Ever organised an event only to find it falling a little flat on the day? Chances are you may have overlooked one element that might have made all the difference – and that’s the corporate event lighting.

At MGN events we believe that corporate event lighting is the make or break of any event. Think for a moment of the role lighting plays at a pop or rock concert and just how integral it is to creating an incredible atmosphere – even before the band begins to play. You may not be holding your corporate event at Wembley Arena, but if you want to engage your audience for any length of time a good lighting scheme will help make it happen and give your event a professional edge.

Corporate event lighting –  where do you start?

When we work with clients on their corporate events we find the most important part of the process is to understand how the event is to run and where the action is focused. A site visit is essential to understand any restrictions or issues of what we can or can’t do, the size of the room(s) being used and to locate power points. With this knowledge we can then create a lighting plan and make decisions about what lighting kit will work best.

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Lighting the stage so that your speakers are, quite literally, in the spotlight is a must. In conjunction with spots, wash lighting can be used to fill the stage area with colour – a great way of subtly conveying your corporate colours and giving the event a strong branded look. The plenary space should be darker than the stage to minimise any detraction from the presentation. There is of course a balance to be had – lighting for the audience should be ambient but not so dark that they can’t see in an event they need to take notes.

Uplighters are really useful when it comes to drawing attention to specific features of an event eg signage, and it’s this kind of detail that all goes towards creating a sense of atmosphere. And because so much lighting equipment is wireless, it avoids the worry of power cables presenting trip hazards and makes lighting options much more flexible. Needless to say, we still have to be mindful of where we place the lighting units themselves – health and safety always has to be a priority.

Using special effects for the all-important wow factor

Creating an impact that will grab the attention of your audience, inject a sense of anticipation or excitement, can all be achieved with lighting. Gobos are clever little lighting gizmos that project patterns, your company logo or even the event’s hashtag onto the event space. Make them static or moving, there are all kinds of effects that will add an extra dimension to your event.

We mentioned earlier about using colour wash lighting on stage. We can synchronise colour changes in time with major announcements to add a sense of drama so that your audience cannot fail to recognise significant messages. Colour lighting can also be very effective in creating zones within your event space. Why spend your time pointing in a vague direction to encourage people to visit a particular area when you can simply suggest they head towards the purple zone.

Many corporate events will run all day and into the evening, with different parts of the day designated for different activities – from key speaker presentations to awards to drinks reception and dinner. Rather than settling for a static lighting scheme throughout, coloured lighting effects that change in line with the day’s events will create the right atmosphere at all times. This is really easy to achieve with intelligent lighting systems that can be pre-programmed and really helps to guide your delegates through the day.

Even better, transform your event into something more experiential and link sound and light for an even greater experience. We’re full of ideas when it comes to this, but as an example we can tap into social media activity, take a hashtag just tweeted by a delegate and give it a sound effect. And in the same way we can change lighting schemes, so music can be linked to each change.

A really exciting innovation in lighting is projection mapping, where graphics and or moving images are projected onto the surface of a three-dimensional object. Think back to the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics and you’ll probably remember seeing some great effects – it works really well on product launches, especially for cars, and it’s something that could take your event to the next level!

Filming your event?

If a videographer is to record some or all of your event, a discussion about the corporate event lighting ahead of the day is always preferable. They will have their own requirements to ensure they can capture all the action and that the footage is good quality. It may mean some tweaking of the lighting plan.

Quality corporate event lighting and creative lighting design – these key ingredients are every bit as important as your choice of wines and canapes and will help create a memorable event. Why not have a chat with us about making your next corporate event the best one yet!

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