Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

April 29 2015

Ask the AV Professional

Derek Suminski, GMC Communications Committee
Ask the AV Professional is a new feature that will appear bi-monthly. Questions can range from technology to conference planning and anything in between. Questions can be submitted to dsuminski@bavservices.com.

Q: Lighting effects always seem expensive. Do you have any cost cutting tips?


A: Nothing can change the emotional or visual dynamic of an event quite like the lighting design. While programmable moving lights and color changing LED lights provide flexible and dynamic production options, an inexpensive way to accomplish similar effects is with the use of gobos.

You may not be aware of it, but more likely than not, gobos have already been incorporated into the lighting design of your Feature Session stage set. What is a gobo? A gobo is a thin round steel or glass circle that has artwork etched into it – leaving a silhouette of the image that the light is projected through. The name originated from the position of where the disc is placed in a lighting instrument – “GOes Before Optics,” or GOBO.

Since a gobo is a precise rendition of your logo, graphic, text or theme, virtually any image that you’d like can be projected. Typically, gobos are projected onto stretched spandex, wood and fabric panels, or velour drape, but they can essentially be projected onto any flat surface. To turn a cost center into a revenue generator, an option could be sponsor gobos projected onto the walls of an exhibit hall or registration/common area.

Besides creating custom gobos for you, your AV partner can also provide a wide array of more generic black and white or brilliant colored themed gobos and breakup patterns (i.e. stars). This includes something called a crushed dichroic which is a multi-colored textured pattern made from small chips of colored glass that adds background color to any scene.

About the Author

Derek Suminski is the Vice President of Development for BAV, an award winning, audio visual rental, staging and production company. Derek has worked for and has traveled extensively with BAV for 19 years and serves on various PCMA and MPI committees. To contact Derek or to learn more about BAV, please visit www.bavservices.com

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