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Protec at The ME Awards 2016: Artistry and Engineering

Protec at The ME Awards 2016: Artistry and Engineering

UAE – As unexpected pieces of theatre go, the sight of an industrial robot gracefully sketching the finer features of Jimi Hendrix takes some beating. And so it was that at this year’s Middle East EVENT Awards, a marriage of artistry and industrial engineering that saw Production Technology LLC (Protec) receive the award for ‘Best use of Event Technology’ from organisers Informa Exhibitions.

“This award category was only introduced this year and is a very special one for us,” said company founder Steve Lakin. “The award is unique; making robots inhabit any presentation is a challenging task yet what we’ve done here is but one small example. The potential is only limited by your imagination and I’m proud to say the people and skills within Protec are up to whatever you throw at us.”

Staged at the Joharah Ballroom in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Informa Exhibitions also engaged the services of Protec to stage the award show. “Working with Protec over the past eight months toward creating the largest, and most technically ambitious, edition of the Middle East EVENT Awards of the last nine years has been a real pleasure,” said Lauren McDermott, Informa project manager, Middle East EVENT Awards. “With a new venue to contend with, Protec were tasked with delivering a full spectrum show, integrating the latest technological advancements within sound, lights and on-screen content. Not only did they deliver one of the most visually astounding shows we have ever seen, it was done seamlessly and without fault.”

Protec provided all the sound, light and video as well as rigging and communications, all production managed by Eddie Andradé. “Putting on a show like this has its own special pressures,” said Andradé afterwards. “Motion controlled video projection, almost 200 moving lights, and a distributed PA system, rigged across a busy ballroom with just six metres of headroom: all these various technologies have to perform at 110%. This is not like a live concert in front of 10,000 people or a big corporate event for global leaders. This is an event in front of an audience composed entirely of our peers, industry professionals from across the world and so you’d better make sure it’s perfect.”

Many present at the ceremony agreed, “All credit to Protec for taking the bull by the horns,” said Darren Hodge, director, SNAP LLC, one of Dubai’s leading production providers. “In this case, when you’re working to budget with a restricted venue space and the fact that you’ve got over 1,000 of the most celebrated event professionals in the industry there to watch you, I think that what Protec delivered was excellent. There was great kit, the video was crisp and looked great, the lighting was abundant and very strong and overall I think the show had very high standards and was very professionally delivered. A fitting compliment to celebrating the outstanding achievements of the industry’s professionals in the Middle East.”

Protec exploited every aspect of the Joharah venue; all 52 points of rigging available were used while twenty 20K Barco projectors were concealed up within the ceiling void. Control by their d3 4x4 pro media server with a BlackTrax system used as a backup, ensured seamless video as the screens tracked horizontally across the presentation area. The screens tracked open as part of the opening video revealing the MEEA logo that was initially used as a mapped projection surface and later lit internally with Schnick Schnack video strips to maintain continuous visibility and overcome the problem of shadows as winners were on stage. Lighting played a crucial part; primarily there for that essential pizazz such events demand, they also worked to effectively support the opening video as well as the visual impact of two hologauze screens that flanked the central projections. “Working in collusion with Drive Productions (London), Informa’s chosen content creatives, such 3D illusions demand crafted lighting and clever projection to achieve maximum impact,” said Andradé. “Drive did such a fantastic job we had to rise to the occasion. A black-box enclosure is the simple part; the way you light it has a profound impact on how it is perceived by the viewing audience.”

Andradé was pleased to note: “Afterwards we were approached by several producers in the audience who wanted to have similar effects for their own presentations.” Darrel Jamieson, executive director for Creative & Design at HQCreative, itself a winner of an ME Event Award for the last eight years, had this to say: “At long last the Middle East Events Awards took place in a setting fit for the purpose. The awards show this year truly reflected the use of technology and excellence in design that we are there to celebrate. Protec did an amazing job. On what we’ve seen this year I believe the awards show itself should be entered as an award nominee next year.”

Informa were equally impressed. “The team spent countless hours on site working towards delivering the event” commented McDermott, “And were willing to go to any level to make sure we (the client) were happy and comfortable with all branding and content. As part of an international partnership, Protec worked with UK-based Drive Productions to create truly unique content that elevated the whole experience. This was a big year for the Middle East EVENT Awards, with the new venue and the return of Ruby Wax. To complement that we wanted a big looking show to match and Protec were the catalyst in making it happen.”

In picture: Protec owner, Steve Lakin being presented with ‘Best use of Event Technology’ Award. 

15th June 2016

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