Fairstone Group 2022 Staff Conference

The Fairstone Group offers wealth management services to clients and incorporates one of the UK’s largest Chartered Financial Planning firms operating over 40 locations nationwide and are recognised as one of the fastest growing financial services organisations in the country.

Venue – IWM Duxford

Although Fairstones Head Office is in Newcastle Upon Tyne, they chose a location much easier for staff to travel to from across the UK. The chosen venue was the impressive Imperial War Museum Duxford a branch of the Imperial War Museum near Duxford in Cambridge. Europe’s largest aviation museum, it houses the museum’s large exhibits, including nearly 200 aircraft, military vehicles, artillery and minor naval vessels in seven main exhibition buildings.

This historic site also includes a vast range of enormous hangars, a live airfield offering the public a variety of flights and a collection of personal stories of those who have lived, fought and died in conflict from the First World War to present day.

R&B Approach

Having worked with Newcastle upon Tyne neighbours the Fairstone Group previously, they were aware of our capability when working in a challenging space and this aircraft hangar was vast. The install proved a little challenging when we had to unload through small fire doors rather than through the massive hangar doors large enough for Lancaster bombers and certainly big enough for our trucks to drive through! Our pre-production planning and cloud-based resource management ensured we had enough crew to tackle this.

The main challenge was to design and build a stage and backdrop big enough so it was not lost in the huge aircraft hangar. Working alongside the client’s internal designer our creative team and stage set builders settled on a twin widescreen set incorporating a very large on-brand 3D relief logo and shaped stage elements with LED uplighters plus additional lighting behind the stage from floor to roof.

It is always vital that we listen and work with our clients and if they want bigger they can have bigger, this inevitably involves throwing more staging, set, sound, lighting and install crew into the mix which explains the unavoidable increase in cost.

An absolute necessity during pre-production is conducting site visits with clients and a cavernous space requires careful design for both staging and sound. A number of our Kiva line array units were installed and raised at height to ensure the room was adequately covered for sound. Nothing worse than creating beautiful staging, projection and content if people cannot hear!

During rehearsals we were asked to provide different presentations simultaneously across the two screens which required careful syncing between the two presenters taking turns to speak and showing their own graphics on screen. One false click by the presenter or AV control and everything would be out of sync, phew, it all went perfectly!

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