InfoComm 2018: What’s Hot, Trends and more

For devotees of Event Technology there is just no bigger event on the calendar than InfoComm. It is the largest, most exciting industry event in North America focused wholly on the pro-AV industry. It features over 1,000 exhibitors, thousands of new and existing techie products, and sees 44,000 attendees from over 100 countries every year. InfoComm 2018 was held at Las Vegas Convention Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada in the first week of June this year. Our Director of Technology, Andrew MacColl joined Encore’s Global Innovation team at this year’s annual AV geek fest to see what’s hot… and what’s not.
The idea of convergence between AV and IT is not new of course but the speed of the trends in IT filtering through to pro-AV is increasing. And of course Cloud is right at the centre of IT innovation currently. All of the things we have already seen from IT tech like Wearables, Big Data and Content Analytics will now cascade into pro-AV. Tools like AI will soon be right at the edge of the network instead of hidden away and the voice activated interfaces will become simpler and more human friendly. AI Chatbots will soon be controlling meeting spaces and meeting technology. Google Voice currently appears to be winning friends in this space much more successfully than Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. At this stage about 70%+ of the manufacturers we spoke to are embracing that platform in the AV space. Pictured: Microsoft and Google stands spotted at InfoComm 2018.
Predictions that office workers will have a high functioning digital assistants running a sophisticated voice driven AI by the year 2020 seem more than plausible given where we are up to already. And at this pace safe reliable self-driving cars may be a reality as soon as 2022 and the power of Quantum Computing will give us the next big leap in CPU capability as soon as 2024. How that plays out in the pro-AV space is hard to say exactly but it seems likely that much of the current complexity of AV systems is set to be taken out of the hands of humans and be given to talking, self-learning learning AI.
The other big scary trend is the seemingly unstoppable march to higher resolution, bandwidth-hungry display devices driven in part by the need for that industry to have something new to sell. So if you think the likes of Panasonic, Barco, Sony, Apple and Christie will be contend with rolling out 4k devices, think again. HDR (high dynamic range) will be the next ‘big thing’ and unlike 4K resolution will provide a highly visible difference to people viewing the display device. The improvement in dynamic range will deliver a very obviously deeper and richer image quality for video which will be more attractive to the eye of retail consumers and pro AV practitioners alike. Of course this will come at a price. It will need more bandwidth to run a 4K HDR signal down a cable than a standard 4K signal. And if that’s not enough, 8K res, 8K HDR and 8K high refresh rate (120 Hz and 240 Hz) video are all on the drawing boards. Current standard network speeds will go nowhere near the bandwidth requirements of these displays. The display device industry is planning on selling us all a Ferrari,… the trouble is we will have to drive it on a narrow dirt road with potholes if network technology does not keep pace. Or maybe it might be a good time to buy shares in companies that make fibre optic cables!
Products in the pipeline
All in all InfoComm provided a great insight into what we can expect to see in the near future. Of course we didn’t leave empty handed – there are lots of exciting innovations in our pipeline which you’ll start to see in the near future. This article was written by Andrew MacColl, Head of Procurement and Director of Technology for Encore Event Technologies ANZPAC. … Read More

How to create a spectacular stage set for your gala dinner

Nothing brings an empty function space to life like a custom set design. Working with the theme and identity of the event, the physical limitations of the space, and the functionality needed for the show will bring your creativity to the fore, and ultimately achieve stunning results for your next big night. Custom designing your stage look If you have the ability to custom design your stage set for your gala dinner - you definitely should. However, not everyone has this luxury, as whilst there are many advantages it also tends to be more expensive. In saying that, with the stage being the main focal point of the event and likely to feature in every photo taken, it should definitely take a large piece of the budget pie. You should build a custom set for your gala dinner or awards night because it immediately transports the audience to somewhere new and exciting, grabbing their attention and focussing it onto your presenters and content. The look of your stage communicates your brand, ideas, and values. It could be ‘cutting edge’, pulsing with light and technology, or ‘old world’, oozing luxury from a golden past – whatever suits your goals best. You can literally surround your audience with your stage, bringing them completely into your domain. Pictured: Custom set designed for Amway Taiwan Gala Dinner Where do I get inspiration for my set design? The goal of your set design is to be a branding device for your gala dinner or awards night. Its shapes, colours, structures, and purpose can derive their identity with inspiration from your logo, colour palette, existing marketing material and the theme of the night. Think about what kind of message you are sending – are you rewarding excellence and aspiration at an awards night? Are you celebrating a major milestone at a gala dinner? What kinds of shapes, colours and movements come to you when you think about those subjects? Beyond the conceptual, there’s also the practical nature of your custom set to consider – is there a requirement for lots of performers to enter and exit at once? Will there be a lot a large screens needed for camera feeds of the presenters and video material? What’s physically possible in set design? A stage design doesn’t have to be a flat rectangle, and a custom set doesn’t have to be a variation on a box. Consider multiple shapes and layouts for your stage. You could utilise thrust stages and catwalks, round stages, or a giant central cross with the audience surrounding it for a gala dinner. A set can be a distributed structure with physical elements throughout the venue, or multiple elements that fly in and out, changing through the awards night with the action on stage. Circles can be made with truss, used as rigging for visual elements, or house a screen be projected onto. You can further enhance your set design by incorporating Digital Banners and Widescreens, as well as traditional printed Event Backdrops, rigged and flown. Left: Digital banners hung vertically and each banner can house different projections. Right: Widescreens used in set design. What technical details does a stage design have to consider? All custom set designs need to take in account the venue’s tolerances for weight and height, its capacity to rig and fly any necessary event production equipment, and other all relevant safety issues like access to fire exits. Your set design needs allow lighting fixtures to be rigged so light can be directed where it’s needed. The PA needs to cover the audience for your awards night or gala dinner without interfering with or being obstructed by set elements. Any projectors you are using for image live cameras or video need to be able to cover their targets without hindrance. Consider what is going on your stage to determine the required weight loading when designing your set. How to use screens in your set design Screens are a major consideration in a custom set. Whether for branding, information, video playback or camera feeds of your presenters, they’re likely to be not just prominent, but essential part of your event production. Large projection screens for big venues can be built in to your set, or flown in when needed. On a smaller scale, multiple flat panel displays can be built into sets as an artistic element, and used to display content independently of each other, or together as one large fractured ‘canvas’, using video wall technology. Left: IMAG live feed recording in Widescreen at Rotary International. Right: Vision panels used in set design for Bond University gala dinner. Using lighting as part of your event design Lighting can be more than colours, effects, and highlights; it can also be a feature of the set design itself. There’s a whole family of new LED lighting fixtures that can not only wash a stage with colour, they can be sent videos and animations. Imagine dozens of panels around 30 cm long and 10 cm high embedded throughout your custom set. When dormant, they look like black bars, when activated, they can act together, pulsing and swirling with light. When sent video, their individual LEDs act like the pixels on your TV, with each bar having 12 or more ‘pixels’ in it. This is called ‘pixel mapping’, and adds striking textural effects to your set design. Using projection mapping to animate your custom set You’re not limited to movement and light to create change and interest in your set design – there’s also the ability to project video onto any or all of it. The possibilities with projection in event production are huge, from using multiple projectors to create one giant image across your stage (‘edge blending’), or projecting and warping video onto an object to seemingly animate it into life (‘projection mapping'). Inspiration for projection mapped video content to suit your awards night or gala dinner stems from the same source as the rest of your set – its tone, subject matter, and the theme of the event. Pictured: Projection mapping used for the AHA NSW Gala Dinner stage set. Styling your stage design Set design is all about layering. The final piece of the puzzle is stage set styling. Professional set dressers can provide extra flair to really make your set design ‘pop’. With access to huge collection of props and decorations, they can work with you to make sure your branding is consistent, keeping your signature colours and logos harmonised across both physical media like printed backdrops and digital media such as screens and projections. Pictured: Stage set styling use fleur screen at a gala dinner in Adelaide. Render to Reality – preview your set design Encore can help you throughout the design process for your dream set. Our creatives will be able to show you exactly what your event will look like with our ‘Render to Reality’ service. We use the best CAD and pre-visualisation software available to provide simulated but ultra-realistic three dimensional images of your set in your venue, including animated walk-throughs. This is a 'What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get' principal so no surprises on event day! On the night, what you saw in our studio is exactly what will appear in front of your audience. It’s invaluable peace-of-mind. Left: Render of custom stage set. Right: Real life stage set built according to render. Discover your event stage's potential with our set design team Encore Event Technologies has been designing spectacular stage looks for over 30 years. Whether you want to create a city skyline, an iconic landmark, or bring your logo to life we have the people, the ideas and the tech tools to make it happen. That's why renowned brands like Amway, ANZ, Auto & General and Amway chose to partner with Encore to deliver their gala dinner. With all eyes on your stage for the entire event, it's important you give it the attention it deserves. Find out more about our Set Design services or get in touch with us to see how we can work together for your event. CALL 1800 209 099 or Send an Enquiry ... Read More

Big Vision, Big Ideas, Big Event: How Vivid Sydney is a lesson for the event industry

Sydney will be put in the spotlight once again later this month for the 10th annual Vivid Sydney. Even if you haven’t experienced Vivid Sydney first-hand, it’s highly likely you’ve seen the mind-blowing images of their signature lighting installations and projections, entertainment and masterclasses, splashed across the news and social media. Originally devised as an engaging way to highlight energy efficiency, Vivid has evolved dramatically in its relatively short 10-year history. The festival is now internationally recognised as a destination in itself, with visitors enjoying a dazzling array of lights, music and intriguing ideas during the three-week program. In 2017, the event saw a record attendance of 2.33 million, with intrastate, interstate and international visitors injecting approximately $110 million into the local economy. There are so many elements of the Vivid festival event planners can learn from and incorporate into their own work, even without Vivid’s grand scale or budget. Be bright and bold Vivid’s bright installations and beautiful animations which are perfectly projection mapped onto iconic buildings enthrals visitors. These effects can be used events both large and small to amaze your guests. You can project onto stage installation and 3D objects using lighting or multimedia and event project direct onto dining tables to take gusts on a visual journey. Gobos are another simple but highly effective way to communicate your brand or theme in a visual way. (Picture Credit: Destination NSW) Creating a theme The Vivid festival remains relevant and engaging by renewing its theme each year. This ensures the event enjoys new and returning visitors year on year. As an event organizer, a well-thought-out theme can anchor your message, whether for a conference, annual meeting, launch event or gal. A theme can reflect the objectives of an event and reflect the purpose. Interactivity At Vivid, visitors are encouraged actively participate with interactive lighting and art installations as well as workshops and seminars encouraging passionate, thought-provoking discussion between presenters and attendees. Encouraging attendees to be part of the event keeps them engaged. Driving engagement can take a number of forms, from taking photos in front of a branded backdrop at a gala and posting photos on social media, to asking questions via a polling platform or completing a quiz on a digital Touch Kiosk screen. Business opportunities Vivid has created opportunities for businesses and tourism operators with exclusive Vivid-themed degustation menus, cruises and special offers. Even big corporates have used it as a platform, in 2016 Intel took to the skies of Sydney Harbour with a fleet of LED-lit drones to showcase their latest technology in an engaging way. If you event has a sponsor, it’s a great opportunity for them to showcase their brand or products. If they do it in an engaging way that integrates with the event the benefits can be far greater than just playing a dull corporate video at the start of the event, or using pull up banners in the entrance. Social Media Social media has also been instrumental in taking Vivid Sydney to a world-wide audience. It’s a great illustration of how ‘brand Sydney’ is reaching a global audience and enticing both domestic and international visitors to come to our stunning city. Encourage your attendees to share the event via their social channels is a great way to take your event to a wider audience. Ensure you create and share an event’s hashtag and use products like Event Feed to unite your attendees’ photos on screen. Working in an event services company, we understand that conceptualising an event begins with a blank canvas that we grow into colourful experiences to surprise and delight attendees. What Vivid Sydney has done so well is create a visually, musically and intellectual engaging event, that keeps attendees coming back each year and communicates the message – Sydney is fun, beautiful and innovative. Be inspired to make your own Vivid-like experience by viewing our Recent Work ... Read More

3 principles for designing a conference presentation to engage today's audience

Getting people to attend your conference is one, if not the biggest, challenge event planners face. It's the whole reason you're organising the event and attendance numbers are one the biggest factors determining its success. Once you have them there, the real challenge facing planners is to keep your audiences engaged. At most conferences, seminars and exhibitions, attendees go from session to session listening to speakers and hopefully participating in discussions. Want to make your presentation the one that they can’t stop talking about? Create a presentation deck that will be remembered by incorporating thoughtful design into your slides. Whether it's intriguing your audience to continue the conversation or inspiring questions, think about the desired results and design slides to achieve that. What’s the easiest way to awesome? Elevate the creative quality of your presentation and reach your audience more effectively by incorporating these three principals for great presentation design. Be straightforward with your presentation design Establish yourself as a thought leader by designing slides that eliminate the fluff and get straight to the point. Remember that more words does not equal stronger content. Instead, focus on strategically crafted words on each slide and killer speaker notes. Convey your message in a variety of ways by telling a story through design elements. The right combination of colours, graphics, and layout will reinforce your message and resonate with your audience on a visual level. Make your presentation interactive and entertaining Attendees want to be entertained, but they also want to interact and be a part of the experience. Challenge your audience by designing a presentation that provokes questions and makes them think creatively about the content and messaging. Break through the noise and give your audience a reason to pay attention by surprising them with hidden content and making the session an interactive experience. Try using touch screen presentation technology (like Inteli-Touch) to turn a one-way lecture into a two-way conversation, or integrating live audience polling (such as Event Poll) for Q&As, surveys, feedback and more. You can also incorporate an event social media platform (via Event Feed) into your presentation to encourage spreading the message and amplifying your events reach even further. Inspire your audience to seek new information, jump into action, or try something new. Include unexpected videos and imagery to keep them on their toes Design a presentation that delivers what audiences expect, but shows them something new visually. Combine the obvious answer with an unexpected graphic or video to highlight innovative, out-of-the-box thinking. The combination of the two will grab their attention and expand their imagination. Mixing your content with different designs, such as bold colours, interesting images, amusing videos, stunning graphics, and maybe even a bit of humour will force audiences to think about the content in a new way. Naturally, this is said with taking your audience demographics into consideration. Make sure what you include is relevant and appropriate for who your aiming to engage. Get some ideas from the conference experts Thanks to innovations in audio visual solutions and event technologies this can be an exciting and virtually limitless operation. However, the grander the idea, the more costly it is to execute. That's why when it comes to organising a conference getting the speakers right and their presentations should be high priority and the rest can be bonuses to really amp up the experience. Encore Event Technologies (formerly Staging Connections) have helped countless conference planners deliver high impact experiences just using a creative presentation displayed on an engaging stage set with ambient lighting and AV for theatrics. Speak to us today to start formulating ideas about how you can make your next presentation the one everyone talks about! Get in touch with us today or find out more about our conference production services ... Read More

6 Conference Trends You Need To Know

If you haven’t been to a conference in a few years you’re in for a big surprise. These once stiff, white-collared, corporate events are changing, and have seriously raised the bar on everything from styling to attendee engagement. ‘Engagement’ has been the buzz word for event planners and marketers for some time now. It has permeated every communication channel as companies look to create new and exciting experiences. Events have become the perfect playing field to really engage audiences and give companies a direct connection with their consumers. Those companies that invest, pave the way for a more enriching and memorable experience for their customers and are likely to turn them into lifelong advocates. The next question then becomes, how are companies turning their conference into an invigorating and unique experience? Read on to learn more about six of the hottest corporate event trends this year. 1. 2 Venues, 1 Location One of the most costly expenses in event planning is venue hire. Over the past few decades we've seen conference venue trends do a full circle. In the 80's and 90's it was all about hosting your conference in big hotel ballrooms, followed by some polite small talk and canapés at the post event drinks in some non-descript location just outside the conference room. Coming into the new millennium, conference planners were getting creative and hosting conferences in unique venues or utilising multiple venues to suit each section of the day. These 'hybrid' events would typically host the information-rich agenda in a hotel meeting space after which attendees were then directed to a unique venue for the informal networking part of the event. Whilst this 'hybrid' event is still very popular and provides attendees with a great experience, it isn't the most cost-effective way to host a corporate event. We're now experiencing a convergence of these two trends, where event planners choose a hotel venue that has enough variety in its meeting spaces to mimic the split locations whilst remaining in the one venue. Instead of relying on a new venue to inject interest, event planners are turning to new immersive-themed rooms and styling to do the heavy lifting. Why this works: It goes without saying hiring one venue instead of two is a massive cost-saving already. Using two spaces within the one hotel and investing in theming and styling is a great way to ensure you’re giving guests the best environment for each agenda whilst maximising your budget. Hotel meeting spaces give you the AV support and space needed to deliver your key messages and support your speakers. Once the formalities are over, your guests can move to another space within the venue for the next section of the conference whether that be a sit-down gala dinner or styled cocktail event. Encore Event Technologies recently delivered the annual conference for one of Australia's largest professional services organisation. Part of the brief was to deliver an exceptional formal conference experience for 300 employees as well as a unique and spectacular gala dinner post conference. To maximise the budget, Encore Event Technologies used Hilton Sydney's ballroom to host the main conference agenda. Once the conference conclude, guests were ushered out into a beautifully styled holding room for cocktails and canapés while the Encore Event Technologies team transformed the conference room into a fully immersive 'Vintage Carnival' themed gala dinner complete with live circus acts and interactive carnival booths. Immersive, 'Vintage Carnival' themed conference delivered by Encore Event Technologies at Hilton Sydney. This is a win-win both the brand and the guests. It creates a lasting impression on attendees, which is key to continuous attendance and conference longevity. 2. Design Immersive Conferences Gone are the days of a stuffy ballroom, lined with endless rows of chairs and a small stage. Corporate conferences are turning to styled, immersive themes to ramp up the atmosphere, provide talking points and truly immerse guests in their brand. After all, events are one of the only occasions a brand has an uninterrupted interaction with their target market. So they’d better make the most of it. We’ve mentioned Immersive Events in previous styling trend reports and they’re fiercely becoming the norm for corporate events. If you’re not adopting this new event planning mindset, you’re in danger of being left behind. Immersive Events are where styling, audio visual, digital, staging and design services merge into one harmonious environment. It’s about using these services in combination to truly transform your event into a branded experience. Why this works: A conference is the ultimate marketing event for a company. Whether it’s a corporate, training, education, or a sales conference, organisations need planners to design events that build brand loyalty and drive advocacy. Effectively branding an event builds attendee engagement that translates into increased connection. In addition, aligning your message with a theme provides a tangible vehicle to carry your message across all touch points. From the invites, to the entrance, room decor, multimedia content and post event communications. For example, we recently worked with Capital S.M.A.R.T. for their annual sales conference. The objective of the conference was to recognise the company’s achievements of doubling their revenue celebrate their 7th anniversary and set the direction for 2017. Therefore, it was very fitting for the conference theme to be 007 Bond. This theme was integrated into every aspect and became the creative ‘glue’ that tied everything into one cohesive message. Encore Event Technologies delivered an immersive '007' event theme for Capital S.M.A.R.T.'s annual sales conference. 3. Encourage Attendee Engagement Our third corporate event trend we’re seeing in 2015 and which will definitely become common place in 2016 is attendee engagement – that ‘engagement’ buzzword again. This means event planners are actively seeking new strategies and technologies to encourage two-way conversations with attendees, driving participation and building a positive brand experience rather than asking them to sit and listen for hours on end. Increasing engagement can come in a variety of forms. Today’s event planners are ditching PowerPoint slides for total engagement activities such as live social feeds, video conferencing, audience polling, on-site bloggers, event-specific apps, event hashtags and much more. Why this works: Encouraging your attendees to participate and share ideas results in a much richer experience for your guests and allows event hosts to unearth insights and gain valuable feedback that mightn't have been possible without the audience participation. Increasing engagement translates into better overall experiences. By becoming active participants, attendees are more likely to gain knowledge and skills than by simply being spectators. Encore Event Technologies' audience live-polling platform, Event Poll. 4. WOW with High-Tech Events are the perfect playground for showing off your brand and wow-ing guests with the latest technology. When it comes to creating truly unique and personalised experiences, technology is your best friend. Having free Wi-Fi is no longer a nice add-on, it’s an expectation. So what are conference organisers turning to surprise and delight their attendees: Event apps featuring presentation and workshop schedules Real-time social media integration on-screen In-app scheduling and communication capabilities GPS event locator and navigation assistance On-demand video feeds and special keynote webcasts Live audience polling and contests Personalised push notifications (think meeting agenda or announcements) Real-time language translations Even projection mapping was used at recent Aussie Home Loans Sales Conference we produced to add a huge wow-factor to their event. Why this works: Technology bridges the gap between the event and the individual guest experience. Utilising event apps and social media allows you to effectively communicate to your guests and provide instant updates. Technology and innovative audio-visual solutions provide a cost-effective solution for engaging and create last impressions. 5. Build an Event Community Brands invest huge amounts of their marketing budget into growing and nurturing a solid community of brand advocates. It therefore makes perfect sense to treat events as a sub-brand which has its own community where people with common interests and likes come together. Building this fan-base takes a lot of time and effort and has changed the life-cycle of the traditional event. It’s no longer just the event day itself, event planners need to consider the journey months before the event, the event itself, and then post-event follow ups and content. The overarching objective? Keeping their audience engaged and coming back year after year. Your event hype plan usually starts with creating the necessary channels and touch points where your community can grow and interact. The heavy weights here are an event Facebook page, YouTube / Vimeo channel for your video content, Instagram and Twitter account and a dedicated branded event hashtag. Utilising these channels to house engaging content provides you with a cohesive platform to keep your event community engaged throughout the event life-cycle. A great strategy for growing your event community is to use a social media integration platform. We’ve included Event Feed as part of our digital portfolio for this exact reason – it captures your event’s entire social conversation across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via a dedicated hashtag and displays them instantly on screen for all to see. Why this works: Positive word-of-mouth is the holy grail of marketing. If you can create and sustain a dedicated community of enthusiasts for your event, you are tapping into a rich source of insights, free advertising and invaluable instant feedback. In the past, event planners would rely on paid advertising to promote the event and would only be able to review all event happenings weeks after the event ended to learn what was successful and what wouldn't be used next year. Event Feed used at this years Tourism Australia, Destination Australia Conference. 6. Embrace Green Events Going ‘green’ isn't just a phenomenon we’re experiencing in the food and beverage industry. Companies that demonstrate they’re environmentally conscious are also reaping the benefits of positive brand operations. This year we’re seeing a lot of corporate events taking on a ‘local, organic and sustainable’ approach to their event planning. This mindset is being adopted across every possible facet of the event, from environmentally conscious AV and staging processes, down to local and organic catering, as well as using recycled and sustainable materials to design, communicate and run the event. Why this works: In some cases, going ‘green’ can be very profitable as people are generally happy to forgo higher quality / luxuries for the sake of being environmentally conscious – think recycled paper, more efficient energy and recycling processes, cardboard chairs etc. Aside from the obvious benefits of a demonstrating corporate social responsibility, it allows companies to build relationships with new audiences via this common interest and strengthen ties with existing customers. The corporate event scene is experiencing a huge overhaul. Audiences demand interaction, immersion and innovation. The great thing is, it’s being driven by a common need to discover and improve ways to engage audiences and communicate the event message effectively. This means, it’s a landscape that is forever changing. When organising your next event, make sure you consider these 6 trends to ensure you’re conference is hitting the mark and ensuring the longevity of your event. Interested in hosting your next event with Encore? Get in touch with us today and let's make it happen! ... Read More

Avoid These 6 Staging Mistakes That Make Your Audience Lose Interest

There are 5 fundamentals of staging a successful event. Audio, Lighting, Vision, Staging, and Content. With all eyes on the stage, it's one of the most important elements you need to get right because unlike AV, you can't just 'tweak' it on the day. The stage is a major element when planning successful corporate events. Everyone will eventually look towards the stage, and your intent is to keep the audience focused on the message you’re delivering. While an involved audience is the goal, we know there are various factors that can make the audience lose interest - causing you to lose out on money, prospective customers, and possible partnerships. Here are 6 staging mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your audience interested and attentive. Poor Sound Quality The level of sound coming from the stage speaks volumes about your brand. We know that echoing sounds and volume should be expertly controlled with professional audio connections at frequencies that are pleasing to the ear without being too high or low in pitch. If the sound isn’t clear or makes the audience uncomfortable, you're likely to lose attendees and your presenters. If the presenters can't be heard, your attendees will lose interest which in turn, makes the presenters feel uncomfortable. All you're left with is everyone in the room having a bad experience. When considering your stage design, work with a professional AV company to determine where the speakers and fold backs need to be so both presenters and audiences can hear with crystal clear clarity. Music can deeply influence the audience just as much as an expert speaker. Emotions, motor functioning and creativity are boosted by music, and we’ve witnessed its power at all types of events. Not only do people relate music to personal experiences, music ignites the entire human brain. Bad Lighting Design A well-lit stage enhances the atmosphere and mood of the room. Therefore, stage lighting should really wow your audience with dynamic style. With flat or malfunctioning lighting, attendees will be far less interested in looking at the stage. Too much white lighting can also drain the appearance of your presenters and wash out the on-screen projection content making the vision hard to see. Professional lighting always comes with flexibility. The light can fit your theme and power audience engagement by drawing focus to your presentation. Depending on the electric system at the event space, lights can be powered at various settings to create a unique environment and add texture to the room to intrigue the audience. Lack of Creative Branding Techniques If your brand isn’t presented tastefully, potential buyers will quickly consider it overkill and lose interest in your services. In fact, 52% of customers report feeling overwhelmed by companies that don’t communicate the presence of their brand effectively. We view corporate events as a creative opportunity to consistently display your brand’s logo and visual message. More than half of B2B marketers acknowledge that branding is a must for company growth. On average, a 23% increase in revenue has been credited to consistent branding. Your logo can be incorporated into the stage design and transformed into an interactive experience. Serve up your logo as part of the beverages and refreshments offered to guests, or display it as a piece of 3D art that emotionally connects with viewers. Disregarding The Line of Sight Audiences need to see and hear for a favourable event experience. Presentations, speakers, and visual branding has to be visible to everyone. Otherwise, the crowd will quickly lose interest and find better things to do – such as playing on their mobile phones or distracting the nearest person with small talk. Considering the seating arrangement and size of the event, the stage should be raised for better viewing. Opinions will always vary on the proper height of the stage. Some may say 12 inches, others might recommend 24. Every event is special in its own way. It’s best to use a professional audio visual team that will work closely with your venue and company while considering all necessary elements for the proper stage height. Better still, partnering with an AV company that's already in-house at your venue means they'll have a better understanding of the rooms layout and how to maximise the stage design for audience viewing. Use a Bland Stage Backdrop The backdrop attracts more attention than many people realise. Today, stage backdrops aren’t just coloured accessories for the stage. They can be textured walls in stunning 2D and 3D designs that enhance your theme or branding, or even internally lit backdrops that display print-quality images or branding. With modern technology, backdrops can now be turned into media pieces that move on the wall. If audiences look away, this moving media will lead their eyes back to the presentation. When executed properly, media walls add to the effectiveness of the message being delivered, and the visuals will help the crowd retain the information presented. Choose a Poor Seating Layout Whether you are setting up a business presentation, training classroom, hosting a full scale gala dinner or product launch, the arrangement of the seating can make all the difference. You have invited your audience to communicate a message, so it’s important that your audience is seated in the best way to achieve the maximum impact for your message! Guests want to feel involved in professional discussions and enjoy sharing their knowledge and common interests. Using the right seating style creates a deeper connection between the speakers and audience members. It also encourages any moving participants and standing listeners to walk behind seated guests. Learn The Best Strategies To Create An Outstanding Corporate Event For Your Audience Keeping your audience engaged requires thought, planning, and creativity. We can work with your team to create a stage designed to hold interest and generate excitement. At Encore, we use our experience to transform your corporate events into interactive and memorable experiences for attendees that live long after the event concludes. Contact us for innovative event staging production and concepts that combine event creative and technical expertise. ... Read More

Event Tech Trends Part 3 - How To Get The Most Out Of Mass Personalisation

This is the third installment in a three-part series in which Chris Cavanaugh, CMO of Freeman, discusses the event technology that is shaping the future of brand experiences. In his final post, Chris talks about how brands can leverage mass personalisation to maximise the potential of your brand experience. Maximise the brand experience through mass personalisation Written by Chris Cavanaugh, CMO of Freeman, originally posted on the Freeman blog. Catch up on Part Two: Live Streaming Can Change The Way Brands Engage With Audiences here -- We are a society that has become hyper-personalized. Today’s consumers don’t just appreciate customized content — they expect it. Whether we’re shopping for clothes, planning a vacation, or browsing for a TV show to watch, we seem to have very little patience for choices that we don’t relate to. There’s an emotional angle to all of this. Across the globe, consumers have started craving a deeper connection with the brands they use. They want to feel like they’ve made the right choice with their money, and they prefer to invest in brands that understand them and know what they care about. Technology has made this possible. Now more than ever, there are a multitude of channels that learn our behaviors, listen to our feedback, and give us the ability to opt into — or out of — the experiences that fill our lives. The future is being dictated by what individuals want rather than what brands want for them. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of brand experiences. This is a good thing. Brands, at their core, are all about people. Not crowds of people but rather individuals, each with their own unique set of values and emotional connection points. Personalisation based on emotional investment gives us an opportunity to forge deeper connections with our audiences. Fortunately, live events offer a wealth of opportunities for brands not only to provide personalized experiences but also to continue learning how to make emotional connections with their audiences as well. Know your audience(s) It seems obvious, but many brands do not actually know their audience beyond the broad strokes painted by their standard research. Today’s audiences can be much more complex than that. By the year 2020, there will be five different generations working at the same time. That’s more generations than have ever been in the workforce at once, and it presents a new wrinkle in addition to the usual segmentation challenges we face. Each generation will have its own set of priorities, motivators, and preferred methods of communication. Speaking of generations, as our original attendees age out, who will replace them? The up-and-coming generations will have an overabundance of experiences and channels to choose from, so it’s very likely that the same old tactics may not work on them. If we want to attract these new audiences, segmentation will be the first step in understanding how we can connect with them. Use data to make a human connection Now that you’ve defined your audiences, data is the key to personalisation. Once you have the data, there are many ways to customise the experience for your audience. Turning heaping piles of information into insights that are actionable and meaningful is no easy task, but with today’s event technology, anything is possible. It starts with putting the customer at the center of the proposition, using empathy and insights to understand what he or she wants and needs, and then creating a personalized experience that delivers emotion without feeling intrusive. There are challenges, of course. We will have to be vigilant about issues of privacy, data ownership, and usage. I find that, in this case, honesty is the best policy. If audiences are aware that you’re collecting their data in order to enhance their experience and remove the clutter, and you ensure that they are totally and implicitly aware of what is being collected and studied, then you should have no problem. Reach audiences where they are As mass media continues to fragment, so do the ways in which marketers can reach audiences. The days of the big ad running during prime-time television are being supplemented by new devices, new streaming vehicles, and an evolving mass of new marketing channels. If you are going to employ multiple channels to get your message across, there should be continuity between those channels. It’s important to remember that campaigns are ongoing conversations. There are many avenues of communication at our disposal today, and the beauty of many of them is that they’re two-way. They allow us to listen to what our audiences are saying and gather insights into what motivates them and speaks to them on a deeper level. Allow audiences to co-create When creating brand experiences, we can now use data and technology to design environments and make these story worlds more responsive. We’ve developed some platforms that allow consumers to control their own experience and offer real-time feedback that can shape the content of a program as it is happening. Given that most attendees have their phones in their hand at any given time, this provides a great opportunity to get them involved in coauthoring content at your event (and feeling the ownership of it). What better way to get them to feel emotionally invested in what your brand has to say. Keep storytelling at the center of the creative journey There was a time when advertising and marketing relied almost entirely on the power of emotional storytelling. In recent years, storytelling has given way to algorithms, metrics, and optimization. While there’s no doubt that those things are important, storytelling has always been the beating heart of this industry. Storytelling can be a powerful drug. A 2006 study by Spanish researchers looked into the effects of storytelling on the human brain. They found that, while statistics and facts have little to no effect on our emotions, descriptive stories have the potential to stimulate certain sensory regions of our brains, such as touch or smell. They can even generate activity in the motor cortex, the part of the brain that controls movement. Now more than ever, brands need stories that help stimulate audience emotions. After all, a customer who feels an emotional connection to a brand is 52 percent more valuable than one who is not emotionally connected. Few marketing channels have the capacity to incite emotion in quite the same way as brand experiences. While many can come close, a personalized brand experience is the best way to envelop an audience in the context of a story and really inspire them to feel something. At the end of the day, personalization is about transforming the idea of marketing from a form of mass communication to a form of conversation. We are asking people to give us their time and attention, and we should be giving them something in return. Personalization lets an attendee know that, not only are we listening to them but we are genuinely interested in their individual interests and needs. We care about making them feel comfortable, entertained, satisfied, and, most importantly, emotionally connected. That sort of attention goes a long way toward converting an attendee from a potential client into an existing one. This is the final installment in a three-part series in which Chris Cavanaugh, CMO of Freeman, discusses the event technology that is shaping the future of brand experiences. Catch up on Event Tech Trends Part 2 - How Live Streaming Can Change The Way Brands Engage With Audiences This concludes my series on event technology. As part of our effort to keep up with the rapid pace of change, Freeman will continue to monitor and curate the latest trends. ... Read More

Delivering Australia's largest conference in ten years

The 105th Rotary International Convention was confirmed to be held in Australia for the first time since 2003. The event brief outlined the four day event schedule featuring two opening plenary sessions , 5 plenary sessions, 1 business session and 28 breakout sessions with the overarching brief to deliver an event that was intrinsically Australian. ... Read More

A Scrumdiddlyumptious themed gala for the Adelaide Crows

Every year supporters of the Adelaide Crows Football Club flock to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre for their annual Gala Dinner. It’s a chance for the Club’s devoted members to get up close and personal with some of the players. The main aim for the evening to is raise funds to support the club’s forthcoming season, and they do this by putting on an extravagant gala dinner complete with fantastic live performances and a high-end silent auction. As the Crows’ official audio visual partner, our Adelaide team go above and beyond to make each year better than the last. The Event Brief On the 16th February the Arena of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre hosted nearly 1000 club VIPs and guests. The sheer size of the venue made it possible to design, create and deliver a stunning Gala Dinner setting and live silent auction. The client required that we simultaneously display video and animated multimedia, as well as live camera feed onto the various screens on stage, which is a challenge that our technical team love to rise to. The theme for this year’s gala was Purple and Gold, and what better way to bring that to life than through an indulgent Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate theme. Being one of the club's major fundraising events for the year, we needed to deliver a high impact, engaging experience, with the keenest eye on every detail to ensure a truly memorable event. Our Event Solution In our 12th year as the official audio visual partner, we wanted to deliver something special that pushed the envelope on last year’s visually spectacular Right Royal Gala event. We delivered a complete event production solution, encompassing all audio, vision, lighting, staging, multimedia creation, styling and production management. The event experience started as soon as guests arrived at the venue. To create intrigue and tease the event theme, we created a styled entrance way with purple swagged draping and a purple carpet running down the centre to the main doors to the Arena. Custom designed signage was fastened to the drape line to create a tailored welcome. As guests walked down the carpet, upbeat ‘Wonka’ type music was played to fit the Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate theme and set the tone for the evening. As guests continued up the purple carpet to the Arena doors, they met another themed feature – golden urns on plinths filled with colourful lollypops indicating that their journey had only just begun… Guests were invited to walk down the Arena stairwell filled with gold and purple lights and enter the main Arena floor. The vast space was transformed into a delightful, magical setting using theatrical intelligent lighting, themed styling and an enchanting stage look. All eyes were drawn to the giant custom stage set, created using our new 3D Scenic Panels in the Harlequin pattern flanked with multiple screens framing the Toyota car ad– the grand prize of the evening! Large inflatable red and white candy trees were placed around the room and stage for colour and a quirky touch. The 32 m wide x 9 m high Scenic Panel stage backdrop became the central projection surface for the night, featuring custom Crows themed multimedia content for the Welcoming and Closing presentations and for each individual auction item. All content was created in house by our multimedia design team. As a clever touch to add theatre and excitement, every guest was given a Golden Ticket on arrival with the lucky Golden Ticket winner taking home the brand new Toyota. The annual Crows Gala Auction is a highly anticipated event for the Staging Connections Adelaide team. The event gives us the opportunity to create truly immersive experiences and we love the challenge of doing something completely different every year. The Adelaide Crows event’s team are a pleasure to work with and encourage us to push the boundaries and embrace new products and new ideas. With another successful gala all wrapped up (in purple and gold foil), we look forward to next year’s creative brief! -- See more recent event work Get in touch to start planning your event ... Read More

A seaside conference and product launch for Modere Australia

Nothing makes you feel more invigorated and motivated than being by the beach, which is why launching their newest skincare product sea-side at Adelaide's Glenelg Beach made perfect sense for Modere Australia. The product launch took place as part of a three day conference and leading event services company, Staging Connections, were brought on board to give this year's conference wow-factor. The Event Brief Staging Connections partnered with the innovative Australian skincare, wellbeing and home care brand, Modere to deliver their bi-annual conference. The three day conference was to be held at the stunning seaside venue, Stamford Grand Adelaide in February 2017. Staging Connections were engaged to execute the conference, alongside the social events which included an evening cocktail function, an impressive product launch and a stylish after party to conclude. Keeping in line with the brand essence of Modere, Staging Connections needed to deliver a stylish, smart and sophisticated conference that left guests feeling inspired, motivated and eager to continue building a successful business and helping to truly transform lives. The Event Solution As the in-house event services provider at Stamford Grand Adelaide, Staging Connections provided an end-to-end solution for the Modere Australia three day conference and social events. The solution encompassed all audio vision, staging, lighting, styling and digital event services, with the combined effect resulting in a seamless event experience that brought the Modere brand to life. In attendance were over 600 Modere employees from all levels of the business, interstate and even international guest speakers. Setting the tone for the conference was a stylish Welcome Cocktails event for the Elite Modere Team. Staging Connections bathed the room in red and white lighting to reflect the Modere brand colours and guests were treated to a performance by a pianist playing under some street light props. Following an all-day conference, Friday night saw the Staging Connections team create an event look and feel that screamed ‘Colour!’ to support the launch of Modere Australia’s bold new makeup line. Beautifully bright and lush furniture decorated the room to match the backdrops and floral arrangements. Staging Connections enhanced the theme with spectacular coloured uplighting which added movement and bursts of colour to the space. Pictured: Staging Connections used clever AV and lighting to support the 'Colour!' product launch. The main event took place under a large marquee situated on the beachside front lawns of the Stamford Grand. The look and feel of the After Party reflected the Modere motto – Live Clean – and was created under the guise of ‘modern jungle ’ with lots of greenery, crisp whites and touches of Modere’s red as branding cues. Pictured: Event styling by Staging Connections Pictured: A green wall was used as a stage backdrop for the DJ. Along the marquee’s side stood giant letter lights spelling ‘Modere’, and inside the marquee lived an abundance of ‘Hamptons’ style furniture and large dance floor for guests to relax and dance the night away. Pictured: Giant letter lights were installed along the side of the marquee. The Modere team walked away with a live recording of the conference thanks to Staging Connections’ Event Record product. The recording captured two days of the conference, including the special guests and international speakers, and means the Modere team have a copy of the entire event at their disposal. The Special Touches From the moment the guests entered the hotel, on a sweltering hot Adelaide day, they were treated to a calming VIP event that celebrated the success and new developments for the business. The location and venue, offered perfect ocean views and reflected the Modere Australia motto and left the guests feeling inspired and motivated. What did the client say about the conference and product launch? Modere Australia were delighted with the successful event, and the exceptional customer service provided by the Adelaide Staging Connections team across the three days, notably identifying the special touches from the team, to ensure a professional, yet fun and high quality event. Natalia Colombo, Event Coordinator for Modere Australia noted the outstanding service provided by Staging Connections. “Dion is exceptional. With him at the helm I never had to worry. He really went above and beyond and has amazing people skills and professionalism. Alana is extremely talented and also went absolutely above and beyond. Without her, the after party wouldn't have been anywhere near as much of a success. Chris - worth his weight in gold. I never worried when he was around and nothing was too much trouble. These three people are truly amazing and I am very grateful. Cooper and the 'A' team were also lovely and easy to deal with. All in all, you have one happy customer that won't be going anywhere else for her future event needs.” Natalia Colombo, Event Coordinator, Modere Australia. ... Read More