Photos credit: Joe Kenemore
This year Cisco Live! broke the convention mold and held its first in-the-round event in an arena-style venue. Lightswitch joined with the creative team at Go! Experience Design to create the visual design and architecture of the show, which featured Claypaky Mythos 2 fixtures and a robust grandMA2 network for lighting control.Cisco Live! was held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. It’s recognized as the premier educational and training event for IT, networking and communications professionals and a transformational experience for digital business.
“This year the client was looking for a paradigm shift,” says John Featherstone, founder and one of the principals at Lightswitch. “Cisco had some new solutions to unveil and wanted to change things up a bit at the convention. It was very important that things felt different from the moment the show kicked off. Attendees knew they were being tee’d up for big things coming.”
Convention goers filled the arena where four double-sided LED screens, each measuring about 50 x 18 feet, were hung from truss. A circular stage with an LED floor was centered beneath concentric rings of lights, which also featured hundreds of Glow Motion LED orbs on high speed winches.
“The stage was like a stone in a pond and the rig rippled out from there in concentric circles,” says Featherstone. “In the round that made everyone feel included in the action; the circles made everyone feel engaged.”
Lightswitch placed a handful of Mythos 2 fixtures on the floor but the majority of the 42 spots were mounted on two of the rig’s concentric circles where they formed a parallel cage of beams enclosing the stage.
“We were an early and robust adopter of Mythos,” notes Featherstone.
“Mythos is one of the go-to lights in our toolkit. When you’re in the round you can do two things to paint the space: light the audience with texture or fill the air with beams. For beams there’s no better solution than Mythos. They’re screaming bright, fast and reliable.”
Lightswitch had four grandMA2 full-size consoles on site. One console, programmed by Dennis Connors, ran the main portion of the lighting system. The second system, programmed by Mike Robertson, handled the kinetic winches, Glow Motion orbs and wristbands. The third system was used by the tech team, and the fourth console was on hand for backup.
“We have a spare because it’s prudent to have one, not because we frequently use it. The grandMA2 architecture is extremely reliable,” says Featherstone. “We did on-site programming with a Prelite system when the load in began. Mike Robertson built a very detailed MA3D model, including the winches, and we were very happy with the accuracy of the winch movements from offline to online. They were correct down to the inch.”
The LA office of VER supplied the Mythos 2 fixtures and grandMA2 consoles; both Claypaky and MA Lighting are exclusively distributed in North America by A.C.T Lighting, Inc. “The support of A.C.T is always fabulous and is very much appreciated by us,” says Featherstone. “It’s part of our secret sauce.”
At Lightswitch Ryan Babroff was the production electrician, Dave Strouse assistant electrician and Lacey Taylor networking and technology supervisor.