Creating the perfect event lighting
★ Good event lighting can be set up around any size of budget – think about what you want to do first , talk to your venue and take advice from an events planner or lighting designer. Most venues will have overhead lighting but as that’s not the most flattering it’s important to think about the venue as a blank canvas and start afresh when planning your events design.
★ Visit the venue so you can evaluate the size of the venue and where lighting is needed (and where the power points are – though remember modern uplighters are battery powered enabling you to light hard to reach areas or places where you want to avoid trip wires). See if you can schedule your venue visit when an event with a similar setup to yours is taking place. You’ll get to see the rooms in action, and you may get some ideas for setup too.
★ What sort of lighting kit does the venue provide? Most venues provide basic lighting but you’ll want to enhance it to create an impact. Speak to your your event company about bringing in additional kit – even simple kit such as additional uplighters and spotlights can transform a venue.
★ Think about the key areas you want to light. If you’re holding a conference the key focus would of course be the stage and the speakers with some some theatrical lighting at the front to focus attention. Shift attendees’ focus to speakers or guests of honour with spotlighting. Spotlights also can be used to light stages, runways and aisles. The lighting around the audience should be more subtle but still strong enough for note taking.
★ Choose colour washes that compliment your brand or try plain white light if you want your presentation to stand out but make sure you avoid bright white florescent lighting as it’s really harsh on the eyes and instead look to create soft, warm lighting around the sides. Try using colour to differentiate areas in a venue for different activities or the pace of the event if it’s going from day to evening.
★ To make an impression think about incorporating some stand-out lighting effects. Gobos can be used to beam your logo or any patterned design onto an event space and add visual excitement and movement to an event. You can project gobos onto ceilings, floors, walls or even running water & vapour. Use them on the outside of a building to welcome and excite guests, create a lightshow with moving gobos or project light patterns onto the ceiling in the evening to change the atmosphere of the room.
★ Lighting shows that are specifically designed for your event are a great way to set the scene – use them at at corporate events before an awards ceremony or speeches to hush the crowd or build excitement and energy for the main event.
★ Don’t just use lighting to set the mood. Think about how you can use it to design your space. With clever design you can use it to divide rooms or to highlight features of the venue or elements of the event. Spot lighting can allow focal points to stand out. If you’re including an evening reception try highlighting the drinks display but placing it on LED glass to enable it to stand out.
★ It’s hard to beat candles if you’re looking to bring an intimacy to a space but make sure you check on the venues policy in regard to open flames in closed spaces and think through how you use them – battery operated candles offer the same flickering effect as wax candles and can be a much safer option on dining tables – especially considering the current trend for wide floating sleeves on dresses!
★ String lights work well for tented receptions but don’t feel restricted as there are lots of options and washes can work just as well here as inside and can bring an element of surprise – the ‘indoors outdoors’ trend shows no sign of abating and a chandelier suspended inside a marquee is a great way to achieve this effect. If your venue has an outdoor area don’t overlook it – with careful lighting it can become another room, try carefully positioned lighting under large trees and strings of beautiful festoon lights.
★ Speak to your lighting designer about the latest technology and how to incorporate it into your event. Projection mapping is a powerful tool at product launches or presentations as products can be bought to life with animation and moving graphics.
★ Consider whether the event is going to be filmed or photographed and ensure that the lighting will enable the event to be captured easily.
★ Remote lighting will give you the flexibility to control the lighting during the event and respond to any changes in weather that effect the natural daylight.
Evolve Events team have over twenty years’ experience in producing corporate events and creating the perfect event lighting. The team is headed up by Gary Peters who has been voted as one of the most influential people in the events industry, listed on Event Magazine’s Top 100 Club.
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