Alford Outside of the Ballroom: Unconventional Venues

Alford Outside of the Ballroom: Unconventional Venues

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Alford has supported clients in creating all kinds of memorable experiences in unconventional venues over the years. Our event tech specialists, project managers, and sales coordinators thrive in challenging environments and with innovative concepts. These past events in uncommon spaces are great examples of Alford’s ability to rise to a challenge and show a wide range of our capabilities.

Event at Pier 36: Basketball City, New York City

Basketball City is an indoor sports and games center in Manhattan, boasting seven full-size courts with glass backboards and electronic scoreboards. In a city where large event spaces are at a premium, this venue was ideally suited for the multiple rooms our client required.

Turning these large courts into proper event spaces equipped for large screens, full PA systems, and dramatic lighting was an exciting challenge for Alford. Beginning with preserving the polished courts, we took care to bring in special elevated flooring as a temporary covering. Next, we had large drapes installed to define the space and create a sleek look. For the main stage, we installed a 13ft x 62ft LED screen for graphics and had two delay screens hanging from our custom truss. We then brought in scenic details along the sides of the room for atmospheric lighting. The full transformation was a stunning example of Alford’s commitment to giving our clients the show they’ve envisioned, no matter where that venue may be.

ATI Release Event: Alcatraz, San Francisco

  Unconventional Venues

As far as unconventional venues go, this one might currently top Alford’s list. The former federal penitentiary, Alcatraz, was the setting for an immersive experience intended for computer tech and gaming fans. As part of a combination release party for an ATI graphics card and the much-anticipated computer game Half Life 2, Alford helped to create a superior setting for announcements from some of the biggest names in graphics and gaming.

Getting our equipment to the island was a big part of this venues challenge. Since the prison was open for tours during the day we had to use the evening before to begin set-up, requiring several ferry trips. When loading our boxes onto the ferry, they had to be strapped together and moved to the island by a crane on the barge. It took our crews 11 hours to bring all our boxes to the third level of the prison using only small pickup trucks. Once fully unloaded, we then had to hide away our equipment until the next day.

For the event, Alford used multiple screens to display presentations for the crowd and set-up a make-shift stage area using truss towers to support lighting and projection. The ATI logo was a prominent image we skillfully displayed behind the speakers as the show took place. Alford also assisted in setting the scene for live actors who dressed as game characters complete with fog machines and laser lights. The overall event was an interactive experience as attendees were encouraged to walk the prison and get a feel for what it would be like inside the Half Life 2 gaming universe.

F-35 Delivery Ceremonies: Aircraft Hangar, Fort Worth

Unconventional VenuesNational militaries came from all over the world to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ aircraft hangar for the reveal of the F-35 stealth fighter jet. This major event was a delivery ceremony given to dignitaries and VIP’s involving the governments of Australia, Israel, Japan, and Norway. Each country was presented with their own ceremony, involving unique components relating to their nationality. For example, Norway’s presentation included a widescreen that displayed a 3D wireframe of the model jet as it was digitally put together, adding finishing touches with laser lights effects.

Using the aircraft hangar as an event space was particularly challenging as safety restrictions meant using the most common and effective place to position lights and speakers, the ceiling was off limits. This required building from the ground-up using truss towers, anchors, and suspensions for screens. Other elements included a triggered drop-down curtain to reveal the F-35, along with fog machines for an added dramatic effect.

Alford has worked in some of the most complicated, unique and unconventional venues there are. Event locations such as these keep our technical crews and project managers on their toes. Alford loves the additional challenge of bringing our client’s vision to life in unique, one-of-a-kind spaces.

Alford Media