by Emily Giunta
• Introduction to event lighting techniques
• Questions to ask your venue
• Information your tech partner needs
Lighting may be one of the easiest ways to transform the look and feel in a meeting or conference room. To keep it simple, event lighting can be broken down into two categories: decorative and functional.
This article will focus on functional lighting, with decorative and fun lighting coming in a later issue. Functional lighting is the lighting needed to help your audience see the presenters, product, etc. In its most basic form, functional lighting is house lights on or off.
Ideally, lighting fixtures should be rigged or hung in the ceiling to create the best angle of wash light for the stage. If it is not possible to hang lights in your venue, getting your stage lighting as high as possible will help prevent the lights from shining directly into the eyes of a person on stage. This can be done using crank-up stands or ‘trees.’ You want to avoid the light being head on to the stage with ground supported lighting, if you cannot get it high enough. Another way to achieve ground supported stage lighting would be to move the light trees out to the far sides or corners of the room.
To achieve the best lighting look on stage, add backlighting that surrounds the sides and back of the person or group of people on stage to frame them. This creates a more defined look and will reduce shadows behind the person while also adding more depth.
• Are you doing IMAG (image of speaker on screen)?
• Will you be recording any or all of your event?
• What are your logo or event theme colors?
• What are you doing for your stage set?
• Will you be using projection or LED panels?*
*This determines the type of lighting used for the stage wash.
The last two questions seem like they might border on decorative or fun lighting but it is more about controlling the overall lighting on stage. Some details about your speakers and presenters that are important to consider and share with your lighting designer would be the type of clothing they will be wearing, their skin tones, whether anyone is bald, and will makeup be needed.
As you are choosing a location for your meetings and events, make sure to look at room light controls and distinguish whether they have dimmable lights. The more controlled the lighting is, the more flexibility you’ll have with projection and lighting for your event.
• Are the house lights dimmable?
• How controlled is the lighting in the room? Is there a wall switch, program with remote device? Can light control be tied into the technology partners lighting control system?
• What type of light fixtures are in the room? Fluorescent, LED, Tungsten?
• How tall is the ceiling?
• Can lights be hung in the ceiling?*
*This may involve rigging which leads to another conversation about their requirements
• Is there sufficient power to support lighting?
Having the answers to these questions will allow you to be knowledgeable as you work with your technology partner to help create a lighting solution for your next event.
Emily Giunta is the Director of Marketing and Business Development at CLE. She joined the CLE team in November 2014 as an Account Executive. She has been in the event industry since 2009. Visit www.cleproductions.com or CLE's Facebook page www.facebook.com/clelights.