Ballrooms: When is 20′ only 14′?
Today I’m working on the room layout for an upcoming event for over 1000 attendees. The information from the hotel’s website shows that the four section ballroom is 120′ x 220′ & has a 20′ ceiling height.
The client has requested a 9′x 16′ rear projection screen centered above the stage. Some quick math shows that the bottom of the image would be approximately nine feet off the floor if the screen were elevated to the maximum height allowed by a 20′ ceiling. For a six foot tall presenter standing on a 24″ stage; there is a foot between the top of the presenter’s head and the bottom of the screen. I’ll create a room diagram showing the layout and send it off to the client. Excellent! I can move on to my next project for the day.
But wait. What the online document doesn’t state is that in the center of each section of the ballroom is a large chandelier that drops from the ceiling more than six feet. The air wall tracks are only 17’ off the floor, and the soffit is only 18” higher.
If the screen surface needs to stay below the chandelier, then the bottom of the image will only be five feet off the floor, not the nine feet I had originally computed.
As of this writing I’ve proposed a two screen solution, flanking the stage on both sides. While this will not raise the images to the height that I had originally calculated based on the “20’ ceiling”, it should provide a reasonable and cost effective solution for the client. Later this year I’ll post an “as built” image to let you know how this turns out.
Your take away from this brief illustration? Pre-event site visits are very valuable. Once you’ve decided how your guests will enter the room, how the service staff will present your meal; take a moment to look up and see if there are obstacles that may obscure your guests view of the screen(s).