What difference does lighting make at a corporate event?
Lighting is integral to creating the wow factor at your event. Creative use of the many available lighting technologies can transform the look and feel of an event by enhancing the space, creating a desired ambience in the room and supporting event themes. There are so many ways in which lighting can be used to make any event feel extraordinary!
Room effects and architectural lighting
The use of colour changing lights added with what we call “intelligent moving head fixtures” will dramatically alter the look and feel of any Ballroom or function space. Completely controllable via a lighting console, the lighting designer will usually program a number of different “looks” or “states” that they will then use at appropriate times throughout the event. This may include looks for walk-in/arrival, formalities, meal service, awards, party time, etc.
Band, entertainment and dance floor lighting
Intelligent moving head lighting is what is typically used to light most bands and dance floors these days. They have the ability to change colour, pattern, intensity, angle and direction. Again, these lights are controlled via a lighting console and a good lighting operator will alter the lights in tune with the beat of the music.
Trapeze artists, stand-up comedians, magicians – whatever the artist – a follow-spot is typically the ideal light to ensure the performer is always lit, regardless of where they are on stage. A follow-spot is a manually operated light whereby the follow-spot operator simply points the light in the direction of the performer.
It sounds simple enough, however a good follow-spot operator will know when and how to fade the spot in and out at the appropriate time and speed. They’ll keep the spot steady and not bounce it around causing distraction to the audience and they will also control the actual size of the spotlight to ensure the artist is adequately lit (head to toe) during their performance. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
Lighting technicians and designers prefer to use specifically manufactured lights to “spotlight” or “wash” areas, objects or people on the stage. Usually, profile spotlights are used to light a presenter behind a lectern or spot a banner hanging on a wall. These can be focused down to a very sharp edge if necessary. Fresnels (pronounced frennels) are used to wash an area of the stage. Some presenters prefer to walk the stage from side to side, engaging with their audience, rather than be stuck behind a lectern so in this instance, wash lighting of the whole stage area is a necessity.
Prop and theme lighting
Using the right lights to highlight props or styling elements within the room is imperative to ensuring the guests feel that wow factor throughout the evening. Coloured LED parcans are in most cases a suitable light to use in this instance. A quad colour will usually give the lighting designer enough colour mixing scope to light the item effectively and help bring the theme to life in the process.
Projecting your company or an event sponsor’s logo through a light and onto a surface is a great way of providing that company or sponsor with additional exposure throughout the event. It’s an alternative to simply projecting their logo up on the screens via PowerPoint from a laptop to an LCD projector. When projecting these images through a light, we have the company logo turned into what we call a “gobo”. This is then installed into the lighting fixture and projected onto the surface or function space desired.
Table pinspot lighting is a fantastic and impactful way of transforming your function space using lighting. Many premium venues around Australia will have intelligent pinspot lights installed in their Ballrooms which are then used to pinspot the guests tables within the rooms. The lighting operator will focus and program all pinspots prior the show time, giving them the ability to alter the table colours throughout the evening. This feature really does provide a huge wow factor for the guests in the room.
There are numerous techniques available to lighting designers for them to achieve a desired look. From up lighting and down lighting to spot lighting and back lighting. The technique used does make a difference to how the guests in the room see things so the designer will take this into consideration when first designing the show.
Lighting design makes all the difference at an event and there are endless possibilities to give your guests a unique experience. With such a wide range of lighting options and emerging technologies, there are always amazing new designs and sequences to wow guests.
Speak to your AV partner to discuss how to leverage lighting for an impactful event.