Event Lighting Ideas

Blog-Every-Day-in-November-with-RosaliliumHappy Diwali!  It is the Hindu festival of lights.  It is also day three of #BEDN (Blog Every Day in November) and whether you are Hindu or not, the topic today is to think (and blog!) about light.

Lighting is an effective and often cost effective way to transform the ambiance of an event or conference or to create special effects.  It can be used to set the mood and tone and to create stunning visual effects.  This posts looks at some lighting ideas for you to consider at future events and we have included a few different pictures from some of our events to help illustrate the type of effects that can easily be created.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to chat to your photographer and/or videographer about the lighting levels and effects before the event gets underway so they know what to expect and have the right equipment and settings prepared to capture the event.

Andy Whitehead Photography*

Andy Whitehead Photography*

A Dimmer System is a great way to have control of the lighting levels and to easily subdue or brighten the lighting in a room.

Coloured gels can be placed over bulbs to create lovely muted, soft lighting.  Coloured lighting can really help to set the mood and can also be matched to corporate or event colours as desired.  We regularly use a conference set covered in grey felt and then introduce lighting to create a wash of the desired colour to give a bespoke look to every event.

Light can be used to draw attention to conferences3certain areas, such as a venue feature.  Uplighting by placing a light at floor level shining upwards can highlight an architectural element such as a pillar, walkway, arch, etc or draw attention to a banner or event branding.

Light can also distract from other areas and can be used to control the flow of visitors around an event, in essence drawing them towards the light and “blocking off” areas in darkness.

Andy Whitehead Photography*

Andy Whitehead Photography*

Often it is important to highlight speakers and performers to ensure the audience can see them clearly.  This could be via lighting at the lectern or follow spots.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to check that lighting is comfortable for the speaker/performer – you don’t want to blind them!


Gobos are like a stencil put over a light to project logos, patterns or photographic images.  They are a great way to add branding to the event – e.g. the event logo and can be static or moving.

Smoke and haze effects are a great way to highlight light beams and make them stand out for a far greater effect.

If you are running a dinner don’t forget the ambiance and intimacy that traditional candles and tea lights can create on the tables too!

If you need to create something really special your audio visual company will be able to suggest and create a unique lighting show for your event.  This can be pre-programmed from the lighting desk and even set in time with music and other special effects.


Andy Whitehead Photography*

A more expensive option but a great talking point is to project onto a building.  We projected a sponsors logo and message onto the Natural History Museum in London, whilst the launch and gala dinner took place inside.  It gave a big welcome to guests as they arrived but also helped to spread a much wider message to people passing by.

A huge talking point from the Queens Jubilee concert was when Madness used lighting projected onto Buckingham Palace to transform it into a street of terraced houses!  The  amazing visuals were created by Trunk Animation.  Follow this link to relive the amazing creative light show: Our House by Madness.conferences5

If you are baffled by lighting options we recommend that you talk to your event management company or audio visual company and they will be happy to help and to suggest options to match your budget.

Happy Diwali!

The photos credited (*) were taken by our wonderful event photographer:
Andy Whitehead Photography

TechFest 2012

On Monday 18th June Becki Cross from Events Northern Ltd attended TechFest 2012  at the Mermaid Conference Centre, London.  Read more about the event in this blog post….

TechFest (http://tech-fest.co.uk/) is an event aimed purely at event organisers and focused on Event Technology.

I have to admit that it was lovely to be attending an event as a delegate for a change rather than to be ensuring everything runs smoothly behind the scenes for others!  I started the day armed with a brand new notebook – not sure if that is allowed at an event focused on event technology but as a stationary geek it made me happy at least (simple pleasures)!

We were greeted and welcome to the event by Oscar the Robot.  It was good to see Oscar live in action as I am desperate to use him for my own future events but haven’t yet had the opportunity!  Oscar was at his most charming, commenting that he “liked my red bag” as I went past.  As anticipated Oscar proved a great hit throughout the event talking to delegates, smiling for photos and generally attracting attention to himself – an excellent engagement tool which is proven to be particularly valuable in terms of attracting footfall to exhibition stands and other promotional activities.

The event had tried to do things differently, rather than by traditional means; for example attendees were invited from the “Making Good Organisers Great” LinkedIn Group and there were no delegate packs at the event.  We did find however that by our very nature event planners are generally very meticulous and so many of us attending the event had printed out our own event programme and brought it with us to refer to!

At the registration desk we had to choose a badge based on our knowledge of event technology.  Gemma thrust a Pink Badge onto me – signifying that I was knowledgeable about event technology!  Other colours signified those that had some or little expertise in this area and the badges were designed as an ice breaker and conversation starter.

The event was expertly Chaired by Alan Stevens (@mediacoach).  He highlighted that technology can be a great thing if used appropriately but also gave wise words of warning that all speakers should be prepared to manage with or out technology when presenting “just in case.”  He also outlined a true story of an event which had the event Twitter feeds prominent on the stage behind the speaker but in full view of the audience.  The audience used Twitter to complain how bad the speaker was and then collectively decided to do a countdown to leave the room, at which point three quarters of the audience departed.  The remaining audience then had to point out the Twitter messages to the bewildered speaker to explain the reason for the mass departure.

Jamie Vaughan, Sales Director at So Visit gave some interesting facts during his presentation:

80% of leads from an event are never followed up.

As an event organiser this is both baffling and disappointing as this is a massive lost opportunity.  Proving the Return on Investment of attending or exhibiting at an event is vital to ensure the business opportunities and revenue is maximized and ensure future approval.

94.9% of attendees welcome ongoing communications post show.

To highlight once again the lost opportunity represented by the previous fact – leads from an exhibition are generally “warm” and receptive to communication.  This should be seized and definitely not wasted under any circumstances!

Hellen Beveridge, Trainer and Consultant at PureRocketScience gave a commons sense presentation on social media campaigns.  She stressed the importance of knowing your audience, seeing your event from the audience perspective and setting the goals you want to achieve from the campaign.

After hearing from Quick Mobile about the many benefits of using a mobile app for events William was asked why he hadn’t had an event app for the event.  This started comments about how mobile apps can be time consuming in terms of adding the event information.  Many of the audience disagreed with this, telling others they were using the wrong apps if it required hours or days of work!  (By the way – if you are looking for a competitively priced mobile event app we recommend that you should investigate www.advancedeventsolutions.com).

In the afternoon we joined tables for World Cafe Discussion Groups.  The groups highlighted the difference in experience and knowledge between some of the attendees (e.g. some still use paper registration forms) but the groups I joined sparked some interesting conversations and discussions.

The day was frankly over too soon with cars waiting to whisk us over to HAC for champagne and show rounds.

I got a lot out of the day in terms of the networking opportunities and some of the presentations.  I met some fantastic people and it was great to finally meet in person some contacts I only knew previously through email or social media.

All credit to William from Gallus Events for putting on this free conference for event organisers – probably the most critical audience he could have targeted!  Well done and thanks also to Gemma Pears for looking after everyone so well.

I will definitely look forward to TechFest 2013!

Did you attend TechFest 2012?  What did you get out of the day?  What would you like to see from TechFest 2013?  I would love to hear your thoughts below. 

International Confex 2012

This week Events Northern Ltd had a whirlwind trip down to London for International Confex 2012.  Confex is an essential day out for anyone who organises events and this year took place between the 6th and 8th March, at ExCel, London.  We visited the show on Wednesday and had a very productive visit.  Although we stayed for the full day the exhibition passed by only too quickly for our liking – too many people to speak to in too little time!

As always it was useful to meet up with current clients, venues and suppliers.  It was great to catch up on recent and future planned developments at the Barbican.  We were also really pleased to see Visit Manchester and Liverpool Convention Bureau out in force with some of our favourite Northern venues represented.

In some cases I matched faces to contacts I had only ever spoken to previously via phone or email so it was great to say “hello” in person!  In particular it was great to finally meet Banks from the Active Network and Adam from Hospitality and Events North.

It is really important to us to be up to date with new developments, products and innovations in the event industry.  We feel that these are exciting times for this fast moving sector and we need to ensure we can advise our clients on the best value and most exciting technologies to suit their requirements.  Confex is always a great way to get up to speed with the latest products and to have live demonstrations and question companies about their newest offerings.  The use of social media, touch screen technology, ipads and mobile phones apps were all very apparent at the show to reflect the way conferences and events have developed even over the last few years.  We particularly enjoyed all of the interactive touch products on show from Smart AV which included single-touch to multi-touch, screens, walls, tables, PC’s and tablets.

Another product we loved was the newly launched Rollerwall.  This product can be used to create a marketing space or backdrop wherever you need it.  Unlike a traditional pop up exhibition stand it is ready to use instantly and will bend and adapt to fit the space available.  It can be used as a room divider or can be retracted and hidden away in one solid pillar.  The graphics zip-in and are easily changeable.  Visuals can be different on each side of the rollerwall giving two stands in one.  Alternatively one side can be kept free of graphics completely so that it can be used as a projection screen.

One of our forthcoming conferences requires translation services so it was great to discuss different options such as whisper translation systems and translation booths with the AV Department Ltd.

Sadly many of the exhibitors commented to me that the show was a lot quieter than in previous years, which could be a relection on the tough economic climate.  It will be very interesting therefore to find out the final total attendance figures over the three days of the exhibition.  For Events Northern Ltd though the trip to Confex was very worthwhile and productive.

Liverpool – the UKs friendliest city

Congratulations to Liverpool, winners at two important award ceremonies recently!

Liverpool Radio Tower and Construction

Image by akabilk via Flickr

Readers of Conde Nast Traveller voted Liverpool “the UKs most friendliest city” for the second year running and also recognised it as a place that offers best value for money.  The 2011 awards also maintained Liverpool’s position as the 4th Favourite UK City for the second successive year, ranking only behind London, Edinburgh and Bath.

A few weeks later readers of Group Leisure magazine named Liverpool the “best UK city.” Travel industry professionals’ voted Liverpool their favourite place ahead of Cardiff, London and York.

Liverpool has benefited from major investment in recent years, resulting in new attractions, hotels and events which, together with a rich culture and heritage, play a vital part in attracting first time visitors and encouraging others to return.

The Albert Dock, Liverpool

Image via Wikipedia

Chief Executive of The Mersey Partnership, Lorraine Rogers commented: “This is a fantastic acknowledgement for Liverpool. Anecdotally Liverpool is often known for its friendly welcome and the warmth of its people – but for this to be officially recognised by readers of one of the leading and most discerning travel magazines for the second year running is a major accolade for the destination. This is a tribute to the taxi drivers, tour guides, hoteliers and everyone who works in the Visitor Economy.”

“We have a great range of world class venues, attractions and hotels which appeal to leisure and business visitors and this asset combined with the warmth of the people and the welcome we give visitors which encourages them to spread the word about what a great time they’ve had. The people of Liverpool are one of our important assets and this award is a very special endorsement.”

“The city has a strong appeal to all types of groups; international visitors on their first trip

Superlambanana - SuperFanBanana

Image by nataliej via Flickr

to Britain attracted by our Beatles links; UK groups wanting to see our cultural attractions and spectacular Waterfront – part of the Unesco World Heritage Site- and those looking for fantastic shopping at Liverpool One followed by the legendary nightlife.”

Liverpool City Region’s Visitor Economy currently generates visitor spend of £2.8billion and is estimated to support approximately 41,000 jobs a year.

Rob Yandell, editor of Group Leisure, added: “The group travel market is still incredibly strong. Our readership of active group travel organisers has a tough job ensuring everything they plan runs smoothly so it is particularly interesting to see who, what and where they think is the best.”

Events Northern Ltd love holding events in Liverpool and can confirm that it certainly offers a warm welcome and is a fantastic destination for those attending events in the city.

Would you agree that the Liverpool welcome is friendlier than other UK cities?  What sets the “Liverpudlian” welcome above all others in your opinion?