Date project was completed: March 2021
As virtual events became a necessity, so did the ability to have high-quality professional content. No longer could executives, event emcees and other presenters get away with a poorly lite basement, subpar audio or a poorly composed camera. Event attendees also needed increased production value to hold their attention. AV Chicago realized these needs and worked to develop a solution. In partnership with Chop Shop Chicago, the team at AV Chicago reimagined the event space at Chop Shop with a state-of-the-art, broadcast-quality production studio. The ability to host galas, fundraisers, or corporate events was elevated not just from the use of the studio but the ability to have hospitality from Chop Shop incorporated. Chop Shop Chicago was able to still utilize the space to host bocce ball events, host DJ’s and bands as well as host their weekend brunches. The space was completely tunable based off the need of the event.
Co-Owner/ President of AV Chicago, Justin Frick, is the visionary behind the Studio at Chop Shop. “It started from a need to solve client needs but has turned into a long-term initiative to build our hybrid event solution,” said Frick. The initial vision was to produce both prerecorded and live events from a television grade facility. As for comfort levels for people to attend in-person events, the Studio at Chop Shop is fully equipped to provide a hybrid event experience. Hybrid events are the new buzz word for what is up next in the events industry but what that really means depends on who you talk to. There are a few structures to hybrid events that you can work through to determine your organization's best fit. But the biggest question that needs to be answered is, what is the experience you are trying to achieve for your virtual and in-person attendees? AV Chicago has focused on utilizing the Studio at Chop Shop, providing a safe space for in-person attendees while integrating it with our comprehensive virtual event platform, here.live. Co-Owner/ President of AV Chicago, Andrew Brode, has kept a keen sight on keeping our virtual event platform on the cutting edge. “The attendee engagement tools, coupled with the customizable platform, has allowed us to make sure the virtual attendee experience is as exceptional as those attending in person” says Brode. Both in-person and virtual attendees have unique but similar needs.
How many functions can the space serve?
The space is designed to allow Chop Shop Chicago's bar and restaurant to fully function. The space where the studio is located has the ability to be transformed into a small concert space, DJ area, host weekend brunches, bocce ball tournaments while also fulfilling the needs of AV Chicago as a studio space. AV Chicago has done studio quality pre-recorded content, streamed virtual and hybrid events, hosted fundraisers, recorded musicals and bands.
How well does the space serve each function?
The space was designed to be able to accommodate the various needs of the stakeholder (Chop Shop Chicago and AV Chicago) while allowing us all to utilize an under utilized asset during the pandemic. Work is needed to convert the space but we were able to convert it as needed to fulfill the needs of each event. Depending on the scenic and client needs we could covert the space in a few hours or if a larger set design was needed it could be 1/2 a day.
How easy/quick/intuitive is it to convert the space to the various purposes needed?
From a technology perspective, a trained and qualified team is needed to "tune" the room, set the cameras and operate the LED wall along with the audio system. Otherwise, if the space is being used for the restaurant the staff is quickly able to set and get their needs met for the space.
Does the technology in the space increase its versatility, or add value to the activities taking place in the room? It absolutely increases the versatility. With the addition of the LED wall, Chop Shop Chicago, is able to utilize the space for even more functions. They are able to elevate social events including hosting weddings and various receptions. With the increased audio capabilities the room is set with a high quality sounds system allowing for an optimal experience.
The live events community was hit hard, like so many, by the pandemic. Events were the first things to be canceled we were first up to figure out how to keep people connected. There was a lot of learning between all parties to figure out how to virtually bring people together. As we looked with hope for events to come back, we saw a need of our clients to have a partner that was there with them. We took our knowledge and skills in event production and collaborated with Chop Shop to capitalize on an underutilized resource to create revenue, all while also serving the new needs of our clients. In addition, as things have begun to open up, we have been able to utilize the space for not only our studio and hybrid event needs, but the needs of Chop Shop to host patrons, bands, events and bocce. This space provided jobs for team members, revenue for multi-business and served multiple purposes! The creativity of the team and the results achieved from this space deserves recognition!
Studio at Chop Shop
Best Flexible Space Experience