The business meeting season is back upon us.* For those that don't know, I spend a good deal of my professional life as an art director for live events. I've been working for the past couple of months on art direction and production for a biennial event for the Panera Bread restaurant chain. That event finally happened last week in Washington, DC. And while it was a ton of work, you couldn't ask for a better group of people to work for. From top to bottom, Panera is staffed and run by some of the smartest and nicest people you'll ever meet. They are, in many ways, a dream client. These are just a few shots of part of the set and some of what it looked like backstage. The whole backstage area is hard to capture in a photograph: Equipment is stretched along behind the set, cables run everywhere, and it's dark — often really dark. The light on the people you see here is either generated by computer screens and monitors, by little table lights called Tensor Lights, or by stage light spilling around set pieces and drape.
* Business meeting season is typically January through April when it seems like every large corporation wants to do their annual get-together. For those of us that work live corporate events, that means we travel, travel, travel these months.