Billed as the world’s most beautiful and innovative conference for cloud accounting leaders, Xerocon London 2018 brought together accountants, bookkeepers, ecosystem partners and industry leaders. Creative technical event production expert, Hawthorn was chosen by agency Taylor Bennett Partners to deliver the full technical production for the two-day event held at ExCel London on 14- 15 November 2018.
Over 3,300 delegates gathered to find out the latest news and updates from Xero, a cloud-based accounting software company. Led by Group Creative Director Pete Harding, Hawthorn was tasked to bring Taylor Bennett’s impressive vision to life, delivering full technical production for the main conference plenary, exhibition space, break-out sessions and evening party. Featuring three incredible technical installations including a mammoth custom-made LED sculpture and an indoor zip wire, Xerocon London 2018 proved it wasn’t your typical accounting conference.
Playing host to two full days of informative sessions from industry experts, business leaders and thought makers, the Xerocon main stage cut an impressive figure. Measuring a staggering 57 metres-wide, Hawthorn used nine Barco UDX-4K32 projectors to create the unusual pill-shaped screen. This unique set-up included two circular screen sections at the edges of the stage which acted as relays, ensuring everyone in the audience had a perfect view of the on-stage action.
Taking inspiration from the Xero logo, Hawthorn realised an idea by Taylor Bennett to create a striking 12 metre-diameter LED wheel to encompass the end of the main stage. Made from 249 custom-made LED fixtures, each using 255 individual RGB pixels per disc, the striking structure delivered 63,495 pixels.
Lighting was designed by Hawthorn’s Head of Lighting Jack Sayer, Will Plenty and luminary designer Russell Grubiak who created a stunning design to complement the on screen content and the Xero brand whilst also ensuring the speakers were beautifully lit. The rig included Clay Paky Sharpy Wash, Martin MAC Viper Performance and Chroma Q Colour Force 72 fixtures.
Audio in the main stage was delivered using a d&b audiotechnik V Series line array. The system, which uses full ArrayProcessing, ensured that audio was delivered evenly across the space so that each member of the 3,300 strong audience received the same excellent audio experience, regardless of their position. The system was powered by 13 D80 amplifiers and controlled through a Yamaha CL5 desk using Dante network. Hawthorn further enhanced the conference experience by using Interactio, a system that streams real-time audio to attendees’ phones.
To ensure the Xerocon exhibition space was as impressive as the main stage, Hawthorn worked closely with the team at Taylor Bennett to realise their vision of an imposing lampshade installation. Designed in sympathy with the Xero logo and created using Hawthorn’s CubePXL system, the 365 lamp shade array draw delegates towards the Xero stand. The custom-made shades ensured that light was only diffused from the bottom of the installation, creating a clean yet impactful aesthetic.
Closing the first day of the conference, the Xerocon party provided delegates with an opportunity to pop on their dancing shoes and enjoy an evening packed full of excellent food, music and activities. Revellers were kept well entertained by party band The Electro Lights who even managed to get Xero’s mascot, Dexter the Digital Tax Advisor, up dancing. A striking in-the-round stage set-up featuring 144 hanging LED cubes arranged in concentric circles provided the perfect 360° party experience.
Pete Harding, Group Creative Director at Hawthorn, commented; “The award-winning team at Taylor Bennett Partners are renowned for delivering incredible brand experiences that inspire and engage audiences so it’s a privilege to work with them on Xerocon London 2018. Russell always has a fantastic vision and we love bringing his ideas to life using the latest production technologies.”