Four African Heads of State were amongst a raft of distinguished speakers and VIP delegates attending the high profile 2014 Global African Investment Summit (TGAIS), with a keynote speech by First Secretary of State William Hague, at the Savoy Hotel in London. The 2-day event was organised by dmg::events, with a slick, streamlined technical production delivered by Central Presentations Ltd (CPL).
CPL was working for the event organiser dmg::events alongside Production Company Live Communications. The west Midlands based technical specialist was brought on-board to provide set, lighting, video and audio design and equipment – including presentation management - for the two day conference complete with gala dinner on the first evening.
The main activities took place in the main Lancaster Ballroom at the Savoy, and the CPL team was Project Managed by Simon Haydon.
They designed and built a 12 metre wide stage with graphics panels to the rear and a central projection screen in the centre creating a clean and elegant presentation area. On the stage left side was a row of soft seats – all occupied by the Heads of State, with the lectern and presenting speaker standing on the right hand side.
The set was up-lit with Miltec LED battens and Martin LED PAR 2s.
Two lighting trusses were flown above the stage, also supplied by CPL who worked with the venue’s in-house riggers, and on these were eight profile and eight fresnel lighting fixtures to provide generic washes for the stage and set.
On the back truss were MAC Aura LED wash lights for additional colouring and depth. These were also used to illuminate the room walls and the tables for the gala dinner, together with Clay Paky Sharpies which added further razzmatazz for the evening event, which included live music from a string quartet onstage.
Lighting was operated via an Avolites Tiger Touch console by CPL’s Ryan Lymer.
Two 10K Panasonic projectors were rigged on the front truss (main and hot backup) to feed the screen onstage.
Part of the CPL package included setting up a speaker preview room with four laptops and a server machine, enabling speakers to edit and fine-tune their PowerPoint and KeyNote presentations, which were uploaded to the server and then the lectern laptop onstage. The individual sets of content were pre-prepped by a dedicated presentation technician to ensure that this stage of the operation was seamless and stress-free. Speakers simply stepped up to the lectern onstage and everything was ready.
Three 46 inch comfort monitors were installed onstage, two in front of the Heads of State and one for the lectern speaker.
A Sony HXC-100 HD operated camera was supplied for IMAG relay of the speakers onscreen, switched via a Barco Screen Pro, with a second Screen Pro sending feeds to the monitors.
Two overflow areas – one for press and one for delegates - also had to have video and audio of the proceedings streamed to them, a task achieved using DataBay Cat 5 extender kits together with the hotel’s Ethernet network.
A d&b Q7 distributed audio system was selected for the Ballroom, picked both for its high quality fidelity and also the unobtrusive size and profile of the speakers, together with Q-SUBS under the stage, all run through a Yamaha QL1 32-channel desk.
The QL1’s Dugan Automatic Mixing functionality was extremely helpful. Unsure of whether they would be able to touch the heads of State to attach lavalier mics, the CPL team instead carefully positioned seven open Sennheiser ME34 wired mics on the tables in front of the soft seating which were controlled via the Automatic Mixing module as the plenary sessions unfolded.
Another ME34 was used for the lectern speeches, and a stage management / technical IEM mix was made available for messaging between those working on the stage and backstage.
Five crew from CPL worked alongside the client’s crew to ensure the delivery of a very successful world class high security event.
With Africa being massive potential business and commercial future powerhouse, the first TGAIS in London attracted huge interest. Run in partnership with four African state houses, it brought together private and public sectors to discuss specific transactions, access to finance and bankable projects in Sub-Saharan Africa requiring investment and technology transfer.