With the long dark nights of winter, increasing numbers of cities and other destinations such as glens and forests are attracting innumerable visitors to view stunning illuminations and art installations. To take just one example, the Durham Lumiere attracted 200,000 visitors over three days in 2015.
These are spectacular events. The Durham Lumiere included a spectacular display involving the history of the cathedral being shown against the walls of the building, along with dramatic sound and light effects such as World War II planes in combat. Elsewhere in the city, there was the image of a bride in her wedding dress climbing up a bridge, rainbows across a river and a ‘whale’ which surfaced in time to music.
Without the aid of AV specialists, such illuminations would be impossible. It is their skill and knowledge that helps bring these events to reality. Events such as these take many hours to set up and install. In Durham, the AV specialists were kept extremely busy especially when the rain came and river levels rose significantly. Trying to ensure that the installations could continue whatever the weather, that the colours matched with audio recordings where necessary required constant attention. Computers could not be left untended. Making sure that there were no glitches, no difficulties and that the entire proceedings went smoothly was down to the work of AV technicians.
These type of events are becoming ever more common. There are already plans for over 100 such events across the country during 2017 – and that doesn’t include the numerous small scale events which often are associated with festivals, exhibitions and other activities. Planning for these events has to be undertaken well in advance, often a year ahead. Talking to AV specialists and making sure that they are kept fully aware of what is being planned is essential to the event’s success.
It is the AV specialists who will need to check out the venues, ensure that computer generated light systems work in tandem with any audio. It may be that they will need to advise on colour schemes, what will work and what will not, or how ambient lights such as street lights might affect the final version. They will also have to ensure safety of all the equipment and make sure that leads present no danger to the public. It is their responsibility to ensure that equipment is in full working order at every moment of the event and that they are positioned in exactly the right place to create the best effect. Talking to an AV specialist can truly make or break an event.