What to do when things don’t go as planned at your event

Planning an event can be really fun and exciting, but it’s not without its challenges.

Giving guests an experience to remember, something that will leave a positive and lasting impression, is a great outcome to aim for. However, you need to plan accordingly in case things don’t quite go as you had envisioned on the day.

The best way to do this is to prepare your contingency plan well ahead of time. A general rule of event planning is that it’s a good idea to checklist everything and double check items at different intervals leading up to your event. Give agendas and timelines out to everyone that could benefit from it. On the day of the event, arrive early. This will give you extra time should something happen and need immediate attention. Remember, there’s no such thing as being over prepared when it comes to event planning!

Even with all your forward planning, things might still pop up that you weren’t expecting, or that you can’t really control. Here are some of the common mishaps we see at events and how to address them:

Schedule overlap

Giving your event’s schedule some wiggle room will do wonders for the little overlaps that tend to occur. Leaving a little room before and after scheduled items will mean that if something needs to push a little, it won’t make the entire event run late.

Weather issues

It is important to have a contingency plan for the weather as it can be really unpredictable. Depending on your event type, this could be as simple as organising umbrellas for some light rain, or it could mean moving your entire event indoors, away from bad weather.

Vendor issues

You may have a vendor cancel unexpectedly, or they may have resourcing issues. While this is a bit out of your control, what you can do is make sure you are in direct contact with them regularly in the lead up to, and during, the event. Arrive early on the day and ensure they have everything they need for their work to run smoothly. Also, have a list of backup vendors ready in case the unexpected happens.

Technical problems

Technical problems can happen at the most inconvenient times, such as when someone is about to speak on stage. Always make sure you are using a professional and reputable AV provider. This will minimise the chance of technical problems and ensure you can address any issues that do arise. Make sure your AV technicians offer onsite support throughout your event, and that they have their own contingency plans in place too. This way, you will always feel secure knowing the show can go on.

Medical emergencies

Medical emergencies require fast reaction times and leadership. At a minimum you need to be aware of where the emergency exits, medical emergency kits, and fire extinguishers are located in your chosen venue ahead of your event. It’s also not uncommon to have or request that a venue representative conduct a safety and housekeeping speech at the start of the presentation, informing guests of what the fire alarm alerts sound like and where the muster points locations are located.

When (or hopefully, if) unexpected things happen at your event, try to remain calm but react as quickly and effectively as possible. Guests will remember how well the issue was handled, or may not even realise there was a problem in the first place.

We’re always prepared for the unexpected here at AVPartners. Contact us today to work together on your next event.

6 things to consider before you plan your next conference

As businesses and brands strive to cut through the noise of the digital age to reach their ideal customer or client, it’s more important than ever before to offer a unique conference experience that engages customers or clients, and leaves them with a positive and lasting impression.

So, before you begin planning your next conference, consider the following: 

The vision and theme

Your vision should incorporate the ‘why’ behind your event. Why are you holding a conference, what is its purpose and why is it worthwhile for people to attend? Your theme should be a unifying factor, it can be as broad or narrow as you like, but will help guests understand and be aligned with your event’s purpose.

The target audience

Who are you trying to target? Think about your overall event outcome and what you would like to achieve from the event. Are you inviting or attracting the right people to help you reach that event goal?

The venue

Choosing the right venue for your conference is crucial to its overall success. Once you know how many guests you intend to attract, you will have an idea of the type of venue you’ll need. Your venue should also be able to assist you with catering and accessibility options. Be sure to also consider the style of the event, and make sure that the venue reflects this along with the guests’ expectations.

The speakers

Speakers at a conference offer an ideal way for relevant and influential people to share their advice, stories, and expertise to the event attendees. Plan to book these people in early, as they can be a major drawcard to attracting people to your conference.

The audiovisual technology

Choosing the right AV and event staging provider is critical to ensuring your event is a success. Not only do they take the stress out of event planning, they bring exceptional expertise and creativity to make sure your event stands out. Whether you want to use lighting elements to create atmosphere in the room, or require a stage to be set up with microphones and speakers, a good AV team will have you covered. Your ideal venue should have a preferred or in-house AV and event staging provider, such as AVPartners.

The photography

Good event photography is something that lives on well past the event. The photos give attendees an opportunity to reflect on the event once it’s done and show others what they missed out on. They can also be used to advertise the next event, or to liven up your social media channels.

With all this in mind, you’ll be well on your way to planning an engaging and successful conference. Contact us today to see how we can make your conference a success.

New 12m LED screen gives Four Seasons Hotel Sydney a competitive edge, thanks to AVPartners

A new state-of-the-art 12-metre-wide by 3.5-metre-high (40 x 11.5 foot) LED screen now sits proudly in the recently renovated Grand Ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, thanks to AVPartners.

Taking centre stage in the ballroom, the screen is four times larger than a traditional projector screen – and runs impressively sharp 4K video and high resolution imagery with spectacular sound to match. It provides endless, cost effective visual, theming and transformative opportunities for events in the new Grand Ballroom.

The addition demonstrates AVPartners’ commitment to adding value through cutting edge AV technology which enhances events and increases revenue for partner venues.

The screen gives the prestigious events venue a major competitive advantage, with the ability to now offer a ‘window to the world’ to guests, showing them spectacular views from anywhere in the world. The possibilities really are endless, and the feedback has been outstanding!

To complement the technology, the ballroom and pre-function foyer have been transformed with elegant interiors by award-winning Australian architects Bates Smart, featuring Art Deco-inspired chandeliers, fluted glass, polished stone and brass, and cream tones.

A grand and timeless space hosting unforgettable events in Sydney for more than 30 years, the Grand Ballroom at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is the first choice venue for celebrations, social gatherings, gala dinner, conferences and corporate events. It seats up to 520 guests banquet-style, and may be divided into two smaller ballrooms. The screen can also be divided into different sections and dimensions, perfect for those requiring a smaller venue space.

Want to find out how we can create a competitive edge at your venue? Contact us to set up a meeting.

Why the value of face-to-face meetings shouldn’t be ignored

Now more than ever before, businesses are relying on the use of long distance communication to run their operations. With remote and virtual workers on the rise, technology is making it easier to stay connected with your colleagues or clients in different offices, states or countries. But does this mean that face-to-face meetings and events are on the decline? Not in the slightest!

Four in five people surveyed by Meetings Mean Business believe they have attended an in-person meeting, conference or event that would have been less successful if conducted remotely. As Meetings Mean Business like to say, “great things happen when people come together!”

The benefits of face-to-face meetings include:

Relationships and Engagement

Being face-to-face is one of the most effective forms of communicating and building relationships. It affords you the opportunity to nurture your relationships and engage those around you in a way that simply can’t be emulated online. Face-to-face meetings are where relationships are built upon, deals are struck, and brainstorming is at it finest.

Connection and Trust

While certainly worthwhile, digital communication doesn’t always allow you to build as solid a level of trust between people. In person, you can physically shake the hand of the person you’re connecting with, you might share a laugh and even go to get a coffee together. All of these things build up strong, personal communication which is at the centre of all positive outcomes.

Clarity and Efficiency

Sometimes what we say can get a little lost in translation across online or digital communication methods. People may misinterpret a tone, meaning or message, and go forth with a completely wrong idea. Face-to-face meetings diffuse many misunderstandings straight away, therefore rendering them a more efficient way to get your point across.

Ultimately, the key to getting the most out of your events is to consider all avenues. With so many options available to us, we can choose the best way for us to communicate and build lasting relationships with our colleagues, clients or stakeholders. This may mean holding your event in-person, online or a hybrid of both. Contact us today to discuss your next meeting or event.

AVPartners event planning wrap up

We love sharing our tips and ideas when it comes to event planning, and we realised we have a lot of great blog posts that can help.

Take a look at some of our favourite topics that will help you plan your next event:

Choosing a venue

One of the most important aspects when planning an event is where the event will be held. The venue for an event can mean the difference between a successful event, and a mediocre one. Luckily, we have some experience working with awesome venues! Here are our tips for choosing the right venue for your event.

Event styling

Styling an event can be the most exciting part of event planning! This is where you get to choose the look and feel of your event. It’s an important part of the event planning process as it lays the foundation for how guests will experience the event.

Event styling incorporates furniture, decor, colour, centrepieces and table layouts, props, audiovisual and digital elements. It takes your guests on a journey, showcasing your theme, your branding and your ideas.

Budgeting

To effectively plan an event within your budget, consider the benefits of technology. Technology has an important role to play in event planning, and can be used in a variety of ways to help plan, organise, and execute an event while remaining within your event budget.

Social media

When social media is incorporated into an event, it can be hugely impactful and influential, generating immeasurable event awareness before, during and well beyond the event.

There are a number of different ways to incorporate social media into your event; such as using social media to promote your event and having a social media wall at your event to drive engagement.

Catering

Food has a special place at all events; it brings people together in a fun and engaging way, and will give your guests a culinary experience to remember. Stuck on what type of catering is right for your event style and budget? Check out these popular catering types.

The event message

There’s no point holding an event that gives out the wrong or unintended message to guests. Make sure you can effectively communicate your event message loud and clear.

Interested in finding out more about any of these topics or want to get started planning your next event with us? Contact us today!

4 great benefits of holding an offsite meeting

Considering going offsite for your next business meeting? An offsite meeting is where you bring your team together in a different location to your usual office to hold a meeting, coordinate a strategy day, or deliver training.

Here are 4 great benefits of holding an offsite meeting:

Your team will be focussed

Being offsite means your team won’t be as easily distracted as they may be in their usual work surroundings. This will lead to improved productivity and better meeting outcomes.

Your team will network and bond

There’s no substitute for meeting in person, so an offsite meeting should include time for ‘team building’ – which could be as simple as a nice break with catered lunches, or a little more involved such as morning yoga to start the day. Giving your team a chance to chat and loosen up will allow them to relax and engage in the day’s activities.

Your meeting can be tech-savvy

Holding your offsite meeting at a venue that offers state of the art audiovisual (AV) technology means that you can get creative and leverage this in your meeting. From live streaming through to enhanced projection capability, creative audiovisual can grab your team’s attention and hold it.

You encourage creativity

Whether you are holding your meeting for brainstorming, forward planning, or strategy, chances are being in a new environment will inspire creativity in your team, and encourage new ideas in a way that can’t be replicated in-house.

Talk to us today to plan your next offsite meeting!

How to impress with a business dinner

Business dinners are a great way to combine relaxed fun and entertainment with professionalism and networking. They offer guests a chance to mingle, catch up, and learn more about each other in a more casual environment than the office or board meeting scene.  

A business dinner might be planned to celebrate milestones; to thank and recognise clients, customers or staff; to introduce new products, services, or ideas; or simply to continue with long-standing traditions. They offer guests a chance to let their hair down while also cementing your brand identity in their minds.

Some things to keep in mind when planning a business dinner to impress include:

Venue

First things first – a great venue will delight your guests as soon as they arrive. Perhaps the venue is in a gorgeous location, is modern, sleek or awe-inspiring. Ensure your guests enter your business dinner with a smile on their face.

Entertainment

For a business dinner, an engaging or classy choice of entertainment is best, such as a presentation by a motivational speaker, or a smooth and slow band to set the mood.

Catering

Impressive food doesn’t need to be oysters or caviar. Your chosen venue may offer dining specialties that can give your dinner a point of difference. Often, the most impressive options involve presenting tried and true favourites in new ways.

AV and styling

Advances in audiovisual technology mean there are endless ways to inspire guests at a business dinner. From lighting up the tables in your brand colours, to projecting your logo onto the walls – there are no shortage of ways to thrill. Add this to themed styling and decor, and your guests will be talking about this dinner for weeks to come!

Contact us today to start planning your next business dinner!

How to hold an engaging panel discussion at your next event

A panel discussion is a great way to bring together influential speakers at an event to offer their advice, stories, and expertise to the event attendees. The audience is given a chance to ask thought-provoking questions and get different perspectives in real time. Panel discussions are a great inclusion to many events, however they do require a bit of planning to ensure success.

Here’s what you need to know to hold an engaging panel discussion at your next event:

Mix up your panelists

To ensure you have adequate diversity in your panel, make sure to include people with various opinions, backgrounds, industries, specialisations, ages, and experiences. This will mean your audience can benefit from a range of knowledge, and it also means your panelists won’t be competing with one another.

Choose an engaging moderator

A moderator is an important part of a panel discussion. They will introduce each speaker, ask questions and direct attention to certain people or topics. The moderator keeps the discussion on track and flowing, so it’s best to choose wisely. Ideally you want someone who can get the most out of the panelists while having a little fun with the audience.

Get prepared

It’s a good idea to prepare early and choose panel questions well ahead of schedule, giving each panelist time to prepare their answers. Make sure the moderator and panelists have input, this will make them feel valued during the process.

Set the stage

Generally speaking, panel discussions are on a stage with panelists seated on a lounge or chairs facing the audience. It’s best practice to not have them sit behind a desk as it can cut off the open flow of communication. It’s a good idea to check with your AV provider about what AV is required, such as spotlight lighting, fixed desktop microphones, lapel microphones or a shared wireless microphone that can be passed along to each speaker. At AVPartners we have an exciting ‘Question & Answer’ product called Catchbox. It’s the world’s first ‘soft throwable microphone’, allowing easy and fun audience participation, discussion and most importantly, encouraging engagement.

Using a reputable AV provider will ensure the panelists are successfully seen and heard, and that their messages are conveyed effectively to the audience.

Contact us today to start planning your panel discussion!

How to plan an event that appeals to Millennials

At many events these days, the Millennial generation makes up a huge part of the demographic. A Millennial is someone born roughly between 1982 and 2004, also known as Generation Y. They have specific tastes, wants, and expectations, and catering to these successfully could mean your event and your business holds them as a long term consumer.

Here are our top ways to appeal to Millennials at your next event:

Get social

It sounds obvious, but social media is where Millennials hang out online, so utilise this before, during and after your event. You can sell event tickets through social media, get discussions started to build excitement in the lead up, encourage photo sharing and tagging before and during the event, and also get more social media followers in the process!

Impress with AV technology

Millennials are tech savvy and therefore expect the very best when it comes to AV. Utilise modern lighting effects throughout the venue, and make sure audio for presentations is clear and professional.

Incorporate digital and tech at all points – from an event app, to digital signage and image projection onto walls or other objects! Another great idea is to offer charging stations for guests’ smartphones and other devices; this will save people from leaving the event to get their charger, or disengaging due to not having their device charged.

Go green

Millennials are usually more concerned than other generations about the environment, so minimising your event’s carbon footprint will leave a good impression on them. Using more digital channels rather than paper helps immensely, as does offering recycling options during the event and promoting the green efforts you have made in planning and delivering the event.

For more info on planning an event which appeals to Millennials, talk to us today!

What style of catering should you have at your event?

Food has a special place at all events; it brings people together in a fun and engaging way, and will give your guests a culinary experience to remember. The catering at an event can make up a large portion of your budget, so you want to make sure you’re choosing the right catering style for your event type. When matched with creative audiovisual elements, your choice of catering can further enhance the wow factor.

Here are some of the most popular catering styles:

Banquet Dinner

A banquet style dinner is a more formal, sit down catering style. It usually includes a set amount of courses, for example; entree, main, and dessert. Everyone at the table gets their food at the same time and you can spread out activities such as speeches, awards, entertainment or dancing in between courses. Banquet dinners are a great opportunity to dazzle your guests with pin-spotlight lighting on their individual tables, which can also be coloured to match your brand or theme.

Cocktail

A cocktail catering style means your guests have the opportunity to mingle and network while finger food gets served around the room. It’s a great way for people to interact and network with each other throughout the event, and an optimal choice for adding music to complement the atmosphere.

Food Stations

More and more we are seeing special food stations set up in event spaces. This could mean a dessert bar, a juice station, or a tapas section. Guests make their own way to each station and choose what they like. Food stations can be set up to go along with a more traditional style of catering such as a banquet, or as stand alone catering. Creative lighting and theming can help enhance food stations, creating further appeal.

Whatever you decide, we’re sure your event will be a treat for the tastebuds! Talk to us for more ideas.