “The Nexus kept the stage from looking flat,” he said. “We used Kling-Net to program some interesting looks and do things like show waves of the company’s colors at specific points in the conference.

“Later on when we turned the room into a party, the Nexus tiles took on a different appearance. “One of the nice things about the CHAUVET products is that they’re very versatile,” said Cohen. “This is important today, because corporate events are much more multi-dimensional than they were in the past.  You need designs and lighting fixtures that can keep up.”