Technical Fun

I’m a tech, It’s great fun to look at all the neat toys and gadgets they have and think wouldn’t it be great to have those at our conferences.   It was very fun to look at what was done and think about how would I do something similar.  Then to be able to walk up to the stage and find out how they actually did it.

The curtains on the main stage really impressed me.  As you can see in this image, the curtains tend to blend in with the colors in use.  For the Golden Gavel dinner, they were gold and at other times, they were a nice purple color.

Clearly they had lights on them, I didn’t anticipate that the lights would be giant LED light bars that could blast out any color combination that you could dream up.  The Gold color looked like they were golden curtains.  Each color looked like it was dyed specific for the event.  This method allowed the tone to be set for each and every event which was a very cool effect.

There were also hanging items designed to break up the background.  Visually it stood out as a great accent.  The more time I spent admiring the little details like this, the more I understood why they were setting up on our first day of district leader training.

The Board of Directors briefing combines two of the rooms used for semi finales together by removing the air wall between them.  At that point, the room is an exact mirror of itself.  This is the left half of the room.  Behind the flower is a monitor so the person on stage can see what is on the screen without looking.  In addition, there is an additional monitor that the people on each side of the speaker can easily see without being obvious.  One thing I did not is that they were not using rear projection.  It did create an occasional moment where someone walked in front of the projector and created a shadow on the screen.

The other half of the stage that you can’t see above is what you see below.  The podium and table were always up there.  There was also a seat on the stage for the contest master.  Each contestant would be mic’d behind the curtain and then step through it directly onto the stage.  This was one thing that I think really sped up the progression of each speaker to the stage.

The other big item that I noticed was that they had a wired microphone sitting on the stage with a coiled cable available should anything go wrong.  We all do everything we can to avoid that, but it does happen.  This is a simple solution to ensure that if it does, the contestant can easily continue without significant disruption.

Last item that I had to show was the podium.  I think there were two of them, but like the curtains, this was something that could quickly change with a new slide in front section to match the colors.  The metal frame really makes it pop.  I think the best thing of all was that it was available when the room was open and many people took pictures of them behind the TI podium.