Showtech returns for GESF 2017
UAE: The Global Education Skills and Forum (GESF) has been staged at Atlantis the Palm in Dubai annually since 2012. The initiative was devised by Sunny Varkey of the Varkey Foundation to bring together world leaders in seeking solutions for achieving equality in education, equity and employment. Having supplied the audiovisual and lighting solutions for the forum since the inaugural edition, Showtech once again provided its services in 2017.
The forum, which was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, comprises multiple areas, each requiring an individual A/V setup. The Atlantis ballroom houses the main plenary conference as well as the entrance area, a terrace and pre-function area, while meeting and workshops take place in the Spice and Silk ballroom, a panel discussion is held in the Ossiano restaurant and the Asateer tent is divided into five breakout rooms. A poolside Alice in Wonderland themed setup was presented by the Italian Consulate at Nasimi Beach and the GTP Gala Dinner, including a walkway and fan zone was put on a the Atlantis Deck.
Delving deep into its inventory, Showtech installed JBL Eon speakers throughout the venue, inside and out, with independent volume control. Inside the main ballroom, 16 JBL VTX V20 tops were deployed with a further four in an array above the centre of the stage. These were complemented by six VTX S25 subwoofers and 14 VRX932LA speakers with six VTX 9000 HD amp racks providing power. The setup was completed with HK Audio CT 108 loudspeakers, while four Meyer Sound UM1P cabinets and two UPA1P units served as monitors along with four sets of Shure PSM 1000 IEMs and a DiGiCo SD5, employed as the mixer.
Brought in for a performance from Andrea Bocelli in the ballroom were a Lexicon 960L digital effects processor, a dbx 160SL compressor, a Denon DND4500 MK2 Twin CD player and a TASCAM recorder with two of Meyer Sound’s Galileo loudspeaker management systems. For the after party at Nasimi beach, Showtech delivered six SRX 725 tops and the same number of SRX 728S subs powered by six SRX Amp Racks with monitoring by four VRX 915Ms. A Soundcraft Vi7000 handled mixing duties, while at the start of the signal chain were two Pioneer CDJ-2000 Nexus multi-players and a DJM-900 Nexus 4-channel digital mixer.
Covering the gala dinner at the Atlantis deck were 16 VTX V25 tops with eight VT4880 subs, 16 Sennheiser G3 monitors and 12 Shure U4D wireless systems. And deployed across the breakout rooms in the Asateer tent were 24 Eon 515XT portable speakers and four Eon G2 cabinets.
Showtech also implemented a large amount of LED screen around the site, as well as providing four 21k and two 31k Panasonic projectors for projection mapping that served as the backdrop for the stage in the main ballroom and 65 plasma screen televisions. On the lighting side, a range of Claypaky, Philips Selecon and Robe fixtures were controlled by Avolites and MA Lighting grandMA2 systems.
Set up was not without its challenges as severe winds were forecast in the lead up to the forum, which led to the removal of the LED screens that Showtech had installed for the outdoor GTP Gala Dinner. The Showtech team worked quickly to put together a wind management plan and managed to re-install the LED screens before the start of the event.
In addition to Andrea Bocelli’s appearance, Bear Grylls jumped from a helicopter to present the Global Teacher Prize Trophy upon his landing, while the winner of the Global Teacher Prize 2017 was announced by French astronaut Thomas Pasquet via a video message from the International Space Station, with His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum presenting the award to Maggie MacDonnell from a small Inuit community in Canada. Several world leaders and dignitaries also provided video messages, including Italian and Canadian prime ministers Paolo Gentiloni Justin Trudeau, and Prince Harry.