Like other international convention centres, we have a busy Technical Department who deliver an outstanding service to all of our clients; both for conferencing and entertainment.
As a conference delegate you will usually only get a glimpse of our tech team who are usually “behind the scenes” or at a technical desk but conference organisers, keynote speakers and artists are all aware of the work the team put in before, during and after a conference or gig. We caught up with Christian Earley, a production technician who has worked with ICC Belfast for over two years.
On a usual conference set up day Christian will be preparing several halls, exhibition spaces and meeting rooms to the specifications given by our clients. Depending on the scale of the tech and AV needs this could be anything from installing presentation and digital screens, stripping lighting from the overhead trusses and installing and patching in audio-visual equipment such as projectors and microphones. Once this is complete and tested it is then on to the main event!
“When the conference starts and the doors open for delegates, this is when we fully interact with our customers. I offer AV support with presentations often adapting and creating content for any last-minute edits. This is when I can put minds at ease that everything is going to run smoothly and coach participants through the process.” Christian Earley
For the entertainment side of our business Christian ensures that our new PA system is set up and the lighting is to the tour managers specifications, he would ensure that he focuses the lighting and is present for the sound checks. During any performance, from rock concerts to comedy acts, Christian can be found at the mixing desk for sound or operating the lighting.
His customers range from academics to corporate clients to artists of every genre:
“Ultimately, when the technical specification is set up, we are primarily client facing, tweaking things here and there – because when something isn’t right technically it can affect the whole day.”
Christian primarily works in a team environment as many tasks include more than one member of the technical department, he also engages with our event managers, IT team and events hosts to ensure events are delivered successfully.
“I enjoy working with clients and customers ensuring I go over and beyond to meet their needs and give them the best experience possible, having a role where I can utilise my expertise makes the job more enjoyable and I work with such a great team of people.”
The skill-set needed for our technical department, which is over 20 people strong, has an interesting mix of musicians, music technology grads, those with the skill to mix sound and visual needs, all with experience in electrics, knowledge of music and physics! Christian has a lifetime of experience with all of these elements and noted his most memorable moment with the company was when he met José Feliciano, famous for song “light my fire”:
“I ran into gentleman who wanted shown into our mostly empty Main Auditorium, I went to retrieve him a chair to sit down, when I returned, he was centre stage signing with Jools Hollands band who were setting up – it was then I realised who he was, he wanted to check his sound early, he was so humble and just wanted to be shown to the stage.” Christian Earley
When Christian isn’t working with all thing’s tech, he enjoys walking his dog and listening to Radio 4 with a lovely glass of wine.