Estimated economic value
In May 2023, the Rotary International Convention was held in Melbourne for 14,000+ delegates from around the world. According to Melbourne Convention Bureau, it was one of the most valuable conferences ever hosted by the city, worth an estimated $91 million in economic activity.
Although a worldwide movement, Rotary International is headquartered in the USA and the organisation works with a US-based company called L!VE to ensure the consistency of their event production as their convention moves around the world. Every year, Rotary International and L!VE select a local production company in the host country to help them deliver the convention on the ground.
In 2023, the local production expert was AV1.
Keep scrolling for photographs, a video showing the creative development of the production and an explainer of AV1’s production solution.
Rotary International was looking for full production support for its plenary sessions held in Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park, where up to 14,000 delegates would gather for two hours each day for four days to be inspired and educated by Rotary and its humanitarian cause. Rotary International needed arena-sized sound, lighting and vision, multi-camera filming of session at the event, onsite editing and a live stream, a massive LED stage set based on a design recommendation, all stage management and live captioning as speakers delivered their sessions.
When AV1 was invited to submit a proposal to work with Rotary International and L!VE, AV1’s Melbourne Producer Dylan Batterham saw the value in getting very specific about what the AV1 team and its network of trusted suppliers could do to pull off a huge conference in a venue more often associated with major concerts and a tennis Grand Slam.
“We did the full cad drawing, we estimated every ounce of labour, we went through everything quite detailed so that if we did win the job, the pricing was going to be pretty accurate,” Dylan explains.
“It was going to be good for the client and it was going to be good for us as well, making sure everything’s accounted for.”
“And I wanted to have our good vendors locked in as well, so I brought them in quite early in the piece.”
His attention to detail and his careful balancing of cost and impact paid off.
Keep scrolling to watch the video and hear from our client and event attendees.
We recommended AV1 to Rotary over the others for a number of reasons.
First and foremost was the product proposed. The LED product was far superior than the other vendors we reached out to. The D&B line array was exactly what the room called for. The proposed lighting rig was over the top!
Dylan and his team also came to the proposal with full detailed drawings and great solutions for executing not only the main stage, but also delay screens as well as teleprompting screens which needed an out-of-the-box solution.
The production AV1 delivered included a three-piece LED wall on stage, stretching 18m across and 8m upwards at its highest point, in a curved flag design. The middle section of the LED wall could move up and down to admit speakers from back-of-stage, offering a theatrical entrance.
More than 100 lights were part of the overhead rig and a full D&B concert PA system comprising 60 speaker boxes ensured an even spread of sound throughout the large space. Four projection screens and two LED screens relayed the on-stage action to thousands of delegates around the arena. Twenty radio mics and 16 headsets in three different skin tones catered to the diversity of speakers.
Each moment of the plenary sessions was captured by AV1’s four-camera set up. Two cameras delivering the bulk of the live feed stood on special super-steady camera rises with operators on separate rises to minimise camera shake. A totally wireless roving camera captured tight shots and frequently went up on stage to bring intimacy between the speakers and attendees in the huge space. AV1 also arranged to have cinematic filming services onsite, to document insights from Rotary stakeholders and produce a short video to be shown at the first plenary, involving a 24-hour editing turnaround onsite.
AV1 factored in even the finest details, such as having broadcast quality hair and make-up services available to prepare speakers before their filmed sessions and having two autocue operators so that speakers could practice and make last-minute changes to their presentations up until the final moments before they stepped on stage.
Alongside all this, the team also responded to the environment throughout the four days of sessions, using their sound and lighting expertise to prompt a spontaneous dance party on day two to combat a post-opening lull.
The Client Perspective
“AV1 executed perfectly on our vision and pushed the boundaries of the technology used to its full potential,” says Ryan from L!VE.
“AV1 was technically sophisticated and creative and by the end of the event the team felt like family,” says Rotary’s Stage Production Manager Tracy Zabek-Cowan.
“When faced with difficulties or unexpected obstacles during the event, AV1 demonstrated flexibility by quickly adjusting their plans.”
As for AV1 Producer Dylan, he believes working on the Rotary Convention proves the capabilities of the team of AV1ders in the Melbourne.
“We’re always very confident in our abilities but you need a big job like this to really show everybody what you can do. I’m hoping it’s onwards and upwards from here because if we can do that, there’s not much we can’t do,” he says.
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