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.

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.


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.


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!

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!

4 creative ways to use a gobo at your next event

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. 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 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.

Here are some of our favourite uses of gobos from our events:

Patterns as a feature wall

At this event at Sofitel Brisbane Central, a gobo was used to project a series of pinspot lights onto a backdrop, creating a twinkle light look that complemented the event name ‘Shine’ perfectly.

Colour coordination

Often a gobo can be setup to match the colours of your event theme or decor. In this example from Sofitel Brisbane Central, we projected patterns onto a feature wall, matching the colour scheme of the entire room for seamless integration and effortless continuity.

Branding enhancements

Imagine being able to project your logo or message onto the wall, floor or table for all your guests to see. It’s 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. Using a small projector in a moving light, we could change the image from the computer rather than physically at the light.

Festive theming

A gobo can change the way an entire room looks and feels and it is such an easy way to support your theme at your event. It’s especially fun with themes such as Winter Wonderland, as seen below with snowflakes all over the room at Sofitel Brisbane Central.

Because of the flexibility in design and impressive visual elements, gobos 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.

If you’re excited to use gobos at your next event, 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!

Event trends

Event trends you need to know about

Are you planning to hold an event next year? If so, you’re probably hoping that it’s an interesting and engaging one, and that everyone has a great time. One thing to consider when it comes to planning interesting events is what is ‘on trend’ at the time.

There are so many unique ways to impress your guests and give them a talking point during and after your event.

Here are our favourite event trends for 2017:

Creative catering

Unique catering is a great way to stand out and impress, and you can also use it to brand your event. Elements such as signature cocktails using your brand’s colours, or desserts with edible rice paper logos or messages on top, are interesting ways to get creative with catering.

The extreme dessert trend is likely to continue into 2017, with dessert walls (think donuts and Nutella) becoming part of the decor!


People want more than the standard cookie-cutter event, so they’re looking for more personalised options when they scout their venues and plan their events. The possibilities for personalisation are endless, with more simple things such as personalised email or app communications to guests through to more complex data driven elements such as tailoring events to the individual based on their reactions on social media.

According to a study by Eventsforce, personalisation is a key priority for 82% of event planners, with 97% saying they believe that event personalisation can change a guests perception of your brand or event.

Audiovisual technology also plays a huge part in personalisation of events. Lighting effects, colours and staging options can all contribute to a more tailored event. At AVPartners we pride ourselves on fully understanding our client’s event and design briefs so that we can deliver on a completely unique and successful event.

Digital interaction

More and more we are seeing that event planners are embracing digital channels to reduce costs, to be more environmentally conscious and to better engage guests. There are so many interesting ways to deliver information at your event digitally rather than expecting guests to take notes constantly or handing out paper. Examples include leveraging an event app, providing a digital handout via files made available on a USB or having notes delivered by email.

Video content

We all keep hearing that video is the future, and in 2017 we will see a greater role for video at events. One example of where video is being used effectively is through the live-streaming of events. This is where an event is filmed and delivered to online viewers in real time, so that they don’t miss out and can be part of the action as it unfolds. Usually this footage can then be packaged up and shared on a business’ website or social media, or used in-house.

It’s important to note that you don’t need to go overboard with event elements to create an impact. Choosing just one or two ideas and exploring how they can meet your business and event needs will be enough to impress.

Talk to us to start planning your 2017 events!

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 to improve brand exposure at your event

Regardless of the type of business you are in, holding an event can be a great way to improve brand awareness and get some attention on your message. Whether it’s a holiday party, an awards night, a launch or a fundraiser, holding an event gives you personal interaction with your guests and can work wonders for brand exposure.

Here are some ideas on how you can improve brand exposure at your next event:

Use subtle brand placement

From having your logo printed on napkins, to making special drinks with you brand colours, to using lighting techniques to blanket the room in your brand colours, the options for brand exposure and a unique event experience are endless.

Give guests a gift

You might want to offer a promotional bag for guests to take home with them, as these branded gifts can be a great way to say thank you and leave your guests feeling spoilt by your brand.

Create an event website

You don’t necessarily need a specific website for your event depending on its size, but you should at least have a dedicated event page on your website that is updated regularly. Not only will this ensure that people have the most up-to-date information regarding the event, but a decent webpage can speak volumes when it comes to brand perception. You can also use the page for photos after the event.

Use social media and an event hashtag

You can use your social media channels leading up to, during, and after the event to create a buzz, build brand exposure and keep the excitement going.
Before the event, use social media to tell people about the exciting things they can expect at the event. During the event you can post updates and photos, and afterwards you can use it to keep your event’s message and your brand in front of people. Creating an event hashtag is important so that you can engage people, and if they are searching for your event, they can find all posts under that hashtag, for example #AVPfundraiser2016
Incorporate audiovisual technology

There are so many different ways you can use audiovisual technology to increase your event’s wow-factor. At AVPartners, we can use lighting techniques to project patterns or your logo on the walls and floor, along with using your brand colours in a variety of ways.

You could also have a digital social media screen where your guest’s social media posts get chosen to appear on the screen. This encourages people to post more social media updates at the event in the hope that their post will be shown.

Have an event photographer

Having a photographer at the event is a no-brainer, as you will want to have the guests and their enjoyment captured. You can add the photos to the event’s website or page, and this will encourage people to visit the website after the event to see the photos of themselves. If you allow them to download the photo, you could have it watermarked with your logo so they can remember your brand positively.

If you’d like us to help build your brand exposure at your next event, contact us today!

How long does it take to plan an event?

Planning events takes a lot of organisation, effort and time. It’s best to start as early as possible and give yourself a checklist so you don’t miss important elements. Lists and spreadsheets will become your best friends. Always make sure you have contingency plans in place for things like unexpected weather or a speaker not being able to present.

Below is a general timeline of some common event tasks that may help you plan your next event. Remember that every event is different, even those held at the same venue, so it’s important to work out a plan that suits your needs.

6-12 months before the event

  • Establish the event goals and objectives
  • Select a date and choose a venue
  • Get cost estimates and create a budget
  • Identify speakers and/or entertainers
  • Seek out and contact sponsors or partners for the event

3-6 months before the event

  • Promote the event through the appropriate channels; for e.g. social media, radio, TV, newspapers
  • Establish the audiovisual plan and equipment needed with your AV provider
  • Finalise arrangements for speakers and/or entertainers
  • Confirm if the venue requires any permits and confirm access for guests such as parking

2 months before the event

  • Send reminders to the attendee list
  • Follow up with sponsors or event partners
  • Release announcements about VIPs or keynote speakers to the media

1 week before the event

  • Do a final registration check of names
  • Brief your team and volunteers about their event duties
  • Finalise the seating plan
  • Inform the caterer of final numbers
  • Make copies of any speeches, videos or presentations
  • Identify where photo opps and interview opportunities will be

1 day before the event

  • Ensure all signage is in place
  • Do an audiovisual test
  • Ensure registration and guest tables are prepared or decorated
  • Ensure all promotional items or gifts are on site

The day of the event

  • Have copies of all important documents, phone numbers, information and seating charts for the event team
  • Ensure the event is running to plan and manage any issues as they arise
  • Enjoy the event and the work you have put into it!

After the event

  • Send thank you notes or emails to attendees and sponsors
  • Post event photos on social media
  • Conduct a post event evaluation to assess the event’s success against your initial goals and objectives

Your event will be much more complex than this snapshot alone. We recommend creating a project plan to ensure transparency on all tasks and to ensure they are completed on time.

Need advice on the timing of AV or staging tasks for your event? Contact us.

Predictions for event trends in 2016

Wish you knew what was around the corner for event planning? The next big thing to captivate your guests?

While there is no magic ball to tell us the future, we can offer some insight into what lies ahead in the events industry, based on what is happening around the world and emerging technologies.

Some of our predictions for event trends in 2016 are:

An increased use of event apps – while event apps aren’t new technology, they have been building momentum and clients have seen the overwhelming benefit of their use with attendees.

Virtual reality & augmented reality – this includes the use of 360 degree video and photos for mobile devices; really wowing attendees!

iBeacon technology and wearables – smart watches, wrist bands, name badges, smart goggles/glasses and lanyards will become a bigger part of events.

Bespoke pop-up concept events – this refers to customised events created for unique locations.

“Experience” based events – creating unique memorable experiences to engage audiences will become more popular this year.

A shift to mobile devices instead of laptops – this makes event communication much more portable and accessible.

Periscope app – this app is a live streaming video platform for mobile devices and integrates with social media platforms such as Twitter.

LED video wall panels – again not new technology, however we will see an increased demand in LED video wall panels for screen content and virtual backdrop effects.