When you’re preparing an audio visual budget for your event, there’s a lot more to think about than simply how much money to allocate for theming, lights, sound and vision. To ensure you’re getting the most value for money from your event’s AV design, a solid knowledge of the capabilities of both technology and your audio visual company are essential.
Here we give you our top 8 audio visual tips for creating a successful event.
1. Look for creativity in your audio visual supplier
When shopping for an audio visual provider, you traditionally seek service, price and reliability. All are good measures of a quality audio visual company, but to truly do justice to your event, creativity needs to be a central part of their product offering. Advances in projection and event lighting technology mean that the old business model of simply hiring out and operating gear for a client is no longer an adequate level of service. The main driver of this conceptual shift in the market has been technologies such as projection mapping.
Projection mapping is the art of creating multimedia content for projection onto flat surfaces (2D projection mapping) or objects (3D projection mapping) and then using advanced computer and projector technology to bring that imagery to life. It has transformed major events, conferences and theatrical presentations the world over. While the technology is now common place, the creative talent to successfully use it is not.
To really ensure peace of mind when selecting an audio visual provider, ask about their history in presenting similar events and their history at the chosen venue. Look at some examples of their work closest in scope to your event. If they have documentation of their work at your chosen venue, even better!
2. Set your event vision and share it
Having a clear vision of the aesthetic feel and tone of the event is crucial at this stage of pre-production. Storyboard your event like a movie director, discuss themes and images with your key staff and audio visual team. Don’t get fixated on what you have seen done before or know to be possible; a good audio visual company should be able to take on board any creative idea you have and translate it into a practical suggestion.
3. Remember the importance of sound for your event
The event sound system employed to deliver it should match the content. Important things to look for are adequate coverage of the room to ensure all attendees get crystal-clear speech as well as the full impact of any musical material. If you are employing high-energy music or cinematic sound effects ensure the system can replicate the full range of sound. A minimum of two subwoofers need to be in place to maximise the impact of any low-end effects or bass lines. Have a look at our blog post on how to get the best sound at your event for more in-depth understanding of the importance of sound.
4. Think digital
Discuss with your Audio visual company about methods to digitally enhance your event. Can they digitally brand your conference with projections and then successfully transform the same space for a gala dinner? Entire ballrooms can be changed into another world, and the walls of an auditorium can ripple at the arrival of a new product. A custom built set design can be transformed into a living, breathing animal. Pretty much anything is possible, and an in-depth conversation with a design professional is invaluable to help direct your thinking in the planning stages. Understand what design and creative support the audio visual company offer and whether the in-house designers have the skills to shepherd you through the concept creation, implementation and delivery of just about anything your imagination can conjure.
Creating a multimedia driven event from the ground-up can seem to be a longer process than the traditional method of simply stating a theme and letting the staging company deliver, but the results represent a much better return on investment. Elements of digital branding or presentation content can not only be used at one specific event, but also transported to similar events or venues at no further cost. The same media can also be repackaged as web content where appropriate
5. Get Mobile
Almost everyone now carries a video displaying, networked computer a.k.a. ‘Smartphone’ in their pocket. This makes them capable of not only absorbing your content but also interacting with it. An audio visual company should have a lot of fresh ideas on how to make this work for your event, extending your theme and offering greater engagement with your audience.
A key technology for presenters are apps to enable snap event polling of audience members and instantly display aggregated results on a main screen. For attendees, important information such as timetables, maps and key messages should be easily accessible from an app or network.
6. Ask your audio visual team the right questions
Questions about the technical details are excellent for getting a sense of competence and good organisation. Is the PA suitable for speech reinforcement only or can it deliver loud, exciting music if you need it? What combination and numbers of lighting fixtures do they usually use – LED, moving lights, wash lights? Again, it’s not necessarily the specific information that you need, but the assurance of their confidence in answering. If you’re satisfied with that, then ask them what they recommend, or better yet, what they have always wanted to do given the opportunity. You’ll soon establish whether you’re in good hands.
7. Achieving cut through
At Staging Connections we realise that you have a unique opportunity to create an event specific to your audience. It’s worth your time to work together with a creative audio visual company to bring an original vision to life that makes a strong statement about your organisation. Your customers are already enjoying new types of audience engagement in both their professional and personal lives, either driven by large corporate organisations or the entertainment industry. The increase in quality of experience means all content providers have to compete to cut through.
Watch this two minute video of an audio visual set up by the Staging Connections team featuring Australia's first 360 degree projection screen, custom designed for the event and venue space to create something guests had never experienced before.
8. More than numbers
Your audio visual budget now has the potential to deliver results way beyond the date of the event itself. All of your customers, employees and/or delegates are broadcasters, sharing their impressions, images and videos across their networks. Devoting time and creativity at the outset of your event planning can now pay off almost in perpetuity. Get to the heart of your message, envision the best possible shape it could take, and invest in bringing it to life in the most effective way.
Written by Robert Meek, Event Project Manager
With over 20 years’ experience in the meetings and events industry Rob has a wealth of corporate audio visual event experience that he brings to the delivery of the diverse range of corporate and association events he has managed.Follow Rob on Google+