EVENT: Campaign Arkansas Gala
VENUE: Bud Walton Arena, University of Arkansas
An innovative and creative solution within a “non-traditional” venue for a high end banquet
We were asked to convert the Bud Walton Arena (large basketball venue) into an elegant dinner experience by recreating the lawn in front of the Towers of Old Main, an iconic building on the University of Arkansas campus. The entire room was to start the evening appearing like full daylight along with a sky overhead. As the evening progressed, the room would convert into a starry nighttime setting.
We began with the need to recreate the Towers of Old Main building. We decided to utilize a wide LED backdrop to the stage. Our creative team developed a hyper realistic animated image of the “Towers” very similar to a Pixar animated image. As we progressed from daylight to nighttime the building changed as well. The clock in the tower changed time to reflect the actual time of the event, the building windows started to glow and the clouds gently moved across the sky transitioning to a starry night sky.
To create the “sky” over the audience we utilized 3 large stretched fabric sections that were illuminated from the top and bottom to create the time of day that was required. This allowed the 90’ ceiling to be brought down to about 30’ for a more intimate feel to the environment. This also gave us a large “canvas” to work with for environmental design.
The entire floor of the arena was covered with artificial turf to recreate the lawn. From the back of the room to the front was a “sidewalk” that had the signatures of alumni of the university just as it is on the actual sidewalk in front of the Towers. Park lamps, benches and foliage were placed throughout the dining area to complete the lawn feel. The set was tied together with well designed and coordinated lighting to create the illusion needed depending on what time of day we were creating.
As the evening progressed from the dinner to the speaking portion of the show, we utilized the LED screen with multiple picture-in-picture scenarios allowing our video team to insert videos and graphics wherever needed to create the show elements.
Because of the immersive experience of the set design that was created throughout the venue, each attendee was engaged and included in all facets of the event. The result was an intimate, inspiring and elegant dinner for a few hundred attendees within a venue designed for thousands.
Seeing this event unfold as a success for our Client was definitely a great experience and was a highlight for the Vista team.