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Kongresskultur Bregenz: stage-managing rapid growth
Four years ago, the LED professional Symposium (LpS) was still an experiment. Today, with 1,300 participants and more than 100 exhibitors, it’s one of the world’s leading congresses in the light technology industry. And Kongresskultur Bregenz has made a decisive contribution to this development. “It makes us proud to have been there right from the start,” says Ruth Weidermann. “Especially when a project develops so fantastically as this congress.”
Ruth Weidermann has worked at the company ever since 1986 and consequently many events that are seen as examples of their kind today have been her responsibility from the very beginning. The LpS is one of the events she is particularly attached to, because she loves the element of stagecraft that’s so important in it.
The LpS was founded by Siegfried Luger, a former employee of Zumtobel Group, the Vorarlberg-based lighting technology corporation. He recognised the great potential of the new IGF technology and wanted to give manufacturers, customers and experts from all over the world the opportunity as early as possible to meet and exchange ideas in an atmosphere appropriate for the subject. “Since the first congress we’ve worked to build up the event,” Ruth Weidermann says. “We’ve basically played the role of an agency, making suggestions and mediating collaborations with other possible partners. For example, the idea of incorporating the whole town in the congress dramaturgy is something that we implemented together. That included video installations at Vorarlberg Museum. Whenever we do this kind of thing, our involvement obviously doesn’t stop at the doorstep. In the case of the LpS, our technicians were out there, involved in planning everything and also setting up the art works.”
The collaboration was particularly intensive in 2015, declared the International Year of Light by the United Nations. One result of this joint creative process was the “Path of Light”, a symbolic progression through the major developmental stages in the technology that humans have used over the millennia to artificially light their surroundings. The path led from the candle, to the paraffin lamp, then the light bulb, the neon tube and finally IGF lighting. “Bregenz Festival House,” Ruth Weidermann says, “is naturally the ideal location for carrying out an idea like that. We’ve been staging operas here for decades and a major means of expression in opera is light.”
Even when the LpS is not in progress, Siegfried Luger still comes round five or six times a year for photo sessions with clients. He needs the pictures for interviews he publishes in his own trade magazine. He always chooses the same background motif: the fluorescent figures on the roof of Bregenz Festival House, an installation by British artist Cerith Wyn Evans representing the speed of light. A fitting image for a technology that is evolving so rapidly.
Ruth Weidermann d’Antuono
With the company since 1986. A member of the event management department, she specialises in congresses and trade fairs.