Productions at unique locations #5

Project: Corporate Event, British Museum London

In this blog series, we’ll be highlighting a selection of our productions at unique locations. Each time we will feature a different, special location. This time we share the fifth article in the series. Almost three years ago, in 2019, we provided the production for a corporate event in the heart of London. In this article, we will tell you everything about this special production.

Commissioned by MCI The Netherlands, we were able to provide the technical production for an impressive corporate event at the British Museum in London. We were allowed to think along in the whole concept from start to finish. The location of this event is unique, because the museum is located in the heart of London and it is a historic building with an added roof to serve as a charming art gallery. There was no detailed 3D drawing in DWG or VWX of the museum in advance. We created a detailed 3D drawing in order to be able to design the event properly. Besides, the 3D drawing was needed for the video mapping and content creation of Live Legends for designing the show. To visualize the location, we used the Point Cloud Scanning technique with the assistance of Jeroen Backx from Production World. From now on, the British Museum has an extensive 3D drawing of the complete event area. That gave us the opportunity to get started producing properly!

‘’The whole museum transformed into a beautiful event location. It was great to be part of this project and of course you feel very happy and satisfied if you return home after such a success.’’
Bart Roelen | Managing Director

Bart Roelen, our Managing Director, was overall responsible for this project. We had an interview with Bart to find out more!

What was the biggest challenge of this project?
We produced this event in a historic building in the middle of the City of London. Transportation of materials in several trucks to this location was one of our biggest challenges, because large trucks are not allowed on the museum square and surrounding streets. Those streets simply could not handle the weight of the trucks. Once we arrived at the museum, the next challenge announced itself, we had to transport all of our equipment through a few small doors to get to the right position inside the British Museum. We had to make our equipment, without wheels from itself, as mobile as possible by means of rolling risers and rolling dollies. Everything had to be brought inside on (soft) wheels or with a pallet truck on wooden planks to distribute the weight and protect the museum floors from damage. Most of the equipment came out of the trucks and only had to be moved once, but we also had materials such as tables and chairs that had to be transported to the storage area every day. For setting up tables and chairs we had 1.5 hours every day. As soon as the museum closed, we moved all the rolling risers with the tables and chairs amongst others, to the right position to start the event rehearsals. The museum has extensive opening hours. The museum is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. This meant the production was more challenging, we could only build outside opening hours to minimize the inconvenience of the visitors. By day the museum was a charming museum with a lot of people visiting the art exhibition and at night she transformed into our construction area. Moreover, since the historical value we were not allowed to hang materials into the building ceilings. In fact, that was not even possible at all. With a lot of creativity, we built two large scaffolding towers for the projectors decorated with a nice print, so the visitors could enjoy the exhibition without noticing the event towers while admiring all the art pieces through opening hours. Another challenge of the project was the limited power access. The power was unstable due to the high consumption of some of our technical devices. For that reason, we had to deliver additional power generators and all the needed infra to be able to function properly.

How did you cope with these challenges in pre-production and on-site?
During pre-production, we had a lot of site visits to schedule the whole project with all parties involved. The planning was organic and formed itself week after week. The project was managed by a lot of meetings, preparations and a jointly prepared schedule. We worked together with Wise Productions, the in-house production supplier with a lot of experience in this venue. For that reason we cooperate. From the first site visit Wise Productions was involved as our local production partner. Unlimited Productions were the supervisors, but we worked very closely together. All items which were available locally were delivered by Wise productions, only custom and special items were brought in two trucks from the Netherlands.

On site, we got a custom health- and safety training to work safely according to the museum rules. As you understand, many treasures are stored in the museum. Due to this reason it is a strictly secured location. Every day upon entry we got a security check. For the rehearsals of the event, we had 20 tables that had to be set up in exactly the same place every day. I used an ultraviolet pen that remained for about a week to label these positions. Due to the fact that the signing was in ultraviolet paint, I was able to find the position of the signing with an ultraviolet lamp quickly. It had to remain visible during the entire production week, even after cleaning the floors. In this way, the signing wasn’t disturbingly visible during the day and we could clean the ultraviolet paint easily after the event.

It was the combination of good preparation, creativity and teamwork with MCI the Netherlands, Wise Productions, Live Legends, Christiaan Bollen, Plugged Live Shows and all other partners, crew and suppliers involved that has led this project to a great success.

What else did you run into?
Many guests visit the museum every day. That is why we were not allowed to leave items in the museum during opening hours. The visitors should not notice the equipment during their museum visit. That’s why we completely decorated two towers to blend in with the environment. Furthermore, we got two large storage areas available which we provided with print material, so the visitors could enjoy the exhibition without noticing our equipment for the show. Every item that had to stand because it couldn’t be done in any other way had to be made “invisible”. Moreover, due to the historical style of the building, the acoustics inside were challenging. Through the use of various surround and anti reverberation speakers, we have managed to get the audio right. Furthermore, there was a lot of wind during production and because of the strict health- and safety rules we couldn’t get onto the roof on the outside. Fortunately, the wind finally decreased, so we didn’t get too much delay and could work according to the actual schedule. After we measured and concluded that the wind was decreasing and after consulting with the health- and safety crew, we were able to climb onto the roof again. If the wind didn’t decrease, we wouldn’t have met the infrastructure and rigging deadlines.

What did you like about this production?
Working for about half a year with our entire core team on this production was amazing. This project definitely has the wow-factor! The project had a short construction period in production, but dismantling was even shorter. In just one night we had to clear the location and leave it clean, but we absolutely succeeded. The whole museum transformed into a beautiful event location. It was great to be part of this project and of course you feel very happy and satisfied if you return home after such a success.

Name the successes that have been achieved.
We’ve beat ourselves again. The event and management team of the museum were also amazed. They said: ‘We have experienced a lot in previous years, but how you guys have beat all the challenges and performed is fantastic’. We are glad we got all the cooperation of all parties involved including MCI the Netherlands, Jasmin Jaeger, Christiaan Bollen, Wise Productions, Live Legends, Plugged Live Shows & all the crew of British Museum London and many more, to make it a great production. The event met all the safety requirements, we worked on schedule and the result was stunning, i.e. happy client, happy location managers, happy visitors and friendships which are made for the rest of our lives. Just awesome, I will never forget this production anymore.