Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kia Reveal

Time for a tale of a job of epic proportions.  So get yourself a cuppa and settle back in for a sizable read.  It is okay as there is an awesome video at the end for your viewing pleasure

The Brief
  1. Create an original way of revealing the two new KIA cars at the Sydney MotorShow 2012.  The cars are to be completely covered with balloons and the balloons are to simply 'melt away' to reveal the vehicles.  The balloon covering is not to look structured but very 'organic'.
  2. The vehicles must be COMPLETELY covered. 
  3. The job must be completed by 8am for a 9.30am reveal.  
  4. Balloons are to be helium filled as they want minimum rigging.  Also helium balloons will have a more random, organic feel as they simply fly away.

"...And where is the Motorshow being staged??"

"Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre."
At this point I need to alert the client to the fact of the $3,300 fine they would incur if a single balloon got away from us and broke the laser fire alarms inside the building.  SCEC would not allow them to simply release all the balloons in their desired 'organic' manner.

I won't bore you with the details of the many meetings over the next month, the failed initial trial, the successful second trial.  However I will tell you that to overcome the fire alarm issue and to keep the 'organic' feel we decided to attach all the balloons to a net - double sided.

So, this is me going nuts at about midnight doing the real thing in our tiny construction room.  Wait a minute. Back up.  I didn't tell you about our schedule did I?  Read on
Full dress rehearsal the day before and then the reveal next day.  Easy right?  Try this schedule on;
  • 11am - arrive at SCEC for dress rehearsal.  6 people on site. Construct and install 1 net.  Trying to accommodate clients requests as we proceed ("can you add a bit more red in that area" etc).
  • 5pm. - install net.  Test and checks and leave at 5.30pm.
  • Back to workshop to pack van for the real thing.  Dinner.
  • 9.45pm - back in the van and drive to SCEC.  Bump in all supplies at 10.30pm.  Two extra people join us making it 8 staff.
  • 11pm - everyone is assigned their tasks and we begin.  Nets are hung between poles.  1 person on each side of the net passing the balloon necks through and tying them on.
  • 2.45am - first net finished.  Making good time, but the team is starting to feel the pinch after being on deck since 11am yesterday.  Quick drinks break.
  • 3am - start second net.
  • 7am - second net completed.  1 hour to put them together and get them rigged.  After 20 hours on the job it was getting tough.  Client has arrived and is starting to apply the pressure.
  • 8.15am - nets rigged and ready to go for reveal.  

Due to the small work room we were allocated, each net had to be made in 4 pieces.  Once each section is completed we had to send them out of the room and clamp them to the floor.  Once 4 pieces were completed we had to put them together to make one big cover, as Wendy is doing above.  Once done we 'wrapped' the net over the car and tied it down.
Interesting Facts
  •  each net had just over 1500 helium filled balloons.
  •  two balloons popped while rigging.  Each time it was a race to find which balloon had popped and make sure it's pair did not get away.  
  • As we were bumping out there were a number of other car manufacturers coming to have a look at the Kia stand.
  • This is the biggest job that I have ever undertaken, so great satisfaction to get it done.

8.15am and all is well.  From left to right we have Rebecca, Albert, Ian, Michelle, Dave, Maureen.  Wendy and Robyn had to leave just before the picture.  
My thanks to Rebecca and Michelle from The Party Hive,  Robyn from Bella Balloons and Maureen from Balloon Elegance for their invaluable assistance. 

*Click the above image to view the video!