By Don Lee
If you are planning a small- to medium-sized meeting, chances are you are working with a small budget and choices may be limited. Here are some tips for audiovisual use to maximize the impact of your Colorado meeting.
Proper use of lighting can greatly enhance any meeting without breaking the budget. Using LED up lights for décor create visual enhancement for the attendees. Also, spot light the presenters so they will stand out and use up lights behind the presenter to create depth.
Audio is perhaps the most important aspect of the meeting. A good audio quality can overcome attendees not being able to see the details in the video. If using a venue’s house sound, make sure it is good quality by checking it out during the site visit. Make sure that sounds are high fidelity and not muffled by using good quality speakers and mixers positioned as high as possible in the room. Sound should be heard clearly throughout the entire room but not be too loud.
All presentations should be done using the same aspect ratio to be consistent and utilizing the full size of the screen. Room dimensions and audience size will determine the size of the screen. A 16:9 aspect ratio screen will work better in a lower-ceiling room while a 4:3 aspect ratio screen will work better in situations where the audience may have to sit far away from the screen. The rule of thumb is no audience member should sit farther than eight times the screen height to insure proper sight. Pre-load all presentations into one laptop instead of each presenter bringing their own to minimize the transition time and issues.
Of course all the equipment will not matter if technicians running the equipment aren’t competent. Make sure the technicians are courteous and knowledgeable in their field. If budget allows, get a technician who specializes in video to run the video side of a presentation, an audio technician to run audio, and a lighting technician to run lighting. For a small meeting, you may have a budget for only one technician. Make sure he or she is competent in both video and audio. Schedule a rehearsal with the technicians and presenters before the event. This will allow for fine tuning of audio and discussing any cues, transitions and expectations
Regardless of size of the meeting or budget, today’s conference-goers are looking for experience, something more than just the information and education they get from the breakout rooms. Create engagement and excitement by utilizing social media platforms that attendees are already using. Provide a “social media lounge,” instead of a cyber café of the past. Organize #hashtags, and encourage attendees and exhibitors to post by offering prizes and incentives. You’ll be surprised to see how many views your conference and #hashtags will get, which can be used to sell sponsorship opportunities.
These suggestions should help put your meeting on track to be one of the most successful events ever at one of Colorado’s many amazing venues.
Since 2001, Don Lee has worked with numerous companies and organizations as director of operations to deliver maximum impact for their events and meetings with use of event technology outside of standard AV equipment. Currently, he is director of operations for CCR Event Group in Denver.
Photos: Courtesy of CCR Event Group.