The Centre’s AV/IT Sales Manager, Deborah Jones gives us a peak behind the scenes at the Think Asia Think Hong Kong event held last week:
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council planned to showcase Hong Kong’s unique market platform for trading with Asia, primarily mainland China. Hong Kong’s special relationship with both the United Kingdom and the Chinese market makes partnering very easy and this conference, held at The Queen Elizabeth II Centre on Tuesday 13 September 2011 proved the ideal opportunity for suppliers and entrepreneurs to get together and find out about each other.
Having booked the venue last year, plans really started coming to fruition in the Spring when Kew Workshop and Perton Signs, principal suppliers to The Queen Elizabeth II Centre started putting forward graphic design ideas via our project management team. These gradually snowballed throughout August (no holiday season for us all, I can tell you) culminating in the transformation of the Benjamin Britten Lounge (refreshment and exhibition area), the Fleming and Whittle rooms (conference) and syndicate areas.
Before anyone even entered the building, they saw the canopy sign by Perton, exhorting them to Think Asia, Think Hong Kong. Two specially designed 9’ high sculptures were made by Kew, either side of the door. They had been placed there at dawn in case the predicted hurricane should arrive overnight. Because the event was oversubscribed, clients were registered at specially branded registration desks in the foyer. They then made their way to the Benjamin Britten Lounge for coffee and to see the exhibition. The refreshment area emerged as an exciting, dynamic forum for visitors to mingle in and network. The area was clad in striking, arresting photos of Hong Kong with an arch over the entrance to the main conference room. From pillars were hung huge banners displaying key sponsors and cultural ambassadors. There was a special help desk which had been specially designed and built to reflect the modern, clean and minimalist approach that Chinese design often encompasses. The day’s programme was printed on large units (Octonorm Displays). No one knew that the programme had literally been finalised and received a few hours previously and these panels had been quickly produced and put in place as quickly as possible.
The main room had a customised stage set produced as a scanachrome – a large scale print, stretched over a timber frame. This was so large it had to be made in many sections and transported on an articulated truck. At the rear was another promotional display advertising the merits of Hong Kong. Both constructions were carefully lit in line with the overall design concept plus two huge banners with sponsors’ logos, stage right and stage left.
The in-house Audio-Visual Department carefully lit all areas and added subtle audience lighting using single cell codas which they have had specially made for the purpose for all their rooms. This tungsten light is much more intimate and sheds light in a different way from the LED or fluorescent lighting so often used these days. They also lit various key logos on stage plus the stage furniture both which changed throughout the day. For the opening video, specially designed sound was added to the normal bespoke sound system which is tailored for the Fleming and Whittle rooms combined. This added impact and gravitas to the footage. During the meeting there were panel discussions and during such discussions, lapel microphones aren’t used. Contributors are offered a radio handheld microphone on a cushion! Projection consisted of dual projection at the front of the room on the main stage set with a relay screen half way down plus two side screens showing ‘talking heads’ ie video relay and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council logo. Projection was backed up to avoid any potential risk of failure.
All syndicates were equally branded with custom stage sets, top table dressing, lectern branding and banners where they were suitable. Interface provided all sound, lighting and projection. At the end of the day, the video footage was saved to hard drive and photographs of the day, the footage, any other recordings were couriered to the client’s hotel by midday the next day, while Kew worked on the Leeds event. The exhibition consisted of 25 modules and 18 ‘pods’ : all displays for highlighting the advantages of doing business in Hong Kong. These were all produced via The Queen Elizabeth II Conference by Kew and Perton and used on the London and Leeds events. It was an enormous effort and achievement and we have had nothing but praise from the clients.
The Queen Elizabeth II Conference is a key venue for such trade meetings, playing host to The British Chambers of Commerce, the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and to the Confederation of British Industry amongst others.
Film footage of the event can be found at: