Moving the event to Picturehouse Central provided many challenges as it isn’t equipped to be a standard ‘event venue’.
Transforming cinema screens into suitable conference stages involved designing and building bespoke stage backdrops which wouldn’t impact the expensive cinema silver screens.
We had to come up with a ‘best practice’ for managing the people movement of 1000’s of guests each day, queuing for sessions and moving safely through the venue. Working directly with the client’s programming team, it was important to schedule the content for each of the 8 stages in a way that wouldn’t cause issues with ingress and egress of each live session.
Managing expectations of multiple celebrities expecting dressing room space in a venue which was not equipped for talent was challenging, as was utilising as many quirky spaces for large sponsor activations, including gaining permissions to install semi-permanent structures on the roof!
Due to the location of the venue being on a busy cross section in Soho with no parking, careful planning to ensure smooth install and de-rig and daily deliveries for the event involved working very closely with Westminster County Council special events team to ensure all relevant permits, official road closures etc were obtained and adhered to.
Planning and sourcing a team of nearly 200 event support team, being careful to not over service or go over budget required careful planning and training.
Seemingly small challenges caused large headaches with no onsite storage available, as every given space (including store cupboards and back of house staircases) were utilised to accommodate every aspect of such a large scale event.
On the live event, the 8 stages were showing content concurrently which provided challenges if a session overran and with only a 10min window allowed by the client’s programming schedule, it tested the teams to the limit to turn each session around in the shortest of timeframes.
The event also involves a social programme where AP LIVE primarily support the technical set up for the events. This involves installing special event equipment into multiple venues each day, including Fortnum and Mason for lunch sessions and unique venues such as Kensington Palace, Lambeth Palace and Borough Market to name a few. Each of these venues provides its own challenges with restrictions and tight turnaround times.