David Keene: The Biggest Cross-over Event in History - Sound & Video Contractor

David Keene: The Biggest Cross-over Event in History

How the Pope's visit energized the industry
Author:
Publish date:

It’s axiomatic that in today’s staging world, the same technology is often used for a presentation by a geeky CEO at a national sales conference and by Taylor Swift. But it was certainly a new twist on things when the Pope took the U.S. by storm in late summer– capped off by a truly spectacular event in Philly that would be the envy of many top touring stars. 

While the political events of the Pope’s visit got most of the media attention– his address to a joint session of Congress, activities on the pristine White House lawn, and the separate address to the UN in New York, the big stage in Philadelphia was the most dramatic use of staging technology by a religious figure, well, ever. And it was ostensibly the largest multiple screen event ever staged. And it was great to see friends and staging veterans involved: Jeff Studley and his team at suburban Washington DC-based CPR MultiMedia Solutions, who have staged some of the most important live events in the Washington DC area, Maryland-based Staging Dimensions, and Philadelphia-based Upstage Video. (I’m sure more staging companies were involved– but in an event so massive we can only cover so much in one article– and I’m sure I’ll hear about more pieces of the puzzle all autumn.)

As Johnny Jan, Director of Creative Services & Marketing at CPR MultiMedia Solutions, says in the article, “Some days you need a cup of coffee to energize the day, but when you get a request from a client for a project during the Pope’s Visit to the White House that energy blows the roof off and the wheels get rolling quickly.”

Indeed. Regardless of what your religious affiliations are, you could not help being amazed by the papal visit as a whole, technology included. (Personally, being educated by Jesuits, I have a fascination with this first ever Jesuit Pope, but try as I might here I can’t think of a technology basis for that fascination).  From a pure technology standpoint, it was refreshing to see even more “entertainment” side technology and techniques being used in the papal events. Social media boards via huge LED screens. More extensive IMAG screen distribution throughout the crowd in Philly (almost like delay speakers in the P.A. world). 

Of course, the security aspect of the events was a story in themselves. The fact that this part of the equation never came much to light during the events or the media coverage is a testament to the fact that “no news is good news” in that department. It was interesting to see how the different staging companies had different security protocols to deal with, with the more DC-centric companies mostly already having security regimes in place given that they deal with Presidents, heads of state etc on a regular basis.

It may be a while before another religious leader comes to town with this kind of show technology. I hope it’s a trend– not sure when it will happen again, but next time you can bet there will be a host of great staging companies ready to take that call when it comes in.

Featured

Related

rental_award_2018_ol

Rental & Staging New Product Award Winners

In a ceremony at InfoComm 2018 in Las Vegas Tuesday June 5th, the winners of the InfoComm Rental & Staging New Product Awards were announced. The program, administered by S&VC’s Rental & Staging Systems, recognizes the manufacturers of new products for the live event and staging ...read more

RoadshowLEDtrainging

Drawing a Finer Line for LED

While the high lumen video projector still reigns as a top tool for IMAG and display for staged events, the direct view LED wall has been on the scene for years– and the recent product evolution of LED is now bringing new solutions to the market. The video landscape is changing, ...read more

2018_BST_2

The David Vs Goliath Effect on Live Events

While the live events industry has evolved in many ways over the last decade, one of the most noticeable changes has been the reduction of companies due to industry consolidation, through a sweep of mergers and acquisitions taking place across the market.The result of this trend ...read more

What Happens in Vegas...

The InfoComm trade show and conference (the most recent one just wrapped in Las Vegas as I write this) is a big part of the live event/ staging calendar each year– but what does it tell us, each year, about the state of the industry? Does what happens in Vegas (or Orlando) stay ...read more

barco

Barco 4K60 Tri-Combo Output Card

Barco has released its new 4K@60 Tri-Combo output card, along with enhanced expandability of its Event Master screen management platform. Barco is releasing a new 4K@60 output card, powerful new Super-Destination programming mode and an enhanced system expansion capability. So ...read more