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"Unusual got on with the job quickly and efficiently - they were the real stars of the show."

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Unusual Rigging & Engineering rig international conference

March 2011

When asked to organise an international conference in Dubai for 2,200 delegates, production company Instinctif took the decision to keep the format tight by running the event over two days. The main conference room was set in the Madinat Jumeirah Resort, with plenary and breakout sessions utilising a further 11 rooms in both the Madinat and the Jumeirah Beach Resort and the Conference Centre.

Although only half the delegates were in the main conference area at any one time, Instinctif wanted to make sure that everyone had a clear view of the proceedings. The answer was to construct a self-contained 360° presentation theatre within the 2,773 sq m Madinat Arena.

Dubai-based Unusual Rigging & Engineering was contracted to build a 39m wide octagon which, with a trim height of 12m, was suspended from the roof of the arena. Project manager for Unusual Rigging & Engineering, Leon Ingram, explains: "Within the octagon was a central podium. Above it were two truss circles - one 6m and the other 18m in diameter - through which radiated eight spokes. These provided the rig for a mix of intelligent and conventional lighting, plus speakers and projectors. The whole rig was flown from 100 one ton Liftket chain hoists."

In addition to the lighting and sound, the 18m wide walls of the octagon contained alternate front and rear projection screens, each weighing about 250kg.

Jim Lambert, Technical Director for Instinctif, said: "We worked with Unusual Rigging & Engineering to plan the get-in and had allowed plenty of time, but we lost 19 hours out of 33 due to a double booking by the venue. However, Unusual were brilliant, they pulled out all the stops, flying in extra crew from Europe, and got on with the job quickly and efficiently - they were the real stars of the show. In addition to the main auditorium, they also provided rigging for the lighting, sound and AV in the break-out rooms as well."

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