For the fifth consecutive year, Video Applications, Inc. (VAI) provided the technical design, production management, video production, projection, audio, lighting and crewing for the Milken Institute Global Conference. The conference drew some 3,000 leaders from the worlds of business and finance, philanthropy, government, healthcare, education and media to discuss, debate and deliberate key trends shaping the world today. The conference, in its 12th year, is held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles and featured more than 500 speakers including presidents and CEOs of the world's top corporations and financial institutions, Nobel Laureates, sports figures, publishers, and government leaders. Notable participants included Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts; Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California; and Rush Limbaugh, host of "The Rush Limbaugh Show."
The Santa Monica-based Milken Institute is a publicly supported, nonpartisan, independent think-tank, which uses capital-market principles and financial innovations to address social and economic challenges in the US and the world.
"VAI has a 20-year relationship with the Milken Foundation," of which the Institute is a supporting affiliate, notes Richard Bevan, who has been the VAI Account Lead and Production Manager during their five-year history with the Global Conference. "We interfaced directly with the Creative Services department of the Foundation, which supports the various Milken entities. The sophistication level of the Creative Services department is on par with our broadcast clients. They have a deep staff that produces an extraordinary amount of content and manage a broad array of productions that feature world and business leaders," continues Bevan.
The Foundation has a very sophisticated approach to staging large events on every level, and they pull from best-of-breed partners to ensure a consistent production level.
VAI designed comprehensive technical staging packages for 17 locations that included integrated video, projection, audio, signal distribution and lighting packages, which ensured that the attendee experience was consistent throughout every segment of the three-day event. Full registration for the conference is $3,995, and the Milken Institute is meticulous about ensuring a production level that consistent with the caliber of the event.
Five semis' worth of gear, 112 crew members, four months of the planning and production meetings, to support 151 sessions that involved over 500 presenters and panelists in 15 rooms delivering 226 hours of content captured on 16 DVCPro video tape recorders and nine audio recorders - all installed in a day-and-a-half.
Bevan's team included a crew of 112 people managed by VAI staff engineers, and on-site production assistants and a labor coordinator. The size of the crew was "typical for this event," Bevan reports. "There were 151 sessions over three days, each of which were captured on video or audio record and later made available on the web. We also streamed most sessions live to the web, as well. Video Applications installed a multi-point fiber optic system to support simulcasts from the International Ballroom, throughout the hotel; in addition to supporting live broadcast feeds for FOX Business News and Bloomberg Television," he continues.
The International Ballroom was the largest of the conference's five main Keynote Rooms, all of which were supported by VAI with multi-camera I-mag and record of the Keynote Sessions, which focused heavily on the financial crisis and the global economy, as well as on government's growing role in business and our lives. Seven smaller rooms were equipped for audio recording only. Four of the rooms were also simulcast to overflow rooms. In addition, VAI provided video, audio, and lighting to the outdoor Pavilion Tent which acted as a lounge area and offered a feed from the general sessions to an overflow crowd, as well as hosted an evening presentation by motion-picture director John Landis, who captivated the SRO crowd with a retrospective of his 30-year career.
"The Milken Global Conference is certainly one of the more unique events of the year in terms of the diversity and depth of content and the line-up of presenters but, at the end of the day, it's no different than any other project we might be involved with, the measure of our success is in direct proportion to the amount of listening, analysis, planning and collaboration that we contribute, Since being asked to support this event in 2005, each year has built upon the success and experience of the prior events. Despite a continual growth in the size and complexity of the show and the many challenges posed by a tough schedule and an undersized venue, the 2009 Global Conference was the smoothest yet," Bevan notes.
"We can't image taking on an event of this complexity without having a partner like Richard Bevan and the entire Video Applications crew to support us. Every comment that I received after the event was about how flawlessly everything worked. Video Applications deserves a great deal of the credit for the success of this event," said Lawrence Lesser, Senior Vice President of Creative Services.
Video Applications and Scharff Weisberg, firms with extensive histories in the presentation and staging markets, recently announced a co-ownership agreement. While continuing to operate independently the two companies work together strategically to provide clients with state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting equipment and services. With a strong presence on both coasts Video Applications and Scharff Weisberg are able to deliver a large array of cost-effective services on a national level. For more information visit www.videoapps.com or www.scharffweisberg.com.