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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.

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.

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.

The benefits of live streaming your event

Live streaming has become a bit of a craze lately. If Facebook Live, Youtube live stream and Twitter live video are anything to go by, people seem to love experiencing things online in real time. The capability of live streaming has become hugely popular in recent years, especially for events that attract global attention. Live streaming offers people the opportunity to experience events, even if they can’t be there in person.

Perhaps you’ve considered live streaming your event, but you’re not entirely sure if it’s the right thing to do. Maybe you’ve thought, “Well, it could be great exposure, but then again who will purchase a ticket if it’s going to be live streamed for free?” This is a very sensible question to ask. Although there are many benefits to live streaming events, it’s important to consider whether it is right for your event. Some events thrive on exclusivity. Keeping an event exclusive might help with setting ticket prices, selling tickets, or attracting thought leaders. These events might benefit from being kept intimate instead of being live streamed. But for many events, especially ones that have an objective of broadcasting information or selling a certain product or service, live streaming can be greatly beneficial. Here’s why.

Maximise your exposure

Live streaming, especially via social media can help build exposure for your event. Your event can be live streamed to your social media audience, but it can also reach a larger audience if the content is shared and interacted with online. Live videos tend to attract more online engagement compared with other types of content. They incite a sense of urgency, compelling people to watch. When you share your live stream to social media, you also have the option of running ads in order to reach an even wider audience.

Use data to improve your events

When you live stream your event, it gives you the opportunity to learn more about your audience through online data. Bringing your event online can help you gather important information about who your audience is and what they like (or dislike) about your event. Whether you’re live streaming on your website or social platforms, you have access to data on who is engaging with your content. This information can help you make improvements on your event next time around.

Provide a channel of communication for your audience

If you’re broadcasting your event on social media, your live stream will give your event goers and online audience a platform to interact with you while the event is running. It gives them the opportunity to ask important questions about keynote speakers, products being launched or whether there are follow up events.

When you’re live streaming a corporate event, it’s important to get it right. The last thing you want is a major disruption or delay in the audio or video. When you do it yourself there are many risks involved that can disrupt the smooth running of your event. Make sure to hire a professional audiovisual team to do all the hard work so that you don’t have to. At AVPartners we have the right technology and expertise  to broadcast your event so that you can rest assured that it’s done the right way.

Talk to us today to discuss how to live stream your next event.

Holding an AGM soon? Use these tips to help you plan.

An Annual General Meeting, or AGM, is an event held once a year by an organisation looking to give stakeholders, the general public and members a transparent overview of the organisation’s direction and financial outlook. Members and guests can expect to hear reports from the organisation’s committee regarding the achievements from the past year. It’s also the time that a vote is held and a new committee is elected for the year ahead.

AGMs are important events that need to be planned and executed properly to ensure members and guests walk away with a positive attitude about the organisation and its goals.

To help plan your upcoming AGM, consider the following:

The venue

Have a look at what venues you think might be suitable, then arrange site visits so you can determine if a venue meets all of your requirements. Will you need a board room, a large meeting room or a function room? Will you be offering refreshments during or after the meeting? Will there be a time for mingling or networking before or after the AGM, and if so, will that take place in the same room as the meeting itself?

You should also consider the accessibility of the venue in terms of public transport access and parking, through to wheelchair access and other amenities. Once you’ve chosen a venue, set a date and time, and book the meeting or function room, ensuring it’s big enough to accommodate a minimum number of people.

The notice of meeting

With as much notice as is possible and appropriate, produce a notice of AGM for members which provides details about the meeting, including the date, time, venue and information about the election.

The financial reports

Your organisation’s financial reports will need to be produced prior to the AGM. In some cases these reports need to be examined by an independent person or by your own treasurer.

The agenda

Ensure your AGM agenda is sufficiently prepared, and pre-determine whether you want to just go over the essentials, or make it a more compelling event with extra activities so you attract more members and guests on the day.

The election

It’s best to determine your voting system ahead of time so that the process can be seamless at the AGM.

You could simply have a ‘show of hands’, offer private ballots, or even arrange for a neutral third party to count the votes.

The audiovisual technology

Ensure that the venue you hire can handle your audiovisual requirements. They may even have an in-house AV provider, such as AVPartners! There are so many options when it comes to audiovisual technology at your AGM. You may require projectors to display graphs, charts and statistics for all to see, or you may look at webcasting or video streaming the event so that people can still be involved even if they aren’t physically there.

Our AVPartners teams are experts at supporting AGMs of all varieties. From staging to lighting and audiovisual support, we’ve got you covered for your next AGM. Contact us to start your AGM planning.

How to decide on the theme of your event

When planning an event, one of the first things you need to decide on is the event theme. A theme is the overarching idea or concept behind your event, that not only gives the event structure, but can inspire guests and reinforce your event message and key takeaways.

Stuck for theme ideas? Some event themes we have coordinated include: a wild west theme, roaring 20s, the 80s, the 90s, pop star, masquerade, acrobatic and circus theme, Spanish, French, chocolate fantasy, black and gold, global cuisine, the Olympics, and a jungle theme.

Whatever event theme you choose – make sure you fully commit! This means being consistent with the theme throughout all event touch points, such as the invitations, programs, marketing, decor, dress code, food, entertainment, and music.

While you don’t have to have a theme at your event, we find it aids in creating a seamless event experience for both planners and guests. Also, once it’s decided on, it helps to steer all of your planning decisions. But never fear, an event theme can be as detailed or bare as you like; sometimes simply utilising a lighting colour combination to evoke the right emotion is enough to make your mark on guests.

Here are our tips when it comes to deciding on your event theme:

Know your event objective

Make sure you’re clear on why you’re holding this event, and why people will attend. What message do you want to impart on your guests? What will be the key ‘takeaway’ from your event, will they learn something, support something, be rewarded for something or simply have a great time?

A clear event outcome and intention is crucial for an effective theme to be developed.

Know the nature of your event

A gala dinner aimed at fundraising will require a different theme to a Christmas party. The nature of your event and how it fits in with your business or brand will help determine the direction to go in with your theme. That’s not to say you can’t have fun with your theme if it’s a formal event! Just that you need to be aware of it and tweak ideas where necessary.

Know your audience

It sounds obvious, but just like determining the nature of your event, you need to figure out who will be in attendance and what they might want or expect from this event, and plan accordingly. If it’s an event where children will be in attendance then you can steer clear of the more risqué themes, or if the event is attempting to showcase your professionalism to potential clients you can cancel the clowns. It’s all about what is appropriate to your audience, while still being on point for your event message.

Know your venue

If you can align your theme with your venue, your event will have that extra special aspect of being seamless. You can do this by either having a theme in mind and choosing a venue which can accommodate it, or you can choose your venue and then your theme to suit it.

Know your audiovisual provider

Many venues, such as the ones AVPartners is partnered with, can offer you the expertise of in-house audiovisual (AV) technicians to bring your theme to life. Hiring an in-house AV team can be a great benefit, as in-house teams know their venues well, can offer you a wealth of knowledge and experience, and tailor audio, lighting and vision options to suit your event and theme.

Know your event colours

Whether you incorporate colour into your overall theme or the colour IS your theme, you’ll want to ensure that you’re choosing the right colours for your event objective, feel and message. To find out more about colours, read our post on how colours can create atmosphere at your event.

Contact us today to discuss your event theme ideas further!

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.