Understanding Audiovisual Basics
What planners should know about key technology
by Gerry SmallDecember 1, 2012
App Tips• Secure banner ads from sponsors and exhibitors.
• Obtain attendee list, session, speaker and exhibitor information for app team.
• Provide access to event app in advance.
• Promote event social media through app in advance.
• Conduct post-event survey via app.
The following checklist is adapted from PSAV Presentation Services' "The Power of AV," a training course on the basics of audiovisuals, specifically designed for event planners. Gerry Small, PSAV Event Services' general manager and a 25-year industry veteran, provides an overview of the key technology components to consider when planning an event.
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Scenic • Review event arrangement options.
• Do you want a colorful scenic display or custom video mapping?
• Do you want voile or decorative draping?
• Select general-session arrangements.
• Select breakout-room arrangements.
• Select exhibitor layout.
• Finalize any layouts with 3-D renderings.
Audio • Test house audio system for small events.
• Reserve external speakers for large events.
• Decide on lavaliere microphones and/or handheld.
• Determine number of microphones needed.
• Decide on live music vs. recorded.
• Will you need music for walk-in and walk-out? Breaks? Speakers walking to the platform? Close of the event?
Video• Select one, two, three or more screens.
• Determine whether screens will have an aspect ratio of 4:3 or 16:9 (widescreen).
• Determine whether your screens will be front-projection or rear-projection.
• Format presentation slides to proper screen ratio.
• Have logo background prepared for ill-fitting slides.
• Have technology provider create a standard template for the event.
• Obtain speakers' slides at least 24 hours in advance.
• Decide whether you'll need a Teleprompter.
• Decide if you'll use regular or HD equipment.
• Decide whether you will stream content live and/or offer on-demand viewing.
• Get permission to record presenters.
Lighting• Select number of lighting instruments.
• Consider branding the room with logo/design gobos.
• Choose static up-lighting vs. flexible, intelligent lighting.
Venue Infrastructure• Determine how much bandwidth is dedicated solely to the event space.
• Calculate bandwidth the event requires.
• Will Internet access be password protected?
• Are additional electrical outlets needed?
• Note low chandeliers, columns, mirrors or other obstacles.
• Is there either built-in rigging or a ground-supported truss?
Virtual Services• Do you need digital signage for breakout rooms and/or entrance?
• Will you have a kiosk registration system?
• Will you have an Internet café?
• Do you want a Twitter wall for audience participation?
• Will you have a wireless audience response system during the event?