8 Occasions When professional

Event Lighting Design Matters

Top 8 Occasions When Event Lighting Design Matter

Professional event lighting design should be on every event planner’s production schedule. Lighting design plays a pivotal role in any professional event – from product launches to the red carpet, conferences to catwalks, parties to awards. If your event is not lit correctly, you lose the opportunity to make a bold statement and make a lasting impression on your guests and delegates.

In this article we cover our top 8 occasions when professional event lighting design really does matter.

1. Launch Event Lighting Design

Launch events come in all forms – from staged events to audience participation. It’s impossible to pin point one lighting genre for a launch event for every sector, as there are several approaches a production company can take. However, we can offer some guidance; as a rule, the lighting should depict the brand, its culture, emotion and of course highlight the product or service being presented for the first time.

Build Drama and Suspense

One approach is to use event lighting to build drama and anticipation ahead of a big reveal. Assuming you have a static stage and a live or virtual audience, who are viewing the launch from one position, we would rig a selection of moving and static lighting fixtures around the focal point.

The lighting rig would be programmed according to the presenter’s script and synchronised to the chosen music. To create the lighting design, we would lighting fixtures that offer a range of beam widths, colours, patterns and colour washes.

In this setting, the event lighting helps:

  • To build suspense ahead of big reveal
  • Evoke emotions
  • Incorporate the branding
  • Highlight the product’s key features

This approach is particularly effective for certain sectors, such as automotive, sports, fashion, broadcast, communications and travel.

Pull Focus

The second approach is not too dissimilar to that you might see from the likes of tech firms, such as Apple. They keep the set and stage very simple, using subtle tungsten lighting that focusses on the product and presenter.

A subtle lighting design is effective for launches where the focus is on what the product does rather than what it looks like.

Elevate the Experience

Our third lighting solution is for launches where the audience test and trial the product or service. For example, guests could be expected to sit at work stations or given a tour of new venue, hotel or construction project.

In this situation, we would look to elevate the interior and exterior of the venue, using architectural lighting. To maximise the impact, we could project images or a logo onto the front of the building and install search lights that can be seen for miles around.

Inside, we would install up-lighters to wash the walls and ceilings in colour, projection to create texture, and generic lighting for workstations or product trials.

2. On The Red Carpet – Film Premieres and VIP Parties

When it comes to event production, you can’t get much more extravagant than the red carpet. From film premieres to VIP parties, it’s a whirlwind of glitz and glamour. But, consider this – if you were to remove the lighting from these events, would they be as impressive, dazzling and captivating? Essentially, what you would see is printed set panels, a red carpet, some props and a lot darkness.

The lighting at such an event doesn’t only set the scene and build drama, but it also supports the filming and photography for reporters and press, giving them essential lighting to do their job.

Typically a red carpet event would require an extensive lighting rig, comprising a range of moving lights, projection, soft lighting, LED up-lighters, battens, and festoon.

For continuity, the interior lighting should be just as impressive as the red carpet entrance. Inside the venue, an event lighting designer might look to implement colour washes and gobo projections.

3. Corporate Events and Conference Lighting Design

Professional event lighting design is a staple requirement for the majority of corporate events and conferences. From the moment the delegates enter the conference room, or hospitality suite they should feel immersed in the brand. It should be an experience they remember and want to revisit.

Event lighting also helps to deliver a key message through dramatic effect. Take for example, a conference, where the presenter enters the stage, or delivers a key message. These moments can be dramatised with moving lights, dimmer and/or follow spots.

Lighting can also provide brand consistency for conferences and corporate events that travel globally. Great lighting design will help maintain a look and feel no matter where the event takes place in the world.

Finally on this subject, it’s worth noting that many conferences and corporate events are filmed for a virtual audience. Therefore, we would recommend incorporating broadcast lighting to the production budget. There’s more on this on our virtual event production page.

4. Award Ceremony Lighting

You can’t have an award ceremony without professional event lighting design. An awards show requires the same level of glitz and glamour as a film premiere. Yet, the focus is on the interior lighting instead of the red carpet entrance.

The lighting at an awards ceremony will help to:

  • Build anticipation ahead of an announcement
  • Follow spot the winner
  • Mark a win or celebration
  • Showcase a performance

The stage should be the focal point of any award ceremony. Therefore, it requires a substantial lighting rig with moving lights, profiles, follow-spots and projection. Around the room’s perimeter, we would typically install LED battery up-lighters or battens to colour wash the walls.

5. Concerts and Music Festival Lighting

Sound and lighting go hand in hand. So, it’s no surprise that live music concerts and festivals are in our top ‘8 occasions when professional event lighting design matters’.

Concerts and festival lighting specifications vary enormously. It’s dependent on the music venue, outdoor staging set up, the budget and the production level. For example, a low-key festival generally uses the same lighting spec, designer and programmer for all its artists. However, mainstream bands playing at the likes of Glastonbury and V Festival have their own designers and programmers. Therefore, the specification requirements will vary significantly for larger festivals.

The same goes for music concerts in venues. Some venues will be equipped to light basic concert productions. Yet, a lighting designer for an established band or artists may have a specific look they want to create. Therefore, they will require additional lighting hire and installation.

6. Fashion Show Lighting

Fashion designers strive to be more avant garde than their counterparts. Today’s fashion show productions can take place in the most obscure locations and venues around the world. Here are a few examples:

  • In 2007 Pierre Cardin created a catwalk on the sand dunes of China.
  • Here in London, Alexander McQueen’s 2021 LFW show took place in a clear structure on the rooftop of a 10-story carpark in East London’s Tobacco Docklands.
  • Marc Jacobs’ 2021 show was hosted in New York’s Public Library, one of the quietest places in the bustling city.
  • In 2017, Silvia Venturini Fendi had models strut around the Trevi Fountain in Rome at night, giving the impression they were walking on water.

Given that not all fashion shows have the budget of haute couture labels, our team are accustomed to lighting catwalks shows in marquees, hotels and unique venues.

The lighting design for fashion shows varies enormously, and is very much dependent on budget, the access and the venue. Typically the brief to the lighting designer ranges from traditional lighting, to a vibrant and dynamic approach, or a fully immersive design.

Essentially, the main focus of brief for fashion show lighting design is to deliver a scheme that complements the garments, while evoking a mood.

7. Private Events and Celebrations

Upscaled events, where the intention is to impress the guests will certainly require professional event lighting.

Lighting for high-end private parties and celebrations can be themed to suit the occasion and event styling. There are many private events that have called for professional event lighting – some may surprise you. Take a look:

  • Weddings and civil ceremonies
  • Funerals
  • Baby Showers
  • Christening, Baptisms and Bar Mitzvahs
  • Birthday Parties

8. Exhibition Stand Lighting

Finally, we reach exhibitions. Big stands need to make a big impact. If lit correctly an exhibition stand can make or break its success.

Exhibition stand lighting needs to represent the brand, draw a crowd and immerse the audience in the product or service being promoted.

From a production point of view, when specifying lighting and rigging at a major exhibition hall, it’s important to use an experienced supplier. Someone who understands the cost of using rigging points in these venues and power supply will help you make significant savings on the venue costs, while ensuring your exhibit stands out from the crowd.

Event Lighting Design Wrapped Up in One Tidy Production Package

Did we mention that offer professional event lighting design for all of the above events? In fact there are a lot more event genres that we cater for, these are merely our top 8.

If you would like to learn more about our event lighting design service or our turnkey technical production solutions, please contact The Production People.

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