Blackout's Perfect Planning at Tech-Ed 2002

The Blackout team with the drapes intended for the Microsoft Tech-Ed 2002 conference.

4 July 2002

Tech-Ed 2002 offers Microsoft developers and IT professionals from across Europe the opportunity to update their knowledge of the latest integrated solutions from the world's largest software supplier and hone their expertise with the product range.

Drapes and rigging specialists Blackout Ltd have been appointed by UK production house, PCI Live, to supply all the blackout draping and production rigging services for the event which is held at the enormous Fira de Barcelona 2 exhibition centre this month, filling the entire space of both gigantic halls. The first hall, measuring over 500m in length, over 15m high and some 100m wide, is transformed into 11 acoustically friendly rooms, the smallest of which seats 880 delegates, the largest having the capacity for over 2000. The second hall houses the conferences catering and keynote facilities, including a 6000 capacity room with full production rigging and automated set.

Blackout has supplied a staggering 53,000sq.m of black wool serge drape from its extensive hire stock - enough to cover 11 football pitches! Weighing in at over 30 tonnes the drapes filled three 45' trailers. The rigging required a further five trailers to transport the 1,465m of truss, 195 motors and 36 manual chain hoists.

The thousand or so drapes specified for the project are all coded using coloured ties and loaded by room to be distributed around the halls by the trucks and local crew who are then easily able to identify which drapes go where. The drapes are suspended, using in excess of 10,000 snap hooks, from over 5km of catenary wires installed in the roof structure by Blackout's rigging team. Blackout's project managers, Chris Brain, Eric Porter and Kevin Monks worked closely with technical manager Tom Lambert during the pre-production period to produce the CAD drawings from which the entire project was planned.

(Ruth Rossington)

 

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