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:


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.


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.


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!

5 ways to manage your event staff for a successful event

With the many elements that go into the planning, coordination, and delivery of a successful event, it’s little wonder that success is often down to the staff behind the scenes.  

Your event team will be made up of event coordinators, AV technicians, stylists, chefs, hotel staff, food and beverage staff, servers, coat checkers, drivers, parking attendants, ticket-takers and many more – they are the backbone of any good event. The type and size of your event will determine the number and type of staff required, but big or small, all events rely on their staff to run smoothly.

When working with event teams, it’s important to keep your event outcome in mind and consider what each person can bring to the team.

With that in mind, we’ve got a few tips to help you manage your extended event team and ensure you’re all contributing to a seamless and successful event:

Meet them, brief them and designate tasks

Get to know your extended event team. Make sure they know their role, the event message and desired outcome, and what is expected of them.

Offer and accept feedback

Have an open policy for feedback, for you and them. Encourage them to provide suggestions or alert you to problems quickly, and offer them feedback on their tasks. It’s better to know about potential issues sooner rather than later!

Form processes

Create processes for tasks. This will make it so much easier to train or brief someone in that task, and enable them to complete it again and again successfully.

Encourage them to have fun

Events are fun, and just because they can also be a lot of hard work, doesn’t mean your team can’t enjoy themselves in the process. The higher their energy, the more the event atmosphere will benefit, creating a pleasant experience for event guests.

Enjoy yourself!

It is amazing the improved response you will receive if the event team get along with you and enjoy working with you. They will naturally be more inclined to go the extra mile. Which is a win-win for everyone.

At AVPartners, we know how valuable an experienced and reputable event team is to the success of your event. To find out how we can become a critical part of your extended event team, contact us.

Our top tips on lighting for your next event

Often overlooked, lighting is an integral  part of any event. Whether it’s a spotlight on a stage, intelligent pinspot lighting on tables at a gala dinner or your brand’s logo projected onto a feature wall – event lighting is extremely adaptable and impressive.

Not sure how to incorporate lighting into your events? We’ve put together some of our best lighting tips and tricks to help you thrill your event guests!

Lighting can make all the difference at any event

Creative use of the many available lighting technologies can transform the look and feel of an event by enhancing the space, creating a desired ambience in the room and supporting event themes.

There are so many ways in which lighting can be used to make any event feel extraordinary!


Colours help to create atmosphere at your event

When deciding on the lighting for your event, it’s important to consider the role that colours play in creating atmosphere.

The colours you choose, be it for your decor or your lighting, say a lot about your event message, brand, and theme.



Lighting can help you stay within your event budget

Add to the visual appeal of your event by making the most of lighting technology. Clever use of intelligent lighting can completely transform any event space, regardless of size, and make a huge impact.


Gobos can make a big difference

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 or image. The gobo can be made to project patterns, text, logos, and other special effects, which makes them a great option for promoting brands and products. Check out some of our favourite uses of gobos from our events.

Ready to light up your event? Contact us today!

How to use a social media wall at events

Creating excitement and engagement at events can sometimes be a little tricky, especially if people are burying their faces in their smartphones. So if everyone is using their phones anyway, why not make it part of the event?

A good idea to incorporate smartphones into your event is to have a social media wall, harnessing the power of social apps such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. This gives all attendees the opportunity to participate and be part of the conversation and fun.

What is a social media wall?

A social media wall is effectively a digital screen or screens which display different social media channels and feeds. You can opt to have your social media wall across multiple screens throughout your event, ensuring many people see it, or have one main one as a large feature wall.

How do they work?

Social media walls work by displaying one or more social media channels and feeds, in real time. You could have the Facebook feed of the speaker on there, the Twitter feed for the event hashtag, or the Instagram feed of the event sponsors. The options are endless!

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Make sure you #hashtag

You can create an event hashtag that gives your event attendees a way to be a part of the event, so that their posts, photos and updates appear on the social media wall. It fosters a lot of fun and engagement between attendees, and it won’t be long before they are grouped around the screens, excitedly waiting for their post to be shown!

For this to work effectively, you must have a simple and on brand event hashtag, that your attendees can use on their posts so they can easily be found on the various social media channels. Some examples of event hashtags are: #ANZgala2017 #NewtownFestival #JoandTomWedding

Make sure the hashtag is short enough that it doesn’t use up too many characters (especially for Twitter), and not too obscure that it doesn’t read easily or make sense.

Start conversations

You can utilise a social media wall to ask questions at the event, or spark light debate. All attendees can get involved and post their opinions, ideas or replies simply by using the event hashtag.

Update your attendees

You can also use the social media wall for event updates, keeping everyone in the loop and up to date. This is extremely helpful at large trade shows or festivals where information might change throughout the event.

If you’re keen to maximise engagement and interaction at your next event using social media walls, contact us today!

3 creative ways to use a projector at your next event

Gone are the days when a projector’s main purpose was to light up a white wall in a meeting room and project onto it with boring words and graphs.

Projectors are now a huge part of the events industry, and it’s easy to see why! Projecting images, logos, graphics and information onto surfaces not only looks impressive, but also brightens event spaces and can complement your event theme. The options are endless when it comes to creatively planning your event projections.

Here are some of our favourite creative uses of projectors at events:

Creating digital visuals

One of the most common ways to use a projector is to simply project imagery or graphics onto the wall. An example below from our Sofitel Brisbane Central venue shows that this can be utilised in a large format, so it’s a great way to showcase a lot of images or make one stand out. Unlike traditional artwork on canvas, projected images can be changed continually throughout the event, thus changing and enhancing the mood, theme or event message.


Enhancing your branding

Another one of our favourites is to project a business or brand’s logo onto a surface area. This is such a great way to give your brand extra exposure at the event, and can create a feeling of luxe exclusivity. Below is an example of this in the lobby at our Sofitel Brisbane Central venue.


Video projection and projection mapping

The projection fun doesn’t stop at images – we can even project videos onto surfaces! This can be done by simply projecting a video onto a wall, or it can be a source of entertainment in and of itself by using projection mapping. Projection mapping essentially ‘maps’ out the surface area of where the video will go, usually over odd and irregular shapes, before a detailed projection is showcased on the object. It’s the same technology used in Sydney’s Vivid lights festival.

Our team at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) recently did a fantastic job projection mapping a St John’s ambulance, and wowed guests at their conference. They positioned two ‘unbranded’ ambulances in the room on either side of the main stage and projected an animated “multi-stickered” ambulance image onto the vehicles.


To see it come to life, check out the video on PCEC’s site.

If you’re keen to include this technology at your next event, contact us today!

How colours can create atmosphere at your event

When deciding on the styling for your event, it’s important to consider the role that colours play in creating atmosphere. The colours you choose, be it for your decor or your lighting, say a lot about your event message, brand, and theme. Colours can leave your guests with an even deeper appreciation of your event.

Colours can stimulate many different reactions in people, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead, incorporate a bit of thought into your visual element choices and ensure that your colours suit the event type.

You can use certain colours to create atmosphere by:

Using warm, light colours

Warm and light colours such as red, yellow, orange or a combination thereof, can help create a relaxing vibe as they remind people of warm weather and positivity. These colour combinations are great for when you want to encourage interaction and communication between people.

Using cooler colours

Cool colours such as blue, green and purple can make people feel calmer and are somewhat soothing. These colour combinations are used for a lot of awards or gala dinners and tend to give a professional but harmonious vibe.

Using dark colours

Dark colours such as black or navy can create a sophisticated feel at your event, and might help to entice guests to dance. Darker colours are often used for black tie events and can go well with splashes of colour or white, to give some contrast.

Using bright colours

Bright colours include a mixture of warm and cool colours in vibrant tones such as neon. You can use bright colours in your lighting displays to showcase exciting elements, which will easily evoke a fun, party mood from your guests.

As with most event styling options, our colour choices will depend on what you are pairing them with. If you need some help deciding on colours for your next event, contact us today!

How the right AV team can be the difference between a good or bad event

Audiovisual technology can add a special something to your event. Whether you 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.

That’s not to say that sometimes, things just happen that are out of anyone’s control, like a lightning strike resulting in a power outage. But for the majority of events, choosing the right AV team can make a world of difference to your event outcome.

So, how do you choose the right AV team?

Focus on your event goals

A good AV team doesn’t just run the audiovisual components smoothly. They help you add value and drive engagement to maximise your results and increase excitement for your next event.

Figure out the message you want to send out at your event, and the impression you want your guests to walk away with. Sit down with your AV team and discuss all ideas and options. A good AV team will be able to help you visualise the event and all elements.

Also ask your AV team any questions you may have, as this will give you a good indication as to their level of skills and passion. The right team will be able to explain the features and benefits for different audiovisual elements, and help you to make decisions. If you ask questions that they can’t or won’t answer, that might be a red flag for you.

Get techy

Ensure that your AV team have the right technology. For example, a lot of events now incorporate access for virtual attendees, or you may need multiple cameras on a stage. Make sure they are experienced to handle a variety of technologies.

Build trust

The relationship between you and your AV team is extremely valuable to your event. You want a professional team who has seen it all, who are experienced and who you can trust with your event.

Make sure that your AV team has a solid reputation and that they have your best interests in mind.

While all events are different, the overall theme of people coming together to share an experience is something to be celebrated. Contact us today to find out how we can make a difference at your next event.

What is a gobo?

Do you want 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. The gobo can be made to project patterns, text, logos, and other special effects, which makes them a great option for promoting brands and products.

The projected imagery can be projected onto almost any surface, such as the dance floor, the stage or a prepared backdrop – instantly decorating and lighting the surface, transforming the space and promoting your event’s message.

Using gobos can help draw attention to an area of your event, highlight your brand, for sponsor recognition or to share a specific message. For example, gobos can be used at weddings to project bride and groom’s names or alternatively just their initials onto the dance floor or behind a bridal table.

However, they are more than just a decoration or improvement to the event setting. Because of the flexibility in design and impressive visual elements, they really help to set a mood and atmosphere at your event, which gives guests an even better experience and leaves them with a lasting impression of your message.

This article originally appeared at Business Events News.

How to perfect the sound at your event

Audio is one of the most crucial and yet fragile components of an event. You’ve brought these people together to hear your message – what if they can’t? Without the right expertise, things can and do go wrong. How can you ensure that the sound at your next event has the right tone, volume and clarity?

Use the right technology

Quality audio equipment is essential to get the sound right. A good AV technician will be able to guide you on what technology will best suit your event.

For example, it is important your AV technician selects the right microphone depending on the situation. The microphones for your presenters will be different to the microphones used for the musical instruments in a live band.

The voice of a presenter can be relayed clearly with the correct microphone choice and positioning, with adjustments made to the signal to compensate for changes in the presenters voice or when different people are speaking. Everyone speaks at different volumes and clarity levels, so expert attention is needed if different people are to be using the same equipment.

You’ll also need the right loudspeakers, plus subwoofers for music, to deliver the sound to your audience, taking into account the event space, numbers of attendees, ambient noise – and a dozen other factors!

Engage the best AV technicians

A knowledgeable and experienced AV technician knows how to get the balance right to ensure sound is clear, consistent and at the right volume.

Your AV technician will make adjustments on their sound mixer to smooth out variations and distribute a more consistent level of sound from presenter to presenter, or song to song, as your event progresses. They will also tune the audio system to combat any complications in the acoustics of the event space and amplify the output signal from the presenter to the loudspeakers at the right volume for your audience. Sound reinforcement is not set-and-forget!

Do a sound check

Prior to the event, it’s crucial all presenters do a sound check. The AV technician will pre-set the calibrations for each individual presenter, ensuring that the audience experiences a smooth level of sound throughout the event. This will make all the difference in sound quality.

Match the sound to the atmosphere

At different stages throughout your event, the required type of sound will change, whether that be speaker presentations or music. Make sure your event style or theme is reflected in the sound you use, such as the genre of music chosen. For example, classical piano music would suit a sit-down gala dinner event, but isn’t so great for the dance floor.

The volume should also be suitable for the various phases of the event. For example, lower background music works at the times when you want people to talk amongst themselves, whereas a crisper, louder sound is required for a speaker’s presentation.

Choosing the right equipment, setting it up, going over every detail and operating it correctly are vital to ensure great sound at your next event. Engage a knowledgeable and experienced AV provider to gain peace of mind that the sound at your event is in good hands. Contact AVPartners today to see how we can give your next event perfect sound.

Face to Face: Brendon Biffin

Business Events News interviews Brendon Biffin on his approach to work and life.

What is the first thing you do when you get to work?

Review the day’s schedule.

What analogy best describes being a partner of an event AV services company (ie a ring master, sergeant major, conductor etc) and why?

Flight Captain. I steer the plane, but without our highly skilled and dedicated staff, our guests (clients) would not be happy when they arrived at their destination.

Where is the Australian events industry lagging when it comes to AV services?

We are lacking a recognised live events training institution. It is not easy for young people interested in a live events career to break into the industry. There are reputable educators but their training is more studio based rather than live events specific.

What’s the worst AV stuff up you’ve seen in your time in the industry?

A restaurant opening that had a choreographed release of balloons spelling their name. They got stuck in a tree above the stage.

What one sure-fire tip can you give to event organisers when it comes to making sure the AV services run smoothly on the day?

Provide a detailed and accurate runsheet and make it a priority to stick to it.

Should PowerPoint presentations at conferences and conventions die a painful death?

No. Death by Powerpoint can be painful but content is extremely powerful and can engage an audience far more than words when used correctly. Powerpoint, Prezi, Keynote – They all have their place.

What’s the future of business events apps? What do you expect to see in 10 years’ time?

The future of event apps is huge, we are only just scratching the surface. Technology advancements will determine where we take them. Print is dead. Event apps give back to the delegates in terms of relevant and up to minute information, give back to the facilitators in terms of data collection and also give back to the environment.

How many devices do you own (ie iPods, smartphones, tablets etc) and what’s your guilty pleasure game (ie Angry Birds, Monkey Island, etc)?

I own four devices. No games for me – Searching for information via YouTube and Google is my thing.

What plans do you have in store for Sofitel Brisbane Central?

In the next year we will become the most technologically advanced events venue in Brisbane.

What’s the most memorable business event you’ve ever attended in your time with AVPartners?

The AVPartners Bali Conference in 2012. We have a great team of people within AVPartners and our conferences are awesome. I look forward to them every year.