Rotary International Convention

 Design Team

account executive: Steve Overby
producer: Scott Sura
production designer: Kenny Hunt
production manager: Gavan Marroquin
lighting designer: Joe Krebbs/Larry Gravitt
l ighting designer/programmer: Larry Gravitt/David Cuff
video content and screen design: Jakub Karas/James Trigg
head video designer: Tim Platt
audio crew: Randy Williams/Max Gross/Gabe Johnson/Eric Hansen

entertainment director: Judy Thee

creative director: Dustin Sparks
art director: Sid Curtis
choreography director: Tisha Love
simultaneous interpretation: Phil Bradley

Rotary International (RI) is an organization of community leaders that provides humanitarian service. Often compared to a mini United Nations conference, the Rotary International Convention is a massive event involving substantial creative services, entertainment, pre-production, audio and visual components, lighting, labor, simultaneous interpretation, and stage and set design.

RI’s 2007 convention theme was "Lead The Way,” which was exactly what AVW-TELAV’s Business Development Group accomplished with an original creative proposal and set design.

RI also conveyed “Inspire, Inform, and Engage” as the underlying purpose of its convention, which is held in a different international city each year. In order to create a total experience for attendees, RI presents, through its local committees and general sessions, a unique variety of local and national talent.

The first challenge, not uncommon in this type of event, is to engineer a stage and set that looks precisely like our creative team’s vision. The venue and the laws of physics sometime seem to be at odds with bringing the ultimate dream to life but, for RI’s 2007 convention, we were very successful in building a set that looked amazingly like the renderings from our creative team.

We brought the creative concept to life!

Our scenic shop fabricated all the set pieces in Dallas and went to Salt Lake City to install and operate the many moving elements. One of our initial tasks was to devise an elegant transition from one entertainer to another. The performers ranged from a single guitarist to a 55-piece orchestra, with almost every other kind of entertainment configuration in between. Our solution was to design a motorized, 40’x40’ “opera wagon” which we could lower (32’ to 35’ downward) and raise on cue, allowing the bands to set up backstage and then magically appear from behind a traveler curtain under a center 15’x45’ Watchout screen.

The creative concept of a Utah-centric Opening General Session drove the ultimate selections of the talent. We booked Utah’s own Donny Osmond and his band. There was also a team of rhythmic gymnasts that performed at the opening sessions, which we repeated twice, each time to an audience of 10,000 people. One of the most captivating performances was by an international choir made up of 100 children; each child was dressed in a different ethnic costume from diverse cultures. We were not going to settle for the conventional temporary risers, which are aesthetically irrelevant for RI and have to be removed for different segments. Instead, we designed a set of stairs that blended in with the stage and became part of the scenic design when they weren’t in use.

Another challenge we encountered was how we would display 173 flags from around the world on stage, in an original way. The solution was to create a “Rocky Mountain rendezvous scene” on the stage to represent Salt Lake City. And then, when the flag ceremony (for which we directed several children) began, the mountains in the background transformed into flag holders where the children could easily secure their flags.

The rigging was pre-planned using approximately 200 points in the ceiling. Once on site, those plans changed, and our lighting team had to quickly alter its strategy to accomplish the task. In total, we managed 250 conventional lights and 80 moving lights. The visual effects created were incredible, and the set came alive with color and mirrored the rendering presented in the initial proposal.

AVW-TELAV’s audio specialists were also on site using the JBL Vertec line array 4888 series, which was selected because of its great coverage and also because it allowed us to control the pattern in focusing the sound to the 10,000 audience members and not just into the room (also keeping in mind that each session had a different type of entertainment component). There were nine individual clusters, 60’ apart, spread across the hall, varying from a four-box center cluster, two seven-box clusters, and six five-box clusters on the outsides. JBL 932VRSX were used for the delays to ensure the sound resonated to the back of the audience. There were nine individual clusters 60’ apart with three cabinets each. These mini line array cabinets worked really well (especially for delays) because of the 100° horizontal coverage, along with the amazing clarity on the high end.

Selected Gear

48 JBL 4888 VerTec line array cabinets
33 JBL VRX932 line array cabinets
Yamaha PM5D 64 channel digital console
2 Yamaha DM-2000 96 channel digital consoles for FOH
A Barco Encore System
A Watchout video system
7 Barco SLM-R12+ DLP video projectors
8 Barco SLM-R10 DLP video projectors
8 Barco RLM R6+ DLP projectors
1 15’x45’ Peroni screen fabric
4 Da-Lite Deluxe Fast Fold 18’x24’ screens
4 Da-Lite Deluxe Fast Fold 10.5’x14’screens
1 Component video switching system
5 Sony DXCD-50-WSL cameras
6 simultaneous interpretation booths
44 VariLite VL3000/3500s
42 Martin Mac 2Ks
30 Source Four Ellipsoidals
44 Altman 2kW Fresnels
131 1kW Scoops
2 Strong Super Trouper Follow Spots
2 MDG Atmosphere Hazers
3,940’ of truss
194 CM chain motors
1 MA Lighting grandMA console
1 Flying Pig Systems Hog iPC console

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