We were thrilled to be part of Webb Production’s team for the Global Convention of doTERRA, a wellness company based on the use and sales of essential oils products. The show took place in Salt Lake City in August, drawing around 32,000 attendees. UVLD oversaw two general session rooms, one in the Vivint Arena and one in the Salt Palace, as well as the doTERRA Product Showcase.
Paul Sharwell provided lighting for the first general session, with Megan McDonald and Matt Price as production electricians. Dave Rees was the designer for the store, with Michelle Morin as production electrician. Rees also provided the design for second general session, for which Jeff Nellis was the onsite designer, with Dave Haar as his production electrician.
Webb Production’s team was lead by executive producer Nick Odencrantz. “Nick is a friend and a long time collaborator,” noted Rees. “It is an absolute pleasure to see him grow into the EP role on this project. He’s a technical guy, but he never lets that limit his overall vision.”
The show consisted of educational and motivational corporate presentations, guest speakers, musical acts, a flash mob, and a ballet company. The two general sessions were near duplicates of each other — same speakers, same acts — but in very different environments.
The arena show presented some unique challenges because it is in the round with giant jumbotron screens above the stage. To light people in previous years, Sharwell used eight house spots from conventional positions. However, there were trickier sight-line issues this year because of new, moving scenic pieces; there was no certainty that the normal spot positions would always have a shot at the stage.
The best solution was to add four new trusses, carefully positioned to always have a shot at the full stage, and use the PRG Ground Control follow spot system. Each truss had two PRG Best Boy fixtures, which were remotely controlled by eight spot operators located backstage. The fixtures have a small camera built into the nose, so the operators could track their remote spots by watching a video feed from the vantage point of their actual light. “It created some anxiety for me on the front end, but it proved to be one of the best decisions I made,” Sharwell said. “I applaud the executive producer, Nick Odencrantz, for not only understanding the technology but embracing wholeheartedly the idea to go in this direction.”
In addition to the follow spots, VL4000 spots were used for the stage wash when a large crowd was on stage or when it was necessary to augment a performance.
The outer eight feet of the stage itself featured a living garden, visible under a thick plexi floor. At times the garden was hidden, and at other times it was prominent, depending on how it was lit. In the center of the plexi was a projection surface, which could be used during walk-in, transitions, and sometimes even during presentations.
Because the show was in the round, there was no scenery for the background of the camera shots. “In this situation, I view the audience itself as the scenery, so I need plenty of firepower to light them in strong downlight/backlight,” Sharwell said. “I try to augment this with pronounced beams, prominent from every direction possible, to fill the entire arena.”
The second general session at the Salt Palace Convention Center presented a different set of challenges. Setting up a theater for 13,000 attendees in an exhibit hall with a 30-foot ceiling necessitated a design that brought the event to the members of the audience that were nowhere near the stage. Webb Production hung over 1000 linear feet of drape around the perimeter of the room, which was treated with a combination of Martin Quantum Wash and Vari*Lite VL3500 Spots. The drape was treated to match the color palette of the stage and graphics presentations.
Three large screens side-carried content and stage images. While the general session events discussed sales strategies and the state of the business, the Product Showcase provided the attendees with a chance to get familiar with doTERRA’s products. As the showcase occupied nearly half of the total exhibit space at the Salt Palace, lighting presented the challenge of providing enough ambient light for safety while highlighting product displays. A combination of Martin Mac Viper Performance, Martin Mac Aura and Source ERS and PARs were implemented to execute the look.