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Transforming A Historic Space into A Modern Experience


Many meeting planners focus on fun or relaxing destinations for their attendees, whether that’s sunny beaches or active cities. However, that can sometimes limit venue options, leaving facilities that present unique challenges when conceptualizing technology within the space.

LAI Live recently worked in the historic Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego Florida, a venue built in 1888. While the building has gone through renovations, the original structure is still in place. The Ocean Ballroom is a uniquely-tall and circular-shaped room, featuring a built-in stage with no backstage entrance, as well as large windows replacing most walls to allow guests to view the beach.

While chandeliers are now on motors, the built-in stage is equipped with more power and pull-down shades applied to the windows, it’s still easy to be drawn to the concept of fitting the scenic to the room, rather than reimagining the room to fit the theme of the conference. Once walking into the space during our initial site visit, we knew it would take a combination of projection and LED to transform the ballroom for this year’s ALTA One. The challenge was not only finding a way to fill the space and make the sessions feel more engaging but building out the stage to create a moment of impact upon entering the room.

Our first decision was to place LED panels around the center circle, masking the traditionally designed columns and sconces while also physically bringing an element of the production into the audience. In place of the existing stage drape, we built a large LED wall used not only as a backdrop, but a place to display most of the content for each session. Above the stage was a built-in convex projection surface, which was complimented by two large screens brought in and rigged by LAI.

All three projection surfaces, in addition to the LED wall and LED panels within the room, gave us the opportunity to have custom graphics moving individually on each screen to support the programming, show speaker presentations while keeping them on camera, and provide plenty of visual coverage for the audience.

By the time the doors opened, the ballroom had completely transformed from a historic room to a modern experience. One of the main takeaways from this approach is LAI Live intentionally created a design that was straightforward while being entirely custom to the event. Focusing on incorporating the space into the design allowed for very little rigging while still being entirely unique to ALTA One. Additionally, using LED and minimal projection, it was an eco-friendly production.

While this is one recent example, LAI Live has worked with many clients to reimagine spaces utilizing not only state of the art technology but by taking a deep dive well in advance of the conference to with Event Designs and finding new ways to tie all areas of conference together through programming and messaging.