Much of ACC Liverpool’s success hosting several large-scale events since its inception could be directly attributed to the skill of the Arena and Convention Centre’s in-house production team who are becoming more in demand.
“We are seeing more long-term audio visual agreements; we recently confirmed a three-year contract with the option to extend to five. On another event, we won the tender for 2014 and are now in discussions about successive years,” said Nicky Norman, senior production and technical manager, ACC Liverpool. “Our department is always looking for new opportunities and at developing our production, AV and technical equipment and services.”
Having tailored lighting and sound designs to about 1,300 event profiles and budgets since ACC Liverpool opened in 2008, the production team consists of 17 full-time employees along with freelancers when needed. It also features many technicians recruited from the Paul McCartney-founded Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
“Keeping our production in-house encourages activity in the local creative sector,” she explained. “We can also offer clients a really good deal; they don’t have to pay costs for crew accommodation or equipment transport as they would when using an external agency. We also waive associated power costs if clients use us for lighting, sound, AV and rigging.”
“We held many events that involved working with our clients from initial concept and design for elements such as lighting, sound, audio visual and rigging through to quotation and then event delivery,” said Norman.
The production team expanded to handle the demand of the UK’s first annual Eurospine Congress. The conference required 27 on-site technicians who rigged and provided audio visual for 26 exhibition stands during the four-day health care gathering of 3,500 delegates in September.
“Eurospine was our largest production of the year. It provided an opportunity to showcase our city and venue to thousands of delegates from all over the world,” she added.
Giving support to organizer Liverpool Vision, the production team assisted with the six months of planning for ACCELERATE 2013, a June festival dedicated to high-growth businesses in the UK.
“The production needed to be innovative and colorful to reflect the positive mood of the event and create an atmosphere that would leave attendees feeling galvanized,” Norman said. “Audio visual was provided in-house by 14 members of the team.”
Both the festival and an associated gala dinner for 650 people required the production team to work through the night on construction and installation.
“An innovative lighting design was developed, which consisted of stretched fabric, 9-meter high columns internally lit, ceiling drapes, LED lighting and GOBOs. The ceiling drapes gave a two-tone finish to the dinner,” said Norman.
Also during ACCELERATE, the production team installed a 12-meter-by-4-meter custom-made widescreen that incorporated animation, video playback, live camera feeds and keynote presentations.
“Content included live links to pre-recordings from Prime Minister David Cameron and high-profile global speakers,” Norman added.
In October, the production department serviced International Meeting of the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO), which required working with professional conference organizer Kenes International.
“For this, we provided full sound and lighting for the plenary in Hall two, using our in-house L-Acoustic Arcs PA system, and in-house lighting and control desk,” explained Norman. “We provided projection surfaces for their large, 20-meter widescreen. In addition, we provided rigging and lighting services to one of the key exhibitors to enhance their exhibition stand.”
Rounding out the production department’s offerings is At Your Service. On this menu of value-added services from which clients can select are DJs, bands and grand pianos as well as stage managers.
“We can also supply interactive voting, 3D projection systems, surround sound and immersive environments,” said Norman. “Our fully themed banquets include bespoke lighting and sound designs that can help influence delegate mood and overall experience.”
When not producing conferences at the BT Convention Centre, the production department provides support for various events at the Echo Arena, such as the MTV Europe Music Awards; concerts, including Beyoncé and Paul McCartney; and sporting events, such as The Davis Cup.