15 Feb 2022

Celebrating the career of Bertha Watson Henry

Back at the home of the NHL’s Florida Panthers, FLA Live Arena! Two weeks ago, our crew worked the surprise retirement party for Broward Administrator Bertha Watson Henry. Bertha was originally told she was attending a recognition event for Florida Panthers’ owner Vinnie Viola. Needless to say: when she walked down Section 105 to a roaring applause from all her closest friends and colleagues, it was a total shock!

Our team arrived at the arena the evening prior to fully set and do some tech rehearsals. The following day, we did a full rehearsal with the hosts and planning team to make sure everything was ready for the party that evening.

Included in our A/V set-up we had: two projection screens flanking a venue-provided center stage, a full audio complement for 300+ attendees, lighting effects that were both ground level and configured up in the risers of the arena, a DJ tie-in, and cameras for IMAG. For the screens, we used 22K rear projectors that were set up in the bowl of the arena where fans usually sit.

Speaking of making the most of our space, FOH control was positioned where the players’ benches normally are, and backstage control was set in the penalty boxes! Definitely different from a hotel ballroom…

The run of show consisted of pre-produced videos highlighting Bertha’s career, messages from friends and family, images of various recognition items the County was going to present her with for use in retirement, the announcement of a scholarship that was established in her name for underserved youth in Broward County, and information on how to donate additional funds for that scholarship.

Of course, all of that was followed by an evening of gathering with music, food, and camaraderie by the attendees. We were thrilled to be a part of this exciting event for a local community leader!