When a client asks us what type of “tech” we have, typically they’re searching for an answer that includes the best and most progressive equipment. Some of these “hot topic” technologies are, of course, AI and VR, and receive a lot of attention in the industry. Our approach at Media West is always to discern and operate the right technology and equipment based on client objectives, budget and scope. Figuring out what to use, when and why are the three most important questions.
In order to engineer a great show, here are our top 5 considerations when evaluating use of technology and equipment:
1. Video Diagrams are the Technology Roadmap
Video Diagrams are essential and efficient tools to map out what technology is being used and the plan for implementing that technology per event. This is the first step that event production companies and technicians need to provide clients to showcase how the pieces will come together. Typically, these diagrams are sent to the lead technicians to give direction but also gather their feedback. While many technicians work as freelancers, our approach at Media West is to maintain excellent relationships with our technicians that become familiar with how we work. They can be a great resource as well, given they often see new technology first.
2. Utilizing the E2 is the Gold Standard
The E2 still remains the gold standard, especially for Corporate Events. Using an E2 can is crucial to managing many media and audio sources and getting to multiple destinations (often with multi-resolutions). Controlled with a console, with a single operator managing the software, this is the true meaning of “behind the screens.” At Media West we often use an E2 with pre-recorded segments that are played back on other devices and “routed” to the desired destination. As an events industry that faced COVID-19, the prevalence of pre-recorded segments hit an all-time high. Despite the return of live events, pre-recorded segments continue to prove successful as a way to boost presenters, impact audience engagement and involve stakeholders despite geography.
3. Hologram’s Offer Intimate Experience
In the category of Virtual Reality, use of holograms have proven to have an immediate impact on event crowds - in particular with a smaller attendance. Some of the most innovative platforms like Proto offer a larger than life, interactive experience that gives audiences the feel like the presenter is in the room or at an exhibit booth. Used correctly with the right knowledge and technicians, it can have a very powerful and long-lasting effect.
4. Moving and “Intelligent” Lights Escalate Event Production
Lighting is arguably the most important element for a Corporate Event to emphasize a specific location or person, bring a new level of entertainment on stage and dramatize a message or theme. Moving lights, or intelligent moving lights or fixtures, can be programmed using a console or even a phone APP to aim a fixture, change color, move to music and set its intensity. When selecting an event production partner, ask about experience and precision in this area and ensure the technicians are fully looped in with event run-of-show to support and escalate the entire experience.
Lighting is arguably the most important element for a Corporate Event to emphasize a specific location or person, bring a new level of entertainment on stage and dramatize a message or theme.
5. Not Every Tech is Right For Every Event
When evaluating what type of technology or technician is needed, you need to understand the complexities of what different types of events require. Corporate meetings and entertainment are two very different entities and your production partner will help evaluate what’s needed such as A1, A2, V1, V2 and LD. All the details such as how many microphones are needed, how large the venue, and evaluating frequency with a venue’s system are all part of considerations. The LD, or Lighting Director, is generally the creative genius behind the console. Depending on the size and budget of the event, it’s their job to help the room come to life whether adding color by utilizing their high end fixtures or adding texture to the light which can make smooth surfaces look as if they have depth.
While there are many more aspects behind the scenes, the key to allowing your clients to shine are planning with video diagrams, choosing the right technologies to meet objectives, conducting thorough rehearsals and using the most experienced technicians. It’s what Media West refers to as what goes on “behind the screens.”