Traverse City Event Production

Last Tuesday I packed up some necessities and headed to Traverse City with twenty other people. Two passenger vehicles, a truck with trailer, and two 24 foot Penske box trucks packed with equipment started North about 8:30am. Our early arrival in at the Grand Traverse Resort just after 11am started with receiving the delivery of two scissor lifts, the other folks arrived shortly thereafter and we had lunch at the Sweetwater American Bistro in the lobby area of the resort.

We were quickly back at work unloading the trucks, the start of a 14 hour setup. The two teams (production and decor) and groups within the teams were then given their various assignments. I was in the production crew, and was tasked with the setup of the two projectors on the wings, and various video-related setup. The initial wiring for the projectors was time consuming since it was all run above the drop ceiling, but the hanging of the projectors themselves went fairly quickly. We ended up with a pretty good looking setup…



Wednesday we had to be back in pretty early for rehearsal, which ended up being postponed, but there were kinks to work out anyway. Final adjustments for position on the projectors had to be done and later in the day the stage-right projector was only getting power intermittently, so I troubleshot and eventually found the cable that was causing the issue. I dealt with odds and ends for the next few hours and then enjoyed some scotch while working a bit on an interactive Farm Bureau Feud board for a parody skit. I drank too much of the scotch and didn’t get quite as much of the interface done as I had hoped. It would wait until Thursday.

The event started at about noon on Thursday, mostly awards and motivational speaking, current year status and goals, etc. I was running Camera Three, which was a nice low-stress show task. It wasn’t too long into the show that there was a malfunction on the downstage truss, causing loss of lighting control, and it couldn’t be resolved without physically correcting it. Once they hit a break, the scissor lift was out from backstage and the issue was resolved within a couple minutes. The resolution was done quickly and was smooth all around. The rest of the session went well and they broke for dinner.

Meanwhile we set up for the ‘Michigan Idol’ competition (read “Talent Show”) they were having that evening. I spent that time finishing up the Farm Bureau Feud interface. Two hours of FB agents from around the state singing, playing instruments, telling jokes, a snowboarding video or whatever and it was all produced without a hitch. The production side was nigh perfection.

Friday was more of the same awards, speaking and all that. It went well, and that night we setup for the last session which was basically a quick award deal followed by dinner and dancing. The setup for which looked a bit different from the others…



That night went pretty well, and the teardown was done in two shifts, one at 1am and the other at 8am. I was on the first shift because I was going to head back home at noon on Saturday. We ended up doing lunch before leaving so I was a bit late getting out, but everything worked out fine.

It was a blast, but it’s good to be home.