Innovision at the NEC: Case Study


Innovision contracted PRG to support them with the delivery of the technical requirements for the Innovate UK event at the NEC Birmingham in November 2017. Across two days, Innovate 2017 brought 2,750 of the UK’s most innovative thinkers, creators and inventors to the NEC in Birmingham.

The Brief:
Innovision required the supply of full 360 degree audio, lighting, rigging, power and video services for the theatre spaces and exhibition environment for the two day event at the NEC. In addition, the client required a partner which could be relied upon to manage last minute growth in the event’s requirements.

What We Did:
Working alongside Innovision, a 30-strong PRG team was led by Account Manager Cameron Bannister, Project Manager Ian Jones, Video HOD Russell Harris, Lighting Power and Rigging HOD Dana Read and Audio HOD Mark Bonner were tasked with the delivery of the lighting, the rigging, the audio and the video packages for Innovate UK.

This two-day conference and exhibition explored the major themes brought about by the pace and complexity of our world and what these themes mean for individuals, businesses and governments.

In the exhibition area, PRG supplied the power distribution and the screens for exhibitors for a large number of the stands, enabling them to present groundbreaking ideas, from robotics to urban planning.

Most spaces employed a generic key lighting rig, with the main plenary adding in GLP X4 moving heads to add colour and enhance the energy in walk up stings. From a video point of view, PRG used the Bright Sign digital display system to allow quick and efficient updating of session scheduling across the site from a single, central location.

Video switching was kept simple and consistent in all areas with the use of Barco PDS 902 switchers to enable more efficient organisation of multi-discipline staff across the event’s multiple zones.

A key highlight of the event was the successful delivery of the Bright Sign digital signage system, which transformed the experience of the customer. The use of this technology meant that Innovate UK was able to track exactly what was going on and when, throughout the event. Previously, this element had proved a burden for the customer, due to the inadequacy of technology employed.

A focus on flexibility was key to the success of this job. Lucy Gibson, Innovision Technical Production Manager said: “We wanted a delivery partner that could scale, and particularly that could manage the last minute growth that often happens with this event. I think in this job PRG went from one truck to three. We added three more breakout rooms and a huge number of screens in the last few weeks and it was great to have someone who could keep up with that.”

Indeed, this project saw significant growth in the penultimate weeks before the event itself, and the PRG team were able to easily scale up equipment and staffing to seamlessly accommodate the changing requirements of our client, in the run up to the two-day build.

A multi-discipline approach meant that all interdepartmental considerations, for example rigging and power, were managed without needing the involvement of production. This proved invaluable in enabling the PRG team to seamlessly upscale the requirements of this project. PRG’s ownership of the whole project, meant the customer had the time to focus on their clients needs more actively.

The event’s location, close to PRG’s Headquarters in Longbridge, meant that PRG was easily able to fulfil last minute requirements and provide additional kit as and when needed.

Innovate 2017 delivered fresh perspectives on innovations such as artificial intelligence, smart cities, alternative food sources and space exploration. Keynote speeches, practical workshops and seminars were all on the bill, as well as opportunities for attendees to have one-to-one meetings with potential investors.

PRG is a leading international full-service provider of technical expertise and equipment for corporate and special events, music touring and festivals, theatre and the arts, exhibitions, brand activations, and film and television productions or all shapes and sizes. We employ more than 3,000 professionals worldwide, and have locations in the UK in London and Birmingham, and more than 40 international branches.

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