The IAA (The International Motor Show) in Frankfurt takes place every two years
and is considered the most important automobile tradeshow in the world. Across
more than 9,000 m2, Mercedes-Benz presented about 100 luxury cars. 1,800
fixtures were used – 804 of them were from Martin Professional.
470 MAC™ Quantum Wash, 54 MAC™ Viper Wash DX and 280 MAC™ 2000 Wash XB
played an all-important role, highlighting the vehicles and illuminating the booth.
For many years, Sound & Light Veranstaltungstechnik GmbH has been responsible
for lighting and rigging on the Mercedes-Benz IAA booth. This year, according to
Project Manager Andreas Locher, an impressive 2,000 man-days were spent on
setup, maintenance and dismantling, delivery of 180 tonnes of equipment, 90 km of
cabling – amounting to 3 MW which is the equivalent of a small town.
The team started the build-up process in mid-July and handed over the completed
system to the customer September 1st. An exhibition booth of this scale is almost
comparable to a permanent installation. The lighting system ran for a period of four
weeks, without any downtime or cooling-off periods, all the while the stand
appeared totally tidy to visitors – not a single cable nor safety wire in sight.
Cabling alone took 50 working days. All cables were installed in a ventilated tunnel
construction in order to keep them separate and avoid overheating and fire hazard.
“Due to the long hours of operation, stacking cables on top of each other, as you
would do in rock “n’ roll setups, simply wasn’t an option.”
In the truss, 20 m above the stage, MAC Viper Wash DX fixtures fulfilled their
purpose of illuminating people on stage. Every 40 minutes there was a live show
featuring both people and vehicles driving across the stage. MAC 2000 Wash
fixtures were used to illuminate the vehicles and the MAC Quantum Washes hung
from trusses above for overall booth lighting.
The main set element was a 45 m wide, 8 m high LED wall consisting of revolving
doors. During the show, the gates opened to reveal an immense steel construction
on which classical vehicles, as well as novelties, were placed. 100 MAC Quantum
Wash fixtures were installed side-by-side in the light frame in front of the wall,
making a lighting show on the gates.
Despite continuously advancing LED technology, Locher still has a preference for
conventional fixtures when it comes to illuminating vehicles and people. He
“A crucial aspect of illuminating a vehicle is the rendering of color. This worked
excellently with both the MAC 2000 Wash XB and the MAC Viper Wash.”
However, in the case of IAA, the combination of conventional and LED-based
fixtures provided new opportunities for the Mercedes booth design.
“The MAC Quantum truly is a quantum leap in the development of LED technology.
When it comes to output, zoom range, colour rendering and colour temperature this
light truly deserves its name. This is the first LED fixture I would even consider
using to illuminate people.”
More than 5,000 Martin Professional fixtures in total were deployed at IAA 2015.