AHA WA Awards 2015: When art inspires events

Ink being poured into water is transformed into visual art, for the Australian Hotels Association gala dinner by Staging Connections in Western Australia. Pulling out all the stops to deliver a creative concept for the NAB 2015 WA Hospitality Supplier Awards and Toxfree gala dinner by the Australian Hotels Association, Staging Connections combined imagination with class-leading technology to design and produce the stand-out gala event at Crown Perth, 18 May 2015. The 500 guests at the event were impressed by the smokey, fluid graphics that were themed around ink being poured into water. The abstract idea was developed by Staging Connections team in Western Australia who were looking for a concept that reflected the event’s invitation, evoking ambient energy and emotion in a unique way. The vision was projected onto a 3D modular set built from interlocking aluminium extrusion and Perspex panels, allowing for the irregularities of the venue’s event space to be incorporated into the event’s design.
Idris Achmad, State Manager, Staging Connections Western Australia commented on the visually stunning event design.
“Our team was essentially given free rein in coming up with a creative direction and translating it into the event design. From collaborative discussions we came up with several ideas that would be exciting yet still graceful in order to suit the prestigious award ceremony celebrations. “Projection mapping allowed us to use a modular set which overcame several challenges of tight bump-in and limited rigging options yet allowed us to completely transform the venue with immersive, almost trance-like imagery of ink flowing into water. “We used slow motion footage of coloured inks poured into water and as the ink swirled around it changed colours on the screen, slowly filing the modular set from the floor to the ceiling.
“We’re always looking for ways to push the boundaries and keep our clients wowed, time and time again,” said Mr Achmad. Bradley Woods, CEO from the Australian Hotels Association was delighted with the result and commented on how the creativity of the team impacted their event.
“There was such a buzz of excitement in the room, not just from the award winners but also from the 500-strong crowd who were amazed at how the room looked; lit up with colours and alive with energy from the projections.
“Awards are such an exciting celebration and by making the setting such an unusual and energetic space we left a lasting impression on our attendees. “This was the first time we’d used projections on a 3D modular set and the concept worked so well we will use this again,” said Mr Woods. Having worked with the Australian Hotels Association for over 15 years, Staging Connections were brought in as an external AV supplier for the event at Crown Perth. Ensuring a clear experience for all attendees, Staging Connections mapped the set using two 12,000 lumen projectors and a 4,300 lumen projector with Dataton Watchout to create a dynamic canvas whilst accounting for the negative space and shift in perspective as the depth changed. … Read More

Australiana themed gala dinner for Automotive Brands Group

For this year's Automotive Brands Group annual gala dinner, aptly themed Australiana, we custom built a magnificent 26 metre by 4 metre high curved screen with a multi-projector blend stage backdrop as the room feature. Background and The Event Brief Event Type: Gala Awards Dinner – Australiana Theme Venue: Pavilion Ballroom, Jupiters Hotel & Casino, Gold Coast Client: Automotive Brands Group Date: Friday 22nd May 2015 Automotive Brands Group hold a bi-annual store and supplier convention which in 2015 was on Queensland’s Gold Coast. The event consisted of an Expo, Conference and four special event dinners which culminate in a Gala Awards Dinner on the final night. The Staging Connections team were challenged to design, create and manage a compelling Awards dinner that engages the audience ensuring that the finale is an extravaganza that creates a memorable evening that will be reminisced over the next 18-24 months until the next convention, while ensuring dynamic recognition for the over 600 store owners and suppliers of Automotive Brands Group. The Audio Visual Solution Our event design originated in our desire to bring the wonderful images of Australia to life using a custom built 26 x 4.5 metre curved screen which hugged the width of the Pavilion Ballroom. This panoramic vista was created utilising four Christie 18k HD projectors blended to fill the magnificent cyclorama with beautiful, animated content, commissioned and created by our talented multi-media team. Content including sky views, city skylines, images beaming across the iconic Australian landscape encapsulating our wonderful floral and fauna that highlights the natural beauty of Australia. An array of Intelligent lighting was set in the Ballroom to synchronise with the different stages of the sun rising and setting while also symbolising the different elements of our Australian landscape, green, blue, red and yellow for Rainforest, Coastal, Outback and Sun/Beach. Award winners and finalist were celebrated with ballyhoo and walk-up stings, to highlight their great individual achievements. The styling was a delicate balance to complement the magnificent curved screen with 58 dramatic yellow and red floral centrepieces symbolising the overarching Australiana theme, with these set on mirror plates and tea-light candles bringing movement and life, to the scented table bouquet. The black linen had hints of glitter in the table-runner bringing a subtle elegance to this gala setting. The combined elements resulted in an elated client, describing the event as “a benchmark for their industry, a highly professional and slick Gala Awards Dinner, which ran like clockwork – a real showstopper”. ... Read More

Big is back for end of year celebrations - Part 2: 12 Days of Christmas

This year, immersive themed events are hotly tipped to be the way to give your guests an exciting and memorable celebration and importantly - end the year with a bang! Some event themes are classic and will always inspire, while others trend alongside popular culture. This year Christmas event styling is focusing on creating immersive events that ‘tell a story’ with festive flair. Immersive events are about going above and beyond your typical styling treasure trove to embracing audio visual solutions that transform your venue. We want to give you a taste of what is hot this year in event styling and our top tips for really bringing your theme to life. Part 1: Vintage Circus and Carnival || Part 3: Hollywood Awards || Part 4: Northern Lights 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Undeniably a favourite Christmas carol, we share how to bring the ’12 Days of Christmas’ to life as an immersive event theme. With the application of the latest in digital technology, we are nearly boundless in ways to make a real impact with this theme. Imagine your event room becoming a live countdown to Christmas, where every 15 minutes the entire room transforms to bring to life the day’s theme. Audio visual equipment used to transform the room theme every 15 mins. Through the use of various audio visual techniques, we can literally make it appear as if there were ‘6 Turtle Doves’ flying around the room! Large hanging banners decorating the walls and lining the ceiling can change appearance as graphics are projected onto the fabric. Custom designed gobos can illuminate the floor to coordinate with the countdown and are a great way to brand your event. The full story can be told via digital screens lining the room, all showing content designed to work harmoniously with the other digital elements around the room. The key to being immersive is creating a space where everything works together. Banners which change design every 15mins via image projections When it comes to decorating the tables, don’t detract from the magnificent light show with over-styled centrepieces. Instead go for modern interpretations with traditional colours such as chocolate, bronze and gold with accents of burgundy or dark hunter green. Combine these with some natural Christmas flora such as mistletoe, or tree pine brush to add warmth to the centrepieces. Left: LED candles wrapped in music sheets. Right: Themed menu and table cards. First impressions count and you’ll want to wow your guests from the moment they arrive. Incorporate props, interactive photo booths and entry decorations to tease the theme. A simple and cost effective way to decorate the entry way is with Staging Connections latest product - Event Backdrop. We can create a custom design that integrates your branding, the event name and the theme to create a beautiful illuminated mural to set the scene. Top tips Whilst the AV is working to transform the room, it’s the little details at ground level which tie it all together. Including elements that give a sense of subtle nostalgia interpreted in unexpected ways such as wrapping old Christmas music sheets around tall LED candles turning them into elegant lumieres. Candles create the perfect ambience for a Christmas event. Use vintage Christmas holiday postcards as a novel way to leave personal messages for guests or table naming place cards. Want to see what other predictions we have... Part 1: Vintage Circus and Carnival || Part 3: Hollywood Awards Night || Part 4: Northern Lights ... Read More

5 Hottest Trends from InfoComm 2015

This week we're bringing you the five hottest trends you need to know from InfoComm 2015. We sent our talented Director of Event Technology, Andrew MacColl to be our roving reporter and he's come back with a treasure chest full of cool new gadgets and ideas. Here's what you need to know. With over 38,000 visitors and almost 1,000 exhibitors, InfoComm held in Orlando, Florida this year was massive – it’s where AV geeks from around the world congregate to indulge in the latest and greatest tech. The West Concourse at the Orange County Convention centre is full with every kind of audiovisual toy imaginable, and more than a few that challenge the status quo. To give you some idea of just how big the floor area for the main hall is, it’s approximately the size of 17 football fields and it’s so full that the show overflows onto other levels. The marketing tag for this year’s show is ‘WOW’ and that word somehow seemed to fall from the lips of attendees over and over throughout the day. This is one slick show, with every aspect of the attendee experience considered and executed to the highest professional standard. But enough about the stats and boring stuff. Let’s talk tech! 1. Ultra High Definition The really big thing from the display device exhibitors is 4K resolution. Every single panel, projector or display manufacturer has moved on from 2K (High Definition, Full HD or 1080P) and has embraced Ultra High Definition, or 4K. With eye popping sharpness, clarity and colour reproduction the image quality is breathtaking. It seems like it has reached a tipping point where the previously high cost of producing 4K panels has come down to a point where 2K is no longer the norm, and the industry may as well just concentrate on producing the higher resolution products. I, for one, admit to remaining sceptical and feel that with little content available, this is a change driven by manufacturers obsessed with outdoing each other. One stand from a very large Korean manufacturer has signs up throughout the exhibition space banning photographs. Call me crazy but I rather feel they have missed the point of exhibiting. 2. 3D Pixel Mapping The other technology that has really matured this year is 3D pixel mapping. Whilst the previous best known use of transforming a large public building into a mythological enchanted forest or an undersea adventure park complete with scary sharks has been great fun, it’s not really been very accessible or affordable for the average event designer. It was great to see some really high quality smaller scale applications emerge from companies like Panasonic and Barco that will filter through and find uses on shows where the budget does not exceed the GDP of a small third world country. Some of these applications such as the spinning glove and pixel mapped car on the Panasonic stand will even scale down to eye-catching POS activations for retail. 3. Mirror surface LEDs The mirror surface LED from Samsung is definitely going to have a place in events, especially for product launches. The glass of the panel is a very clear mirrored surface, just perfect for cosmetics and fashion displays. 4. 3D LED displays minus the glasses Say goodbye to those tacky black-rimmed 3D glasses, the high quality 3D LED displays don’t need glasses to enjoy the full immersive experience. 5. Architectural software/hardware display solutions A range of architectural software/hardware solutions were on show that allow striking video walls to be a hero piece in all sorts of different sizes, and orientations. As you can see InfoComm 2015 did not disappoint. Exciting times ahead for us at Staging Connections as we soon welcome some of these cool new gadgets to our ever-expanding portfolio of event technology and audio visual solutions. With over 30 years experience in the industry, Andrew MacColl is one of the most senior technical practitioners out there. We have been fortunate enough to have Andrew part of our Staging Connections team for 18 years now as he continues to set the direction for all our purchases and deployment of all show technology. ... Read More

25 Reasons You'll Love Event Poll

Want to know what your audience is really thinking? Get inside the minds of your attendees with Event Poll, technology that lets you ask questions and receive feedback in real time. #1 Brand your questions Event Poll gives you the power to customise the polls to suit your brand guidelines. Match your presentation template, use your organization’s logo and colour scheme, or let your own imagination run wild. #2 Made for Monkeys Event Poll is designed with the presenter at the heart. From creating your first poll in 30 seconds to importing multiple polls at a time to moderating from an app – it’s so easy to use a monkey could use it! #3 Works with any mobile device Whatever your audience can carry in, they can use. That means smartphones, flip phones, candy bar style phones, Blackberries, tablets, and laptops. #4 Post Event Report Your full history of poll questions and participant responses are available for you after the event and can provide insightful improvement recommendations. #5 Full Moderation You can use your laptop or phone to ensure that you’re happy with responses before they go live on screen. This also helps you to display responses that illustrate a point you’re making and ensures the discussion doesn’t go off-topic. #6 Auto-Censoring Set-up auto-censoring with a list of keywords so no colourful responses make it on screen. #7 Ranking and Grading Once you've created polls with a correct answer, you run a report to calculate how each respondent scored - and how they rank in terms of correct responses and average time to answer correctly. #8 Run a Competition Get your audience to compete - for prizes or just glory - on the questions you ask. Announce a winner for a single question, a whole section, or for the overall event. And if there's a tie, we'll break it by showing you who responded the fastest. #9 Quiz Time! Figure out who was getting the information you just presented and grade the responses in real time. You can even ask the same questions before and after your talk to see how effective it was. #10 Participation Grades Event Polls is great for tracking who attended and more importantly measuring the level of their participation. #11 Multiple Choice Questions Give one multiple choice question, or several in a row. Use it at beginning to temperature check the room, throw in a ridiculous option to keep the mood light, or keep it all business throughout. #12 True of False Questions Fast and simple, put a statement up and ask people if it's true or false. Set up games, do quizzes, whatever you like. #13 Start a Discussion Open up the floor with the Open Discourse poll. Let your audience ask questions, suggest topics, do shout-outs or give feedback and recommendations. Of course you can moderate the responses to ensure it’s all above board and on-topic. #14 Q&A / Brainstorming Let your audience not just suggest topics or questions, but vote on others as well. Create a live updating wall of questions or ideas - provided by and voted on by your audience. Great for structuring group discussions. #15 Broaden your engagement, across borders! Anyone with browser access, no matter where they are, can vote via the web. This means even your webcast attendees can contribute and feel part of the conservation. #16 Over 12 Types of Polling Formats We’ve thought it of it all! Event Poll’s range of polling formats means there’s a template to suit any type of question. Even better is the templates can be fully customised! #17 Mix it up If you have multiple questions throughout your presentation you can change the polling format to suit. #18 The Ultimate Ice Breaker Asking the audience a fun and entertaining question is the best way to start the day or revive the audience after a long session. Voting for ‘Best Dressed’ is always fun for Gala Dinners or asking ‘Where everyone has come from?’ is a nice way to start a conference day. #19 Manage your Q&A effectively Get your audience to send in their questions during the presentation so you don’t waste time during Q&A. You can also set it up the questions display as a leaderboard with the most popular displaying at the top on the screen. #20 WordClouds Audience responses can be displayed as a branded word cloud. You can ask the audience their goals for the event and come back to the word cloud as a reminder. #21 Instant Audience Feedback Ask your attendees to fill out a quick post-event survey while its fresh in their minds. This saves you having to send a blast email days after the event that might never get answered. #22 Embed your Poll in PowerPoint The Pollev Presenter App allows you to easily integrate polls into your presentation so no more fussing between different screens. #23 Insightful Data and Heat Maps After the event you can use the poll report to gain insightful data on your audience such as what location they responded from when webcasting, or which group or individual responded the most and what they said. #24 Grouping Polls If you have a group of questions that you want to turn into polls, we let you import these in a single copy-paste so no need to go one by one. #25 Bulk import registered participants You can immediately register all of your event participants with a simple CSV file and send them a link to have them certify any unknown information. Love learning the latest in event technology? Download our range of free White Papers today. ... Read More

Adelaide's Clipsal 500: Cutting edge technology on and off the track

This year the Clipsal 500 was bigger, faster and more revved up than ever before. And we're not even talking about the V8 Supercars. Held over four days from 26 February to 1 March 2015, the Clipsal 500 is a massive V8 Supercar street race that brings over 285,000 people through its gates. Run on a 3.7 km long circuit through Adelaide’s beautiful East Parklands, the Clipsal 500 is a multiple award-winning event, attracting a huge audience both at the track and via broadcast. Staging Connections’ Adelaide team has been proudly involved with the race since it was first run in 1999, and in 2015, radically upgraded their production infrastructure to make this year’s race the most technically sophisticated on the circuit. One of our main responsibilities of the event is ensuring all attendees have great vision of the track from wherever they are. This year we introduced a new custom HD vision distribution network to all screens; both indoors and outdoors. All corporate clients and viewers around the site enjoyed watching the race in High Definition for the first time, across the huge fleet of indoor 48" and 60" screens and the LED SuperScreens outdoors. David Aparicio, Crew Controller for Staging Connections, was in charge of TV Systems site-wide. “It was a pretty big change this year, as we went from a standard 32”screen to larger 48” and 60” screens,” said David. “Around 350 units went into 200-plus facilities including corporate suites, event management and race official’s offices, bars, and VIP areas.” Staging Connections new audio distribution system sees the large amount of audio inputs and outputs needed for the event routed around the track at light-speed via fibre-optic cabling. Up until 2015, audio around the track was run via telephone lines which went through a mainframe and involved copper cabling running from point-to-point. The longest fibre optic run around the track was about 1.2 kilometres. There were eight lines run previously, which were upgraded to 24 lines. In addition, some temporary military-grade fibre ran through underground pits. Every aspect of the audio system is controlled and monitored digitally from Staging Connection’s control positions, with technicians able to verify the correct functioning of every amplifier, loudspeaker and microphone around the track. The fleet of broadcast trucks positioned outside the gates were on-hand to cover the event for Foxtel, Channel 10, and V8 Supercar Media. They were able to connect to the vast audio network by simply connecting two fibre-optic cables to a new interface supplied by Staging Connections, drastically shortening their set-up times and simplifying their set-up. Over four days, through Adelaide summer heat and all the demands of an outdoor event, both the audio and video systems performed flawlessly. Staging Connections has already renewed their contract to provide production on a multi-year deal. “There are a lot of technical and logistical challenges you come across on an event of this scale. Our teams managed those challenges proficiently, which made for a relatively smooth event and a great result” added David Aparicio with modest understatement. “We are thrilled to be associated with an event such as the Clipsal 500 Adelaide,” said Ashley Gabriel, Staging Connections Regional General Manager for SA, WA and NT. “For over 16 years, the SA Motorsports Board have entrusted Staging Connections with the client-facing event technology. As a client and event owner, they are always keen to improve the attendee’s experience and ensure the four day festival of motorsport is the best V8 Supercar event in the country. To be able to take the audio and vision aspects of this event to the latest in technology is a real honour and privilege. We were ecstatic with the result.” “Staging Connections have been fantastic in working with us to understand our objective from the outset; to provide patrons with a better event experience.” Mark Warren, CEO, South Australian Motor Sport Board See the full Clipsal 500 Gallery here Want to see what we can do for your event? Get in touch with us today. ... Read More

Bring your own device for Events

It’s pretty clear we are all addicted to our smartphones. They are always by our side and we spend a large part of our lives staring into their screens. And why wouldn’t we? Since the release of the iPhone in 2007 we now carry around more computing power in our back pocket than NASA had available to them for the 1969 moon landing. They are indispensable for business and essential for our social lives. So if everyone at your event is carrying around a tiny touchscreen computer, why not use it to your advantage? Be comfortable with your own device The concept of ‘Bring Your Own Device’ is permeating quickly through the corporate and IT world. Employees already own the IT technology necessary to do their jobs and they’ve made a personal choice to invest in a particular device and are familiar and comfortable with it. Savvy businesses have realized the potential of allowing employees to use their own technology which they have spent time becoming comfortable with. Enhance your event with vox populi voices Considering your whole audience is carrying around interactive devices, why not use them to enhance your brand and message? Any opinion, impression, suggestion or question can be collected, collated, displayed and acted on at a moment’s notice. You can gather audience data through snap multi-choice polls, geographical mapping (e.g. ‘What’s your postcode? Answers displayed on a map) and questions from the audience to a speaker or panel. Engage your audience with BYOD Audiences that actively engage with a presentation are more attentive and will retain more information. Presenters that are adequately prepared to deal with crowd-directed structure will deliver content that is more relevant and interesting to their audience. Also you gather invaluable data for your company for either internal improvement or marketing material. How to choose what to use for your event? The key is simplicity. Yes smartphones can measure your heart rate while telling you what song is on the radio but the more complex the task the less your audience will engage with it. All smartphones have an internet browser and SMS capability, the quickest and easiest way of getting your audience interacting is to use those universal gateways. Ask the right question Again, keep it simple. Questions should have one part only. For multiple choice questions each option should be distinct with no ambiguity. Buzzwords, acronyms and any other wording that isn’t universally understood should be avoided totally. Helpful event software At Staging Connections we run a web-based BYOD platform called Event Poll. Delegates open their browsers log into a specific URL, vote on a question or write their own. These results are instantly displayed via a branded template on the event’s screen. Even attendees with a 90’s Nokia can still vote via SMS. Be ready for any answer With multiple-choice questions, you must prepare a response to each possibility. If you are doing a product launch and ask the audience how likely they are to buy this product and the answer comes back ‘not at all’, you have to be ready to do some fast-talking. Bring your audience with you Have you ever experienced the ‘elephant in Denmark’ mental trick? It is a classic example of how to make engagement and interactivity with your audience work towards your purpose. Make use of leading questions to bring someone to understand your point/product. Sales professionals have long used the technique of ‘yes’ questions to close a deal; Do you hate having bad hair? ‘Yes’ Is it hard to fix your hair on the run? ‘Yes’ I’ve got combs here – would you like a red one? ‘Yes’. Solve problems your audience did not know they had BYOD methods allow you to introduce solutions to problems that your audience may not have realized they have. Interactivity helps people internalize the reasons behind changes to processes. On the other hand it can help you gain insight into barriers or objections to adoption your employees have, which you can then address specifically. Extend your event space People that cannot be physically present at your event can still experience and interact via webcast and social media. Twitter is a particularly useful communication tool for your event. It is free and available on all operating systems and devices. You can aggregate your event’s tweets using an appropriate hashtag. This way audience members can comment and ask questions of the presenters. Using Event Tweet Staging connections run a software platform called Event Tweet that integrates all Tweets to a specific account and specific hashtag with the event’ AV system and webcast feeds. A moderator controls the display within the venue and on the webcast feed of all the content, screening out any offensive or off-topic material. It has a branded, customizable framework for the Twitter content so that you can even run sponsorship images and video at specified times, turning your AV from a cost centre to a revenue generator. Use BYOD techniques for entertainment Lively events entail a lot of probing, pushing and polling so it is important to let your audience have a bit of fun too. If you are running a gala dinner, awards night or any other less formal event, there’s a great range of playful uses for real-time polling and live Tweeting. Do you have a red carpet entrance? Poll the audience for best dressed. Are you running a charity auction? Use the app for bidding. Who’s got the best joke about the CEO? Tweet it to our hashtag – but be careful! You can even incorporate the content from your main event into the games – first prize to the person who Tweets the correct answer! The technology is in your hands Even with hundreds of audience members, BYOD interactivity is simple, low in bandwidth and easy to roll out in almost any venue. Tiny packets of data are required to vote on a multiple-choice question, so low network coverage is not a problem and what you gain from your audience is well worth it. Your audience will be more than happy to share information that is usually hard to get from them if you approach the use of BYOD with insight, care and attention to detail. New software and applications are being developed every day catering to this market. Talk to Staging Connections when planning your next event to find out what your audience can bring to you. Want to stay up to date with industry trends? Browse our range of downloadable Event Insights papers ... Read More

12 Steps to Event Social Media Success

Your business has a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a LinkedIn presence. Depending on your market sector, you might also be on Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ or any of the other geographic, professional or language-specific social networks. Marketing on social media might be second-nature to your organisation, but integrating social into a living, breathing real-time event adds a dimension that takes a new level of thought and management to succeed. Using social media as an integral part of your event is so much more than sending event invitations on Facebook or tweeting a URL to register. A vertically integrated social media strategy based around a live event can provide real R.O.I. before, during and a long time after the fact. What you need to be clear about is who your audience are, which networks they’re on, and what they’re prepared to do for you. 1. It's a channel thing The first thing to ensure is that you’re communicating with your audience on the right channel. Each network has its own character, which affects the kind of material shared, the kind of brands and companies people pay attention to and how likely the audience is to publicly associate with your event. When people present themselves on social media, they do so in different ways according to the tone of the network. We all know that LinkedIn is the most formal of the big social networks. This is your customer in a suit, putting their best foot forward in the workplace. Facebook has a casual air, but belies the fact that everyone is carefully managing their appearance. Depending on industry sector, Twitter can be either a work tool to reinforce a form of personal branding, or a completely informal stream of consciousness. Pinterest has a reputation for leisure pursuits and domesticity. Both Instagram and Tumblr styles themselves leaders in culture, particularly visual. Understanding your target audience and the perception of your event in the market will help identify the most likely forum to communicate successfully. 2. It's never too early to start Your social media presence is a great tool to draw people to your event. Start your promotion early to build anticipation. Build custom pages on your website that either provide a recap of a previous event or teasers about the next. Make it inviting, intriguing and above all, worth sharing. 3. Social marketing to hit the sweet spot Hit your database of previous attendees and your guest list with emails that lead to your social presence. Try to provide an incentive for people to both click through and share your information – discounts, content, and exclusivity – anything that would be perceived as a value-add. The trick to successful social marketing is very simple but very hard to get right; people will share content that makes them look intelligent, successful and interesting. Real success comes when you can identify and recruit the heavily socially connected parts of your audience to promote your content for you. 4. #iloveyourevent Make sure that all of the mechanics of your live event’s social presence are promoted way ahead of the date. This means that any hashtag, URL, YouTube channel, Facebook Page or Google+ Hangout that will be active during the show needs to be built in to all pre-event communication. Warm up the social platform you’ve built for the event in the lead-up by posting content to it and encouraging guests to do the same. 5. The medium is the message With your audience spreading their attention across at least two, if not more, social networks, it’s tempting to employ one of the many software platforms that offer some variation of a ‘post it once, post it everywhere’ cross-platform service. It’s a seductive proposition; why should you manually post variations of the same information three or four times? Surely it’s cleaner and more efficient to keep your message identical across networks?. The problem is that each network has its own style, etiquette and tone, which in turn shapes the form of content posted. It’s very common for people to link their Twitter feeds to their Facebook profiles, but these results in Facebook posts that feel too brief and impersonal. LinkedIn updates can be automatically shared to Twitter, but are too formal in tone for most of the Twitterati. Image and video attachments and links often don’t survive cross-platform posting, which will frustrate your audience. As time consuming as it may sound, shaping the message according to the style and tone of the platform will provide the best results for your brand in the long term. 6. Identify your prime time Remember that social networks are powered by human behaviour, and because of that they run according to schedule defined by our daily habits. Each network has its own audience peaks and troughs during the day, which you need to take note of to make sure you’re broadcasting your message in your audience’s ‘prime time’. 7. (Social) Access All Areas Good use of social media during an event enhances the experience for the attendees in the room and can capture the attention of your entire market. A lively event Twitter feed displayed on screens in the venue encourages audience participation, but it also gives those who didn’t attend a tantalising glimpse of what they’re missing out on. User-generated images and video posted to Instagram and Vine will capture what it’s like to be on the inside, again providing a powerful message to the social-only audience not to miss out next time. 8. Moderate for success Real-time event social streams such as hashtags, or any other event-identified channel, need to be moderated live if they are being displayed or interacted with at the event. Event technical staff in co-operation with an organisation’s marketing or communications personnel have to work together to ensure that no malicious, inaccurate or offensive content is accidentally broadcast to a mass audience. It’s the double-edged sword of social media; in exchange for the possibility of almost unlimited promotion and publicity, you must guard against the possibility of your message being hijacked. Staging Connections have extensive experience in live moderation of social streams and can assist with this aspect at your event. If you’re in doubt as to how this affects audience engagement, speak to a technical expert. 9. Capitalise on your second screening Live event engagement on social media is mobile. The audience at the event will be participating via smartphone and tablet. Make it easy for them. Ensure that there’s plenty of obvious information about, and links to, the correct app for their devices. If you have had an app developed especially for your event, ensure that you promote it in all pre-show communication and that instructions on how to install it are prominent throughout the venue. 10. Curating vs. creating Don’t completely rely on your audience to document and content-create throughout your event – make sure you’re getting material too. Capture it via event webcast, record HD video and get great photos. Do all of this with a mind as to how you’re going to continue to use the material as collateral, integrated with the social presence created for the show. Again, Staging Connections can work with you to extend the live and reach of your event. 11. Think after the event before the event If done correctly, the social channel you built for your event turns into a powerful marketing tool after the date has passed. Along with all of the pre-show teaser material and audience-created content before and during, you now add your own documentation and post-show wrap. Use YouTube or Vimeo to show off the highlights of your event, take to Twitter to brag about attendee numbers, thank everyone on Facebook for coming and poll the event audience about their favourite content. 12. Post promotion Email the potential audience for your next event linking to the social footprint of your last. If a potential customer is weighing whether or not to attend, positive social media posts are a convincing argument from a neutral third party. We are much more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend, family member or colleague than a direct communication from a brand or company. That’s the heart of the power of social media – if you can gain your audience’s trust, then they are ambassadors of your message to everybody that trusts them. Written by Tim Chapman, General Manager - Digital Event Services Tim is continuously supporting and developing Staging Connections digital event components, looking for new and innovative ways to utilise technology to take any event from stage to screen. Tim comes from a background in corporate events where he pioneered large scale video conferencing projects and global webcasting of major events. Want to stay up to date with industry trends? Browse our range of downloadable Event Insights papers ... Read More

A day in the life of an event Project Manager

Fiona Robinson is an event Project Manager at Staging Connections in Sydney. She has been part of the Staging Connections team for over 12 years and has worked across numerous roles including Production Assistant and Crew Control. In the first 'day in the life of’ blog we get to grips with what being a Project Manager at Staging Connections involves, what a normal day looks like and get Fiona’s top audio visual event tips learnt from working on over 1500 shows in her career. What is involved in being an event Project Manager? As a Project Manager I tend to work on many of our bigger events that require a lot of coordination and management of multiple stakeholders. These shows tend to have a lot of different elements to them; there is usually a stage set, some form of talent, MC’s, guest speakers, large audio visual event crew and Technical Directors. Essentially my job is to ensure all these elements are coordinated in the lead up to the event and come together smoothly on show day. There is also a lot of client, supplier and venue liaison and collaboration. What does a normal day look like? At the start of every morning I spend time prioritising and working out what needs to be dispatched or done that day. Then it varies, one day I can be sourcing the southern hemispheres largest mirror ball and heading out to site visits and the next I can be working through run sheets, floor plans and liaising with talent – making sure they have exactly what they need to perform on event day. No two days are ever the same in this job – just the coffee intake! If it is show day, my time is spent on site moving around where I am needed. I am also a stage manager for many events. This involves wrangling talent, ensuring presenters and speakers know what they are doing and where to stand. I also run rehearsals and essentially make sure everyone is show ready. I have worked with many different presenters, speakers and performers over the years but if I had to say just one, Ray Martin is one of my favourites to work with. He is such a professional and a great laugh. What do you enjoy most about being an event project manager? I love the thrill of the big shows and seeing all the months of work coming together. I especially enjoy Stage Managing – nothing compares to the excitement of being involved in a live event environment. What is the most memorable event you worked on? I’ve had many memorable events but working on Amway China in Singapore for eight weeks in 2006 was one of the special ones. Working and living in another country is pretty exciting, hard work, but so rewarding. What is the best piece of advice for someone thinking about holding an event? Access, Access and Access! When looking for an event venue always consider the access first. For instance a venue with no lift or loading dock can slow down bump in time leaving less time for rehearsals. This leads me onto my second piece of advice; the key to a successful event is leaving plenty of time for rehearsal! Written by Fiona Robinson, Project Manager, Staging Connections. My favourite thing about working in events is working with some amazing and super talented people, mostly my colleagues. We have some awesome people here at Staging Connections. Related Blogs 8 audio visual tips to create a successful event Optimise your event communication with event design and technical production The art of SHOWcraft for your events ... Read More


AV Packages - The Perfect Choice for Your Audio Visual Needs

If you're looking to push the boundaries of your next conference, gala dinner, product launch or other event, you should make sure you consider the audio visual equipment required to meet your event objectives. The use of AV sets the mood of your event and helps present your message, brand and company in an unforgettable way. If you're looking to push the boundaries of your next conference, gala dinner, product launch or other event, you should make sure you consider the audio visual equipment required to meet your event objectives. The use of AV sets the mood of your event and helps present your message, brand and company in an unforgettable way. Many people are confused by AV and worry they may not specify all the elements required for an event. Audio Visual requirements can be complex, but we pride ourselves on providing a simple solution that is understandable. For a convenient way to incorporate audio visual elements into your event, we would be happy to discuss the wide range of AV Packages available through Staging Connections. AV packages offer the ideal way for you to choose from a range of options to get the perfect solution for your needs. That way, you get just what you need for your event and also that fits your budget. When booking your event AV package from Staging Connections, we will have an initial briefing meeting so we can find out your event objectives and then we can configure a package to fit your requirements. We offer a flexible array of AV packages ranging from full service event staging solutions through to dry hire items. This allows you to choose to rent just the equipment you need if you already have the expertise or leave everything in our hands. It's your choice! We hope you've got an understanding of what Staging Connections can do to help you bring your vision to life through AV packages. Simply submit a request for a Quick Quote and we will get back to you as soon as possible with pricing. ... Read More