High Output’s production team spent a week in 2017 in beautiful Newport, RI supporting a Fortune 50 company’s annual customer summit. The design process involved months of collaborative meetings and calls with the client and event producer to design a sleek and modern look for the conference. High Output was able to use its expertise and experience to successfully design and carry out these tight turn-around events in active hotel and restaurant environments.
The summit spanned several days, and High Output supported multiple events and venues. For the summit’s general session, we transformed the iconic Hotel Viking’s Bellevue Ballroom for a business conference-type event, where the company’s executives hosted talks and meetings. Our team collaborated with the company’s internal event planning team to create and execute a lighting and stage design tailored to the exact needs of the conference. To accomplish this, High Output provided lights, audio gear, visual elements, staging and rigging, power distribution, and a generator. We then assisted in all technical aspects of running the meetings. In addition to the general session, High Output also provided lighting and audio support for a gala dinner at the historic Rosecliff Mansion, as well as ambient lighting for a casual dinner at the prestigious Forty 1° North Hotel and a supplemental event at the Newport Harbor Hotel.
Challenges and Solutions
- Power. As regal and visually pleasing the Bellevue ballroom is, it has limited power – far under the needs for the planned show. We were able to bring in one of our generators to supply the proper power. However, not even the brilliant architects and civic engineers of the Gilded Age could have foreseen a 26′ box truck towing a Twin pack generator down the winding cobblestone streets of Newport. Thanks to our tireless trucking department, we were able to accomplish this with exact proficiency.
- Ceiling height. How do we make a room with modest 12′ ceiling feel immersive and encompassing? A lot of the time with hotel ballrooms we have the advantage of 15 – 20’ high ceilings, which allows for a massive feel with a set and backdrop. For this event, the design lay in the width and the wings of the room. Using every inch (I think we had a 1/2″ gap on either side) we were able to span truss across the full width of the room. From it we hung the primary viewing screens for the presentation, the backlight for the stage, and a scenic backdrop to bring the space to life. We front projected all of the video content from truss towers hidden in the unique wings of the room. From these towers we are also able to hang our primary stage wash lighting fixtures. For lighting, the challenge came in to play with low and wide lighting. This can often produce edgy shadows, which is perfect for a dramatic stage look but not ideal for a corporate meeting. Our solution was pulled from our stock of film lighting equipment, and was brilliantly simply – a front wash from turtle stands flanking the confidence monitor. Using wide, soft lighting we were able to fill in the center and really create a depth of field on the shallow stage without hindering the lighting effects on the backdrop.