Events

How projection mapping can add an extra dimension to your events

We humans have been fascinated with creating art that fools our eyes and transports us physically since the beginning of civilisation. From perspective tricks in murals to the fake windows on blank building walls of the trompe l’oeil tradition, we delight in deceiving our senses. Now, in the 21st century, 2D and 3D projection mapping are the latest tools of this grand tradition, and are available to you to transform your events in ways that are only limited by your imagination.
Mapping it out
So what does the term ‘projection mapping’ mean, and how does it differ from plain old ‘projection’? Well, we all know what a projection is an image, made of light, beamed onto a screen or surface. It could be a movie, a PowerPoint presentation, or any series of images that gets a point across. Its defining characteristic is that we are clearly aware of its edges, limitations and artificiality. It inhabits a defined space, and our brain sections it off; that’s the projection, and next to it, that’s the wall. Projection mapping has come to mean the use of two or more projectors to extend a continuous image across multiple surfaces, the classic example being four walls. If you are standing in a square white room and a projector shines a photo of the Swiss Alps onto one entire wall, your brain tells you that you’re looking at a projection of a photo. If multiple projectors work together to cover all four walls with a seamless 360 degree panoramic image of the Swiss Alps, your brain starts to think it’s gone skiing. We’re still not totally convinced, but we are enchanted. 2D or not 2D?
Whether we’re talking about 2D or 3D projection mapping is dependent on what we’re actually projecting onto. 2D projection mapping assumes that all the surfaces to be covered are flat screens, walls, or floors. The complexity of 2D projection mapping is in lining up the edges of the beams from multiple projectors and coordinating the projected content so that the eye perceives it all as one big, unbroken image. This is known as Edge Blending.
This takes some serious calculations and very precise physical controls. There are a variety of technologies on the market that help achieve these results. Some brands of projectors have software built-in that, when a physical link is set-up between units with the same capability, detects and manages the activity of all the projectors in the group, enabling them to work as one. Another solution is to use specialised computer software and hardware to control your projectors, which enables the use of whichever projection system is available. 3D projection mapping – no glasses required Event Profile: 3D Projection Mapping from Encore Event Technologies.
3D projection mapping has firmly entered the public consciousness through major public events such as Sydney’s Vivid Festival. The annual event sees the Sydney Opera House, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Customs House and other Sydney landmarks transformed by artists using powerful projectors and complex software. A ballerina dances across the Opera House, Customs House transforms into a 17th century French Palace, and abstract art animates the face of the Gallery. 3D projection mapping is another step up in complexity from 2D. While still drawing on multiple projectors and Edge Blending, it adds the seriously mind-bending task of mapping images onto actual three dimensional objects. In the case of Vivid, it’s a building exterior or architectural feature. Most interestingly, it can also be an object created for the sole purpose of being projected on. It’s this last option that is generating some impressive creative thinking in the events industry. The textbook example of how to use 3D projection mapping for great effect and value for money in a corporate event has come from the auto industry. At recent international car shows and product launches, manufacturers have made blank white foam shells in the shape of their models. Much cheaper and lighter than an actual car, they are easier to ship to the venue. Amazing content is then projected onto the shell that brings it to life as a car. But this car can change colours, finish and details. The projected content can also be video and animation that make the car look like it is driving at speed. Headlights light up, wheels spin and the windscreen reflects the environment flashing past.
Light: portable, flexible and…..light
There’s some pretty obvious advantages to using projection mapping to theme or brand your event. The first is ease of creation, transport and setup. Physical sets and props have to be designed, built, transported and made to work physically in the venue. If your theme was Ancient Greece, for example, you’d need to build and install quite a few fake stone columns to give your guests the impression they’re having dinner in The Parthenon. If you project an image, or better yet, video of the actual Parthenon across all four walls, you’ve done a much better job with a lot less hassle.
If you’re running a roadshow that is staged in many different venues, the efficiencies become even greater. Not only have you saved on freight and labour costs, but the logistical challenges presented by different spaces are completely overcome. Venue specific problems such as low ceilings, small doors and bad lift access that can make bringing in sets a nightmare are all sidestepped by using projection mapping.
Your brand, your way
Despite all of the 3D projection wizardry, the real star of your show is your brand. Projection mapping offers a huge range of opportunities to have your message refreshed and emphasised throughout the event. Because all projected content is dynamic and can be changed subtly or dramatically at will, your branding is no longer relegated to static banners or a single instance on a screen. Your brand can be a brash animated statement on audience entrance, fade to a subtle underpinning during a keynote speech and become part of the room’s architecture in the post-show networking session. The ease of changing projected content also has a positive effect on event timing and management. If a space needs to be reset from lecture to cocktail mode, projected theming and branding doesn’t get in the way like a physical set, one button press and the reset is done. There’s also the ‘Wow’ factor; your audience leaves the lecture hall which has been subtly branded and lit throughout the conference. They return for dinner and enter a totally immersive fantasy world of your choosing. Content is Key
The success of any projection mapping project relies on creating the right kind of content. It’s not just the size and quality of the digital images provided as source material, but the way they are used in service of the event’s goal. It takes practical experience in the use of projection mapping at events to know what kinds of content will work and what won’t when scaled across multiple projectors and blown up to the size of a building. Hint: your iPhone photos probably won’t look that good.
The look and feel of an event needs to be sculpted with both artistic vision and technical know-how. Encore Event Technologies now employs specialist staff to help customers build projected content for events in order to achieve the best possible outcomes. Amazing results can be achieved when technical specialists work hand-in-hand with event organisers to deliver a brief. If your imagination is stimulated by the possibilities of beaming your own world around your audience, start by talking to an expert to determine exactly what they’ll need from you to make it happen. Imagination is your only limitation A blank canvas is a blessing and a curse. Projection mapping enables you to create almost any conceivable visual effect, whether it’s as simple as your logo in three dimensions rotating on a wall, or as complex as your audience being taken on a spaceship through the Milky Way. A coherent artistic vision, well executed, will always have the greatest impact. Consider what the overarching message your audience needs to take away from your event, and focus in on that. All visual material should subtly reinforce that point.
As projection mapping is heavily reliant on computer technology, it’s a rapidly changing field. As more becomes technically possible, creative’s are constantly pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved. If you’re looking for inspiration, talk to your Encore Event Technologies contact to see some of our recent work. Watch, learn, and bring a bit of magic to your next event. Want to stay up to date with industry trends? Browse our range of downloadable Event Insights papers … Read More

How To Get The Best Sound At Your Event

The primacy and importance of sound in everyday life is obvious to everyone, yet the process of creating an aural presence at an event with excellent results is not widely understood outside of technical circles. Sound, both ephemeral and invisible, does not emit from as ethereal sources. The equipment is often ungainly and the event industry goes to great lengths to make its provisions as visibly unobtrusive as possible, leading to the common misconception that sound equipment is not a major component of an event. It may not have the visual spectacular presence of a huge projection screen or complicated lighting show but there is a lot going on that cannot be seen – but is definitely heard. Getting Your Message Heard The Ins For the voice of your speaker to be relayed clearly a number of things have to fall in place: You must use the correct microphone in the right position The presenter must use the microphone appropriately Adjustments need to be made to the signal to compensate for issues inherent in the speakers voice You must adjust to any complications in the room’s acoustics And Outs The signal from the speaker then needs to push out of the loudspeakers at the right volume past your audiences ears. This involves amplification, sending the signal to the right number, size and type of loudspeaker. Obtrusive Visually The balance between acoustic performance, intelligibility and a visually acceptable solution is a delicate compromise. Loudspeaker design and development over many decades has improved their power and aesthetics, but they are still considered an eyesore. Unfortunately the ears are positioned very close to the eyes. Negotiating the ideal blend of practicality and performance takes a skilled and experienced designer. Choosing the Right Music For Your Event Almost everyone has a soundtrack to their lives; the love song that represents a relationship, the album that captured a summer or the music that helps you through a hard time. The correct music choice at an event sets a mood, creates excitement and can be used to create associations between your product or service and a cultural value. Different styles of music can require different types of loudspeakers and amplification. For example, a high-energy sales conference will mostly use up-tempo inspirational music and use volume as a means to animate the crowd. This will require more power and more coverage, quite simply because you need to move more air at a higher energy level. Equipment You will Need No matter how expensive they are all, all loudspeakers and microphones are imperfect replicators of the original sounds they are trying to distribute or convert. You will need to supplement these with extra equipment. Subwoofers One of the biggest physical limitations in any loudspeaker is its ability to reproduce the entirety of the frequency range audible to humans at the same time. When the frequencies get down to the ‘extended low end frequencies’ created by bass instruments and most synthesizer music (‘doof doof’ techno) they’re physically impossible for a normal low-end driver in a loudspeaker to recreate. Specialised loudspeakers, ‘subwoofers’ or sub-speakers, are dedicated to reproducing frequencies from around 120Hz to 20Hz, which is the bottom of the human hearing range. These extended low-end frequencies are very important to human understanding of music. We have a very visceral reaction to low end audio, because we feel it more than hear it. Think about adventure films and dance music – the bass delivers the adrenaline. At your next event ask the sound technician to turn off the subwoofers during a rehearsal of your musical cue. You will most certainty hear and feel the difference. Microphones Microphones perform the opposite function to loudspeakers – they take movements in the air and convert them into electrical signals. There are dozens of designs and types that each perform a specific function and most will do a poor job when used on a source they are not designed for. You will probably be surprised by how many microphones are dedicated to just the drum kit in a jazz ensemble. As each individual drum or cymbal has different frequency, volume and tonal characteristics, each needs its own microphone. Eight to twelve yields the best results. Getting the Best Sound from Your Performers Choosing the right equipment, setting it up and operating it correctly are the benchmarks of performance for any sound operator, but it does not guarantee you will have perfect sound. The best sound operator in the world cannot make a bad band sound good! Luckily individual speakers are easier to converse with and adjust. Scared Speakers Some speakers are afraid of the microphone and will stand too far away from it. Even a great sound technician will not be able to generate enough volume for them to be heard. A quick conversation between presenter and sound technician should remedy this. Active Speakers Similarly some presenters are very energetic and are constantly moving around a static microphone. You just need to keep up communication with the presenter about the specifics of the microphone they are using. The best way to ensure a quality performance from your speakers is to have a speakers prep. Making Sure Your Performers Can Hear Themselves Not just your audience needs to hear your performers but your performers need to hear themselves and each other. The sound mix created for the perfomers is called foldback and can be as simple as a single speaker on the floor of the stage to a complicated map of dozens of separate mixes sent to individual pairs of wireless ear buds. Usually foldback can be handled by the same mixing desk working with the audience sound, but for large musical and vocal ensembles and events with multiple acts, the best option is to have a separate mixing desk and operator just for the stage sound. Listen Up Everyone has a story about bad sound; too loud, plagued by feedback, patchy speakers, too hard to understand what was being said… but how many people talk about an excellent sound experience? Sound technicians often speak of the perfect job as being one where they were not noticed at all. At Encore Event Technologies we pride ourselves on our ability to stand out and be invisible at the same time. Want to stay up to date with industry trends? Browse our range of downloadable Event Insights papers ... Read More

How stage design can transform your next event

The difference between an ordinary corporate event and an extraordinary event comes down to the details. That’s what an Encore Event Technologies' event is all about. We believe a great stage design is essential for a memorable experience – and is a key element in inspiring the people who attend. What makes a stage come to life? Through our years of experience, we’ve come to know the right formula for a great stage design. Here are the elements we’re always thinking about. 1. Event Space Stage design is about working with specific spaces, often within a limited set of possibilities. But our stage designers thrive on limitation, using space in unique and creative ways – to complement event speakers, boost brand messaging, or bring out the best in a performance or presentation. It’s often a challenge, but one we’ll find a solution for. The harder the space is the more creative you need to be. We have built stages over pools, used modular stages, curved stages and many more. The possibilities really are endless. A great solution to help envisage the end stage design is to view a graphic render of the desired look. This can help you see how the stage will look in relation to the event space and help foresee any design and technical issues. View some of our render to reality examples. 2. Lighting Make the stage come alive with great lighting. When it’s time to make a dramatic change, professional lighting can transform a plain space from a blank canvas into a completely new environment. It can control the mood of a stage, and hype up its energy. And it can create an event atmosphere that’s both eye-catching and unforgettable. 3. Backdrops, stage sets and banners A stage is simply an elevated platform, a blank canvas if you will, that requires design and AV elements to take it from something ordinary to something extraordinary. Corporate events are evolving and event planners are looking for new ways to make their events bigger and better than the last, without breaking the bank. An effective way to do this is investing in interesting stage design. Encore have developed a range a of stage design solutions that add impact to your event. Event Backdrop Event Backdrop is a visually striking and flexible branding solution, perfect for all events. It is a high-tech illuminated frame wrapped in a photographic-quality printed nylon. So simple, yet so effective! It’s a great way of delivering a message, promoting a product, enhancing the theme of an event or building recognition of a brand. Event Backdrop’s also come in a variety of sizes to cater for small meeting rooms all the way to large ballroom size. This has been our most popular event product this year and can been used for a variety of events. Digital Stage Banners and Widescreens If you want to add WOW-factor to your next event, a simple solution is to incorporate digital stage banners and widescreens into your stage design. Traditionally, a stage set consists of the elevated platform underneath a large screen. With digital stage banners you can creatively position them across the stage to present your multimedia content in an interesting and engaging way. Another option is to use Widescreens – which are by name, very wide digital banners used to project multimedia content onto. These are highly effective when you have a large stage to work with and through the use of blend projection can house highly immersive imagery. Why not use both! If you’re interested in exploring new ways to design your stage, speak to your Encore representative or contact us today. 4. Visuals We always pay particular attention to the visual elements of your event. Tools like animation and high-impact video are great ways to capture your audience’s imagination, while 3D projection mapping can transform dull presentations into stimulating visual journeys. The use of LED walls, projection screens and stage backdrops can also engage your audience and help deliver your message – but also enhance your overall branding and create a lasting impression. How it all comes together At Encore, we believe the stage should be as much a feature as what’s happening on it. With the proper use of space, lighting and visuals, it can become its own key part of the experience. This transformation helps to boost your event’s theme, and it adds another dimension to audience engagement. Ultimately? Great stage design can be the difference between a run-of-the-mill presentation, and an enjoyable real-life experience with a sense of ceremony and lasting messages. With more than 30 year experience designing amazing stage sets for event of all shapes and sizes, you can count on Encore to create something extraordinary for yours. Whether your event is a conference, product launch, gala dinner or a small C-level presentation - with all eyes on the stage it's important you get its design right. Get in touch with one of our friendly team members to start discussing your event needs and hear our ideas. Send an online enquiry or give us a call today on 1800 209 099. ... Read More

Introducing Australia's first free event app

Now event planners can easily take their event from onsite to onscreen with Cumulus. The event app gives you and your attendees the convenience of accessing all event information at any time, everywhere they go. In an industry first Encore is offering the app for free when clients use them for their AV and event services. Available on any internet connected device, Cumulus puts valuable event information in the hands of attendees in real time. Event organisers load and manage all event-specific content to the easy to use content management system. Tony Chamberlain, Managing Director, Encore commented on the launch of Cumulus. “Creating this new tool and providing it free of charge to our clients is another way Encore is working to make events more convenient, effective and engaging. “The event app enables our clients to manage their own content, avoiding the need to use expensive third party app solutions or the need to print conference programs. The event organiser is in complete control of the content, making live changes at any time,” said Mr Chamberlain. Used recently at Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Victoria Damiani, Director of Business Development, commented on the benefits the app can bring event organisers. “We’re delighted to be able to offer a free event app to our customers who host their event at our hotel. We’ve found that people increasingly expect to be able to use their smart phones at events to obtain key information, and to be able to offer this service free of charge will be a real advantage to event planners who are looking for new cost effective ways to collaborate with their attendees,” said Ms Damiani. Every event planners must-have event app Cumulus is a must-have app designed specifically for meetings and events. It is easily accessible on the go so all you need is an internet-enable device such as a Smartphone or tablet. On top of its simplicity is the design flexibility. Cumulus can be designed to mirror your own branding, whilst also deciding which 10 features and integrations you’d like included such as venue details, agendas/session details, speaker bios, external links, downloadable documents, attendee lists, bulletins/updates, transport information, Find out more about Cumulus Note: At time of releasing this story, Cumulus was known as Event Briefcase. Since the rebranding of Staging Connections in 2018, Event Briefcase is now referred to as Cumulus. ... Read More

Hollywood glamour comes to Sydney for annual awards night

Encore delivered a spectacular Hollywood Night theme for the Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts annual Hotel of the Year Awards gala dinner held in their ballroom, complete with elegant décor and lavish surroundings. The lobby welcomed guests, and prepared them for the excitement that lay ahead with two curved black lampstand chandeliers dripping with black crystals, the focal point upon entry. Adding Hollywood glamour with event styling and centerpieces Exuding luxury, elegance and style, the Ballroom was decked out in black and gold soft furnishings to achieve maximum impact. Oval tables were laden with plush finishes; black table cloths, gold satin tie-back chair covers and a tall and short wrought iron gold candleholder sat as the centrepiece on each table, filled with flowering red orchids. Decorative panels sat on either side of the ballroom, and these were lit up in bright lights to further emphasise the ‘tinsel town’ event theme. Designing a simple, yet impactful Hollywood awards stage With the award winners the real heroes of the event, the stage design needed to draw the attendees’ eyes from their luxury surroundings to the front of the room. To do this and create real impact, the Encore styling and design team used one of their most versatile products, an illuminated Event Backdrop with a customised graphic print, alongside two gold Hollywood Showbiz statues. It's not a Hollywood event without social media buzz! Wanting to get maximum engagement from the audience, and spread the messages of the event further, Event Feed was utilised to enable attendees post photos to Instagram and tweets on Twitter using the event hashtag. These were displayed in real time across the large screens around the ballroom. Of the 250 attendees, 50 photos were posted to Instagram and the tweets reached a further potential audience of 183. The Encore AV team went to work producing double projection graphics and moving lights shaped with gobos. The room was illuminated with Colourblaze, a high-performance linear LED fixture for washing large areas with far reaching, rich, saturated colours added to the theming. Clear audio for the band up on stage was managed seamlessly, ensuring everyone got into the swing of things. What did the client say? Guests enjoyed being transported to tinsel town for their night in the spotlight. Encore received lots of praise for their creative yet seamless operation: “The Encore team were wonderful to work with. They were professional and courteous making me very confident that the event was going to be a success. The team were attentive and creative making our awards night better than we could have ever imagined!” “The Event was a resounding success! Encore has done it again and how! From the perfect re-creation of a Black Tie Awards themed event to the expertly directed lights, sounds and display production. Thank you so much to everyone at Encore for an unforgettable evening.” Robert Belicena, Director of Events Management, Shangri-La Sydney Partner with leading event services company for your awards night There's a lot that goes into creating an unforgettable awards night. As all of your most important stakeholders are in the room and with so many individual elements, you’ll need an experienced AV and event company specialised in delivering awards nights and gala dinners. Encore has been the name behind some of the largest and most technically demanding live events to hit Australian soil. Having been in the events business for over 30 years, our experienced team of technicians and event directors understand what it takes to deliver to this scale and profile. We only use brands we trust; we take a tailored approach to every brief using everything from the latest in AV, lighting and staging through to event styling and engaging digital and social services for events; and we work with you every step of the way so there’s no surprises. If you’re interesting in finding out what Encore can do for your event, get in touch with us today by calling 1800 209 099 or by completing our event enquiry form. ... Read More

Encore and venue partner MCG show off unique event technology

Showcasing our new partnership with venue partner Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and in-house hospitality provider Epicure, we delivered a unique event that demonstrated the evolution of the latest audio visual and technical services for events. On 8 July 2016, 150 event managers gathered at the Olympic Room at the MCG, for a fittingly-themed Olympic celebration of technology and its place in events. Encore contrasted the 1956 Olympics, which was staged at the MCG, against the 2016 Rio Olympics using projection, staging and multimedia techniques to delight attendees, showcasing how digital technology has evolved to engage and even interact with guests. Rob Meek, Project Manager – Melbourne, Encore Even Technologies, outlined the range of techniques his team used to achieve the special production. “We used projection mapping and staging techniques to highlight some of the key images and memorable moments from the 1956 games, which were illustrated by black and white images projected onto a kabuki screen and frosted window surfaces. When the kabuki reveal took place and the screen fell to the floor, it dramatically unveiled the colour, liveliness and style of the 2016 Rio Olympics with beautiful city vistas projected onto a large panoramic screen made up of hexagonal screens. This was the first time we had ever used hexagonal screen surfaces on the east coast of Australia. “Our objective was to showcase how far technology has come, and feature the endless opportunities the evolution of audio visual and technology brings to events. In addition, we installed a new rigging system and projected custom designed animations onto the arena windows with a glass adhesive frosted surface that certainly wowed the crowd!” said Mr Meek. Décor and styling supplied by Encore included centrepieces of single silver candlesticks similar to the original 1956 torch contrasted with copper geometric frames featuring colourful florals on hexagonal bases, reflective of the Rio games. Tim Chapman, General Manager – Digital demonstrated how event organisers could use Event Poll and Event Feed (pictured left) to gain audience engagement. Guests were encouraged to use the hashtag #MCGShowcase and via Event Feed their posts were sent live to the MCG scoreboard and multiple screens around the room. Rebecca Harvey, ‎Executive Manager Hospitality at Melbourne Cricket Club was proud to demonstrate the potential for events at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. “It was incredible to see how digital event services can bring an event to life. The colourful projections onto the hexagonal screens were simply stunning and combined with the bright lighting, floral centrepieces and delicious cuisine by Epicure, made for a great night. The MCG is such a versatile venue for a range of events and it is exciting with Encore as our new in-house partner to be able to create stunning events that combine elite technology with a range of other world-class services at the home of sporting history, the MCG,” said Ms Harvey. Discover our Event Services See our recent work Find a Encore office near you If you are interested in finding out what Encore can do for your next event, please get in touch by either calling 1800 209 099 or sending an online enquiry. ... Read More

How to create event lighting that communicates, inspires and delights

It goes without saying that lighting is a crucial element of most events. Whether it’s on a grand scale, like the projections we see at Sydney’s Vivid festival, or a smaller-scale event with lighting illuminations in a foyer, it’s an artful practice – and when done well, can really take your event to the next level. Light can immediately change the space it’s used in. An everyday location can be transformed into an attention-grabbing canvas that helps deliver your message. As a medium, light can be affordable and flexible enough to use for all events. Lighting equipment can be as simple as battery driven, wirelessly controlled fixtures that project the colour of your brand, or as complex as the incredibly powerful computer-controlled projectors that map video onto any conceivable surface, making it look 3D. Lighting design starts with you When we encounter something that surprises us, we’re instantly engaged – and we react. We might react by discussing what we saw with the nearest person, taking pictures to share on social media, and asking questions. Imagine what that can mean for your customers, staff, friends or family? Evoking such a reaction in an audience is a great emotional experience for your event. Colours, shapes, symbols, movement, images and video are all tools that can be used to help you do just that. Effective lighting can be the simplest A technically simple lighting activation can be as straightforward as illuminating a space or building in a single or multiple colours. And it can still make an impact, or tell a story. Our Tasmanian team has been involved in many indoor and outdoor activations of this kind, including lighting the exterior of government buildings yellow for Road Safety Awareness Week (pictured top left), and performance venues in red to reflect the theme and spirit of the Dark Mofo winter arts festival (pictured middle left). To pay our respect in the wake of the Paris Attacks, our Canberra team worked with the Australian Government to illuminate Australia's Parliament House in red, white and blue, to reflect the French flag (pictured bottom left). How do you illuminate buildings? Using the Tasmanian Road Safety Awareness Week as an example of lighting buildings, we used nine high-powered 500watt HUI Cyclonic flood light with a yellow gel cover to illuminate Launceston Town Hall. Physically, they’re long rectangular bars, which sit on the ground and project up. These usually contain many light sources, such as dozens of high-powered LEDs. Did you know...These specialised lighting fixtures for outdoor events or architectural lighting are weatherproofed, and are given an industry standard IP (International Protection) rating that defines the conditions they can safely operate in. An IP rating of IP65 is the most common for safe outdoor use, where the ‘6’ means the fixture is completely protected, and ‘5’ means it’s so well protected from water that water jets can be projected at it with no damage. We can program outdoor building illuminations on an electrical timer to turn on and off as needed, saving costs on technical staff as they don’t need to be there. For ‘one-night-only’ events, a lot of the smaller fixtures we use are battery powered and can be controlled wirelessly, meaning we avoid time consuming and tricky cable runs. If illuminations are set to run over multiple dates, we’ll discuss a number of technical matters with venue and lighting staff – and these include safe access to and provision of adequate power, security for fixtures when there’s no staff present, and safe public access in and around the fixture’s location. Putting your brand in the spotlight: Gobos The next tool in a creative lighting designer’s kit is the Gobo. The name is basically short for ‘Goes Between’ or ‘Goes Before Optics’, and it’s essentially any object that is placed in a lighting fixture between the light source and its optical path to change the output you see in a projection. Gobos are great for communicating your brand or event message in an eye-catching way. Depending on their design they can also be used to help theme an event. What you need to know about Gobos The first Gobos were actually just perforated pieces of metal that technicians would use to create ‘break up’ or dappled light effects. These days, after a century of evolution, Gobos are now mostly made as glass discs. They generally come in lights with a few interesting textures – but importantly, they can be custom made for specific jobs. Personalised Gobos tend to be the most popular, since it can be used to project logos, images, or text. Custom made Gobos are quite affordable, which means an organisation can get great value from having their logo, message or related images etched on them to use at multiple events. We find that the most common way people use a Gobo is to project their logo. There are many ways to do this, whether it’s to stay static on walls or objects, move across a surface in a repeating pattern, or to blow up to a huge proportion on stage. Gobos can be used in a wide range of lighting fixtures, from tiny portable Gobo projectors that can project a static image, right up to extremely powerful moving head fixtures that can be used to animate, change colours and use multiple Gobos on the fly. How to use a gobo for your event: Gobos go big for Adelaide Football Club As the official audio visual partner to the Adelaide Football Club, Staging Connections has helped them create highly impactful match-day experiences utilising cutting-edge AV in a creative way. As the ultimate call-to-arms, we projected the Adelaide Crows’ logo and their tagline ‘We Fly As One’, across iconic Adelaide buildings, the Adelaide Oval and it's surrounding footpath and even trees. We took up several positions in and around Adelaide Oval. The lighting team got to work assembling a combination of extremely bright Clay Paky Mythos, Martin MAC Viper and Martin MAC Quantum Profile LED source moving head fixtures. The iconic facade of the Adelaide Festival Centre was transformed by a giant Adelaide Crows logo, projected from over 400-metres away by the Clay Paky Mythos. We also had permission from the neighbouring InterContinental Hotel to use their building as a projection site. For the 2016 Toyota AFL Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round in May, the Club wanted to celebrate by providing a unique and special pre-game segment using projections of current Indigenous players onto the roof of the Adelaide Oval grandstands. In what was a first for the Adelaide Football Club, the stadium lights were switched off before the game which allowed the player projections to shine whilst a Welcome to Country and other entertainment celebrated the Indigenous Round. Using gobo lighting projection was the simplest and safest way to ensure a great outcome but also working in with the logistics on ground prior to an important AFL match. Each light was protected from the weather in inflatable domes on individual trolleys to ensure a speedy exit prior to kick off. The full-colour images of the players projected onto the Oval’s grandstand roofs were made possible by a newer Gobo manufacturing technique that uses patented ‘thin film’ technology. This means any photographic image can be transferred onto the glass, and any lighting fixture that can take a custom Gobo and produce white light can project a full colour image. Until recently, this sort of full colour effect was only possible with video projectors, which are more costly to deploy and operate. Did you know...Outdoor activations of this scale and brightness require multiple control positions with lighting desks and operators, coordination with property owners, and custom creation of media, as well as the basic issues of security, weatherproofing, power and access. It’s not just a matter of pointing lights in the right direction and hoping for the best - specialist knowledge and consultation is especially important when using high-powered lighting fixtures outside. As an example of the level of detail and planning that went into this project, the Crows activation used a ‘Bat Signal’- like logo projection onto the cityscape and into the air. To do this, we needed approval from CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) to make sure that light wouldn’t affect any flights. Now, that’s a big scale lighting project. Lighting projections as an artform: Projection mapping If you have a creative vision for your event that goes beyond colour and static image, your lighting activation will move into the intricate world of projection mapping. We’re all familiar with it, again thanks to Sydney’s Vivid and other international festivals, as well as countless viral videos and larger budget events. Any kind of video can be created and projected onto any surface. It could be as simple as a screen, or as complex as a moving vehicle. There are no limits to what is possible creatively with projection mapping. The only limits you have are time, budget, and practical considerations like rigging and power access. We can provide full-service projection mapping – from creative consultation, to content creation, right through to delivery. We had the chance to show this off at the Amway Taiwan Leadership Gala Dinner in Sydney’s newest (and largest) event space, The Cutaway at Barangaroo Headland Park. The Cutaway is named for the vast sandstone wall that flanks the enormous underground space, standing over three stories tall. Amway chose the venue specifically because of this feature, and wanted to project video onto as much of it as possible. Using creative lighting for a gala dinner: Amway Taiwan Staging Connections’ in-house multimedia team created all of the content for the projections, matching the visuals to the themes of the live entertainment. Australian Aboriginal art and iconic Australian themes such as desert and beach, the red of the earth, and the white of the surf were all incorporated into spectacular video that covered 53 horizontal and 13 vertical metres of the sandstone. We used ten 26K Barco projectors to cover the wall, coordinated by Dataton’s Watchout software to create one connected image. And 18 more projectors helped cover the opposite concrete wall, with an additional two at each end of the venue, to completely immerse the venue in video. 3D Projection mapping for a product launch The Staging Connections Melbourne team embarked on a path to take members of the audience on a journey from the alien planet to our own, through digital mediums, projection, pyrotechnics, actors and lighting. This event required the collaboration between the client's 3D animation content with our 3D projection design, 3D mapping and reform. The design was precisely plotted in 3D software and 11 projectors were driven by 14 Watchout PCs onto a set space that canvassed a 22m-wide screen, full-size caravan model and floor space surrounding the area. Together with the 3D animated projection map and surround sound, time code generated cues for both stunt actors and pyrotechnics completed a theatrical experience. Event Profile: 3D Projection Mapping from Staging Connections on Vimeo. Lighting that moves: Kinetic lighting Event lighting doesn't always have to be fixed. Our Melbourne team developed a unique moving lighting installation for the 2015 Million Dollar Lunch fundraising event. It is one of the most star-studded charity events in the Australian calendar and each year the Children's Cancer Foundation look to make it bigger and better. To fit in with the overarching theme of kaleidoscope illuminated glowing spheres were flown off several trusses through the Palladium Ballroom and positioned in an arrangement near the entrance that boasted colour, vibrance and lent itself to the ideologies of a kaleidoscope. This piece was used to change the colour scheme and add drama to the event. The glowing Yo-Yo LED balls moved on a vertical axis via motorised controllers programmed via our primary control system from our GrandMA desk to align the internal LED’s with a sequencing colour changing that created a kinetic chandelier piece unlike anything else. The movement of each LED sphere was converted from “Movement in Metres” to DMX values and sent back to the GrandMA which allowed for isolated control of speed and direction and where it was then merged with the colours being triggered from the GrandMA and aligned with the onscreen vision content. Watch the Million Dollar Lunch Event Video below. Use creative lighting for your event Any live event in any venue, indoor or outdoor, can inspire, delight and inform your audience through the well-thought out and creative application of light. Get in touch with us by calling 1800 209 099 or by sending an event enquiry to explore how we can take your event further with spectacular lighting and projection that works with your budget and message. The possibilities are illuminating. ... Read More

Designing Event Media Walls

From glamorous red carpet photo opportunities to bold and eye-catching backdrops, media walls or photo walls are essential to any major sponsored event. A well designed media wall can become a great marketing tool – it lets you brand your event, enhance your event’s theme, encourage photo opportunities, and importantly promote the sponsors with ease. And it can do all this without detracting from your event and guests. Sounds simple right? Wrong. From too many logos to unflattering lighting and misplaced designs, Encore Event Technologies has been in the game long enough to know what a good and bad media wall looks like. With the potential for so many eyeballs on the finished photos, it’s essential to your event and your sponsors ROI that you get it right. Our team of event experts has put their heads together to devise a list of Do’s & Don’t's for a winning media wall formula. From printing and set-up right through to design and execution on event day, from glamorous red carpet photo opportunities to bold and eye-catching backdrops, media walls or photo walls are essential to any major sponsored event. A well designed media wall can become a great marketing tool it lets you brand your event, enhance your event's theme, encourage photo opportunities, and importantly promote the sponsors with ease. And it can do all this without detracting from your event and guests. Sounds simple right? Wrong. From too many logos to unflattering lighting and misplaced designs, Encore Event Technologies has been in the game long enough to know what a good and bad media wall looks like. With the potential for so many eyeballs on the finished photos, it’s essential to your event and your sponsors ROI that you get it right. The DO’s Stick to the basics and keep your media wall simple Media walls should be designed to create a great first impression, but there’s no need for them to steal the show from your awards night, gala dinner or branded event. The key purpose of any media backdrop or photo wall is to brand your event and provide exposure to your event’s sponsors. Avoid over-complicating your media wall’s design with too many logos or repetitions, and steer clear of busy visuals or distracting graphics. Less is definitely more! At its most basic design, a solid white background with fewer than 4 brand / sponsor logos repeated is usually best for a media wall. Pictured: A simple media wall design with few logos repeated is best. Use media backdrops to put the spotlight on your brand and sponsors When you’re printing brand logos onto your media wall, double-check you’re providing the correct file size and format for your media wall’s dimensions. JPEGs aren’t always the best solution, and the higher file size resolution, the better. Be sure to check that yours and your sponsor’s logos are current too, it only takes an email or phone call. If you’re using this to draw attention to your brands, make sure you get it right. Location, location, location! Be sure to install the media wall either at the entrance or in a spot that receives a lot of foot traffic to ensure you capture everyone as they enter, or have a spare minute. Photo walls or media backdrops work well with a red carpet and bollards to direct your audience where to go. Your media backdrop can also be a great centerpiece to signal the entrance of your gala dinner or awards night. Position your media backdrop carefully If you’re not using an internally lit Event Backdrop, make sure there’s adequate light in addition to the photographer’s flash. Your media wall’s life will extend much longer than the event itself through photography - so make it count! If your media wall is being positioned against a wall, be sure to consider proper backing. It’s important that every feature of your event is installed correctly and has all the safety enhancements and fixture needed. If your media wall is self-standing, such as an Event Backdrop, don’t forget to leave sand bags on the floor for safety and stability. Pictured: A styled media wall created using fleur panels with truss uplights along the bottom with additional soft white light stands. Go the extra mile for your event with a styled media wall for your gala dinner or awards night If you’re looking for a media wall that leaves a lasting impression, enhance your theming with a styled media wall. Consider using textural elements such as fake grass, vertical gardens, corrugated iron for an industrial / outback look or fleur screens. If you're heading down this route be sure to liaise with your audio visual company to devise an alternate solution, such as lighting, to display your brand logos. Pictured: An Event Backdrop fully covered in fake plants to enhance the 'Vanity Fair' theme of the gala dinner. Get prop happy! If it suits the purpose of your event, such as a gala dinner or awards night, try adding some fun props too. This can help camera-shy people get in character and makes for a unique photo op. People will also be more likely to share photos on social media if they are in character, which amplifies your brand’s exposure online. Pictured: A 'Hogwarts' themed media / photo wall area complete with styled props. Make your media backdrop social media friendly If you’re looking to maximise the reach of your event and engagement in the room, try using an event social media wall like Event Feed, which pulls all public social posts using your event hashtag and displays them live on screen after moderation. It’s a great way to get people engaged, start conversation and encourage photo taking and social uploading, extending the longevity of your event and brand messaging. Get the most out of your media wall / photo wall and use a cameraman who has the technology to post straight to Instagram. THE DONT’s Avoid unflattering lighting Event lighting is often just as important as your media wall. Don’t project blue light onto your media wall as it’s very unflattering and can distort faces in photos. We recommend using a soft white light instead – it’s the safe option and clearly captures the talent. It’s also a good idea to avoid using down lights, as they cast unflattering shadows over people’s faces. Consider using truss uplights along the bottom of your media wall, which casts a nice light on your event’s logos making them stand out. For best lighting results, we recommend using Event Backdrop – a digitally printed backdrop available in a range of sizes and can be internally lit, which makes for maximum impact on your branding. Pictured: A themed Event Backdrop with internal lighting making it the perfect solution for a branded media wall. Limit unwanted photobombs with careful design consideration Consider the placement of any printed people, animal or objects onto your photo walls too as these can turn up in unexpected places when looking at the pictures, and often make for embarrassing (or hilarious) photobombs. You wouldn’t want this happening to the company CEO. Don’t leave your media wall until the last minute If it’s being printed, provide your supplier with the multimedia files at least 4 weeks before the event so you can see the mock up, approve a print test, and go through print and delivery with enough time to spare for changes in between. Be prepared for the unexpected Your media wall may also be set up in a different spot to what you planned, so consider possible power points, lighting, styling and anything else you may need for an alternate location. This may mean it needs to be installed at a different time, so ensure the set up is included in your run sheet. Any reputable AV company should be prepared for instances like this, but it's always safe to have the 'what if' conversation to make sure all bases are covered. Pictured: A simple media wall design on pull-up banners with purple velvet draping. Partner with experienced events specialists you can count on Looking for further ideas for your media wall or how to style your next awards night or gala dinner? Encore Event Technologies are audio visual production and events experts. Get in touch with us by calling 1800 209 099 or by sending an event enquiry to explore how we can take your event further. ... Read More

New event products showcased at QHA Awards 2016

The Queensland Hotels Association (QHA) Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner and Presentation was held at the Great Hall at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) on Wednesday 28 September, 2016. This is the local events and hospitality industry night of nights, with 1,000 guests flocking to this annual awards event. The purpose of the evening is to recognise the State’s best pubs, hotels and hoteliers. Encore Event Technologies (previously Staging Connections) was engaged as the preferred supplier, once again, to deliver this VIP event and provide production and styling services, in conjunction with the BCEC technical team. The Event Brief To deliver a spectacular awards night with a celebratory atmosphere to recognise the award winners and finalists. The main focus is to create a stunning stage environment, to be brought to life with engaging multimedia content. As with every event we work on consecutively, one of the biggest challenges, yet most exciting part, is developing an event solution that continually raises the bar from previous years. Delivering a complete event services solution Working in conjunction with the BCEC in-house AV team, Encore delivered a total event production solution. From designing the event look, on-screen content creation, set design, production run sheets and everything in between. Pictured: The event setting guests were greeted with upon entering the QHA Awards 2016. Upon arrival, guests were ushered along a red carpet adding a touch of glamour to the awards night. At the end of the red carpet lived a large projection of the QHA logo using a gobo. This was a great branding device and to set the scene for the awards night to follow. One of the room hero features of the awards night was a suspended circular truss in the middle of the room. This set feature was strategically placed to fill the large ceiling void whilst also making the expansive room feel smaller, thus making the guests positioned at the back of the room feel closer to the stage set. Throughout the night, different images were projected onto the canvas providing a spectacular point of interest. An impressive 20m wide curved screen filled the awards stage and was flanked either side by our new textured Fleur Panels. This year's set design was purposely simple, clean and bold to provide the perfect canvas to project the awards night multimedia content onto. The sheer size of the curved screen provided a cinematic experience, perfect for a venue of this size. As part of our multimedia production, our in-house designers created custom screen content to fit the wide screen which included sponsor and award category stings. Pictured: Encore designed the stage set using a 20m wide curved screen, flanked either side with textured fleur panels. A circular truss was rigged to the ceiling and projected onto throughout the evening. This year we decided to create a textural media wall using our new Fleur Panels. The Fleur Panels were rigged from the floor and stood an impressive 2.5m tall. Beautiful coloured lights were projected across the wall when guests and award winners weren't posing for photos, creating a nice point of interest along the venue wall. Pictured: The media wall was created using the fleur panels and truss uplights. Our truss lecterns are simple in design and provided a stylistic, industrial effect to complete and compliment the stage set for the awards night. Pictured: Left: Simple table styling to not distract from the impressive set design elements. Right: Encore's new truss lectern. Guests were treated to a host of live entertainment acts including Phoenix Fire Tribe, roving stilt walkers, and lastly Casey Barnes and the Kick Band. The Event Outcome "Professional. Collaborative and respectful of our ideas and suggestions. The end result is the big test – and we were once again delighted with the event." Keri Crompton, Partnerships & Events Manager, Queensland Hotels Association Partner with the leading event services company for your awards night Encore has been the name behind some of the biggest and impressive awards nights since 1986. Renowned for delivering innovative and engaging awards night, we are the trusted events partner you can count on. With Australia's largest range of event services, we can offer a total event production solution using audio visual, lighting, staging and set design, styling, multimedia production and even webcasting, social media, apps and more. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure your event is exactly how you imagined and so much more. If you are interested in exploring your event's potential please get in touch with us today by calling 1800 209 099 or by sending an online event enquiry. ... Read More

How to engage the body and mind for unforgettable events

The clever scientists at Yale University told us deliberately engaging all five senses at events has the ability to grasp attention, increase recall, and inspire conversation thus creating a truly memorable experience. This is particularly important at conferences or meetings where it can be challenging to keep your delegates' attention throughout the entire event. Similarly, at exhibitions, mass product launch events or buying roadshows, you need your product or service to cut through all the noise and stand-out against competitors. Here are ways smart event planners are tapping into sensory experiences to deliver effective events. Sight: Use captivating visual content to stimulate the sense of sight Lighting can transform a plain stage into a dynamic environment. It can control the mood of a room, hype up its energy, add drama to a keynote speaker coming on stage and create an event-atmosphere that’s both striking and unforgettable. Use visual content to stimulate the sense of sight. Start your gala dinner with a stunning multimedia presentation to ensure everyone remembers why they’re in the room and primed for what’s coming. For example, a charity fundraiser presenting videos of people who have really benefitted from donations or an awards night with highlights of sporting achievements from the past year. Themed events can use projection onto walls and surfaces to set the scene and immerse attendees. Set up the perfect environment for taking photos at your event using an event backdrop communicating your brand or message and then encourage them to post on social media and display on screens in the room. Sound: Create a memorable atmosphere with clever music and sound effects We all have songs that take us back to a memory, emotion or time and place. Nothing is more pleasant than having the right kind of sounds or music at an event. You want to create the perfect mood for your attendees – not irritate them, make them yell or struggle to hear. Whether it’s creating an atmosphere, delivering a polished onstage interview, or a professional multimedia presentation, perfectly balanced audio is vital for a successful event. Imagine if the winner of your award couldn’t hear they’d won or if microphone feedback made your keynote speaker inaudible! Taste: Tantalise attendees' taste buds with strategic catering How do we leave a pleasurable taste in the mouth of our attendees (literally and figuratively)? We all remember a really fantastic meal, or a really terrible one. The food you present can be just as much a part of your event theme as all the other elements. Think modern Australian for an international sales incentive; French delicacies for a burlesque theme; ribs and burgers are perfect for a taste of the Wild West and noodles and Asian delights for a Chinese New Year theme. More practically, many attendees have a dietary preference, and making sure they are well taken care of shows you really care. Attendees remember that. Smell: Don't underestimate the power of smell at events Smell is not to be sniffed at, it is an important and often overlooked element. The smell of chlorine reminds you of childhood summers by the pool. A familiar perfume. A new car smell...! Smells at your event venue can be the one thing that makes or breaks it. Imagine if you stepped into a conference where the venue had just been refurbished and you were overcome by the smell or paint or carpet glue. That would be a sensory overload and not a good thing for an attendee to experience. Scientists tell us our brains react to smell before anything else. Good retailers understand this fact. It improves our perception of a product’s quality and encourages customers to linger a little bit longer, thereby increasing interactions with the product. Scent can really enhance and event, think Arabian Nights, the scent of pine and wood for an enchanted forest, delicious spices for Bollywood or the smell of salty sea air for an Underwater theme. Touch: Textures, interactivity, activities at events Of course there are many ways you can introduce a sense of touch, such as tactile styling elements, textured decorative panels, interactive technologies or even physical activities. Think about how the visual aspects of the props, decor, furniture and other physical objects at your event and how they will make it memorable. Touching something creates a real connection. And that’s where touchable technology comes in. First made available in smartphones, the trend for ultra-responsive surfaces has accelerated and can now be incorporated into events. Encore offer services that allow for interaction during your exhibition or event like touch screens and Touch Kiosk technology. You can use these touch screens for presentations or quizzes, encouraging your guests to participate and get actively involved. The sense of touch is particularly important for attendees which are Kinesthetic learners - who actually need to physically do or touch the activity to learn it. From textural styling elements to the latest in interactive technology - there are a myriad of ways to engage your attendees' sense of touch at events. Use an expert AV & event services company Successful events turn attendees to advocates. Studies show engaging all five senses creates a deeper connection and makes the experience memorable. The hardest part is continually coming up with new ways to engage the senses at events, whilst also keeping up with event trends. This is where an experienced AV and event services company comes in. From the latest AV techniques, total event design, theming, content and event technology - Encore is the one provider you can count on to continually deliver impactful events year after year. Our passion and commitment to the events industry motivates our teams to keep pushing creative and technological boundaries to make our events unforgettable. Let's not waste another precious planning minute, speak to an Encore representative today by sending an online enquiry. ... Read More