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Special Event Design

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  1. Special Event Design Unique Elements & Permits Virginia Stipp Lawrence, MHM

  2. Checkpoint • Where is YOUR progress?

  3. Unique Elements • What are Unique Elements • Entertainment/Living Décor • Signage (not just your everyday signage) • Food • Lighting Effects • Candles • Ice • Pyrotechnics

  4. Entertainment • Main Entertainment • Attention of entire audience (focus) • Bands, troupes, speakers, performances • Often headliners or purpose of event • Incidental Entertainment • Background Music (wall paper music) • Adds to theme, mood or atmosphere • Can attract / direct traffic by volume • Sight Acts • Entertainers to walk around guests and interact or not • Issues with sight acts – make sure you choose the correct sight acts, you view them first and their “act” (they are part of the background first)

  5. Living Decor • Living Décor • Actors as part of décor • Attracts attention with demanding full attention • Adds movement, style • Bravo Entertainment • Living Statues • Non-moving actors • Need lighting and costuming/make-up • Really is theatre (the birdcage) • May move to add an element of surprise • Karen Bacon

  6. Living Buffets • Use of actors (living statues) servings cocktails or as part of buffets • Ensuring they are appropriate • Ensuring they are not “part” of the buffet

  7. Decorative Signage • Risk Management Signs • Necessary • Removal or obstruction is violation of the law • Informational Signs • Directional and operational • Should be in a style and color palette compatible to the décor BUT ALSO be readible • Typestyle should a easily readible font • Arial Bold, Arial, Melior, Times New Roman • Should be placed where people will see them- below six feet is too low • Decorative Signs • Add to atmosphere and/or is part of décor • Logo is often incoporated • Graphics are incorporated • Look to invitation and match

  8. Food • Decorative buffets • Chatchke • Tailoring • Bunching • Edible Centerpieces • Beverages as Décor- used very often • Themed drinks • Theme Desserts (Oscars) • Pictures are worth 1000 words

  9. Lighting • Lighting effects can offer many unique decorative and creative additions with little or no technical skill but caution should be used and careful thought should be taken when choosing the right one • Miniature lights (B lights) • Low voltage “fairy lights”. 35 ft, 50 ft, 100 ft light sets and plug can be stacked or plug end to end. (no more than 3 together) • Great to outline props, create temp signs, use in trees and foilage (my fav)

  10. Fiber-optic • Panel or curtain will have tiny fibers attached to it with the ends sticking out of it so that they are visible to the front. Tiny cables are bundled together and run to a light source to create a “starry sky” effect. • Fiber optic curtains can be customized and are very delicate. • Can be rented by theatrical and light rental companies and should only be handled by them.

  11. Rope lights • Inexpensive, solid plastic with lights inside. Can be walked on and used to outline just about anything on the floors and walls. Bend easily. • Some come with a sequencing hub. • Centerpiece lights • Oldest form – battery operated mini lights • Did not last very long and did not add much light • Newer forms are LEDs and mini batteries and are very small • Some are activated by water • Some are plates

  12. Neon Light • Still considered the most unique lighting technique in events • The light itself is not the expense it is the color and tubes because they have to be bent by hand to the desired shape • Battery operated neon is available but it is expensive • Lasers • Ion lasers amplify and concentrate light into coherent beams that can manipulated via a system of mirrors. High power white lasers combine krypton and argon gases in a plasma generator to create pure white light that can be broken down into primary colors • Tunnels, sheet effects, cone effects, colored fans, animated images

  13. Candles • Mainly used for mood- not for light • Types • Glass enclosed (some venues require this) • Non-glass enclosed • Types of candles • Votives, tapers (drip and non-drip), column, pillar), pegged votive (hole at bottom) • Faux taper (spring loaded) • Paraffin (most common), beeswax (more beautiful), soy wax (burns cooler) • Avoid scented • Candlesticks • Hurricanes, Bobeche, Floating, Tea, Votive holders, Oyster cup (10 hr votives)

  14. Candle Rules • You are dealing with fire • Check the rules of the venue • Candles and Wind are not the greatest of partners – check it • Non-drip tapers, no taller than 15 inches • Not appropriate for luncheons or daytime events

  15. Ice • Issues- expense, weight, lighting, length of time it can last, purpose • Individually carved pieces of ice- traditional- very expensive • Carved from one piece of ice • Ice Magic

  16. Pyrotechnics • Indoor Pyrotechnics • Close-proximity displays • Special rules apply to indoor pyrotechnics the audience be a minimum of 15 feet from any effect; everything involved in the stage, scenery, props and costumes must be flame-retarded • Flash pots, flame projectors, flares, sparkle fountains, pinwheels • Low-Level displays • Preloaded w/multiple mortars, stadium venues, off buildings • Comets, candles, mines, pinwheels, whistles, hummers, salutes (sounds), aerial shells (colors) • Aerial Displays • Hundreds of mortars mounted on racks or sandboxes using traditional fireworks experiences

  17. Pyrotechnics • All can be choreographed by computer • Pyrotechnicians are licensed by local, state and/or federal officials. ATF, DOT • Insurance • Flame Retardant materials (wedding dresses and sparklers) • Fire Marshal Laws • Cost , 10 minute Aerial Show can cost $2,000 per minute