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October 2017 marked the 20th birthday of one of Durban’s most loved, and iconic hotels, Hilton Durban. Built in 1997 to complement the opening of its prestigious next door neighbour, the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, the hotel has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years, including South Africa’s Leading Business Hotel for five consecutive years (2013 – 2017). More recently, a multimillion Rand upgrade has been undertaken, with the refurbishment of the lobby, Vasco’s restaurant, and all 327 guest rooms, as well as the creation of a business lounge, and the Big Easy Wine Bar and Grill.
With much to celebrate, General Manager, Markus Fritz, called on INHOUSE Venue Technical Management to add that special “technical” touch to the festivities, which was provided with pleasure. “Our brief was to create a classy look and feel for the arrival and formalities, but to then transform the ballroom into a retro disco lounge for party-time,” said Ravi Parak, INHOUSE’ Venue Technical Manager of Hilton Durban. “We have a comprehensive equipment inventory on site at the venue, however this is more geared towards the conference industry. We therefore called on our colleagues at Gearhouse Durban to supplement our equipment with all the ‘bells and whistles’…including the ‘compulsory’ mirror ball for that disco feel.”
Gearhouse Durban’s new SGM P5 LED lights had their first outing in the Ballroom pre-assembly area to wash the walls and pillars in blue to highlight the corporate colours of the Hilton brand. This brand was further re-enforced with the provision of two Robe 700’s with Hilton gobos scanning from lobby floor to ceiling. Audio for the DJ’s relaxed background music and live performance was provided by the versatile Bose L1’s, a PA so discrete that “we are often asked by clients ‘where are the speakers?’” says Ravi.
The ballroom was up lit by 12 Robe LED Force 18 Pars and washed with 6 Robe Robin 600 lights. 2 Robe Robin Pointes were used as pin spots for the mirror ball and general stage wash and 6 Robe Robin 100s on the truss goal posts above the DJ provided dance floor light. This event was attended by numerous dignitaries, as well as both past and present employees of the Hilton Durban who were recognized for their service and contributions. With a variety of delicious local eats, a huge cake in the shape of the hotel building, and retro party music, a great time was certainly had by all.
“I would like to thank the IVTM team for a great evening and technical guidance for our 20th anniversary,” said Hilton Durban GM, Markus Fritz. “The event was a great success and we could not have achieved that without their support. It is a pleasure to work with great partners in the business.”
IVTM is proud to have been onsite audio visual supplier to Hilton Durban since November 2012. We would like to wish this valued client a very happy birthday, and look forward to a fruitful partnership for many more years to come.
Story Ross Hatcher, photos Jethro Snyder Photography