Use Technology to Get the Most Out Of Your Event Budget

Fact: When it comes to marketing budgets, the budget for events tends to be the first to get shuffled around. Don’t be disheartened, it’s the perfect time to get a bit more creative, think differently and prove the value of an engaging, interactive and successful event, no matter what budget is allocated. Fact: When it comes to marketing budgets, the budget for events tends to be the first to get shuffled around. Don’t be disheartened, it’s the perfect time to get a bit more creative, think differently and prove the value of an engaging, interactive and successful event, no matter what budget is allocated.
1. Capture the attention of your event attendees
Nothing puts a smile on the face of your boss more than his/her event attendees looking in awe and excitement at the scene in front of them. Yet when you think of creating that sensational event experience, you automatically hear the ring of a cash register.
If you have a limited budget, your choice of AV can make all the difference. Well positioned lighting can set the scene and add drama to any event through programmed lighting stings.
Combine lighting with vision or multimedia content and you can make a real impact, without stretching the budget. Transform a stale event environment into something special with the clever use of projection, strategically placed screens, plasmas and LED displays plus the latest in playback and edge blending technology. How about using multimedia content projected onto the stage instead of building a stage set from scratch. The opportunities are endless.
Multimedia content truly brings an idea to life, whether it is aliens circling your audience, cars racing by on the walls of the venue, or snow falling from the sky. Consider the impact that technology could have on your event next time you’re handed the event budget.
2. Returning the investment for everyone
Events now need to achieve more than yours or your client’s bottom line – an event has to create a return on investment for those who have dedicated the time to attend and be more than a stand-alone entity but an integrated branded experience for the attendee.
At the earliest stage of idea generation, think about what does the person attending the event want to get out of the event experience? What’s in it for them? Placing the attendee’s desire at the top and getting their buy-in at the event will inevitably meet the event’s objectives for sales, customer retention, or employee engagement making the end goal more easily achievable.
Be audience focused from the very beginning.
3. Think differently and think bigger – an integrated brand experience
Be creative with your event design and ideas – think differently about the experience you want your attendee to have and how the brand message can not only be integrated into the event but also how you can use this opportunity to create an interactive and memorable experience that translates into a stronger more beneficial relationship with attendees.
Do a walk-through in your mind and make a list of what the attendee will see, hear, touch or feel from start to finish at the event. At each audience touch-point from the entrance, to the table setting, entire event space or the stage, think differently about how to make the experience personal and interactive. Try creating an illuminated centrepiece using your logo or hero image; utilise intelligent lighting and projection carrying the theme, product or brand imagery throughout the event space and use motion graphics and projection mapping to design a stage set that gives the audience the sense of being in a completely different location. Imagery projection can transform a room into a living space – think more than the traditional lighting – you can take your attendee on a visual journey using moving imagery, video or photography projected 360 degrees around a room creating the illusion that they are within an experience and not just an event. Motion graphics and multimedia technology is developing all the time and can be combined with projection for vision or lighting that reacts to touch – letting the attendee drive and direct their experience. Written By Stuart Buchanan, Sydney Sales Manager
With event production experience spanning 17 years, Stuart’s local and international knowledge and know-how has set him up to be a true industry professional. From the early 1990’s Stuart worked as a music and fashion event promoter before moving into the corporate events field and has been with Staging Connections for over 12 years. … Read More

What is ‘Speakers Prep’

In this latest blog our Technical Director in Sydney, Tom Wilson tells us what 'Speakers Prep' is and why you need it for your next conference. What is 'Speakers Prep' and why do I need it for my event? Speakers prep is a service which helps your conference run smoothly by looking after all your speaker needs before, during and after the event. Before the conference starts speakers are provided with a unique email so they can provide their presentations ahead of the event direct to the technicians running the conference. On the day of the event a dedicated room is set up for speakers to 'check into' when they arrive on show site. In the speaker ready room they can comfortably review their presentation, make any adjustments and practice and load their presentation at a time convenient for them. Skilled PowerPoint technicians are available in this room to assist with presentation editing and also brief the presenter how to use the technology in the presentation room, such as the remote mouse. Once the presentations are loaded they are automatically distributed to the required room via a Local Network so the speaker does not need to fumble with cords or laptops. From the speakers prep room the technicians can remotely view all the screens of all of the rooms, allowing them to see the progress of each room and if a change in room occurs reroute the presentation instantly. Why do you need it? Preparation and organisation is the secret to a successful event, in particular it benefits three stakeholders, you as the event organiser, the speaker and the event technicians. Having a Speaker Presentation room allows you as the event organiser to delegate all speaker related matters, saving your inbox being clogged up with large presentations and multiple last minute edits and changes. Event Organiser Benefits Can always find a technician to help without needing to call someone Can find out if a presenter has checked in yet Keep a copy of all presentations at the end of the conference for distribution A well managed Speaker Prep room also reduces the stress for the speaker as they can feel confident that any last minute changes will be reflected in their presentation. They will also feel more prepared as they have been fully briefed by a technical team and they do not have to worry about access or passing the presentation onto anyone else once they hit the room. Speaker Benefits Central Place to load multiple presentations Skilled PowerPoint staff to help with edits Can check their presentation against formatting errors Can Preview Videos Can get themselves familiar with Remote mouse Can check email and download presentations from the internet Finally it allows technicians in the conference rooms to concentrate on the task of operating the show and not being overwhelmed by presenters. Event Technician Benefits Remote monitoring of all rooms Can educate presenters on how to use technology Can preview videos and check speaker requirements Written by: Tom Wilson, Technical Director – Staging Connections Sydney ... Read More

Planning successful events across the Australian outdoors

Our General Manager - SA/NT, Ashley Gabriel discusses the challenges outdoor events can present and shares his thoughts as to how you can make the most of your next outdoor event. Our General Manager - SA/NT, Ashley Gabriel discusses the challenges outdoor events can present and shares his thoughts as to how you can make the most of your next event. What epitomises an Australian summer more than attending an outdoor event? Apart from the weather, have you ever considered the other numerous challenges that face event producers when delivering high quality event experiences in outdoor locations? Things like: 1. Making sure the public attending feel part of a community or brand experience. 2. Keeping safety as paramount at all times. 3. And most importantly, creating an interactive experience for those attending and those watching at home. Whether executing an audio visual solution for over 750,000 spectators in South Australia or providing staging for a parade which attracts close to 400,000 people we have combined creative and technical elements to deliver a recent slew of outdoor events under challenging outdoor conditions. The Santos Tour Down Under, the southern hemisphere’s largest cycling race, held annually in South Australia is a prestigious road cycling competition drawing cycling greats from around the world. By working together with the team over numerous years, we have been able to determine the optimal location of speakers and screens at multiple sites throughout the week long festival of cycling. Over four hundred 100 volt Line Speakers were spread throughout the streets of Adelaide, its suburbs and country towns with over 30 km of copper cable for the street PA's used. In order to ensure the outmost safety for both the riders and the public, a bespoke audio system was installed into some of the race day cars which travel ahead of the parade. All of this combined allowing for all attendees to be enthralled with the unfolding action whilst ensuring the riders were not distracted from the task at hand. In celebration of the Tour’s 15th birthday acclaimed Australian dance music group, Sneaky Sound System took to the stage on Saturday 19 January 2013 to kick things off. We set the staging, concert lighting and LED screens withIn celebration of the Tour’s 15th birthday acclaimed Australian dance music group, Sneaky Sound System took to the stage on Saturday 19 January 2013 to kick things off. We set the staging, concert lighting and LED screens with live footage for over 30,000 spectators. We installed a comprehensive audio system suited the crowds, eliminating the audio bounce back that can often occur at outdoor events. Toward the beginning of Summer, we also assisted with the Credit Union Christmas Pageant in Now in its 80th year, the parade attracts over 400,000 people each year and many more for the TV audience. Our team of 12 staged the event with over 200 speakers along a 6km route through the city streets and over 60 individual MP3 audio systems in various floats and walking characters. We worked closely with the Pageant, even disguising two crew members as Clowns so they could ride in the pageant and fix any audio issues on the floats without taking away from the magic of the parade from either the live or TV audience. Although outdoor events present numerous challenges compared to Indoor ones, we find that our crew love taking on that challenge and working in the great Australian sun. Being able to contribute to a major outdoor event in a way which enhances the public’s enjoyment (whilst remaining relatively in the background) is part of the thrill the crew enjoy. With temperatures reaching 40+ and usually non-stop sunshine, we have developed logistics and plans to suit to all weather contingencies and ensure that not only our staff & general public remains safe but that the show goes on and all deadlines are met. Written by Ashley Gabriel, General Manager - South Australia/ Northern Territory. Ash shares with us that the best event he ever worked on was a Video conference for the Queen. He commented that whilst there were obvious challenges in ensuring technology worked in two countries, it was all worth it once the team saw the Queen smiling and amusing to see Prince Philip's reaction when he realised we were watching him back here in Australia. ... Read More

The PowerPoint Advantage - Tips for presentation success

Building a presentation may seem straightforward, but sometimes presentations can turn very complicated when it comes to the delivery. One way to avoid the pitfalls is to remember to get the basics right Building a presentation may seem straightforward, but sometimes presentations can turn very complicated when it comes to the delivery. One way to avoid the pitfalls is to remember to get the basics right: 1. Before starting to create your presentation, ensure you adjust the page setup to match aspect ratio of the display device, so as to get rid of those black bars around our slides. 2. When styling your presentation, remember that dark backgrounds should be used for darker rooms and light backgrounds for lighter function rooms. 3. When authoring your presentation, check that your text is well contrasted against the background colour, so your audience can easily understand your message. 4. Knowing that a picture is worth a thousand words, check to see if any of your text can be swapped for images instead, as this will avoid your audience suffering “death by PowerPoint”. 5. When saving your presentation, make sure that any files linked to the presentation are saved with the presentation, so as to avoid that stress just before you present. 6. When setting up your laptop make sure you connect the power supply and have disabled any screen savers and power management, eliminating any surprises mid presentation. 7. When loading your presentation, save it first to the laptop and run it from there, this will reduce any lags or delays in the presentation moving from slide to slide. 8. Once you have your slides on screen during rehearsal, walk to the back of the room and double check that the text size is adequate for viewing from the last row of chairs. 9. Don’t forget to take a depth breath and relax just before walking up on to stage! While some of this sounds straight forward it is important to lay the foundation for the more complicated demands of an event by getting the simple things right the first time! Check out this link for more information: Written by Katie McDonald Katie McDonald is the Digital Brand Manager and resident Brit at Staging Connections. Armed with post-graduate qualifications in Marketing and specialist skills in Digital Strategy, she is passionate about management, execution, and measurement of all digital efforts that enhance and humanize brands online. ... Read More

Sometimes it's just all about the candlelight

In this post our lovely event stylist Alana discusses how she created this stunning look for the Starlight Foundation Five Chefs Dinner using over 1000 candles! In this post our lovely event stylist Alana discusses how she created this stunning look for the Starlight Foundation Five Chefs Dinner using over 1000 candles! With a background in visual merchandising, Interior design and floral art, Alana brings a fresh and contemporary vision to creative event design in Adelaide. Working with many of Australia leading companies and associations, she has delivered unique event experiences that inspire and impress. Whether it’s funky, old school, retro or cutting edge, Alana has the contacts, experience and creative inspiration to turn ideas in to a reality. I wanted to share with you a theme inspired by Phantom of The Opera I recently worked on with the Starlight Foundation for the Five Chefs Dinner. It was a spectacular event held in the Ballroom at the Adelaide InterContinental where we used candles and smoke effects to create an intimate mood for the 330 guests attending. The client first came to me with a theme in mind and some images of the play/movie on a mood board. We then came up with some ideas of how to create this visually. A lot of pre planning went into the event to ensure we could create the right lighting effect. We needed to make sure that the hazer, glaciator and smoke effect would fill the room and create a mystical, enchanting environment! We used over a thousand candles to create the look including pillar candles on the table and oil filled candles in the candelabras. A lot of work went into selecting candle sizes, colours and those with the longest possible burn time, even the small tea lights had a 9 hour burn time! The biggest concern was positioning candles and ensuring they were not in the direct path of air conditioners cause this makes them burn much quicker. It is also very important that they are not lit too early to ensure they get maximum length. For this particular event we lit them around ten minutes before doors and many volunteers from the foundation helped out, in the end it took 20 people 10 minutes! Overall we had 33 tables of ten but it felt like a very intimate evening with great ambience all created by the glow of the candles! Check out the pictures and let me know what you think of the end result! Author: Alana Berryman, Stylist, Staging Connections Image Credits: Unless stated otherwise, all images are owned by us ... Read More

Our styling team reveal how Vivid Sydney can inspire the way we approach event creative

Now in its fourth year, Vivid Sydney is a celebration of ideas and creative industry attracting over 400,000 visitors who come to take in our iconic buildings transformed and surrounded by immersive light sculptures and projection mapping On Saturday evening last, I donned my winter coat and braved the crowds to experience the power of our creative economy at Vivid Sydney. Now in its fourth year, Vivid Sydney is a celebration of ideas and creative industry attracting over 400,000 visitors who come to take in our iconic buildings transformed and surrounded by immersive light sculptures and projection mapping The festival is about light, music, ideas and industry. It presents not only a program of unique concerts but seminars, public talks and debates via the new Vivid Ideas Exchange. While I’m off to spend some time with my artistic brethren, below is a wrap-up of the incredible public displays that could well change the perception of how we approach events creative! Customs House – City Life by The Electric Canvas By far the standout piece of 3D projection mapping at the festival, City Life transformed the facade of Customs House and tipped our perception, creating a “city within a city”. First we see a bustling city come to life; the ionic columns become city streets, the iconic clock a park fountain, birds and aeroplanes fly overhead. The point of view shifts from overhead to elevation as tall buildings tower over subways, animated characters interact and go about their daily lives. It is this unpredictable quality that The Electric Canvas is well known for, making the often overlooked a veritable dreamscape of ideas that can inspire. MCA – Motion Collaboration 1 by Justene Williams & Spinifex One of the more site-specific pieces of the festival, artist Justene Williams in collaboration with Spinifex and our friends over at TDC transformed the museum into a neon fantasia in the flavour of Soviet propaganda art. The egalitarian art deco facade featured the grand communist images of a working machine, neon cogs and toiling labourers. The final sequence featured a myriad of modern art – fractured De Stijl, touches of Magritte bowlers and constructivist paintings intertwine, eventually escaping inside the MCA’s entrance in the finale. MCA – MCA Lights by Keebz, & Spinifex One wonders when this projection medium will become tired, at the rate at which technology grows, how do we keep a fresh approach? The answer is intractability. MCA Lights is an interactive display on the brand-new wing of the MCA, a unique collaboration between DJ Keebz,, Spinefex and TDC that uses the building as an instrument. The general public can interact with three on-screen displays using hand gestures in mid-air. These gestures control the content and indeed re-sequence the music, the entire experience shaped around the user’s decisions. If ever we fantasised about the film Minority Report, it seems that technology has caught up. Sydney Opera House – Lighting The Sails by URBANSCREEN Coined as a ‘reinterpretation of the sails’, German design collective URBANSCREEN transformed the canvas of our iconic Opera House like never before. Instead of a play-on-light, the work centred around human interactions (albeit giant) on the tiled surface of the great landmark. The sails floated in the breeze then retained solidarity, lifting and bouncing as human figures danced across them. The projection was not only inspiring, it was alive. Sydney Opera House to Walsh Bay – VIVID Light Sculptures Whilst taking in the awe-inspiring projection work above, it is highly recommended that you take in the light sculptures that wrap around the harbour. From an illuminated igloo made from plastic water tanks to Brian Thompson’s magnificent chandelier featured in Opera Australia’s La Traviata there is enough here to have you thinking outside the box the next time you approach a creative project. It isn’t any wonder that Vivid Sydney was ranked in the Top Ten global ideas festivals by The Guardian UK. It presents a solid, immersive experience on a unique canvas that can be shared by all who experience it. It just shows you don’t need to spend a penny to be inspired! Written By: Joshua Mason, Senior Event Stylist, Staging Connections. Image Credits: Images credited when available. Unless stated otherwise, no sourced images are owned by us 1. Argyle in Bloome: Image by Shrestha Bidur via Vivid Sydney 2.Customs House: Image by Richard Dicky Simpson via Vivid Syndey 3. MCA: Image by Charles Brewer via 4. Opera House: Image by Torsten Blackwood via Getty Images 6. Lights: Image by Eric Sou via Vivid Sydney 7. La Traviata Chandelier: Image by Jerry Dohnal via Vivid Sydney 8. Light installations: Image by James Morgan via via Getty Images 9. Pallette of Urban Green: Image by Arielle Morris via Vivid Sydney ... Read More

Staging Connections takes your events from stage to screen

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The proven value of face to face communication

A recent study released by the Harvard Business Review has confirmed the ongoing and intrinsic value of meeting face to face. Of the 2300 HBR subscribers, 79% stated that "in-person meetings are the most effective way to meet new clients to sell business" while 95% of all respondents said that "face-to-face meetings are a key factor in successfully building and maintaining long term relationships". The study also concluded that while technology is clearly on the rise the business executives confirmed that face-to-face meeting benefits (both tangible and intangible) cannot be replaced by technology. Download the full report here Post - Matthew Allely. ... Read More

Rise to the Challenge - Vinnies CEO Sleepout - 16th June 2011

On any given night across Australia there are 105,000 people sleeping rough. This number is made up of an extraordinary 12,000 under the age of 12 and 22,000 aged between 12 to 18. Staging Connections is once again the proud national partner of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout for 2011. Tony Chamberlain, Managing Director, will be "sleeping out" at the Sydney event and Staging Connections' teams will be providing pre-marketing and event staging services across the country in support of St Vincent de Paul and the tireless work they do to help reduce the level of homelessness. The event aims to challenge business and community leaders to experience homelessness first-hand for just one night. This event is not just a means to raise funds but also awareness and to effect change in social opinions about homelessness. For more information on the event and how you can help the cause of homelessness head to To view some of the personal accounts of CEO's experience sleeping out in 2010, click here ... Read More

Staging Connections launches venue finder website

Staging Connections has recently launched the venue finder website This website provides a comphrehensive portal that event planners can use as a resource for selecting the most suitable venue for their upcoming event/s. showcases Staging Connections venue partners across AUS/NZ/FIJI, providing a complete listing which includes detailed information about the venue and its capabilities for meetings and events. Users can send the same enquiry to multiple venues by using the "Add to Enquiry" functionality present on the website. Click here to perform a venue search on ... Read More