Are smartphones helping or hindering your event?

Whether we like them or not, smartphones have become an important part of our daily lives. They are used to aid with various tasks including shopping, getting from one place to another, scheduling plans and setting reminders.

People spend hours each day scrolling, checking emails and social media notifications. Wondering what this means for your event? Chances are most, if not all, of your attendees will arrive at your event with smartphone in tow. They are hard to ignore. So it might be time to address the elephant in the room – the sea of smartphones in your event space.

So are smartphones just another distraction for guests to be swallowed up by? Or can they help with your event outcomes?

The disadvantages

There is no doubt that smartphones can be distracting. They can divert attention away from your event sessions. Disengaged guests won’t experience your event for what it is, potentially harming your re-attendance rate.

If you were to have a no-smartphone policy at your event, your guests would certainly have fewer distractions and might be more engaged throughout the event. Whether this is a realistic and productive request is less certain.

The advantages

Smartphones have become a huge part of events. When it comes to event planning, there seems to be a smartphone app that can help with every aspect of organising and running an event. Whether it’s organising ticket sales, sharing your event agenda or facilitating a networking platform for guests, there’s an app for pretty much every stage.

There are several apps on the market, both free and with subscription costs, including Eventbrite and Ticketbud for ticket sales, Whova for attendee networking and Pathable for developing and sharing your agenda – just to name a few.

Smartphones also provide your event with an opportunity for marketing and promotion. Never underestimate the power of your guests taking selfies at your event, using your event hashtag online, live tweeting or checking-in on social media.

If you can’t beat them, join them

Smartphones are an integral part of everyday life. While they might be distracting and addictive, they can serve the really important purpose of helping you reach your event outcomes. They can be used to simplify logistical tasks, engage guests and build an awareness for, and at, your events.

So, if your main objective is to run a seamless event with good occupancy, it might be time to embrace what smartphones have to offer.

If you would like advice on social media for your next event, the AVPartners team can help. Contact us today.

The secrets to a successful event hashtag

Hashtags have become an important way for event planners to create a buzz around events. Think of the last conference or event you attended. Chances are a hashtag was used. So what exactly are hashtags and why have they become so popular in the events industry?

A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), which makes it a searchable link. Most commonly used on applications and social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, hashtags give users the ability to organise or ‘file’ online conversations. When a user clicks on a hashtag, they are able to view all other discussions which use the same hashtag.

Why use a hashtag for events?

An effective hashtag can improve the reach of your event. It can help build anticipation surrounding the day, drive more ticket sales and boost awareness for your brand. An event hashtag also helps drive engagement throughout the event itself. Attendees can post about your event using the hashtag to signal that they are part of the conversation about your event.

There are 4 factors that make a great hashtag:

1. Unique

An effective hashtag will be unique to your brand and event. This will ensure that your event and brand doesn’t compete with other unrelated posts which use the same hashtag. Before settling on your hashtag, make sure to do a quick search across social media to make sure it hasn’t been used before. Examples may include #GFWS2018 or #vividtaronga which are time or location specific.

2. Succinct

Short hashtags are effective because they are memorable and get to the point quickly. They also remove room for typo errors, particularly when your event guests will be required to type the hashtag out.

3. Playful

Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, a hashtag which is playful and uses a bit of light humour may do the trick. A good example of this is Red Bull’s #PutACanOnIt campaign. The campaign used the catchy hashtag #PutACanOnIt to encourage people to take photos of their Red Bull cans in interesting locations. This strategy encouraged engagement amongst their audience and successfully created a buzz around the brand.

4. It has no hidden meaning

This is a really important one. Triple check your hashtag before sharing it. Remember, your hashtag will display without breaks between the words, so new words might form in the amalgamation. Check for any embarrassing words or messaging that may have been created. While you will want to build reach, you won’t want to bring attention to your event for the wrong reasons!

Broadcasting your hashtag

To really make the most of your hashtag before, during and after your event, it’s important to include it on all of your promotional materials, and make sure it’s in full view for guests throughout the event. Use audiovisual (AV) technology to keep your hashtag front and centre throughout your event. By projecting your hashtag on your stage, screen or even on the walls of your event space, you can encourage real time conversation about your event on social media. With your hashtag in full view, your event guests will be encouraged to include it in their tweets, live videos and other social posts.

Contact us today to set up the AV at your next event.

How to transition from day to night events

Day events, such as conferences and seminars, can be intense for guests. They’re often packed full of presentations and activities, requiring a lot of concentration. After a day of listening to speeches, participating in workshops and engaging in rich discussions, a gala dinner is the perfect way to cap off an information-intensive day.

So you want to transform your daytime event into a nighttime event? Here’s how to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Choose the right venue

You’ll need a venue that can accommodate both your daytime and nighttime needs. You won’t necessarily need two entirely separate event spaces, however, you will need enough room, and preferably two areas within the venue to move people between. To make the transition as seamless as possible, usher your guests into a standing room and provide canapes while the conference room is transformed into a gala dinner space. It’s important to consider accessibility between the spaces. Is there a ramp or elevator that can accommodate guests with mobility difficulties?

Change the setting

The best way to wow your guests from day to night is to make the setting new and vibrant. By changing your event setting with a new floor plan, lighting and decorations, you can bring new energy into the room. Impress your guests with attractive table centrepieces and bold decorations.

Consider your seating arrangement

While your daytime event space might have involved a simple layout, for instance rows of chairs facing a stage, your nighttime event can (and should) have an entirely new seating arrangement. As the name implies, a gala dinner usually involves a sit-down dinner for your guests. So consider a layout with round tables to evenly distribute your guests throughout the room, ensuring each guest will have a clear view of the stage. Remember the position at which each guest is seated will dictate the way they experience your event.

Prioritise sound quality

Just as important as it is to prioritise your table settings and seating plans, you’ll want to hire the right professionals to ensure the sound is perfect for both events. A team of experts like the team at AVPartners will make sure that sound is fine-tuned for each event according to each of their specific requirements.

Engage your guests visually

After a long day of listening to presentations and speeches and taking in lots of information, your guests might feel a little fatigued. The best way to re-engage them during your gala dinner is to excite the senses with colourful lighting and a visual presentation. After the sun sets, you have a great opportunity to bring bright lights and colour into your event space.

If you need help transitioning your event from daytime to nighttime, speak to the AVPartners team today.

The easiest ways for your event to reach all corners of the country…or globe!

Want to reach more people at your next event?

Your event doesn’t need to be confined to the walls of your event space. Using the right tools and technology, you can grow your next event so that it reaches people all across the country… and even the world!

The trick is to get people involved and engaged online. Here’s how to do it.

Choose the right webcast technology

Running a webcast of your event is the perfect way to encourage people who are unable to attend your event in person to get involved. Webcast technology can be incorporated into your event plan from the very beginning of your planning process. To make sure your online guests feel involved on the day, prioritise your webcast just as you would prioritise choosing your event space, organising your seating plan and planning your guest list. To really embrace your online guests on they day, consider having your MC and speakers address them directly.

A great AV team like AVPartners will use state-of-the-art technology to put the guest experience first. AVPartners will also step you through the planning process and ensure that your webcast is set up in a way that allows people from anywhere in the world to attend.

Use live polling

Live polling is a great way to engage with your online audience on the day of your event. It can be used during your Q&A session or anytime throughout the event to keep your guests from around the country and globe interested and involved.

Use an event app

Using an event app can strengthen the involvement and engagement of your online event guests. Apps like Whova and Grupio can keep your attendees up-to-date with your event agenda and special event announcements. Some apps even offer surveys and contests to engage online attendees as well as networking capabilities to help your online guests socialise with each other.

Create an event hashtag

Using a hashtag is a simple way to encourage online conversation about your event. A hashtag that is exclusive to your event can help you to build brand awareness with the people that matter by igniting discussion about your event across social media.

Make an event video

Using the right video technology can really bring your event to life online. By choosing a team of experts to create your event video, you can build a buzz around your brand and build anticipation for the next time your event is held. Sharing an event video online is also a great way to display the experience of your event with people in other cities and countries.

Share your event on social media

Social media is the perfect tool to create a buzz before, after and during your event. Social media is global in nature so using it gives you the ability to reach people far and wide. Leading up to the event, social media can be used to share content that builds anticipation for the event to attract online attendees. Posting live video snippets and images during the event is a great way to include people online. Sharing some highlights after the event is a great way to build buzz for the next time you run your event.

Contact us today to set up video and webcast technology at your next event.

Media Release – AVPartners appoints Matt Taylor as Partner at the new Westin Perth

Leading audiovisual company AVPartners has appointed Matt Taylor as Partner at The Westin Perth.

Matt brings over 19 years of experience delivering world-class integrated event experiences using state-of-the-art audiovisual technology to his new role.

Starting in the audiovisual industry as a technician in 1999, when 35mm slide projectors and VHS tapes were still used, Matt has been able to explore every aspect of the industry. He quickly moved up the ranks and joined AVPartners in 2009, bringing an impressive amount of passion and dedication to his work that has never faltered. His most recent role was Partner at AVPartners’ venue Crown Perth.

Regarding his new appointment, Matt said, “I love working with dynamic and creative people each and every day, nothing makes me happier than exceeding the client’s expectations. I’m really excited to offer Perth some amazing events at a new venue, and I’m honoured to be given this opportunity from AVPartners.”

AVPartners’ Managing Partner Andrew Hackett said, “Matt has been an asset to us since joining AVPartners in 2009. I can safely say that The Westin Perth is in very good hands under his watch.”

This role recognises the commitment that AVPartners has to promoting from within and rewarding their hardworking and creative talent.

AVPartners was successfully awarded the audiovisual contract at The Westin Perth in early 2018. AVPartners provides AV support for conferences and events at the location and professional technical assistance for delegates.

Things to consider when planning a stage set

An outstanding stage can really bring an event to life. A stage is the focal point of an event, so it should reflect your theme and purpose, and should be eye-catching enough to maintain your guests’ attention. There are several things to consider when planning a stage set. Here are five:

Practicality

Staging is all about using space wisely to create a focal point, to express brand messaging and to enhance performances or speeches. There are a few basic rules for making a stage functional. It needs to be easy to navigate for the people using it – think of how your entertainers and speakers will get on and off the stage during your event. In order to ensure the smooth running of stage performances and appearances, make sure to create a simple layout and have a clear entry and exit point. It’s also important to consider the positioning of the stage. Remember, it will need to be viewable from every section of the event space to maximise the experience for all guests.

Budget

The stage is the section of your event space that will be viewed the most by your attendees throughout your event, so it’s important to make it memorable and engaging. Your stage set should be given enough consideration and budget to make it spectacular.

Customisation

Think outside the box. A stage doesn’t have to be a rectangle fixture on one side of your event space. It could be a round structure in the middle of the room. It could be an aisle running directly through the seating plan. The more unique your stage design is, the more likely it will wow your guests and create an event to remember.

Branding

As the focal point of your event, your stage can be used as a branding mechanism. Include the right colours, lighting and decor to reflect your branding so that you can build awareness for your business and make a real impact on your guests.

Technology

Your stage set should have a layout that can accommodate your lighting fixtures, your screens and the event’s entertainers and speakers. It should be positioned so that your audio can fill the event space without anything obstructing it. Consider all viewpoints if setting up a screen and use lighting strategically to convey your branding and to wow your guests.

Talk to us today to find out how you can create an outstanding stage set at your next event.

How long does it take to plan a gala dinner?

The perfect gala dinner requires a lot of planning and preparation to ensure that each element comes together seamlessly on the night. From building your guest list and setting your budget to choosing the right sponsors and fundraising activities, you’ll want everything to align to make sure the night goes to plan and that it’s everything you had visualised at the beginning of the planning process.

It can take several months and even upwards of a year to plan a gala dinner. The best way to keep the planning process on track is to put in place an event plan and timeline. Each gala dinner is different, but here is a general timeline of tasks that can help to keep the event planning process on track.

8-12 months before the event

Establish the what and why of your gala dinner and complete the groundwork.

  • Define the event’s purpose
  • Set your budget
  • Identify your fundraising methods e.g. ticketing, silent auction, raffle
  • Select a date and choose a venue
  • Look for sponsors or partners for the night
  • Plan activities, select speakers and book entertainment
  • Choose a theme

3-6 months before the event

Get the wheels in motion and spread the word.

  • Arrange your audiovisual plan and equipment for the night
  • Promote the event, for example via social media, radio or newspapers
  • Confirm speaker arrangements and finalise your entertainment
  • Check for any special venue provisions e.g. wheelchair access, parking arrangements and transport information
  • Start building an attendee list
  • Organise fundraising activities for the night
  • Book catering
  • Send invitations

2-3 months before the event

Establish on-the-night requirements, ramp up event promotion.

  • Organise decorations and table settings
  • Select food
  • Continue to promote the event, for example release special announcements to the press for media coverage
  • Arrange seat planning

1 week before the event

Finalise everything.

  • Finalise guest list and send an event reminder
  • Brief the team for duties on the night
  • Finalise seating plan and create place cards
  • Finalise guest numbers and send to caterers and partners.

1 day before the event

Get ready.

  • Conduct an audiovisual test
  • Make sure auction items, prizes or gifts are on site
  • Make sure everything is prepared for the night
  • Finalise run sheet

The day of the event

Manage the night and enjoy your hard work!

  • Decorate event space and tables
  • Hand out seating charts, the guest list and run sheet to your team
  • Make sure guests arrive
  • Keep the event running to time and deal with any issues as/if they arise
  • Enjoy the night!

After the event

Thank your guests and share the night with the world.

  • Send thank you cards to your guests
  • Finalise fundraiser and make sure participants received gifts or prizes
  • Share event photos
  • Develop an event evaluation outlining your successes and what you can improve on next time

Need to get your AV or staging prepared for your next gala event? We can help. Contact us today.

Media Release: AVPartners promotes Daniel Watters to Partner at Crown Perth

Daniel Watters has been promoted to Partner at Crown Perth.

The role will see Daniel managing a team delivering creative audiovisual (AV) solutions for meetings, conferences, gala dinners and other events at the popular Perth venue.

Daniel previously worked as an Associate at the venue. Daniel has extensive experience in delivering world class event experiences, with strong technical knowledge and client management skills. This, combined with an innovative outlook and passion for his work, has given him a unique skill set at AVPartners.

Prior to joining AVPartners in 2014, Daniel gained over a decade of experience in the AV industry working as an AV technician and event manager.

Commenting on his new role, Daniel said, “I’m extremely proud of this opportunity. I look forward to leading the AVPartners team at Crown Perth and building on our already successful reputation.”

AVPartners’ Managing Partner Andrew Hackett said, “Daniel’s passion for this industry, and dedication to his venue, meant he was the ideal choice for this promotion. He is very deserving of this new role.”

AVPartners is committed to promoting from within and bringing young and creative talent into the management fold. Daniel’s promotion demonstrates this commitment and also recognises his extensive experience and fresh ideas.

AVPartners and Crown Perth have enjoyed a partnership for several years. AVPartners provides AV support for conferences and events at the location and professional technical assistance for delegates.

How poor sound quality can affect your event

What is an event without sound?

Whether it’s in the form of music, speeches, presentations or more, sound is a crucial part to any event. It’s what informs, educates, and entertains your guests; evoking emotion, cause and action. Without it, you would struggle to get your event message across clearly to your guests.

Microphone mishaps, audio delays, or broken sound are just a few of the sound issues that can occur, and have the ability to make or break your event.

So, how can poor sound quality affect your event?

Your guests

Your guests come to your event expecting to be impressed, so it’s a real let down when things like audio fail to meet their expectations. Poor audio can leave them feeling underwhelmed, and can also give them a negative impression of your business, brand, or event purpose.

Your business or brand

With poor audio, your event message may not have had the desired effect or cut-through with your guests, which can make the whole event feel like a waste of time and resources. It can make you appear under prepared and unprofessional which means that guests will be hesitant to do business with you in future.  

Your team

When people work with you at events – be that employees, volunteers, suppliers, sponsors or vendors – they are putting their faith in you and expect a good outcome. When that doesn’t happen, it can actually make them look bad and hurt their reputation, even if they had nothing to do with the issue.

Your future events

If people weren’t impressed at your last event, it’s unlikely they’ll return to the next one. They may even spread the word about how unimpressed they were which means other people may not attend who weren’t even directly affected by the last event!  

Bottom line is – the result of poor sound quality at your event can have lasting effects.

So, how can you ensure that the sound at your next event is without fault?

Hire a professional audiovisual (AV) team

Without the right expertise, things can and do go wrong. A knowledgeable and experienced AV technician knows how to get the balance right to ensure sound is clear, consistent and at the right volume. They’re also on hand to organise, manage, and control it throughout the entire event.

A great AV technician will make adjustments on their sound board to smooth out variations and distribute a more consistent level of sound from speaker to speaker, or song to song, as your event progresses. They can also tune the sound to combat any complications in the acoustics of the event space and amplify the output signal from the speaker to the loudspeakers at the right volume for your audience.

Hiring an in-house AV team, such as AVPartners, can be a fantastic option as in-house teams know their venues well, can offer you a wealth of knowledge and experience, and can tailor audio options to suit your event.

Contact us today to discuss the sound at your next event.

What are multisensory events and are they a good idea for your business?

Have you ever thought about how engaging the senses – for example through a certain scent or tactile experience – might enhance your events?

A multisensory event is an event that actively stimulates multiple senses. The five senses – sight, sound, taste, smell and touch – are each components of the human experience. Our senses stimulate our brain to make us more aware of our surroundings.

By creating stimulation for all five senses at your next event, you can encourage your guests to be more mentally present, alert and engaged. A multisensory experience can also make your event more memorable for attendees.

While sight and sound are common components used at events, taste, smell and touch are largely unexplored by event professionals. According to a study conducted by London & Partners, just 27 per cent of event professionals think that all five sense are used effectively by the industry, while 78 per cent think that multisensory events are more memorable for event attendees.

So how can you make your next event multisensory?

Provide memorable food

Choose your food selection not only according to how it tastes, but also by how it looks and smells, to maximise its impact on your guests. Create a positive sensory experience with your catering by including food that looks impressive and unique, and tastes and smells delicious.

Employ audiovisual creatively

Whether it be the use of a colorful and vibrant light show, the inclusion of a mesmerising sound and light installation or the incorporation of a virtual reality station, AV can help make your event impressive and memorable. As long as it’s executed creatively and professionally, AV can really give your event the wow factor that will leave your guests charmed and entertained.

Use scents strategically

Smells trigger memories. It’s not largely understood why, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that scents, more so than other senses like sight and sound, activate our brains in a way that help us remember certain memories. In addition to making your event more memorable, scents can also help to make event attendees more alert and aware. Scents like lemon, rosemary, cinnamon and peppermint can help with concentration and focus. Consider using air fresheners or oil diffusers to activate your guests’ smell receptors.

Incorporate life size games

Games like life size chess and jenga can help activate the tactile experience for your guests. Touch is a sense that isn’t widely used by event professionals, but it can help to improve the engagement of your event attendees and make your event more memorable.

Talk to us today to learn how you can activate all five senses at your next event.