A Defining Experience with Michelle Obama

The Technical Details

Markey’s began preparing for A Moderated Conversation with Former First Lady Michelle Obama as we prepare for all events. We met with our client and determined the scope of the project. Once will fully understood our client’s needs, wants and goals, we formulated a plan. Having worked with Women’s Fund of Central Indiana is the past, the communication and planning was smooth sailing. The scope of the project included all the technology associated with the event including the projection, lighting, audio, staging and décor, as well as the video and live feeds being sent to media outlets.

The Markey’s team spent the days leading up to the event configuring and testing the various technology that was to be used on-site. The scenic décor chosen for the event was a honeycomb tension fabric which consists of hexagonal white fabric shapes that hook together with 1” metal rings. What's nice about the honeycomb fabric is that it is scalable in size. The height and width are determined by simply adding or removing panels as needed. This type of product works well for large events and large venues and worked perfectly for this application. The honeycomb background was assembled and tested at the Markey’s Headquarters, located 10 minutes from the event venue, prior to the event to ensure it was perfect for show day and there were no hidden surprises.

The Experience

More than 13,000 attendees gathered at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis on a Tuesday evening to hear Michelle Obama deliver a message of inspiration. The sold out Women’s Fund of Central Indiana event fittingly named “A Moderated Conversation with Former First Lady Michelle Obama” successfully delivered a defining experience to all in attendance and raised $1 million for young women in central Indiana.

As we scoured the internet in search of event metrics and stats, we stumbled upon countless articles from student journalists that recapped the event. Unlike most event recaps, these stories shared the writer’s experience in a very emotional way. Janie Gleaves, a junior at Bishop Chatard High School began her article by stating “I cried in row 17 of Bankers Life Fieldhouse when Former First Lady Michelle Obama took center-stage.” Yet another journalist, Brooke Hepp from DePauw University commented “By the end of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s conversation with moderator Alecia DeCoudreaux, almost every seat in Bankers Life Fieldhouse was empty; not because those tickets were not sold, but because she left them in a standing ovation.”
As we read through the articles, we could feel the emotion and the inspiration that those in attendance took from the event. These defining experience are the events that Markey’s helps deliver day in, day out for our clients. At Markey’s we understand that our work is more than a video screen and some speakers. We know that at the heart of it, we help deliver an important message to a group of people. At the end of the day, if we are successful at our craft, those that hear the message are different than when they first woke up that morning.


Notable Technology Used at the Event
  • State-of-the-art inventory of Martin LED moving lights
  • Barco HDX-W20 projectors paired with 32’ x 18’ video screens
  • JBL Sound System delivered crystal-clear audio throughout the stadium

Fun Show Facts

  • Over ¼ mile of wire rope was used to reach the high steel and hang the show.
  • Setup was done one day before in just 8 hours.
  • A team of around 40 people made the shows event technology happen.