UAE Pro League Awards

No1 Events and MediaPro International create a high-tech solution for 200 VIPs at Emirates Palace Auditorium.

The UAE Pro League held its 2020/2021 season awards ceremony on 16 August at Emirates Palace Auditorium, with 200 VIP guests in attendance as well as a large TV and social media following tuning in live to celebrate the achievements of the league’s top teams, players, and managers. Sharjah-based No1 Events provided the technical production for the event, with MediaPro International supplying the video solution.

No1 Events’ remit for the project was extensive and varied, comprising everything from creating a system to simplify the entry process, to a showstopping reception area and the main show. Project Director, Mirco Resta explained that the first task was to create a high-tech entry system, which would not only ensure that only the invited attendees were granted entry, but also keep contact between guests and staff to a minimum. “No1 Events created a system that generated a personalised QR code for each guest,” he began. “Once each guest had scanned their code at the entrance, they were directed to the appropriate area and seat. The system worked perfectly.”

The first part of the show – a press conference – was held in a ballroom adjacent to Emirates Palace’s main auditorium. As soon as the conference was over, guests were directed to the auditorium for the main event, passing through a “journey of technology” en route. In the first area, there was an interactive LED screen as well as the ‘ballman’ [a structure inspired by Nike’s famous installation at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa]. “Next, guests entered an LED tunnel, where they were thrown into a stadium atmosphere, with crowd noise and a 3D animation of a football pitch,” Resta recalled.

“They then passed through a gallery displaying trophies and new kits of each of the  league’s teams, followed by a 180° LED screen displaying the long-term vision of the league.”

Delivered by MediaPro International, the video supply included 80 sq m of Gloshine P2.6 LED and a Resolume Arena 7 server for the LED tunnel; 70 sq m of Gloshine P3.9 LED and a Resolume Arena server for the main conference area; and 20 sq m of Absen P2.9 LED for  the strategy arena. Meanwhile, inside the auditorium, 184 sq m of Absen P4.8 indoor LED was configured into a 23m by 8m main screen, with processing coming courtesy of eight NovaStar MCTRL LED Processors.

There was also a 3D project-mapping element, with eight Panasonic PT-ZR21K projectors, as well as four Dataton WATCHOUT servers with HD outputs. “Having MediaPro in charge of the video setup made the project much easier for me in terms of communication and phase development,” Resta noted. “A special mention should also go to Haitham Taha of Inframes,  who delivered all the content for the projection in a very short time and in a professional manner. He was onsite throughout, adjusting the content and being flexible to all the changes, while keeping a smile on his face.”

Lighting in the main auditorium comprised 18 ETC Source 4s, 18 Claypaky Sharpys, 20 Martin by Harman MAC Auras, 12 2K Fresnels, 20 440W beam fixtures and 12 City Color 400s. Control was via an MA Lighting grandMA3 light console with MA NPU. The audio supply was made up of 12 TW AUDiO VERA tops and four VERA subs, controlled by Midas M32 and DL32 consoles. Eight Shure SLX-D micrs were provided for on-stage speakers, while four Audio-Technica M3 IEM systems with ATH-40 earpieces were also deployed.

Aside from Resta – who has now joined MediaPro full time – the team behind the event comprised: Show Director, Hassan Abdul Hamid; Artistic Director, Hany Altombary; Finance Director, Ahmed Abdelgawad Meabed; Technical Manager, MediaPro’s Vishal Sivasankaran; Video Engineer, MediaPro’s Diljith Divakaran; WATCHOUT Operator, MediaPro’s Satender Goldy Singh; Lighting Designer, Lucas Rey; Audio Engineer, Martin Chiervo; Crew Coordinator, Mohammed Navas; Production Coordinator, Riham Darwesh; and Accreditation Manager, Analyn Matin-ao (Arra).

The content team was made up of Creative Content Director, Ahmed Elkady; as well as Sulaimon Olasunkanmi, Mohammed Rasin Thalathodika, Zubair Ahsan Barkaat, Jaganath Singh and Inframes’ Haitham Taha. Ali Al Khawar wrote the original songs, while Mansour Alfeeli and Talal Al Blooshi starred in the pre-awards production.

Summing up his experience on the project, Resta praised the venue. “Working in a nice structure like the auditorium makes our lives a lot easier,” he concluded. “All the power and signal distribution are where you need them to be, which saved a lot of time and effort that would normally be spent running cables.”