Visual Word Systems recently presented one of the largest corporate event ever held on Center Court at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows.
“At Visual Word, providing great customer service on a 24/7 basis is everything to us," said Ike Eckstein, who founded Visual Word with partner Ed Boyle. "There is no voicemail here; we always answer the phone and respond right away to our customers. There are also no egos here. Our purpose it to be creative and flexible and ready to work to make our clients events outstanding every single day."
The recent corporate event at Arthur Ashe Stadium was unique in terms of its magnitude; other than tennis-related events, the site has hosted few other corporate events, according to Eckstein. The three-day event, hosted by a 10 billion dollar plus corporation in the food industry with more than 300,000 employees worldwide, featured a variety of executive presentations, videos, breakout sessions and other entertainment.
During event planning, the size and scope of the event kept changing, making planning quite challenging for the Visual Word team.
“When I did the site survey, the customer originally thought they were hosting 260 people at the event," said Eckstein. "So I planned on setting the stage with a couple of Shure mics, a QSC TouchMix-30 Pro compact digital mixer and (4) K12 active loudspeakers, with a pair of K8s for each breakout room. The week before, the registration for the event exceeded all predictions for the general and grew into a larger event outdoor event on center court for more than 1,200 people, with sound, a massive LED video wall and lighting.”
“But the really big challenge here was that the court itself had to be physically protected – so no equipment could be placed on top – and there were no flying points anywhere for line arrays,” he added. “We brought in mats and masonite boards to cover the floor and needed to have all the line arrays on crank-up stands. As great as NYC is, nobody in Manhattan or New Jersey had any crank-up stands for rent. QSC was kind enough to do a demo for me on how this could work and offer great customer support. We ended up buying stands which cranked to 18 feet high and mounted two KLA12 line array boxes per stand, with the top module pointing up into the stands.”
In addition to the ever-growing size of the event, there were also a lot of last-minute changes, like the addition of zone lighting to the dark outdoor court for the event.
“We are very used to being able to overcome obstacles on show sites to make an event great for our customers," said Eckstein. In the end, we had a large LED video wall, 24 columns of lighting trees, 28 QSC loudspeakers and 5 TouchMix mixers to handle all the A/V the event. And our crew ended up being there for 417 tech hours over three days, and I personally logged in 24,000 steps on my Fitbit. But most importantly, the client was ecstatically happy with our service, our flexibility and the great quality of the lighting and sound.”