Corporate AV Blog

Thoughts from the Road - Video Formats

At the heart of audiovisual production, and indeed live events in general, there is a message that needs to be communicated. Whether it’s spoken word alone, performance based, or entirely visual, taking care of the delivery of the message is absolutely critical.

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Equipment Highlight - String Lights

Warmer weather brings with it great opportunities for outdoor events; and nothing sets an imaginative evening aesthetic out in the open air quite like string lights. Serving both form and function,string lights – also known as bistro lights – provide both utility lighting for guests during evening events, and all while painting everything below in a soft, warm glow.

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Thoughts from the Road - Confidence Monitor vs Teleprompter

One thing that comes up time and time again that is generally misunderstood is the difference between a confidence monitor (or a Down Stage Monitor – DSM) and a teleprompter. A confidence monitor is usually a TV screen anywhere from 32” to 60” that sits on the floor at the foot of the stage, and allows presenters on stage to see what slide is on the screens without turning their backs to the audience.

monitorsSome presenters prefer to see one slide ahead, and some will require two or even three confidence monitors so that they can see any combination of the current slide, slide ahead, and maybe even some notes. *GASP!* Powerpoint can even show a “presenter’s view” with notes! And it conveniently doesn’t offer you much room to see your notes! Especially not on a TV monitor that’s 10 – 15 feet from your eyes. And of course, all of these screens generally need to advance at the same time, or with at least some sort of specific synchronicity, known only to the presenter and handlers, and none of who generally can give us what we as AV operators need in a plug-and-play format.

There’s always tweaking, and converting, and copying, and pasting. It’s messy and it takes time.

prompterIf your presenter wants to read from a script that’s not physically on paper in front of them, then you really need a teleprompter. A device with its own operator who follows along and feeds you every word you’re saying on stage, at your own pace. It’s like having someone out in the audience guide you to the perfect delivery of your material.

And that’s not what a confidence monitor is for. AV engineers can’t guide you like that with a confidence monitor. Got a few notes for each slide? No problem! New powerpoint, and one note slide per presentation slide. Piece of cake. If your notes need more than one page, or are too small and you can’t even read them, then you may want a teleprompter instead. Or note cards.

Tip: A lot of events now take questions from people who aren’t in the room. Whether it’s someone on Twitter following along, or a client watching a live stream, there is always the task of how to get their questions to the stage. Confidence monitors can be a great fit for this. You can filter out which questions to ask, type them right up on a laptop and let your presenters see and respond to exactly what you want them to.
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Backdrops Part 4 – Video Walls

What better to serve as the finale of our backdrops series than one of the most visually impressive options available: the video wall. In the world of AV production, the video wall is a hot commodity, and constantly developing. Its flash and impact are truly enticing, and it does act as a massive canvas for design to fit most aesthetics. Whether you’re trying to ‘wow’ your guests at a fundraiser in hopes that they’ll reach a little deeper into their pockets, or to fire up a national sales team to reach their goals in a new quarter – video walls are a potent option.

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Thoughts from the Road - Events and Inclement Weather

We’re heading into Spring now, and with it comes the beginning of “outdoor events season.” Whether it’s a tented event, under a pavilion, or out in the open air, weather is always a major variable. It’s usually the one thing nobody wants to talk about leading up to an outdoor event, as if the weather will hear you and spite your event. On the AV side, we always joke that we only bring tarps with us so that it doesn’t rain, because it only rains when you forget them.

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Backdrops Part 3 – Fabric & Hard Sets

For our third installment of the backdrop series, we’ll be taking a look at a few different scenic elements that will offer your stage design varying degrees of flexibility, functionality, and elegance. That is to say, the options here are much more customizable than colored drape alone, or even modular options which is mostly confined to the limitations of their framework.

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Thoughts from the Road - Speaker Timers

When it comes to corporate conferences with heavy programming, there’s one factor that can easily derail even the most meticulous planning: timing.

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Backdrops Part 2: Modular Option

The stage is often seen as the centerpiece of the evening, and there is any number of ways to create the aesthetic you’re looking for. From hard sets to soft, and ranging in production level from bat mitzvahs to the Grammy’s – your stage design can be as unique as your event. If you haven’t already, we recommend going back to read our first installment of the backdrops series: Colored Drape.

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Backdrop Options: Colored Drape

Among the many decisions to make when planning and designing an event, there’s one that anchors the entire aesthetic: what to do about a stage backdrop. Now, if money were no object, the end result could be as breathtaking as the golden chariots that guests rode in on. But naturally, budgets dictate prioritization, and typically the backdrop is lower on the list than sound, visuals, and lighting.

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Webcasting (Part 3): Options, Applications & Platforms

In our final installment of this series, we’re going to delve a little deeper into the specifics of webcasting. That is to say, if you’ve already gotten an understanding of webcasting and Hybrid Meetings, you’ve determined it’s right for your event, and you’ve already addressed the potential pitfalls, then it’s time to start fine-tuning!

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