Event Lighting for the Chicago MPI Chapter 2012 Awards Gala

When a group of professional meeting planners get together to plan an event you just know it is going to be good. This year’s awards gala for the Chicago chapter of Meeting Planners International was beyond good, it was downright spectacular. It had everything from radio personalities to Marilyn Monroe! MDM Entertainment was thrilled to be asked to provide event lighting for the  gala.

The event was held at the new Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. The new museum is a very unique space housing a wide variety of memorabilia, photos and archives of television and radio broadcasts. It is a must see for  anyone interested in broadcast communications. On the fourth floor of the venue they have a wide open space perfect for hosting private events. Since there is little in the room in the way of lighting MDM Event Lighting was brought in to create an atmosphere worthy of the best corporate event and meeting planners in Chicago.

This was a pretty big event with a lot of equipment and two days of set up so I thought it would be fun to document all the work that went into it.

Usually everyone is a little sluggish around the office on Monday after a long weekend with lots of events but this Monday we had to be there bright and early to repack all the lighting gear from the weekend and reload the truck!

Truck  for Lighting Event

The event lighting set up was pretty big so we had to bring in rigging to suspend the lighting and video projectors from the venue ceiling. We also needed lots of power for everything so we had to bring in several distros.

Lighting Truss and Rigging

Travis AV was responsible for the audio, video and staging aspects of the show and we worked closely with them to make sure everything was executed perfectly.  They were very easy to work with, did an amazing job and were thoroughly professional in every aspect. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Travis AV for any corporate AV needs in Chicago (they also travel nationally as they were just getting back from a show in Orlando from that weekend on Monday). That stopped us from complaining about having to get out of bed so early on Monday morning real quick 🙂

Over the course of the day on Monday and with lots of hard work everything began to come together nicely.

For the event lighting we had LED uplighitng throughout the room and a variety of lighting fixtures suspended from the truss to wash the stage in color and light the performers, MC’s, presenters and award winners.

After some last minute touch ups on Tuesday afternoon everything was ready for the gala. All of the lighting complimented the linens and table decor beautifully and the room looked spectacular.

Shout out to Classic Party Rentals (who also won an award for Hall of Fame Organization)  for providing the beautiful linens, tables, chairs and centerpieces.

Corporate Event Lighting

I was able to get out from behind the lighting console for a few minutes and mingle a little bit and watch the event unfold from both sides of the stage.  I was speaking with one of the guests about how on top of everything the servers were during cocktail hour and we were both thoroughly impressed by them. I was hoping the food would match the service….. it did and then some! Working at special events all the time you eat a lot of bad, dry catered chicken, that night I probably had the most juicy and tender chicken I have ever had at an event (it even surpassed a lot of restaurant dishes I’ve had!). A great big shout out to  Entertaining Company Catering!

MPI Gala Apps

MPI Gala First Course

MPI Gala Desserts

When the doors were opened it was really great to overhear the event planners coming into the room commenting on how amazing everything looked. We know we do a great job with event lighting but it is especially nice to impress planners who put together events for a living and see impressive set ups all the time.

MPI Gala Lighting

MPI 2012 Awards Gala

The lighting design stayed pretty much the same through the course of the evening using lots of red to match the event color scheme. Our favorite part though was when the award winners were introduced we had LED lights placed in the truss on stage programmed to do some really cool chase patterns and four intelligent lights to scan the room to energize the crowd and create a very Hollywood awards show atmosphere.


We didn’t bust out the really wild programs at the gala but took a few minutes of video after the event was over as we were playing around with the event lighting.


Congratulations to all of Chicago chapter 2011-2012 award winners and thank you to MPI for letting us be part of such a great event!

For more information on event lighting for your next corporate event or awards gala contact the Chicago event lighting experts at MDM Entertainment at 773-253-4986.

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