Passion and people. These words rang out at the Show Imaging Inc. open house event on Thursday, November 30, 2017.
A more simplified version of the company’s mission, the passion and people are what make Show Imaging so special. Their charge is to “deliver the best shows on the planet,” according to company founder, Steven Evans, through hands-on project management, creative design, and cutting-edge technology.
The open house was designed specifically to showcase that sentiment and the tools they use to deliver these experiences. However, it went well beyond just showing the feats which Show Imaging is capable of—the passion side of it. It showed the people side of things as well, shining the spotlight on those who work to deliver this unique experience to clients.
When you work with Show Imaging, you get a partner that operates as an extension of your team. Together you conceptualize, design, and execute a shared vision, brought together by the fusion of both passion and people.
This was evident in all elements of the open house, from the setup of the venue, to the innovation panels and talks to the individual showcase stations.
The Venue (AKA the SI headquarters)
All attendees were directed to an impressive entrance located between the two Show Imaging warehouses. As people walked through the welcome area and picked up their badges, they weren’t met with an ordinary parking lot. After all, Show Imaging specializes in transforming non-traditional spaces into the unbelievable.
The Show Imaging office, warehouse, and parking lot were expertly turned into a hybrid cocktail party, demo showcase, and live performance. It was specifically designed so the first thing people saw was the fully built product that Show Imaging delivers: a beautiful stage, well-defined sound, and fun.
“When I walked up, I didn’t really know what to expect. But when I turned the corner into the main area my jaw dropped. The entire setup of the event was unreal,” says Gus Padilla local San Diego attendee.
To the left and right of the stage were warehouses and offices jam packed with interactive live demos of the company’s various technologies, a beautifully designed organic lounge space, and a new-age scenic lounge. Before people started digging into the technology, Show Imaging president, Steve Evans, took the stage to deliver his welcome keynote address.
Kicking the Night Off
To kick the night off, Evans gave the crowd a quick breakdown of where the company has been and their journey to the open house. He told how four years ago, in 2013, Show Imaging made the move into their current space in Vista, CA.
However, the pictures displayed showed a striking disparity between past and present. The warehouse was empty, compared to the multitudes of gear attendees saw during the open house. But that was the whole point of showing the photos.
This party was the grand opening, so to speak, of Show Imaging to the public. They have been in business since 2009 doing great shows around the world while remaining quiet as a hidden gem. They have finally come forward to show everyone what has been happening behind the scenes.
“I’ve worked with Steve for five years. The company puts their blood, sweat, tears, heart, and soul into everything they do. They didn’t have any of this five years ago, but it’s grown to what you see here tonight,” says Tiffany Dumlao, event attendee and longtime colleague of Evans. “This event showcases everything they’ve worked to accomplish together.”
In a way, this was a symbolic event that unveiled the company to the world at large. While their mantra is to deliver the best possible shows on the planet, their work extends so much further than just that.
You can sum it all up in two words: passion and people. That’s the true heart of who Show Imaging is and what they do, which carried over into every exhibit across the venue.
The Open House Demos
Every demo station and showcase was fully interactive for attendees. Not only that, Show Imaging employees were constantly walking around, ready and willing to greet people who had questions or wanted an expert opinion.
This provided an event experience that went beyond just instructing people how the equipment worked. Attendees had the privilege to feel what it’s like to run cameras, lights, video or DJ tables.
If the goal for Show Imaging is to deliver the best shows on the planet, these showcase stations were the extension of that goal.
The Audio Experience
Tucked into a warehouse corner was a set of DJ turntables, open and waiting for someone to take control and pump out some serious sound. It was manned by Show Imaging staff member, and experienced DJ Jorge “Horge” Montoya, who was proud to tell people that he had built the setup.
“Over the last few years Show Imaging has grown. We hired new people, we got awesome new tech” says Jorge “Horge” Montoya. “This whole night is us telling local San Diego, the larger Southern California, and the rest of the world that we’re ready to make some magic happen.”
If you wanted to learn how it worked, Horge was more than happy to oblige. He patiently explained how the system worked together, what the various buttons on the tables did, and how to match beats per minute (BPM) while mixing.
As a show of prowess, Horge got on the tables and started playing some tunes. Part demo, part party, and all fun, attendees got to experience what it’s like standing behind the speakers, turning the knobs, and raising the volume to earth shaking levels. SI gave you the power of the DJ/Audio Producer.
The Lighting Experiences
All events go well beyond just sound and music, just like Show Imaging. Case in point, right next to Horge’s DJ set up were lighting displays lining the walls of the warehouse.
The first was two of the newest lighting fixtures from Martin professional. Attached to a small control console, Martin reps discussed the future of event lighting. You could change the intensity of the light and color by simply running your finger up and down the panels on the console.
Nearby was another console connected to a massive wall of white lights. Quickly, it was evident that these colors could all be changed with a few touches on the console which had presets made for guests. For example, you could have the white lights change instantly to blast a full wall of striking violet, or you could set a clockwise rotation pattern that spun a sharp blue through the white background.
Perhaps most fun, and obvious fan favorite, were the hanging orbs in front of the LED visualization wall. Attendees could control the colors of the orbs, but also the way they moved up and down on their independent motors. With the guidance of Show Imaging staff, you could set them to move like a wave through water. And then you could put some amazing visuals on the LED wall, putting overlay effects on the psychedelic patterns dancing across the screen.
Video, LED and Visual Experiences
Right near the lighting displays was a video camera control center that was playing Thursday Night Football. The game was only one of many screens though, each of which were hooked up to various cameras throughout the party.
From this command center, you could control all the cameras and display them on nearby monitors. It requires a deft touch, making you realize the level of skill people need to maintain when doing it at a live event in real time.
Show Imaging also had concert professional LED displays and visual controls open for everyone to use. Guests were able to sit in the desk of a concert "VJ" with all the content imaginable at their disposal. Needless to say, it was amazing.
Virtual Reality and Pre-Visualization
There were two separate virtual reality (VR) stations set up at the event. One was an immersive experience for people to feel what it’s like to walk next to a T-Rex. It focused more on the fun capability of Oculus VR in general.
The second installation, above the warehouse in the "Pre Visualization Suite", was a practical application of this VR technology integrating media servers. In this booth, you could put the headset on and be transported to the floor of the venue. You could preview and design an entire show from the comfort of this room, popping in here and there on the VR headset to make sure everything looked correct from different vantage points on the venue.
“I DJ a lot of corporate events, but this is something else,” says Conner Shean, one of the DJs who took the main stage at the open house. “It’s like every corner you turn you bump into an exhibit or showcase cooler than the last. At times you feel like you’re in a warehouse loaded with cool toys, but then you walk five feet and you’re face to face with a high end LED wall.”
As the night wound down, I sat there and a thought dawned upon me. The central hub of the event, where the main stage was, was the sum of all its parts. To the left and right were the different pieces of an event, isolated.
The middle was everything brought together as one beautiful production. For all of us in attendance, we got to see what each element was like on its own, and then what it all looks like unified together under the banner of a dynamite Show Imaging event. And it was absolutely beautiful.
“Show Imaging’s open house brought all of us together. We never get to hang out at an event because we’re always behind the scenes, or working nights and weekends. Tonight, we all get to be on the experiential side of things,” says Shean. “And I’ve heard lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ tonight from people who’re used to putting on events. That’s because Show Imaging has some powerhouse tech here. They stand for cutting edge, and it shows.”