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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!

Personalisation

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!

Presentations at events are commonplace, and are held for various reasons. You might be presenting awards at an award show, giving a speech thanking donors at a charity event, or speaking to your guests about the upcoming direction of your organisation.

Whatever the reason or desired outcome, the basics of presentations are the same – be as prepared and as engaging as possible. However, what has changed over time, is the ways you can take your presentations to the next level, and really impress your audience.

Here are our top tips for improving presentations at your events:

Include imagery and video

A picture is worth a thousand words, so if possible, include some photos, graphs or illustrations to support your words. Imagery is a great way to explain your point, or provide extra information. Bonus points if you want to include short video clips too! To read more about the importance of including content in your presentation, check out our article on how to create standout presentation content.

Be clear and concise

It seems obvious, but along with being prepared for your presentation, ensure that what you are saying needs to be said, and that you’re saying it in the best way for your audience to hear and digest. A great presentation will be the perfect combination of concise information delivered with the right tone and manner that encourages audience engagement.

Be aware of your audience

Be aware of who is listening to you, and what they might need to better understand you – are they elderly and would appreciate a slower pace, or are they your employees who you can be more casual and fun with? Tailor your approach as needed.

Set the mood

The instant you are in front of people, you are giving an impression and setting the mood, so decide how you want to be seen. You can also use your surroundings to help support your presentation. For example, using modern lighting techniques such as flooding the room with a certain colour scheme while you present, or using a spotlight to follow you on stage.

Have fun!

Everyone loves to be entertained, so injecting some humour into your presentation will help people loosen up and become engaged with what you have to say – after all, they won’t want to miss the next laugh! You can use imagery within a presentation to lighten the mood, or just pure banter – the possibilities are endless.

To start preparing for your next presentation, and really impress your audience, contact us today!

With all the exciting events going on and new technologies we get to use, we’ve realised our blog posts cover a lot of ground in the audiovisual space. We thought it would be great to look back at some of your favourite posts over the past year!

Here were some of the topics that our readers found particularly interesting:

Digital technology for your event

Social media has become a huge part of events. We looked at 5 ways to use social media to promote your event, along with how to integrate social media into your event.

Planning an event is a complex undertaking, with countless tasks to keep track of, tight deadlines and multiple stakeholder demands. With the use of apps, the enormity of event planning becomes a whole lot easier.

Event styling, planning and layout

For those not sure how long certain event planning aspects may take, we asked how long does it take to plan an event? We also investigated how to take your event to the next level with event styling, and depending on the type of event you’re having, how to decide on the best seating layout for your event.

Events and your business

Attending an event can make such a positive impact on your business and brand. In this day and age, we often overlook the importance of being in a live environment and interacting with people face-to-face. This in person interaction means you have a great chance to improve brand exposure, and really engage more with your audience.

Audiovisual elements

Audiovisual elements can add a special something to your event. Whether you use lighting to create atmosphere in the room, or require a stage to be set up with microphones and speakers for perfect sound, a good AV team will have you covered.

The right AV team supporting your event can be the difference between a good or bad event.

Interested in finding out more about any of these topics or have a topic you’d like us to explore? Contact us today!

Attending an event can make such a positive impact on your business and brand. In this day and age, we often overlook the importance of being in a live environment, and interacting with people face-to-face. It’s important that while attending events, you utilise this time for your brand and business, and you’re not just a fly on the wall.

Being active at events can bring your business many benefits. Some of the most positive impacts from attending events include:

Networking

While networking can be a bit of a buzzword, the act hasn’t lost it’s charm. Most people attending events have similar goals and are likely to be interested in networking as well. It can be really refreshing to connect with people in your industry that you can help or who can help you in some way. You never know who you’ll meet or what collaborations may come of it!

Changing up your routine

Attending events and putting your business out there is a great way to shake things up and inject some life into your team. The day to day of business can get mundane at times, so it’s nice to let off some steam and change up your normal patterns.

Showing your brand to the public

Events are a great way to showcase your brand and services to the other guests. You may be well-known, in which case an event can be a great time to humanise your brand, or you may be just starting out, which means people can get to know you straight away. People do business with people, so show them that you’re real and that you have passion for what you do.

Educational opportunities

No matter how much you know about your industry, there is always something to learn, even if it’s in a general sense. A lot of events have fantastic educational components and can leave you with a lot of great ideas to implement.

Above all, don’t forget to have fun! The event may be business related but that doesn’t mean you can’t relax and enjoy yourself. You’ll be far more approachable that way too.

Excited to plan your next event and impress your guests? Talk to us today.

 

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!

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.

Remember the last time you viewed a PowerPoint presentation? Was it engaging and inspiring or did it leave you feeling bored – eyes glazed over and counting the seconds until it was over? This is known as the dreaded Death by PowerPoint.

PowerPoint can be a fantastic presentation tool, but it is only a tool. The presenter makes or breaks the presentation! There are some classic mistakes presenters make which can lead to Death by PowerPoint.

These include putting too much information on slides, using poor images and fonts and reading directly from slides instead of engaging the audience with stories and ideas.

As a presenter, there are many varied ways to add some zing to your PowerPoint presentation to help your audience stay focused and interested.

Know your message – Consider your message and the reason for your presentation. What do you hope to inform others of? What is there to gain from it, or what do you want people to do with the information you present? Remember that you know your topic inside out, but this may be the first time your audience has ever thought about this matter. Make sure your message and presentation objectives are clear.

Make a good first impression – Make sure the first slide is attention-grabbing and on topic. Your presentation needs to stand out and be different from the start to pique interest.

Leverage visuals – Use visuals that make sense for the presentation subject and that can support your points. This can include graphs, infographics and photos. Often images are more memorable and interesting so will drive audience engagement. It is important, however, not to overdo it. Unrelated images will distract and confuse your audience and gimmicky animations can become distracting and seem unprofessional.

Know that less is more – Use fewer words on your slides and use bullet points where appropriate. This will allow your audience to quickly read and digest your words which makes a bigger impact than if they have to read lines of text.

Cut the number of slides – You want the content of your presentation to support what you’re saying, not act as a script, so use fewer slides and incorporate more discussions and ideas into your presentation.

Get funny and personal – Present your information with personal stories and humour to keep people interested. Stay on topic but keep it light where possible.

Involve your audience – Keep your audience engaged by asking them questions, undertaking polls or breaking into groups for discussions.

Talk to AVPartners today about how to take your next presentation from good to great.

The key to a successful presentation is preparation. You can spend as much time as you like on content and organisation however if you have not spent time on preparation, you may risk falling short of the mark. A lot of time and effort goes into a presentation – creating, memorising, rehearsing and finally, delivering it. It is imperative presenters feel prepared, confident and supported before stepping out on stage.

Here are a few ways the audiovisual technician will prep your speakers before an event:

Ease their nerves

Your speaker will have rehearsed their script many times before the day, but as their presentation looms, nerves can set in. Some gentle encouragement in the lead up to and on the day can go a long way to relieving some of the pressure on them. An experienced AV technician will make sure communication lines are open and make themselves approachable.

Run through the details

It’s important your AV technician runs through some general event details about the event space, run sheet and schedule with your speaker. This will allow your speaker to know where they need to be and when. This can include where they will get ready and be given their microphone, remote mouse/laser pointer, where they will step onto the stage, where they will sit before and after their presentation, how you will cue them to begin or if their time is running out, and how to exit the stage.

Test the technology

Testing the technology for the presentation with the speaker is vital. This includes a sound and mic check, lighting, projectors and presentation if applicable. This will ensure all AV is set up correctly for each space and speaker, and should be done in advance to factor in any technical issues and ensure your speaker is comfortable with the technology.

Above all, remember a prepared speaker makes for a great presentation. If the experience is seamless, relaxed and fun for the speaker, it will be engaging, interesting and fun for the audience.

The key to an engaging presentation is content. Visuals, videos, infographics, audio, graphs and more will take your presentation to the next level. The art is in balancing rich content with compelling simplicity.

Remember that the visual and audio content, of whatever variety, should never compete with your message, but should engage each member of your audience in a variety of ways to help them process, remember and act on the message. This is harder than it seems, and many effective presenters find that it takes a great deal of practice and preparation to distill a presentation down to the essentials. Less is generally more.

So how can you use content to create an elegantly simple yet standout presentation?

– A striking image,
– A consistent colour palette,
– One concept or idea per slide,
– Short video or audio to express an idea visually or aurally,
– Graphs or infographics to simplify complex data,
– Fewer words on a slide and,
– Empty (or white) space,

The process by which we remember and decide to act on a message is quite complicated. Overworking any one information pathway with too many visuals or too much aural information, for example, can cause audiences to tune out.

Find new ways to deliver your message beyond the written and spoken word – graphs, word clouds, infographics, photo collages, even humorous memes speak to the other side of the brain and can add a bit of levity where appropriate.

There are a number of well-recommended digital content creation tools to help you do this – but remember, a light touch works best.

Whatever content you choose for your presentation, remember that effective presentations ultimately require an engaging concept and message. The content will take it up a notch but shouldn’t be used as a crutch to prop up a weak message. The key to a standout presentation is a well-executed message, tailored to your audience.

Face it. You may be a fascinating presenter, but you will still most likely need slides to support your presentation. Rich content such as images, videos and charts are now the rule.

Ensuring your slides are engaging and accessible are the big challenges. We have all watched the audience nod off at the first slide or cringed at amateur efforts such as tacky slide animations.

Worst of all is when the presentation won’t load and you suddenly forget everything you have ever known about the topic on which you are, reputedly, an expert. Death by slide is a real danger on either side of the podium.

Can you preserve yourself and your audience from the twin evils of tedium or technology malfunction? The answer, as with all things, is that it depends. Your choice of platform such as PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi can make the difference.  Here’s how the three tools stack up.

PowerPoint

Powerpoint is the most commonly-used tool. It is reliable in the sense that PowerPoint is likely to work with any equipment you may be offered. However, Powerpoint hasn’t been updated in a long time. The standard slide templates can be painfully boring. Presenters need to put extra care into creating polished and professional-looking slides.

Keynote

Keynote is a Apple product, even older than PowerPoint. It is relatively easy to learn for PowerPoint users and has some advanced features that add flexibility. If the lecture room offers only a Windows machine with an older version of PowerPoint, you may then be faced with the daunting and uncertain task of converting the presentation to PowerPoint or exporting it to PDF. If you know you have a Mac available, however, it may be the best choice.

Prezi

In an alternative approach, Prezi is web-hosted and built on an infinite–canvas platform. It offers some interesting potential for collaboration and the exploration of how ideas relate in a non-linear format. Prezi is accessed via the internet and hence you must have an internet connection in your presentation space.

So, how can you make the most out of your presentation?  PowerPoint is not the only choice. The best solution is to work closely with your AV rep to get advice on which tool will work best in the space to give your presentation the dazzle it deserves.