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Industry Innovators 2023: Amber Lu

The president and creative director of Amber Event Production blends AV engineering with the flair of fabulous decor.

Industry Innovators 2023: Amber Lu
Amber Event Production recently created dramatic lighting from specialty fixtures and floating modern chandeliers for a MET Gala-inspired event.
Photo: Michael Anthony Photography

Industry Innovators 2023: Amber LuAmber Lu, president and creative director of Amber Event ProductionPhoto: Courtesy of Amber Event ProductionAmber Lu is the president and creative director of Amber Event Production. She's based in Anaheim, Calif.

How she got her start: For Amber Lu, it all began with a small audiovisual equipment rental and sales business. There, she learned about AV products and their application.

"During those startup years, I always saw the industry as overly focused on technology and often ignoring creativity," she says. "I felt that the portable AV world could use a feminine touch, where artistry and style are just as important as science and scale. Using that guiding principle, I decided to become a speciality AV production service provider that makes technology not just functional, but beautiful."

What sets her company apart: Lu says that many of the companies in this space focus on scale and use fixture count as the defining measure of success.

"Don’t get me wrong—there are times when hundreds of moving light beams are exactly what an environment needs," she says. "But other times, a soft color and a subtle highlight are the perfect solutions to heighten a patron’s experience. Our goal is not to force technology on, but rather augment a design to enhance fine qualities and effortlessly complement other features."

What innovation means to her: "To me, innovation is creating new applications of the technology available today and working with my peers to further the concepts that lead to developing new technology," Lu says. She adds that it's also important that she and her team always strive for progress while holding onto their core values.

"Seeing the awe and wonder in a single guest’s expression is all the inspiration I ever need to continue giving this industry everything I have," she says.

Industry Innovators 2023: Amber LuOne of Amber Lu's most memorable events is this Studio 54-themed soiree, where she blended authentic '70s elements with today’s technology.Photo: Courtesy of Amber Event Production

Memorable moments: Lu was once tasked to create a themed event for a client around the idea of "Fabulous Studio 54—but not too cliche." 

"We decided to blend authentic '70s elements with today’s technology and build a contemporary version of Steve Rubell’s vision," Lu explains. Cue vintage blinders mixed with programmable LED video strips and dozens of mirror balls in the middle of dozens of automated lights.

"After months of planning for video, lighting, and ceiling decor, the entire job had to be built in less than 48 hours," she remembers. "Seeing the end result of technology and decor blend together was extremely rewarding. And to top it off, a guest told me that this was exactly how she would’ve imagined a night at Studio 54 would be like."

Her hopes for the event industry: Lu says that the pandemic caused many event profs to suffer economic hardships—some so intense that they left for other industries. "The recovery created its own set of challenges," she says. "And now, I see the feeling of fulfillment overwhelmed by frustration and exhaustion with so many of my colleagues."

She wishes to see that joy return, and for them to remember "how lucky we are to be able to do what we do."

"I also wish some of the faces who left but had given so much of their effort and love to our industry return," Lu continues. "Since wishes come in threes, I finally wish to see many new faces join our industry and share my passion and experience how fulfilling it is to see our work come to life."

This feature is sponsored by 6Connex, your all-in-one event technology to manage and host successful events at scale and in any format—in-person, hybrid, virtual, or webinars.

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