When the Royal Elephant Hotel in Centurion was called on to host an event for 200 SADC VIPs plus 1500 invited guests; they contacted temporary venue specialists Gearhouse In2Structures for assistance.

The hotel required an additional 5275m2 covered space in which to host the massive event, which required conferencing space well as covered areas for exhibition purposes and a sizeable gala luncheon area.

In2Structures' range of steel-framed Dome Venues combine portability with great aesthetics and flexibility and are ideal for all types of events. The structures range from "compact" to supersized and can be supplied with different coloured Teflon skins – including transparent and custom-branded.

Venue size is determined by the addition/subtraction of "bays" along the length of the structures. They also have the option of attachable ‘mini’ Domes which can be utilised for miscellaneous working areas such as dressing and green rooms, kitchens, foyers, storage spaces, or as in this case, an Emergency Services room.

Working closely with the Royal Elephant Hotel management, the In2Structures team came up with a solution that complemented the venue's existing facilities, whilst offering a distinctive and unusual conferencing option.

Just over a week later, the technical team arrived onsite to start the build which comprised a cluster of three fully air-conditioned Dome Venues - each with interlinking walkways and covered deck spaces. The "outdoor village" was situated on the venue's scenic grounds to make the most of the venue's superb outlook over the Hennops Valley.

Sister company Gearhouse South Africa provided all technical production for the three - day event including Audio Visual, Audio, Lighting, Structures and Power. Nomadik Stretch Tents was contracted to provide 15x80m of tented cover for the deck area.

Together with its suppliers for carpeting, flooring and air-conditioning, In2Structures spent 17days on site installing the infrastructure for the event.

The diverse requirements of each venue necessitated a selection of Domes from three different In2Structures design ranges - the Combi Dome, the Maxi Dome and the flagship Supa Dome - with varying widths of 20m, 26m and 36m respectively.

The SADC Ministers for Transport and Meteorology Conference kicked off in the Combi Dome venue with a conference and plenary session for 200 VIP's. The Combi Dome structure offered a comfortable 475m2 space and was fully equipped with screens, projectors, lighting, audio, generator power and a supplementary 25x18m deck on which to relax between sessions.

Close to the conference venue, one end of the Supa Dome was reserved for the exhibition - using clear skins to allow natural light into the space as well as provide a "window" to the outside.

At the culmination of the conference, 1500 additional delegates were treated to a gala lunch in the Maxi Dome before joining the conference delegates in the airy 2200m2 space of the SP Dome for the Logo reveal and final reportback session. 

This was the first time that In2Structures used three different venue designs simultaneously and it proved to be a very interesting and attractive alternative for a sizeable event with several areas.

"Seeing the full set up in operation inspired all sorts of further options." says Clinton Seery, In2Structures General Manager, "This is not only a practical solution but has offered the Royal Elephant Hotel a whole new range of possibilities for future events."

A generous load capacity of 1500 - 3000Kgs per arch, combined with lofty apices, means that these structures can facilitate a significant amount of technical production equipment. Dome structures are also a safer option than conventional marquee structures as they have wind speed certification in excess of 120km/h.

Story Robyn D'Alessandro

Photos courtesy In2Structures

For more press information on Gearhouse In2Structures, please call Robyn D’Alessandro on +27 (0) 11 216 3000/ +27 (0)83 607 3010 or check

Nov 4, 2011

The Gearhouse Group of Companies