Over the next few months we will be featuring a few amazing people to share their inspiration and expertise with the Take Roots community.

‘It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.’ Charles Dickens.

So what exactly should you think about when planning an event from an audio visual (A/V) perspective? For the past 16 years I have been employed by various audio visual staging companies to deliver events ranging from audience sizes of 6 to 60,000, press conferences to the Calgary Stampede Rodeo. I love the ability that technology has to help talented, passionate people tell their stories. When you are hosting an event you need technology to help you tell your story in the best way possible. Here are four essential things to consider when planning your next event from an audio visual perspective.

1. Bring your A/V company in as a ‘Partner’ not a supplier. As soon as you are able to, reach out to the A/V company and explain your needs. It is up to you to help them see your vision and get invested in helping you tell your story. A partner is looking for the possibility for future business and will want to prove to you they are exceptional at what they do and want to perform at their best. A partner is also someone you will want to trust to deliver what they have promised to do. When you find a A/V company you trust and make them a partner in the event, that partner will go out of their way to make sure you get what you need to tell your story. In many cases, offering little extras to elevate your event and ensure your guests have an amazing experience. After all, events are about creating experiences.

2. Content. Do you only need a sound system? Do you need to play a video? Do you need to display a Power Point/ Keynote? What is your content and how will you manage this content? Content comes in all sorts of formats and it is an important subject to think about early in your planning process. If there is going to be videos and Powerpoint this will require video screens of some sort, and the size of these screens depends on how many people will be attending the event and how large your room is as well as the layout of the venue.You also need to ask for the videos to be delivered as a completed file at least one day before the event. Not all video formats are equal and should be tested before the event. Youtube links are never acceptable! Relying on the internet to deliver the video is not planning for success.

3. Record the event. Think of all the resources that have gone into pulling this event together. You have been working on every detail for months. Remember that thing the president said regarding such and such? If you record the event you will would be able to repurpose video and audio clips to showcase on your website, your social media campaigns and strengthen your brand (need help with this piece, chat with Stephanie and her team at Take Roots Consulting). Recording everything is a minimal cost to you that could have huge payback to future events. To help illustrate this, here is an example from personal experience. I was on a show recently where they awarded the athlete of the year to a wonderful young lady with Down Syndrome, her speech was very touching and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room (myself included). We did not record this event due to the client not thinking it would be worth the extra cost. How great would it have been if we had recorded this and provided this young lady’s family with a copy of her speech? The client could have also used this footage to help promote their efforts.

4. Feed the technician(s) working on your event. I know that sounds like common sense, but I can tell you the huge difference it has made to me as a technician to have the client offer to take care of my food & beverage needs during their event. This small act shows that you care enough to consider the technician ‘a partner’ and then that partner will will go out of their way to make sure they are doing their very best to help you deliver your story to the audience. Look at that, you read an entire article about audio visual and I didn’t mention a bunch of weird A/V terms and nerdy acronyms or things like ’mic placement’ ‘comfort monitors’ or ’IMAG’.

To enjoy the best of times on your next event I suggest that you find partners that you can trust to do their very best for you. To avoid the worst of times, take the time to find an A/V partner that has a proven track record at delivering content using all the best varieties of technologies available. From my experience, the best A/V partners are ones that concentrate on helping you tell your story.

Guest Post by:
Daniel Bowie has over 15 years of experience using technology to help talented, passionate people tell their stories.
E-mail: db.bowie333@mac.com

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