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Steve Rowe and Ben Hamblin have been promoted to Partner and Associate respectively at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre as of January 2020. 

Steve Rowe

Steve has worked for AVPartners since April of 2012 as a Technical Event Manager in Sales managing high-profile national and international events and was promoted to Associate in 2018.

Now leading a crew of 50 staff, Steve said, “We have a close-knit team that really work together to deliver some of WA’s most prestigious events. Everyone has been supportive of my move into the Partner role, and I look forward to continuing to do what we do best: deliver exceptional events.”

Ben, previously a Technical Event Manager in Sales has been promoted to Associate and under Steve’s direction will be working closely with the Operations and Technical Event Management team. 

Ben brings a wealth of technical knowledge to the role having started with AVPartners as a Trainee Technician in 2011 and moving through the ranks to Technical Director in 2014, where he spent four years executing some of the largest shows in Perth. 

Ben Hamblin

Between them, Steve and Ben boast 25 years of experience in the AV industry and both are excited to continue AVPartners Perth’s legacy of event excellence with concepts that engage, entertain and delight. 

AVPartners’ Senior Partner Merv Jones said, “Both Steve and Ben have extensive experience in the industry, and approach their roles with incredible innovation and dedication. These promotions are well deserved and we are excited about the future of this leadership duo.”  

AVPartners and the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre have enjoyed a partnership for several years. AVPartners provides integrated AV solutions for conferences and events at the venue.

The lead up to Christmas can be quite hectic, especially when you are planning a special Christmas function. With so many elements to an event, it’s important to remember how crucial your audiovisual needs are to the event’s success. Keeping in contact with your AV Event Coordinator in the week leading up to your Christmas event will ensure everything runs smoothly on the day.

Here are four tips for ensuring your Christmas function goes smoothly:

Hand digital content and run sheets over

You have spent countless hours preparing incredible content to display throughout your Christmas function. In the week before the event, hand the content over to your AV Event Coordinator and their team who will test your content and ensure it performs as expected. Leaving the content to the day of the event and discovering that the file does not open or play correctly on the screen is a pitfall nobody wants. Checking this a few days out ensures that any corrections can be made in time.

Put your entertainment in touch with the audiovisual team

If you booked any live performers such as a band, it is a great idea for them to touch base with the audiovisual company before the event. This ensures that they can discuss equipment requirements, stage set-up, sound-check and anything else that will ensure smooth transitions between event audio, speeches and live music.

Finalising floor plans

Finalising the floor plans locks in the layout of your event space and ensures correct catering for the event. Confirm the final numbers — particularly on large events, confirm any dietary requirements, check floor plans and make any changes to the room layout. If you have assigned seating, discuss how seating charts can be displayed; if this will be digital supply the media content.

Have a walk-through with your AV Event Coordinator

Your AV Event Coordinator is your contact for all aspects of your audiovisual needs, and it is important to schedule a walk-through with them if possible. If time and geography permits, this face-to-face meeting is when you have an opportunity to see your event space and make any last-minute requests or changes to audiovisual needs or setup and have a final review of the digital content.

About Ritchie Harland

Ritchie Harland is the Partner at Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort for AVPartners, an unrivalled provider of fully integrated event solutions to premier conferencing and event venues in Australia. AVPartners delivers superior technical production and audiovisual technology, tailored event design and styling, with teams of highly-skilled industry professionals. www.avpartners.com

Originally published in Business Events News publication 26th November 2019 for the column ‘Partner Up’.

AVPartners has once again demonstrated their dedication to nurturing talent by appointing Michael Berger as Associate at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. 

Previously the leading Technical Event Manager at the premier Sydney venue, Michael brings to the Associate role 13 years of AV industry experience. 

The promotion will see Michael apply his knowledge of complex events and team leadership to a wider scope of operational responsibilities and day-to-day processes.

Regarding his promotion, Michael said, “I am looking forward to taking a more central role in AVPartners at the Four Seasons Hotel. I’m excited about the opportunity for continued growth and the new challenges I have yet to face in an industry that truly never gets old.” 

Michael joined AVPartners in 2016 with the Sales Team and acknowledges the support of Venue Partner, Nigel Taylor, and Regional Partner, Teresa Amey, in his career progression.

Michael said, “AVPartners has allowed me to grow in not only my career but also on a personal level.” 

AVPartners’ Partner at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, Nigel Taylor, said, “It was important that whoever took on the role possessed strong leadership skills and an entrepreneurial approach; Michael has demonstrated this over the last three years and his promotion was an easy choice for management to make. I look forward to seeing him take on the responsibilities of his new role.”

User generated content is an easy way for brands and companies to expand their marketing reach with little to no hands-on effort. With the prevalence of social media, companies can easily share content that their audience creates. The power of this is that their audience effectively becomes an endorser for the company, without payment having occurred. This also means the company gains trust amongst its audience.

So how can you translate this to encourage user generated content at your next event? Here are 8 tips.

Create a hashtag

Create a relevant hashtag with your delegates prior to the event and if it’s annual, make sure you include the year so your delegates don’t accidently post about a different event. For example, if you are hosting the National Safety Conference 2019, your hashtag might be #natsafetyau19.

Create a social media wall at your event.

This consists of a large screen, or wall that you can project onto and is linked to popular social media feeds like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The wall should focus on your event hashtag or handle and see all the pictures, tweets and status updates your delegates are posting live throughout the event.

Create a selfie wall

Different to a social media wall, this consists of a physical frame or backdrop featuring your event hashtag, theme colours and anything else that will clearly identify your event. Attendees can then take a selfie with the frame to add to their own social media pages. As added incentive to take a selfie, you may wish to allocate certain times your delegates can get a photo with a superstar speaker. Having the chance to get a picture with an expert in their industry is a great incentive to get involved, and effectively promote your event.

Run a contest

This is a fun way to encourage your attendees to upload their own pictures and videos of the event. You could run the competition like a treasure hunt and the first person to post a photo of a certain exhibition stand, for example, could win free tickets to next year’s event. If you change the competition frequently enough, this will encourage your attendees to continue posting photos and videos for their chance to win.

Create an interactive conference program

Encourage your attendees to get up and take part during the presentations. Whether it be by sharing their opinion alongside an industry expert or running a roundtable, give your attendees a reason to take pictures or videos and connect with one another. This is the perfect opportunity for the ‘humblebrag’ where you delegates can say “look where I am and look what I did.”

Theme your event

Theming allows you to create interesting concepts, images, colours and shapes that your attendees are bound to want to take photos of. If you choose to have a theme, you can promote it through your audiovisual elements, dress code, invitations, programs, marketing, decor, entertainment, food and music. For example, an Alice in Wonderland theme might include a big screen with a looped video of Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Your tables could have teacups and red roses as centrepieces.

Hire awesome entertainment

Impressive entertainment can really set your event apart from the rest. By choosing highly visual or sound focused entertainment, you can give your attendees something to video or take photos of. You might consider hiring comedians, puppeteers, magicians, dancers, trapeze artists, balloon artists or DJs. Encourage your attendees to share the photos or videos they take on your social media pages to get the word out.

Leverage influencers

If you have held your event previously, you will already have social media followers. Turn these followers into influencers by encouraging them to write a review on your social media page about their favourite part of the event. Sharing their feedback is a great way to encourage new people to attend and shows your past attendees you value their thoughts and opinions. This feedback can also help you learn and create a better event.

AVPartners is an in-house audiovisual specialist for hotels and event venues around Australia. We can help to bring your event alive with a theme and can support the technical needs of your event. If you would like help encouraging user generated content at your event, contact us today.

One of the biggest challenges when hosting an event is ensuring you have enough guests attending to make the event worthwhile. Here are 5 tips that can help you to boost your numbers at your next conference, without the last minute ‘free-ticket’ scramble.

Consider the timing of your event

It’s important to do careful research when considering what time of year to hold your conference. To encourage guests to attend, ensure there are no other competing conferences, events or holidays that may draw your delegates away from attending.

To avoid conflicting events, the first step is to conduct some research looking for other conferences, awards ceremonies and gala dinners that may be of interest to the industry. Take note of when they are being held and when there are reasonable gaps.

Secondly, think about busy holiday periods, like summer when people are inclined to travel and also any holidays that are industry specific, for example bank holidays for those in finance or school holidays for educators. Steer clear of those.

Next, consider how long you want your event to run for. While you may have a lot of content to cover, it may not be practical to host a week-long affair. You will need to consider the cost of venue hire and how much time your potential delegates are likely to get off work.

Offer early bird pricing and reward last year’s attendees

If this is an event you have held previously, an easy way to encourage attendees to register is to offer a returning delegate discount. This is a good starting point to gauge early interest in your event.

You may also wish to offer discounts for colleagues working at the same company. For example, if two delegates from the same company register (at the same time), a third can come for free!

Alternatively, ‘early-bird’ pricing for keen attendees who register far in advance is another way to draw a baseline of expected numbers. If you get good takeup for your early bird pricing, either your discount is too good to refuse or your attendees believe you really have something exciting and important to share.

Invite a high profile speaker or entertainer to present

Whether it be a celebrity in the industry or an actual Hollywood celebrity, getting a notable person involved in your event is sure to boost event registrations as your attendees want the opportunity to see and meet this high-flyer.

Remember that high flyers may ask for payment to be involved in your event, so if you plan to go down this route, make sure you factor that in to your budget.

They may also only be available at certain dates or times, so either consider this when choosing a date to host your event or make sure that your agenda is flexible.

Use reputable suppliers for your catering, audiovisual and venue needs

Choosing well-known suppliers for all your event needs, demonstrates the professional calibre of your event.

Some suppliers work in-house, like AVPartners, so they have strong knowledge of the venue you have hired and will be well connected with staff. This means aspects around setup may be integrated, creating a more cohesive event. For example, if you are choosing to have a theme, the way the room is dressed and the lighting and sound utilised to reflect this theme will be in sync.

Having a strong understanding of the venue is particularly useful for audiovisual suppliers as they will know the quirks of lighting and sound inside your chosen venue. With strong venue knowledge, they can set your lighting at the appropriate height and sound at the appropriate level to achieve best results.

Likewise, if you have any type of query, it’s easier to be pointed towards the right staff member who can assist. Using seasoned suppliers also means you have strong support should something go wrong.

Promote your event using social media

Social media has the ability to reach far and wide very quickly. It’s easy to create a social media page advertising your event and have interested people share this and talk about it. People are far more likely to be interested in an event if their friends are attending.

It’s worthwhile encouraging attendees to get involved in a conversation on social media as a way to promote the event. Or better still, provide your attendees with a ‘sneak peek’ of what they can expect to see at the event. Perhaps a short video of a speaker or photos from a past event. This is a great way to create excitement around your event and it’s easy content for your attendees to share and hopefully entice others to register.

AVPartners are the in-house audiovisual specialists for a range of hotels and event venues across Australia. Contact us so we can assist you to boost your delegate numbers at your next conference.

Recently, we wrote about how to hold a successful seminar, but it’s also important to know how long it usually takes to organise a seminar. Whether you are planning to host a seminar for the first time, or you have held many before, it’s always handy to have a checklist and clear plan of what you need to achieve success.

So, what do you need to know to plan your seminar and how long will it take?

6 months prior to your seminar

Establish your goals for the seminar

  • What is the purpose of the seminar? Think about why you are running the event and what will the attendees get out of it.
  • How many people would you like to attend? You may wish to take into account the amount of people who may be interested to attend your event virtually. This is a great way to increase your numbers but means you need to consider technological requirements.
  • What profit would you like to make? This will affect how much you spend and how you set ticket pricing and sponsorship packages (if applicable). Look at budgets from previous years for advice.

Select a venue and date

  • Think about where your attendees will be coming from and choose a venue that is convenient and also within budget. Since you have set a goal of how many people you would like to attend, this may help narrow down your venue choices.
  • Speak with the venues about which dates they have available and choose what you think will be most appropriate.
  • If you plan to webcast your seminar, confirm the venue has wifi available and check the speed and quality to avoid dissatisfied virtual attendees.
  • Ask if the venue has preferred suppliers or in-house vendors for things like audiovisual (AV) and catering, and what the pricing structure and contractual agreements are with those companies.

3 months out

Research and select your speakers

Research is important to choose the right speaker, to give the right message at your seminar. Look into previous presentations your favourite speakers have given and contact them to see if they are available and willing to present.

Consider what you need to deliver to reflect your goals

Now you know when and where your event will be held, and what your seminar will discuss, you need to decide how this will be conveyed.

  • Consider the style of room setup. Will the seminar be highly interactive with ballroom roundtables or will it be presentation style where a classroom setup will suffice?
  • How long will setup and packdown take? Does the venue have certain requirements?
  • What are your AV needs? Will you need handheld microphones for questions? Will your speakers need lapel microphones? Will you need many big screens? Put a request in for the AV equipment you will need.
  • Draft the agenda. Think about the start and finish times, meal times and what times each of your speakers will be presenting, including how long they will speak. You can use your agenda, once finalised, to increase your marketing and promotional efforts via social media and printed materials.

Organise your website and promote your event

Now you have a clear topic in mind and a venue and date, you can start encouraging your target attendees to register to attend. If you have confirmed your speakers then you can use these as a promotional tool to encourage your attendees to register. Consider offering early-bird rates to secure those initially interested.

1 month out

  • Apply for any special permits.
  • Organise a menu with the caterers.
  • Start designing your signage for the event.
  • Organise an event runsheet for the day including what time your suppliers can enter the room and start setting up.
  • Organise your shipping arrangements for big materials that cannot be personally delivered to the venue.

2 weeks out

  • Confirm all external parties involved including AV, catering, decorations and speakers. Ensure each of these groups know what they need to bring on the day and see if they have any questions.
  • Confirm your shipping arrangements – know when and where your items will be picked up and dropped off.

The day before

Write a checklist and stick to it. Think about what you need to pack to bring to the event, like attendee badges, printed programs, writing materials and what you will need to setup and organise on the day. Make sure all relevant people have a copy of the event runsheet.

This timeline will help you organise your next seminar by providing a solid plan. AVPartners serve as the preferred in-house AV suppliers to a variety of venues across Australia and can assist with lighting, audiovisual requirements and event theming and styling. If you would like help with your next seminar, contact us today.

Planning and executing an event can be an exciting, yet very busy time. Most require months of preparation and strong plans in place to achieve the best outcome. However, from time to time even the most seasoned of event planners can face challenges.

So, what are some common event planning mistakes and how can you avoid or overcome them?

Poor communication

As an event planner, a key responsibility is to know what is going on across your internal team and external parties like suppliers and event speakers and attendees. However, if you don’t communicate clearly to each relevant group what you are expecting from them, then it’s likely that mistakes will be made as each member of your event delivery team will be unsure of their responsibilities.

The best way to overcome this challenge is to make a runsheet – this is a clear breakdown of what should be happening throughout the event and who will be completing each task. It must include times to start and finish certain tasks and should have the contact details of key members of the event delivery team so that each member of the team knows who to speak to if they have questions.

Lack of clear signage

Don’t have your event attendees running late for their favourite speakers or preferred sessions because they can’t find where a certain presentation is being given. The best way to overcome this challenge is to make sure each room is clearly signposted and there are clear directions to other spaces. Digital signage can assist with this as you can use one screen to give multiple directions and even feature moving maps, directing event attendees to main events like keynote speaker sessions or lunch.

Leaving equipment rental to the last minute

So you’ve organised the big ticket items like screens, projectors, lights and staging, but what about handheld microphones, lapel microphones and laser pointers? These are often requested by speakers. It’s tempting to only put in an order once you know what you require to avoid excess spending, but your AV suppliers will likely be working on many events at once and may not have excess inventory to accommodate your last minute requests. Plan in advance and order a few things, despite what your speakers may need, so you don’t miss out.

Not allowing enough time for setup

One of the biggest areas that event planners overlook is underestimating the amount of time it takes to set up their event. Event setups often take longer than anticipated as challenges generally will arise and you might have to make changes. The best way to avoid running out of time is to include setup time in your runsheet and always add more time for setup than you think you will need. It’s better to have excess time and be relaxed before your event starts than running around at the last minute. You must contact your suppliers at least 48 hours before the event to confirm what time they will be arriving and ask if they have any questions you can solve beforehand. Doing this can help to  speed up your setup on event day.

Forgetting to anticipate that problems will arise

Even the most seasoned of events organisers know problems will arise on the day. It’s Murphy’s Law! The best way to avoid this is to make contingency plans, anticipating what might go wrong. Make sure you have extra copies of programs, ensure a speaker has sent their presentation through ahead of time in case they leave their USB at home, give any materials you shipped a few extra days to arrive, check, double check and triple check how the technology works, order extra food and make a packing list. If you have a checklist of all the things you need, you will be less likely to leave anything behind.

Sometimes mistakes happen and this can be stressful. But if you are prepared, this can help lessen the blow and make your event appear smooth, professional, and seamless despite how you may be feeling inside. If you would like help with your next event, contact us today.

Whether you’re delivering a keynote speech, running a seminar, or doing a panel discussion, it is likely that your top priority is to keep your audience engaged. Without an engaged audience, your messaging simply will not cut through. Luckily there are many ways to make your presentations more engaging.

In addition to using humour, the right body language, and practicing over and over in front of the mirror,  there are a few ways to ensure your presentations grab the attention of your audience and keep them engaged. Here are a few:

Be a storyteller

People engage with things that they can relate to. By telling stories instead of reciting reams of information you can communicate ideas in a personal way. Storytelling can help you connect with your audience on a human level. While storytelling is an effective technique for engaging audiences, it’s important to keep the story relevant to the event theme and purpose so that you can drive your message home.

Make sure the audio is perfect

There’s nothing worse than a speech that doesn’t fill the entire event room. Muffled and delayed audio are two of the biggest culprits in breaking an otherwise great presentation. Working with a professional AV team with state-of-the-art technology can really put your mind at ease leading up to and during your presentation.

Use second screen technology

Smartphones can sometimes be a distraction for people at events. So why not incorporate them into your presentation and make them work for you rather than against you? Second screen technology makes use of people’s smartphones to enhance what is being delivered on the primary event screen. It’s a great way to make your presentation interactive and encourage audiences to connect with your content.

Get the staging right

Styling and staging is what people will see surrounding you during your delivery. In other words it’s like the framing of your presentation. For this reason, the staging should support what your presentation is about. It should reflect the theme of the event and help enhance what you have to say. This can be achieved by installing branded posters, using eye-catching decorations or even positioning yourself strategically on the stage to grab the attention of your audience.

Light it up

If executed well, lighting can make a presentation lively and eye catching, but if it’s executed poorly, it can make it drab or even worse, distract from your presentation. Lighting should help, not hinder your presentation, so make sure the lighting isn’t reflecting in a way that will form a distraction from your delivery – like off the podium, jewellery that you’re wearing, or your glasses! If you’re looking to add that something special to your next event, gobos are one of the most striking, versatile yet affordable lighting options. A gobo is essentially a stencil cut out of glass or metal, that is then positioned between a spotlight and the area you want lit, creating a unique projected shape. A professional lighting team like AVPartners can bring your presentation to life through effective and professional audiovisual.

Be colour conscious

It’s important to consider how the use of colour can create varying experiences during your presentation. Blue for instance, can create a calm atmosphere and is said to promote clear thought, while red can stimulate the mind and promote action.

If you would like help setting up your next presentation for success, contact AVPartners.

For event planners, it’s important to make each of your events unique in order to encourage re-attendance, make your events memorable and promote your event messaging. Here are a few ways you can make every event unique.

Use lighting strategically

Lighting can be used to set your colour scheme, create a certain mood, revitalise guests, bring your theme to life and draw attention to areas within your event space. When used strategically, lighting can breathe life into your event agenda and can impress your guests. To make your event unique through strategic lighting, it’s important to use state-of-the-art technology and work with a team of lighting experts.

Theme your event

Theming your events is one of the most obvious ways to create a unique experience for guests. A theme is an idea or concept behind your event which can be brought to life through your visual elements, invitations, agenda, marketing, dress code, food and entertainment. By promoting your theme through all aspects of your event, you can make each event experience feel unique for guests.

Prioritise your styling

Styling creates the look and feel of your event. Event styling incorporates furniture, decor, table layouts, props, audiovisual and digital elements. It is one of the most effective ways to set the atmosphere of your event. How would you like your guests to feel at your event? Your styling will help you facilitate a certain event experience to make the day unique.

Hire entertainment

Impressive entertainment can really set your event apart from the rest. By choosing entertainment based on your theme, you can make each event unique. Entertainment doesn’t need to be limited to a musical act. You might consider hiring comedians, puppeteers, magicians, dancers, trapeze artists, balloon artists or DJs.

Incorporate augmented or virtual reality

Augmented reality involves computer-generated interactive elements appearing in the real world, usually viewed through a smartphone, tablet or headset. Virtual reality is a computer-generated experience, most commonly created through the use of a headset, that makes the user feel like they are in a different world. Using technology to create an augmented or virtual reality experience can provide an opportunity to promote your event messaging and branding and can create an exciting and unique experience for your guests.

Work with AVPartners

Through unique styling and exceptional lighting, the AVPartners team can help you put on an event that will wow your guests. Unlike most audiovisual teams who work with different event spaces for each of their events, AVPartners are AV experts in their own venues. The team is able to utilise every aspect and capability of the event space and technology to bring your event to life.

If you would like help making your next event unique through styling and audiovisual production, contact AVPartners today.

Leading audiovisual company AVPartners has installed a permanent 10.5m LED screen in the ballroom of the Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach.

The state-of-the-art ultra-wide screen is over three times larger than a traditional projection screen and displays high resolution imagery, and 4K video accompanied by crystal clear sound.

The only permanent screen of its type in event spaces in the region, the LED screen offers Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach customers a very impressive, yet cost effective way to enhance their events at the venue.

To complement the technology, Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach has undergone a soft refurbishment.

AVPartners’ Partner at Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, Mitch Tucker, said “The brand new ultra-wide LED screen opens up endless opportunities for us to create spectacular event experiences for our clients. The technology represents the future of corporate events, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer it at Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach.”

Director of Sales and Marketing at Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, Christian Wachter, said “AVPartners has truly gone above and beyond to add value to our venue and clients. The new technology further bolsters Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach’s reputation as a premier luxury Queensland venue.”

To book an inspection contact Mitch Tucker on +61 (0) 438 160 429.

About AVPartners

AVPartners is a leading provider of audiovisual services to major venues. Combining state-of-the-art audiovisual technology, unrivalled expertise, and a highly-tailored approach, AVPartners delivers unique event experiences. AVPartners innovative business model not only enhances events through the provision of technical production, audio, visual, lighting, rigging, event design and styling, but also improves C&E revenues.

www.avpartners.com

About Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach

Immerse yourself into Australia’s chic coastal lifestyle at one of the most perfectly situated hotels in Broadbeach. Created with the philosophy that authentic experiences and smart design are vital to today’s global nomad, Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach was designed so guests can personally connect with their surroundings and each other in locally inspired luxury, style and sophistication.

Merging a modern, beach-savvy aesthetic with European elegance, Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach features beautifully appointed ocean view accommodation and bright, spacious social areas that celebrate the Gold Coast’s brilliant surf and sun. The hotel also features a pair of stunning swimming pools and a Two Chef Hat restaurant, room81 that brings guests and stylish Broadbeach locals together for signature cocktails, cuisine and nightlife experiences.

www.sofitelgoldcoast.com.au