The Countdown to Show time!

Published April 14, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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The big day had arrived! All of us involved with the event were too busy to worry about anything going wrong – which is a good thing. If I had time to think,  there’s no doubt I would have had the pre-show jitters! After we grabbed a quick breakfast, Kathy gave us last minute small item tasks that needed to be completed before the event. In the meantime, I scheduled a meeting that morning to meet with the A/V (audio/video) crew for a rehearsal to set light and sound cues. Since I had not heard from the hotel’s technical staff by 10:30 AM, I took the initiative to track them down instead.

Omni Ballroom 1

When I arrived at the banquet room, the first thing I noticed was that the original layout of the room plan had changed. The previous evening, we held a meeting with the hotel crew where Kathy went over with them, the seating arrangements and the floor plan. The layout included the A/V post stationed in the back of the house (audience). The staffer acknowledged he understood the directions and would make sure the house was set up per Kathy’s instructions.

nomiki prepping for guests

AHC 2014 Annual Gala Awards Banquet Room

However, the day of the event, the A/V area was moved to the right side of the banquet room. I was advised the ground plan changes occurred due to their inability to connect the equipment from the back of the house. I alerted Kathy, who like myself, did not comprehend why this significant point was not communicated clearly to us when we went over the ground plans the night before. What this meant for Kathy was the implementation of new seating arrangements after she and the AHC staffers spent so much time developing the original plan. Kathy, however, revealed her experience and skills as an effective leader and a consummate professional, by keeping her calm and adapting to these changes to avoid further conflict.

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Example of an A/V Station

I then proceeded to the A/V post where the technician had his equipment set up so he could attach my laptop to the system. The A/V station was located strategically near the dining table where my party was assigned for easy access once the show commenced. The plan for the pre-show, was to have a PowerPoint presentation of all the sponsors of the event playing in the background on the projection screens as the guests arrived.

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Festive Lighting Design Sample

While the technician was setting up my laptop, I followed another crew member to the back of the house to set the light cues. To simplify matters and reduce the margin of errors (since the man I was working with was not taking any notes) we set three basic light levels that would be easy for him to remember: (a) a brighter setting for when the guests were arriving, (b) a dimmed setting during the show presentation, and (c) a festive setting after the show so guests could dance to the live music the band performed after the event. Once we set and programmed the lighting I went back to the A/V station to begin the process of setting audio levels … that’s when the fun really began. But that’s the topic of Wednesday’s post …

Until then … stay organized!

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“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” — Maya Angelou

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