Gearhouse SA's Cape Town branch was awarded preferred technical supplier status for the Congress, working closely with both parties to make sure that the rooms were linked via the speaker preparation room and that presentations were delivered punctually via the CTICC Virtual Local Area Network. Congress attendees were exposed to a wide variety of talks by international speakers on interesting topics in diagnostics imaging with the utilisation of modern technology.
Of course, the opportunity to showcase Africa and the Mother City was fully utilised. Delegates entering Auditorium 1, were greeted by a panoramic view of Cape Town on the two screens centre stage, powered by two of Gearhouse's new 8K Christie projectors.
The opening ceremony, devised by Themi Venturas Productions to echo the pioneering event theme "Bringing radiologists, and the technology thereof into Africa", was breathtakingly effective featuring pieces such as "Bringing light into the darkness", "Discovery into the unknown", "Revelation to the hidden" and "Hope for humankind". The show soundtrack opened with the earliest rhythm known to man, the sound of a mother's heartbeat, after which the sounds diversified into complex rhythms and counter rhythms - building finally into the rich tapestry of beats synonymous with the rhythms of Africa. Music for the event was composed by Dawn Selby and Themi Venturas.
During the dynamic music and dance sections the African theme continued with an atmospheric and vibrant lighting design and the lighting team were even able to deliver a radiology themed twist. "The lighting concept was to create the effect of an x-ray," said Gearhouse Lighting Designer, Hendrik Pretorius. This was accomplished by backlighting the drummers onto a transparent scrim, using Mac 2k Wash fixtures and then dramatically highlighting the performers with vibrant colour, using a combination of Mac 2k and ETC profiles.
Gearhouse's new ESP Vision, an advanced off-line editing lighting program, enabled the Lighting team to extensively pre-program the IPC console prior to load-in, making the get-in efficient and smooth. Lighting Operations Manager, Jacques Fourie elaborated on the uses of the new software, saying that with the added capabilities of CAD & ESP Vision, lighting designs and concepts can now be put to the test long before the equipment is prepared. "This is also very useful when pitching for a new project, since the end client can see a real-time visualisation of the Gearhouse proposal and we can adjust the specifications accordingly, even at that early stage," said Fourie.
Both auditoriums and roof terrace were fully booked to accommodate different events such as the opening ceremony and symposiums. Smaller rooms were used for hands-on workshops on a variety of subjects. Since the workshops ran back to back, the technicians working in these areas experienced their own set of challenges, including assisting speakers with their presentation edits and deciphering their requests in foreign languages.
In the speaker preparation room, technicians assisted the delegates with loading their presentations onto the six computers linked to the CTICC network and allocating them to the correct time slots so that technicians in the smaller rooms could screen the presentations accordingly.
The exhibition halls were filled to the brim with 61 exhibitors including Siemens, Axim, Agfa, Tecmed, Schering, Tyco Healthcare, Philips, Marcus Medical, AS Voyages, Planilux, MCI Optonix, International Hospital Equipment and Diagnostic Imaging Europe all demonstrating amazing new technologies. Even the radiology societies were represented by the Radiology Society of SA, and the European Congress of Radiology.
When the closing ceremony rounded off the conference in Auditorium 2, with a speech and thank yous all round, the projected montage of photos taken over the past week reflected a successful and thought-provoking event.
Even Gearhouse Project Manager Theo van As was satisfied: "The client was happy and said that all our planning had been done well. The registration and technicals went smoothly despite the arrival of many more delegates than expected and taking into account the fact that some events were much better attended than others resulting in some last minute nail-biting room changes to accommodate the overflow. All in all we feel it went very well."