Total Production

Introducing The First Dynamic Events Conference

March 2012 Issue 151

Mondiale Publishing’s inaaugural Dynamic Events conference was held at Amsterdam RAI on Monday 30 January 2012 - the day before the opening of the ISE exhibition.

With a content focused on the production and planning of one off spectacular events, and in particular the opening and closing ceremonies of major worldwide sporting events, the conference drew speakers from around the world to sit on three panels looking at the individual elements of audio, video and lighting. The number of delegates over the day exceeded 160.
    The conference was opened by a keynote address from Ric Birch - an industry veteran who has specialised in these major ceremonies since his work on the Los Angeles Olympics. Birch’s keynote speech perfectly set the tone for the conference, with references to his projects, which included and the highs - Mexico’s bicentennial celebration and the not-so-highs - Delhi Commonwealth Games ceremony.
    The first session addressed audio design, with a panel made up of experts from around the globe. It boasted Gary Hardesty from the USA, Scott Willsallen and Chris Kennedy both from Australia, whose combined experience took in Olympic, Asian Game, Superbowl and Commonwealth game ceremonies. With over 100 pairs of eyes directed at the stage, the 1.5 hour session looked over a number of individual events and their own unique sets of obstacles. Once again the Delhi Commonwealth Games came in for particular attention - the fact the closing ceremony music ultimately had to be done via a downloaded MP3, because the music had never been delivered, was a real talking point.
    The second session looked at the importance of video in the events. At the request of the four video panellists, a lighting designer was added to the panel to give an ‘other side of the fence’ look at these merging technologies. The panel consisted of Cyril Meusy, Ross Ashton, Patrice Bouqueniaux, Pod Bluman and Durham Marenghi. The conversation was dominated by the recent 2011 Doha Asian Games, which both Patrice Bouqueniaux and Cyril Meusy had worked on. This near capacity session showed the growing importance of the video element in not just giving dynamic imagery to an event, but also allowing national symbolism of the host country to be displayed.
    The conference finished off with the lighting session,  which once again welcomed Durham Marenghi, together with Paul Collison, Koert Vermeulen and David Eversfield. The panel looked at various projects they were involved in and in particular the recent Rugby World Cup that both Paul Collison and David Eversfield had worked on.
    The three panels were chaired by industry notables, including journalist Jerry Gilbert, co-owner of XL Video Lee Spencer and owner of Artistic Licence, Wayne Howell.
    Supporters for Dynamic Events 2012 included Christie Digital and Martin Professional as Platinum sponsors, Clay Paky, Harman, Meyer Sound and Sennheiser as Gold sponsors, and Showtex, Optocore, Clear-Com and Immersive as Silver sponsors. Lunch and refreshments were courtesy of Riedel.
    Reflecting on the conference, Ric Burch said: “International mega events bring together the world’s best production and technical talent, so the Dynamic Events Conference was a great chance to meet up with them all again in one place - congratulations on a very well-organised event!”
    Pio Nahum, Clay Paky Sales and Marketing Director, explained: “Dynamic Events Conference is a unique event in the worldwide panorama. This year it offered a rare and precious opportunity to deepen the theme of international events organisation. The conference gave the chance to evaluate all the aspects involved in these large performances and provided a very interesting overall view. Dynamic Events Conference was also the occasion to meet many other key players.”
    Keith Watson, Marketing Director for Soundcraft Studer, also enjoyed the day: “The Dynamic Events Conference is a unique and welcome addition to the pro audio and lighting calendar. Not only did it deliver some really top speakers from the large events business, but it also provided an excellent networking and discussion forum. We will continue to support it as it no doubt grows. Well done the team!”
    Having taken his position on two of the three panels, lighting designer Durham Marenghi had a rare insight into the day: “It was very informative to attend an event focusing on large-scale events and those involved in creating them. I know many people who attended came away having learned something and you can never have too much information when dealing with this complex and challenging field of work, and play!”
    Fellow panellist Paul Collison enthused: “I was very impressed with not only the range and quality of all the panellists, but also the attendees. There was an impressive array of people from all corners of the industry. It was a great event to be a part of.”
Gary Hardesty, who was one of three audio panellists, was left with a lasting impression: “The experience was one I will not soon forget, very good audience for the panel discussions and a lot of excellent follow-up afterwards... count me in again!’
    Video panellist, Cyril Meusy, added: ““The inaugural Dynamic Events Conference was a well-executed event that provided unique insights on how ceremonies and complex events are orchestrated from back of house. With the London 2012 Ceremonies fast approaching, it was a highlight to be part of the discussion on how creatively video has been integrated in recent ceremonies and how future technologies may trend.”
    Jessica Ballenger, Marketing Manager for Showtex, appreciated the mix of technology and creativity: “The conference turned out to be the perfect kick-off for the high tech ISE show. It was a fascinating discussion among the world’s top experts in live production that highlighted not just the technical knowledge necessary for running a risk free show, but also the creativity and flexibility needed every step of the way. Many of our customers are video and lighting designers, so as a supplier for live events around the world it was valuable to get their feedback first-hand.”
    After a successful first year, Dynamic Events is already working towards next year’s conference, with a view to expanding its content and incorporating the feedback that has already been offered. If you would like to find out more about the conference or an idea of how you would like to see the conference grow, please contact Ben Chadwick: