Events

Encore deliver the first VIP D + I Conference Online

The Encore team devised an innovative solution for the Department of Defence to move their annual event the D + I Conference to a hybrid event at the National Convention Centre Canberra. The event was attended in-person by Defence senior leadership, including the Chief of the Defence Force and Secretary of Defence, plus 1,000 online … Read More

Hybrid Conference

How to deliver a successful hybrid Sales Kick-Off event

As we look forward to 2021, it’s time to start planning for sales kick-offs. In a period where we’ve seen events delayed or cancelled, sales kick-offs are one event type that can’t be delayed and will be essential to driving business success as we recover from the pandemic-driven recession. Current restrictions require that we forward ... Read More

Are you at risk of a public security breach?

Simple ways to protect your business and customer personal information from going into the wrong hands We’re now all used to being asked to check-in when we enter a venue, restaurant or club. Mostly the processes have upgraded from a clipboard, contact sheet and pen to scanning a QR code and entering our details via our mobile phone. However the electronic systems vary greatly and security is a grave concern when venues are using a system that might not have been effectively vetted and investigated in terms of data handling and security. The potential for event organisers and venues or their check-in technology providers to mismanage, mishandle or lose data in breaches or leaks has the potential to put the people attending at risk. Individuals’ personal contact information is extremely sensitive, and it is important for strict measures to be put in place to ensure that data is handled in accordance with the data protection regulations. Realistically, the obligation will be on event organisers and venues to make sure the information doesn’t leak, or get misused. Using a cheap or free supplier for these services may increase the risk as these service suppliers may not have the systems, procedure or data handling processes to mean they are 100% protected. Philip Gardner, CIO for Encore commented, “There are several actions event organisers and venues can take to mitigate risk when undertaking event check-in and facilitating contact tracing, and they do not need to be overly expensive or time-consuming. At the very least you should know where the data is being stored and how it is being secured.” “It is vital that event organisers and venues have a proper data protection officer/administrator in place to ensure they are responsible not only for the collection and storage of data, but also after a pre-determined (mandated in each State) number of days secure deletion of all personal information.” Encore’s Contactless Check-In system is fully ISO data security compliant and Encore can manage the controls on a event organiser’s or venue’s behalf. It has the following accreditations: ISO 27001 SOC 1 and SOC 2/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402 (Formerly SAS 70 Type II) PCI Level 1 FISMA Moderate Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) It is hosted and managed within Amazon’s secure data centres. They continually manage risk and undergo recurring assessments to ensure compliance with industry standards. Find out more about Contactless Check-In ... Read More

A Message from President and CEO Ben Erwin

Ben Erwin, President and CEO of PSAV/Encore, provides his perspective on the current state of the events industry due to COVID-19, the impact to our company, the strategic adjustments we have taken, and his vision for the future as our new CEO. ... Read More

PSAV® Announces Leadership Transition

PSAV, a leader in global event production, today announced that Ben Erwin has been named Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, and will maintain his current title as President. In his new role, Erwin will be responsible for driving the strategic direction of the Company and overseeing the execution of its business plan. This leadership transition occurs as PSAV continues to take a leading role in helping its customers adjust to the current environment of the meeting and events industry. Erwin succeeds Mike Mcllwain, who has served as CEO since 2011. “I am honored to assume the role of CEO during this pivotal time,” Erwin said. “We are focused on positioning PSAV for a return to growth and long-term success as we continue to provide creative solutions to our customers and venue partners.” Erwin continued, “On behalf of the entire team, I want to thank Mike for all he has done for PSAV during his tenure and, personally, for his mentorship and guidance to help me prepare for this role. His impact will continue to be felt by our organization long after his formal departure from the business.” “Ben has been an important partner in supporting PSAV’s growth over the last five years, and he has the right combination of leadership skills and financial and operational acumen to guide the Company well into the future,” Mcllwain added. “Along with our full Board, I am confident in his ability to step seamlessly into the CEO role and build on our more than 80-year history of helping to bring unforgettable events to life.” About Ben Erwin Erwin was named PSAV President in October 2018. In that role, he was responsible for global operations, sales and marketing, IT and product management. Erwin was hired in 2015 as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer where he was responsible for global accounting, treasury, financial planning and analysis, tax and product management. Before joining PSAV, he served as Chief Financial Officer for TestAmerica Laboratories, where he led all accounting, finance, treasury, information technology and legal functions. Prior to 2011, he served as SVP Corporate Development for Cornell Companies, where he managed corporate strategy, financial planning and analysis, public market capital transactions, and investor relations. Erwin earned bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Political Science from Wake Forest University. He is currently serving on the board of directors for both PCMA and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). SCHILLER PARK, Ill. – August 24, 2020 ... Read More

PSAV® Announces Leadership Transition

PSAV, a leader in global event production, today announced that Ben Erwin has been named Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, and will maintain his current title as President. In his new role, Erwin will be responsible for driving the strategic direction of the Company and overseeing the execution of its business plan. This leadership transition occurs as PSAV continues to take a leading role in helping its customers adjust to the current environment of the meeting and events industry. Erwin succeeds Mike Mcllwain, who has served as CEO since 2011. “I am honored to assume the role of CEO during this pivotal time,” Erwin said. “We are focused on positioning PSAV for a return to growth and long-term success as we continue to provide creative solutions to our customers and venue partners.” Erwin continued, “On behalf of the entire team, I want to thank Mike for all he has done for PSAV during his tenure and, personally, for his mentorship and guidance to help me prepare for this role. His impact will continue to be felt by our organization long after his formal departure from the business.” “Ben has been an important partner in supporting PSAV’s growth over the last five years, and he has the right combination of leadership skills and financial and operational acumen to guide the Company well into the future,” Mcllwain added. “Along with our full Board, I am confident in his ability to step seamlessly into the CEO role and build on our more than 80-year history of helping to bring unforgettable events to life.” About Ben Erwin Erwin was named PSAV President in October 2018. In that role, he was responsible for global operations, sales and marketing, IT and product management. Erwin was hired in 2015 as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer where he was responsible for global accounting, treasury, financial planning and analysis, tax and product management. Before joining PSAV, he served as Chief Financial Officer for TestAmerica Laboratories, where he led all accounting, finance, treasury, information technology and legal functions. Prior to 2011, he served as SVP Corporate Development for Cornell Companies, where he managed corporate strategy, financial planning and analysis, public market capital transactions, and investor relations. Erwin earned bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Political Science from Wake Forest University. He is currently serving on the board of directors for both PCMA and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). SCHILLER PARK, Ill. – August 24, 2020 ... Read More

10 Tips to Present Professionally From Home

We’re all getting used to working from home, and that includes being a part of virtual events and giving virtual presentations. Connecting and inspiring people has never been more important, and at Encore, we want your presenters’ message to be heard loud and clear. While a professional recording studio environment is ideal, there’s a lot that you can do to improve what you already have at home. So next time you’re ‘live from the living room’ or arranging a virtual meeting, here are some helpful tips to ensure you’re maximizing the impact of your message. If you're planning an event with speakers who'll be presenting remotely, we recommend saving our 'Fail-Safe Tips' recap at the bottom and running them through it. 1. PLATFORM PLANNING BASICS When planning an online event or presentation from home there are a few useful strategies to consider for helping everything run smoothly. Using templated slides for introductory information like contact information and employing a script or ‘run of show’ document are two such options. Deciding in advance how to handle Q&A will help you avoid attendees talking over one another. A text or chat only option works well for large groups, while moderator selected unmuting is an alternative for smaller groups. When the day of your event rolls around nominate someone to help get the audience properly connected by answering chat messages. You could even have some pre-canned answers to common questions ready so they can be cut and pasted into the chat box. It can also help to have someone keeping time and remind presenters to stick to their window. 2. OPTIMISE YOUR HOME INTERNET Give your Wi-Fi router space to breath by putting it in ‘free space’ and not in a TV cabinet or hidden behind the couch. Make sure to check and tighten all cords and connections, then turn off other internet devices around the house including tablets and phones, video game systems, smart TVs and streaming devices. Maximise your internet connection reliability by going wired from your router to your laptop or if you have to use Wi-Fi close out all the other apps on your laptop and try to use 5GHz. Wi-Fi typically works best when you’re placed 1.5 – 3 meters from the router. Measure your internet bandwidth to check latency, upload and download speed and if your internet connection is poor, you can chat with a sales consultant to see what alternative internet solutions are available. 3. LIMIT DISTRACTIONS When choosing the ideal location to present from at home, select a quiet space away from distractions and away from others. Distraction is the number one killer of concentration and engagement, so put a “Quiet Please” sign on the door to the presentation room to avoid unwanted visitors. Small children and pets may want to sit this one out! During your presentation be mindful of distracting noises like rustling piles of paper, drumming fingers, squeaky chairs, mobile phone alerts, dogs barking and typing. 4. PRESENT YOUR BEST VIRTUAL SELF Once you’ve successfully removed potential background distractions, all eyes will now be on you! With that in mind, dress appropriately and professionally, so that your outfit does not become more memorable than your presentation. Avoid clothing with sequins, glitter or tiny stripes as they have the potential to flare light on camera, and obviously it’s not the time to wear loose, gaping shirts or entirely forget your pants. When presenting always look at and speak to the camera, not the screen. Have good posture and try not to slouch when sitting. You could even try standing up during your presentation to mimic presenting on a stage but do minimise unnecessary movement as it can be distracting to the viewer. 5. BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP! There is nothing more frustrating than when the trusty technology we’re relying on has other plans for us! So, it’s important to have a few backup options up your sleeve during your presentation to keep things running smoothly. For example, you can use computer audio for your main connection but dial into the audio from your mobile phone (but keep it on mute) as a backup. Avoid calling via Wi-Fi to prevent dropouts and have a printed version of your slides with someone else ready to share in case your computer fails. Determine a plan for what will happen if you really can’t continue, such as having a backup presenter on the line, a change of topic at the ready or ending the session with the promise of a recording later on. Most viewers won’t even notice minor technical glitches so try not to draw attention to them. 6. FIND THE BEST LIGHTING If you’re presenting from home there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to ensuring adequate lighting. In order to light your whole face from the front avoid sitting with your back to a window or you could be cast in shadow. Natural light does have its advantages, but you want to avoid potential distractions windows can bring, like passers-by or pigeons pacing the windowsill. A good rule of thumb is consistency and uniformity – so no dark spots in the room and no powerful bulbs which leave people seeing spots. If you wear glasses, move the light or camera until the glare is out of your eyes. Turning down the brightness of your monitor will also reduce glare. Try testing your lighting with your virtual backdrop and either adjust the position of your lights or position yourself to maintain a good background. 7. TEST FOR CLEAR AUDIO The quality of your audio really can make or break your entire presentation. The last thing you want is to have listeners straining to hear what you’re saying over crackling or dropouts. Look for good quality headsets and microphones which help reduce noise and disruptive echoes. Always use the best mic setup you have available - a wireless phone headset is often the best performing option, followed by wired earphones or lastly your webcam mic. For multi-party conferences, mute your microphone when you’re not speaking to avoid adding any additional background noise. 8. CHECK THE CAMERA SET UP Whilst we aren’t aiming for a Spielberg quality production when presenting from home there are a few things you can keep in mind to optimise image quality. Always clean the camera lens and position webcams at eye level. If you use your hands a lot when you present, even consider framing the shot to include your hands. Choose a suitable professional background, but while virtual backgrounds are available on some conferencing platforms, be sure to test them first. Appearing as a floating head or having half your face melt into the backdrop might not be the effect you’re after so wear clothes that contrast well with the background colour. If you are using a mobile device for video calls avoid unflattering or distracting angles. We recommend using self-view mode to test the angle of your camera prior to the video conference. Obscure camera angles might work for a movie director, but in a meeting environment they can be very distracting! 9. MIND YOUR MANNERS Just like when a meeting face-to-face, it pays to have good meeting etiquette when hosting and presenting online. Be mindful of attendees in different time zones and schedule your meeting appropriately. If you’re recording the meeting, it’s polite to let everyone know ahead of time you are recording and remind them again when it commences. Most importantly everyone needs to hear and be heard, so ask attendees to introduce themselves at the beginning, and if on audio only, ask them to state their name before they speak so everyone knows who is talking. Keep your meeting professional and on track by asking attendees to hold their comments and questions until the end. This will help avoid distractions from people talking over one another. 10. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT This may seem obvious but like with any technology, testing and rehearsing will give you the best chance for success when presenting remotely or hosting a meeting via video conference from home. If you have multiple presenters, also remember to practice handovers. Fail-safe tips for presenting professionally from home - a summary Know your way around the platform you're using. If you plan on using interactive features such as screen sharing, Q & A make sure you know how to use them confidently. Dedicate your Wi-Fi to your presentation by turning off other devices and be mindful of peak-times when scheduling your meeting such as school holidays when everyone is likely to be online. Remove any possible distractions such as pets, family members, other devices, even switching off email notifications pop ups. Impressions online count so think about your outfit, eye contact and gestures. Have Plan B ready to go if anything fails such as audio, video, if your Wi-Fi drops out or you can't access your presentation online make sure you have it printed. Find the most flattering lighting and avoid any glares from your environment or screen at nighttime. Test the audio and video components for crystal clear sound and vision and optimise the camera angle. Apply the same meeting etiquette virtually as you do in-person - think about introductions, let them know if you're recording, pause for questions etc. Practice makes perfect! Whilst this sounds obvious you can never be too prepared. SPEAK TO THE VIRTUAL EVENT EXPERTS Encore’s reliable virtual and hybrid event solutions can help overcome the challenges of bringing remote presenters and participants together for your event. At home, at work or at a venue, Encore has a solution to suit your needs. Discover our range of Virtual and Hybrid Event Services or get in touch with us to discuss your event requirements today! ... Read More

Encore launches new contactless check-in service

With in-person events beginning to return, meeting organisers are proceeding cautiously and looking to their event services partner to deliver events safely and responsibly Encore recently partnered with the Canberra Region Tourism Leaders Forum Group and delivered their Tourism Advisory Forum for 90 attendees at the National Convention Centre Canberra (NCCC). The group were focussed on delivering their event while minimizing the risk of COVID-19 for industry delegates. The Encore team utilised a contactless, QR code scanning, check-in product to minimise infection risk from close contact with standard check-in systems. The contactless system delivered a fast and seamless experience for attendees while checking in, to avoid long lines and close contact with others. It required attendees to scan a QR code located on a poster or LCD screen at entrance points, which then linked to a landing page for entry confirmation. Attendees took on average just 10 seconds to register at multiple locations! The on-site team at the NCCC also delivered the event in accordance with Encore’s MeetSAFE guidelines which were developed with key areas of focus in mind: event design, room layout, traffic flow, technology enhancements, and cleaning guidelines. Carla Huetter, Director of Sales & Marketing at the NCCC commented, “We feel very strongly in collaborating with our industry partners to achieve the very best results for all delegates trialling new technologies. It’s an opportunity for true innovation as the meetings industry reshapes in the current circumstances”. “The check-in system gave us the piece of mind that attendees would be safely distancing, which was our priority. The technology was quick and easy to use and worked brilliantly. The team did a great job of delivering the event in a safe way giving our delegates the peace of mind that the venue was clean and all measures were in place for social distancing.” Stuart Buchanan, General Manager ACT at Encore commented, “Contactless Check-In worked perfectly. Not only was it effortless in execution, it also delivered in speed and ease of setup, while security on who was attending was easily monitored by our onsite team who acted as VIP concierges, monitoring via tablets. We could see who was onsite and who was yet to arrive.” ... Read More

Encore enables the UNHCR World Refugee Day to pivot to virtual

Encore delivered the annual United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees World Refugee Day gala, but this year’s event was different. It was delivered as a fully virtual event with 700 guests in attendance from their homes and was the first time the event has ever been delivered virtually. The event celebrates refugees and their stories and raises much needed funds for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Agency’s global operation against corona virus. The goal was to raise $150,000 for refugees in crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Bangladesh, and other regions in need around the world. It also celebrated the charity’s 20 years achievements and work for those in need. The evening saw a number of speakers including VIP Australian actors Cate Blanchett and Marta Dusseldorp accompanied by Japanese Australian journalist Kumi Taguchi as MC. The brief was to deliver a production quality webcast with the ability to bring in virtual speakers from around the world and enable audience members to interact with others at the event. After detailed discussions, Encore produced the event webcast from their production studio and utilised a green screen showing an abstract background of UNHCR branded to create a professional look for the MC’s virtual stage. From there Kumi Taguchi was able to introduce the event and speakers virtually from their location. Other speakers were live streamed from their homes or other locations. The Encore team created a webpage for attendees to sign in on and to watch the event via the webcast's live stream. The solution also included the ability for viewers to network with other attendees via a chat function and donate, plus customisable web skin designed using the UNHCR’s brand guide lines. The evening was a total success. All the individual elements and presentations worked together seamlessly and the fund raising goal of $150,000 was exceeded. Leigh Zimmermann, Events and Community Fundraising Manager with UNHCR Australia was delighted with the result, “The webcasting platform was fantastic! The team were amazing and made every request I had easy to achieve. They were so responsive. Cannot fault their support and delivery on this event. This online event was a brand new way of doing things for us and it was very nerve wracking hosting something online when we never had before. They helped in every way, allowed us to multiple tests, answered all questions and concerns. I would recommend and definitely use the platform again” Michael Magafa, National Sales Director at Encore commented, "As this was the first time the client had delivered the event virtually, it was vital that we supported them every step of the way and made them feel comfortable. The event was inspirational and genuinely created an atmosphere of community and celebration despite being virtual." Find out more about Encore's Virtual and Hybrid event solutions ... Read More