Ford at the Met Pavilion
The diversity of clientele at The Metropolitan Pavilion, one of New York City’s premiere event destination, requires Scharff Weisberg, a WorldStage company, to demonstrate its flexibility and extensive technical and creative capabilities with every new booking. As the exclusive AV and lighting equipment provider, Scharff Weisberg supports a surprisingly diverse, technically advanced and elegantly appointed range of events.
Located in the Ladies Mile Historic District on West 18th Street, The Metropolitan Pavilion attracts many corporate and social events to its unique space – from an automaker wanting to capture extra attention during the New York International Auto Show to leading communication companies announcing product launches and distinguished institutions hosting gala award celebrations.
Scharff Weisberg supplies turnkey AV and lighting solutions for these clients, enhancing the venue’s already considerable AV infrastructure with moving lights, video displays and audio gear from its own substantial rental inventory and drawing upon more than 25 years of event experience.
“We’ve been involved with The Metropolitan Pavilion for a number of years and, during the last six months, have seen a resurgence in large-scale, sophisticated, technically-complex events here,” says Scharff Weisberg president Josh Weisberg. “The wonderful, multi-floor venues at The Metropolitan Pavilion give a real urban flair to events.”
Scharff Weisberg has worked hard to eliminate any preconceived notions that clients might have about working with an inhouse equipment vendor. “We don’t want anyone to feel they’re ‘stuck’ with an exclusive supplier,” says Weisberg. “We’re dedicated to delivering the same sophisticated level of service at a very competitive price that customers of Scharff Weisberg have come to expect no matter where we are working.”
The company has made significant investments in The Metropolitan Pavilion property, he notes, building out infrastructure to cut down on time and costs required by trucking in equipment and developing an intimate knowledge of the work space to gain efficiencies in time and labor.
“Our built-in systems help keep budgets reasonable,” says Frank Mejia, event manager for Scharff Weisberg at The Metropolitan Pavilion. “We have installed in-house sound systems, LED lighting in the upper-story Gallery and over 118 conventional lighting fixtures with a template wash in the North and South Pavilions.
“Our collaborative approach to working with the staff here helps ensure that all events, especially those with tight, back-to-back schedules, run smoothly,” he adds.
One of the glitziest recent events was a pair of festive evenings staged by Ford Motor Company and co-sponsored by Sony during the New York International Auto Show 2011. A press event giving the first look at the stylish 2013 Taurus SHO was held in the South Pavilion April 18; a live musical performance by Grammy-winning Train was added to a second press event the next evening in the North Pavilion.
“We had about a two-and-a-half week lead time, but since there were a lot of moving parts the trigger had to be pulled fast,” notes Mejia. “Both ends had to be up by Monday with a Saturday load in and hard out in six hours following the event on Tuesday night.”
Client Studio Creative opted for a kabuki reveal and projected onto the Taurus’s kabuki drop scrim. “Rigging for the event required the truss rig in the South Pavilion to have a trim of exactly 11 feet 10 inches to make the kabuki drop scrim work with the throw distance,” Mejia says. A pair of Christie Roadster HD18K projectors was converged side by side in a custom mount.” Scharff Weisberg also provided high-end switching and routing systems, an extensive moving light and LED package with a concert lighting rig, and a comprehensive audio package.
In another example of the type of sophisticated event that Met Pavilion can support, two tech giants teamed on a luncheon for tech reporters during Internet Week and Cloud Expo. Sprint and Motorola showcased their renewed partnership that will result in the launch or more than 10 new Motorola-brand devices this year, including the featured Photon 4G. Scharff Weisberg teamed with Don Schmidt of Multi Image Group, Boca Raton, Florida on the event, which sported a Mondrian-style grid décor in a stylish, contemporary white space.
The client utilized four white walls as display surfaces for graphics and informational content about the Photon 4G’s capabilities: Three 16-foot wide walls were covered with 9×16-foot images and a 12-foot wide wall with a 6.5×12-foot image. As a client accommodation, front of house engineering for video and a Vista Spyder X20 were supplied by an outside vendor, Multi Image. Scharff Weisberg also provided a moving light package, an audio package as well as camera support with numerous display and delay monitors.
When Brooklyn-based Pratt Institute held its 2011 Fashion Show and Cocktail Benefit, the venue showed it’s ability to support a high-end fashion/social event. This year’s benefit honored Hamish Bowles, Vogue’s European editor at large, and featured collections representing the best work of 18 of Pratt’s graduating seniors. One of the world’s most prestigious colleges for art, design and architecture, Pratt Institute is home to the first fashion design program in the U.S.
Scharff Weisberg partnered with BAI Design (event design), KL Production (scenic design) and Judith Rice & Associates (runway management) to design a custom lighting and sound rig, which was incorporated into the overall design aesthetic and set pieces.
“Scenic panels forming the rear runway wall were built to integrate with LED lighting we provided for each panel to provide additional depth,” says Scharff Weisberg event manager Amy Johnson Cook. “Panels were also designed to support three projection surfaces – one centered over the runway and two flanking it – on which awards presentation content and designer information was displayed.”
A temporary wall was built to support a time-lapse graffiti film that greeted guests at the entry to the space, she adds. Show logo gobos highlighted defined spaces for ticketing, check in and coat check throughout the entry area.
“Pratt appreciated the seamless interaction between its design and production teams and the Scharff Weisberg technicians whose professionalism and expertise helped to make the show a success,” says I.M. Ecks, assistant to the provost for budget and operations at Pratt Institute and producer of the Pratt Fashion Show.
“We have been working with Scharff Weisberg for many years now, and it’s a great partnership, one that clients benefit from on every event they host with us. For Pratt we did an amazing setup, and Scharff Weisberg team was able to create an amazing lighting setup, one that complimented the setup and our space, and worked well for Pratt. It’s always a pleasure to work with the great team of professionals that know the space so well. The sky is the limit in terms of what they can do in our facility, Concludes “Shelly Taggar, VP, Sales & Creative Services, Metropolitan Pavilion Events and Productions.”
Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications are collaborating partners to clients requiring unique and imaginative solutions for their event, spectacle and large-meeting lighting, sound and video needs whether local, national or worldwide. For more information visit