Posted by Jessica Pryce on June 21st, 2016
“All the kit was prepped ready to load on the Friday before the event with the exception of a few bits and pieces which only came back from another job late Friday night. We therefore arranged to meet at the warehouse for 8:30am on the Monday rig day to get a bit of a head start re-prepping and loading. Unfortunately I hit really bad traffic on the way in so I don’t arrive until nearly quarter to… ‘Fortunately’ .. everyone waits for me!
The truck is loaded and on the road by 11am and we all arrive at the venue – The Hilton Deansgate in Manchester – for midday. This is the last job in a crazy mad run of events, tenders and pitches for me, and I’m exhausted, but looking forward to it – the client is lovely to work with and it’s nice to be so close to home.
After Hilton burgers all round, the set up goes smoothly and it’s back to the hotel for a few beers. Meanwhile the venue gives the stage a final hoover ready for the morning.
The whole production team help out on the rig but only me and Jim stay for the event, and we’re back at 7am to get ready for morning rehearsals. We are launching a new live voting facility as part of our event app at this event so we are also joined in the morning by Mark Griffiths, one of our digital development team, to ensure everything runs smoothly.
The day consists of keynote presentations along with lots of interactive seminars and workshops. Delegates are encouraged to get involved by downloading the event app and tweeting about the event. During each session delegates can ask questions via the app, which facilitators in each of the concurrent sessions can access live on an iPad. The shift over the last few years towards use of technology and social media on events has been really interesting to watch – rather than delegates being told to turn off their mobile devices at the start of events they are encouraged to tweet and get involved. On a few occasions there were no questions in the room at the end of a session as everyone was using the app instead, to submit their questions during the presentations.
Jim operates sound and lights and I’m looking after all the graphic content, which keeps me on my toes as there’s such a big variety of content – PowerPoints, Prezis and videos in every format you can think of!
Finally it’s time for the first live voting session – everyone reaches for their phones and tablets and… everything goes without a hitch. The results are even better than expected.
Day two and more of the same. A particular highlight is a workshop and a keynote presentation by Damian Hughes. It’s not often I come across a motivational speaker who I haven’t seen before so it’s an entertaining way to finish the day.
The event finishes with a handover to Sport NI who are hosting next year’s Summit and some instant feedback via the app with more live voting. The production team arrive back on site to help out with the de-rig and we’re done in no time. Another successful event!”