Special Events
High-tech Helps Create High-Impact Event Decor

High-tech Helps Create High-Impact Event Decor

When art meets science, the result is dramatic decor for special events

PINK INC. AND THE SPOTLESSLIGHT

Pink Inc., New York
www.pinkincdesign.com

TECH TOOL: The Spotlesslight (www.spotlesslight.com) enables a digital projector to project a spotlight on a performer or object with virtually no spillover, even when the performer is moving. The light can be white or one of the company's Spotlesseffects — holographic-style special effects that interact in real time with the movements of the performer or object. Designers can upload their own custom digital images to be projected as a Spotlesseffect.

HOW IT WOWS: Debra Roth, CEO and creative director of Pink Inc., uses the Spotlesslight with her company's Hourglass Diva tension-fabric “gown” for an “amazingly cool effect,” she says. As the performer moves, the light flickers over her. “The Spotlesslight can be programmed live,” she adds, “making it an interactive element for your event.”

LD SYSTEMS AND DIGITAL LIGHTS

LD Systems, Houston
www.ldsystems.com

TECH TOOL: The DL digital lighting line from High End Systems (www.highend.com) features digital automated lighting fixtures with an integrated media server. Users can create multiple horizontal, vertical or central panoramas quickly, and without the need for extra cabling or racks of servers in the front of the house or backstage.

HOW IT WOWS: LD Systems used the lights for a travel writers dinner highlighting the attractions of the big Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The challenge for event organizers was packing a lot of information into the hour-long event. So the design team skipped traditional decor entirely, opting instead to offer an environment of sights and sounds. LD used the digital lights to create vignettes of imagery along with a traditional video projection for the main presentation. Guests entered the ballroom to see moving lights create pans of color and patterns. During the luncheon, the walls filled with moving images from past HLSR events. The climax of the presentation was a high-definition video accompanied by moving images telling the HLSR story.

TOM BERCU PRESENTS AND iTILES

Tom Bercu Presents, Los Angeles
www.tombercupresents.com

TECH TOOL: For the Equality California awards gala, Tom Bercu Presents capitalized on the rotating stage in place at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles with iTiles, a Philips Color Kinectics product customized for special events by Brite Ideas (www.briteideaslighting.com).

HOW IT WOWS: The design team developed a three-dimensional, interactive stage — “the entire central piece turned 180 degrees to reveal the speakers,” Bercu explains. The set was made of iTiles — 2-foot-by-2-foot programmable LED screens that display lighting patterns and video. Flanking the stage were two 10-foot iTile towers, backing the entertainment and giving the stage a more “full” feel, as Bercu puts it. “Since the tiles can change patterns and colors in a split second, there was always something new and different to capture attention,” he explains. “Most awards dinners are boring and slow, and we wanted to make sure this event ‘moved’ — both in terms of timing and in terms of excitement. What is normally ‘dead time’ for walk-on and walk-off became fun and energetic.”

WHAT TECH'S NEXT: Greg Christy, CEO of Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based Brite Ideas, notes that the biggest trend in lighting is products that include a video or media element. LED walls of various sizes and shapes require very little power and can be used “as stage sets, under floors, room decor or even built into bars, buffets and guest tables,” he explains. “They take the concept of color-changing to the next level by allowing video ‘content’ — images of anything from rippling water to blue sky and clouds to fields of flowers — to be programmed and used at will, just like a DJ would mix music. Static decor, or even lighting effects, can't compete.”

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: “One of the newest and more exciting innovations for events is wireless technology,” Christy says. “It provides the ability to control elements that are hundreds of feet away from each other with no cables that inhibit movement.”

But, he notes, technology can't replace taste. Even as high-tech makes exciting new effects easier than ever to achieve, “It requires the innovation and know-how to use it brilliantly.”

RELATED STORIES FROM SPECIAL EVENTS

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Interactive Entertainment Puts Guests into the Spotlight Tough Times Make Planners Stretch Decor Budgets
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