Articles regarding presentation technology tend to focus on one specific set of “hot” technologies like tie-ins to social media or mobile integration. While it is important to be proactive about using these tools, there are never just one or two singular technologies that make for great event AV.
Many types of event lighting, projection, and scenic elements found in larger productions are modular and scalable. A well-rounded audio visual staging company can build upon its collective experiences to deliver a valuable combination of technologies and applications to clients with events (and budgets) of all shapes and sizes, and an open and honest conversation about your budget and history with the right professionals can often yield magical results.
Here are just a few of technologies and concepts that have become more affordable and mainstream that should be considered when speaking with your AV professional:
- Modular set pieces that bolt together are very popular because for little more than the cost of drape you can create dramatic configurations, some of which can be reset easily to change the look and feel of a ballroom from one session to the next. Use of 2D and 3D fabric shapes and other soft goods can add flair at a reasonable expense, and a few pieces in the right combination can make a huge difference with any size event. If your AV provider has an in-house scenic shop, you can potentially take advantage of already-produced set pieces that can be repurposed to suit your event at a very reasonable cost, or have custom looks produced less expensively than with a company that would have to outsource such a request.
- LED colour wash fixtures to up-light walls, drapes, and scenic components can have a huge impact for a marginal cost. Moving light fixtures to wash rooms with moving patterns of light have become more common, and the technologies have become better and less expensive.
- Large-format screens blending numerous images from multiple projectors and 3D projection mapping onto oddly-shaped surfaces has become common in larger productions. With the latest technology in projectors, switchers and blending units, it has made this solution more affordable and available across the events industry for every size meeting.
- Modular walls of LED tiles can be used as video screens or scenic accent pieces which are infinitely programmable in terms of graphics, animations, and uses. There are numerous considerations which can impact the price (overall size, resolution) but this can be a very impactful use of technology.
- Live updates to social media feeds from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others are very popular. Be sure to have someone vetting all material before display to avoid embarrassing or inappropriate posts becoming visible to your attendees.
- Let’s have fun! An interesting concept that gets great feedback is the “Catch Box,” a wireless microphone is tucked into a cushion cube that presenters and audience members can safely toss back and forth.
- Mobile device charging stations are in demand, both in common areas and as custom-branded tabletop units intended for each meeting room or banquet table.
- The right AV provider should have multimedia resources available to help you with memorable content to drive your event, coordinating graphics, templates, custom animations, all of which generate high-impact visual consistency across your conference.
These are just some of the things happening with technology in AV. Please keep in mind that the equipment is only as good as the people working with it. Partnering with a team of AV professionals who have smiles on their faces during long work days can be the difference between a good event, and a great experience.
Within our company, I personally spend a considerable amount of time conducting the final interview of every person wishing to join or team from Driver to Director; it’s all about passion, confidence, consistency, and the right personality. In the course of many years managing in AV, I have never received a customer letter stating how great the technology was. Rather, it’s always about the people, and the experience they delivered for you.