15 Jun 2020 | by Max Jelfs

How many times have you been to a venue and been very un-inspired about holding your event there?  It’s too drab, too light or dark, too much wood, either high or low ceilings.  It’s tired and just not modern enough!  Sound familiar?  All of these issues can be addressed using event production – sound and lighting.



For years now lighting has been the immediate go-to for instantly and simply changing the look and  feel of a room.  If a room is too dark, you simply add colour, if a room is too light then you use the surfaces to reflect the lighting.  Event and Production companies use painting with light as the first point of call when deciding what the room is going to look like in the planning stages.

Lighting is a quick and simple fix and comes in a range of packages that will suit small local events to large events in warehouses and hangars.  The bigger the venue the more lighting – It’s a simple formula (there is obviously a little bit more science and technicality involved in that formula).  

Lighting can, and will, instantly change the look and the atmosphere of the room, even more so when you add a lighting desk and operator into the mix.  The Lighting Operator has the power to change the colour of the room, re-direct moving lights away from table no 10 and generally end up taking all of the DJ’s requests.  On a more serious note, the Lighting Operator applies magic and makes lights look great! This simple formula will work well with both old and new venues. Lighting packages will suit different venues and will ultimately enhance the space of any venue, no matter how dull it looks from the offset.

Lighting is not just about adding colour though. It can be projection, it can be used to highlight areas of interest, it can be architectural and be used to emphasise the venue itself.  This is possible with both internal and external fixtures.

Colours, looks and effects can be changed throughout the event, with the use of movement and projection which adds a more theatrical look and can add to the overall atmosphere.



So with your room looking great we just need to get the sound right. Sound isn’t as easy to sell as lighting. The formula isn’t the same. Sound is probably one of the most important parts of an event as it’s what you use to get your point across.  If it’s not good, clear and crisp then it can have an adverse effect.

The common perception seems to be, the more you spend on sound the louder it is going to be.  Sound has future proofed itself as the boxes (speakers) are much smaller now and have a wider range, so you don’t need loads of boxes for it to sound great.  Gone are the days of large speaker stacks that obstruct sightlines to the stage or stand out like a sore thumb in a ballroom. The footprint is small, yet the sound can be big! But not loud!

It is a common mistake to save money with a “Make Do” sound system, but it is also important to spend just as much time in getting it right. The “Make Do” sound system can be supplied by a third-party supplier (i.e) Live act or DJ or Band. This sound system is usually owned by the entertainer and 90% of the time will cover their week in and week out events.  This type of sound is normally not set up for any venue or audience capacity, but just to get the job done on a weekly basis. Setting up the correct sound system for the venue, means you can also take into consideration what else will be required for “on the night!”.

The event professional will look at the programme of events and the technical requirements of each presenter, act or performer and spec a sound system that is suitable for the venue and audience size, so that there are no surprises on the evening.

Sound and lighting are so important for any and every event, regardless of the size and venue. It can enhance the mood and improve the guest experience. Penguins are more than happy to help you with all of the above and so much more.

Max Jelfs

By Max Jelfs

Max started at Penguins in 1997 and has been an event manager, production manager and is currently a producer in the live department. Throughout Max's 23 year career at Penguins, he has travelled the world creating exceptional events. Max is particularly well known for his work in experiential events.More articles by Max Jelfs