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!

How to hold an engaging panel discussion at your next event

A panel discussion is a great way to bring together influential speakers at an event to offer their advice, stories, and expertise to the event attendees. The audience is given a chance to ask thought-provoking questions and get different perspectives in real time. Panel discussions are a great inclusion to many events, however they do require a bit of planning to ensure success.

Here’s what you need to know to hold an engaging panel discussion at your next event:

Mix up your panelists

To ensure you have adequate diversity in your panel, make sure to include people with various opinions, backgrounds, industries, specialisations, ages, and experiences. This will mean your audience can benefit from a range of knowledge, and it also means your panelists won’t be competing with one another.

Choose an engaging moderator

A moderator is an important part of a panel discussion. They will introduce each speaker, ask questions and direct attention to certain people or topics. The moderator keeps the discussion on track and flowing, so it’s best to choose wisely. Ideally you want someone who can get the most out of the panelists while having a little fun with the audience.

Get prepared

It’s a good idea to prepare early and choose panel questions well ahead of schedule, giving each panelist time to prepare their answers. Make sure the moderator and panelists have input, this will make them feel valued during the process.

Set the stage

Generally speaking, panel discussions are on a stage with panelists seated on a lounge or chairs facing the audience. It’s best practice to not have them sit behind a desk as it can cut off the open flow of communication. It’s a good idea to check with your AV provider about what AV is required, such as spotlight lighting, fixed desktop microphones, lapel microphones or a shared wireless microphone that can be passed along to each speaker. At AVPartners we have an exciting ‘Question & Answer’ product called Catchbox. It’s the world’s first ‘soft throwable microphone’, allowing easy and fun audience participation, discussion and most importantly, encouraging engagement.

Using a reputable AV provider will ensure the panelists are successfully seen and heard, and that their messages are conveyed effectively to the audience.

Contact us today to start planning your panel discussion!

How to plan an event that appeals to Millennials

At many events these days, the Millennial generation makes up a huge part of the demographic. A Millennial is someone born roughly between 1982 and 2004, also known as Generation Y. They have specific tastes, wants, and expectations, and catering to these successfully could mean your event and your business holds them as a long term consumer.

Here are our top ways to appeal to Millennials at your next event:

Get social

It sounds obvious, but social media is where Millennials hang out online, so utilise this before, during and after your event. You can sell event tickets through social media, get discussions started to build excitement in the lead up, encourage photo sharing and tagging before and during the event, and also get more social media followers in the process!

Impress with AV technology

Millennials are tech savvy and therefore expect the very best when it comes to AV. Utilise modern lighting effects throughout the venue, and make sure audio for presentations is clear and professional.

Incorporate digital and tech at all points – from an event app, to digital signage and image projection onto walls or other objects! Another great idea is to offer charging stations for guests’ smartphones and other devices; this will save people from leaving the event to get their charger, or disengaging due to not having their device charged.

Go green

Millennials are usually more concerned than other generations about the environment, so minimising your event’s carbon footprint will leave a good impression on them. Using more digital channels rather than paper helps immensely, as does offering recycling options during the event and promoting the green efforts you have made in planning and delivering the event.

For more info on planning an event which appeals to Millennials, talk to us today!

How to promote your event

Promoting your event is one of the most important factors for success. Without getting the promotion of your event right, even the most interesting and well planned events won’t be successful. Promotion is what sells tickets, increases brand and event awareness, and builds excitement.

Ultimately, you want to attract people to your event, and the best way to do so is to spread the word far and wide. These days, technology can play a big part in that, and is an extremely useful marketing tool for event planners.

As with any marketing activity, you’ll want to make sure you have given yourself enough time prior to the event to promote and advertise it. Depending on your event type, you might even start a year in advance!

To help, we’ve put together some ways to promote your event:

Social media

Social media is now a must for any event. There are many ways to promote your event by engaging with your audience and targeting your message to interested parties, through strategic paid and unpaid social media campaigns.  

Online and offline advertising

Online advertising is a great way to promote events as highly targeted ads can achieve a great return on investment. Offline advertising through certain magazines, newspapers, or even mail box leaflet drops is also a good option.

Media and publicity

A media campaign can be a great way to gain coverage for your event, driving further awareness. This approach can work well for trade shows, markets and festivals.

Local signage

Depending on the type of event and location, you may find that signs and banners, even digital signage, placed locally around the event area will spark some interest.


It’s also a great idea to have a designated section of your website for your events or give the event its own website. This will assist anyone looking for more information and will also improve your SEO so people can find you through Google.

The venue

When you’ve chosen and booked the venue for the event, they may be able to start promoting your event on their website and social media channels too, along with promotions within their venue such as posters or flyers. Make sure you cover all bases when researching venues, such as catering options, venue size, and audiovisual capabilities.

At AVPartners we take great pride in hosting events of all types and sizes; using lighting, audio, and visual technology to take events to the next level! Contact us today to chat about your next event.

Is a seminar the type of event your business needs?

Seminars are one of the most common type of events. Educational in nature, seminars bring together like-minded people to learn about a particular subject. A seminar is a more formal event, focused on training or information sharing, offered in an academic instruction-style setting. They differ from more informal events such as conferences where opinions and thoughts are shared more readily and informally.

They are also usually shorter in length than other similar events. Seminars are a great means of building brand awareness and thought leadership for your business.

What do seminars involve?

Seminars usually feature one or more experts on the subject matter who, with the help of visual aids, demonstrations, and interactive equipment, present their information with little participation required from attendees.

A few of the common seminar types you may come across include business, personal development, and academic seminars. Seminars may also be held as part of a conference.

Where are seminars held?

Seminars are usually held in hotel meeting spaces, conference rooms, convention centres or at an academic institution.

What equipment is required?

Like any great event, seminars tend to rely heavily on audiovisual aids, which assist the presenters or trainers in communicating their knowledge to attendees. A great AV provider will offer a combination of visual slides, staging, lighting, styling, microphones and speakers to ensure the seminar message is conveyed successfully.

AVPartners has the knowledge, creativity and technology to make any seminar successful! Contact us today to discuss your seminar needs.

How to effectively communicate your event message

Events can help make your business stand out against competitors. When holding an event, it’s important to ensure that the message you want your guests to walk away with is presented loud and clear. This message could be about increasing brand awareness, letting guests know about your cause for fundraising, or communicating excitement for upcoming product releases and launches.

We’ve put together a few tips on how you can effectively communicate your event message:

Styling and decor

Visual components like decorations and colours are a very valuable part of any event, so it’s important that these make sense for the type of event and guests attending. You might decide to use branded decorations, themed colours, or modern decor to help convey your event message.

Marketing touch points

Every channel or technique you use to communicate your event provides a marketing touch point for your message. Make sure that every touch point is cohesive and consistent. You want the event message to be registering in a guest’s mind from their first interaction with your event, whether that be online, through an invitation, or when entering the room.

Audiovisual components

The production elements at your event can make a huge impact on the way your event message gets seen, heard and absorbed. Great audio can help build emotion and engagement, and effective lighting will set a mood and create a sense of enjoyment and fulfillment.

Remember that all event elements, when brought together, combine to create an atmosphere and experience which helps communicate your message. If you’d like to discuss this further, talk to us today.

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.

Top tips for improving presentations at your 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!

AV Favourites Wrap Up post

AV Favourites Wrap Up

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!

How to decide on the best seating layout for your event

The task of choosing a seating layout for your event may seem small or unimportant, but it is what will decide the flow of your event. You need to ensure that the layout suits the theme and style of your event, and that you are utilising the event space to its full potential.

The layout should give your guests the most comfortable experience for the setting and style of event. You’ll need to consider if people will be eating in a formal setting and therefore needing tables and chairs, or if they will be encouraged to mingle and network where a cocktail style layout might better suit.

Here are the most popular seating layouts and which event types they best suit:


This style is popular for conferences, gala dinners and training sessions. Guests are seated at a round table, all facing the front, with only five or six chairs so that no one has their back to the main stage or focal point. Cabaret style can take up more room though as you need more tables to seat everyone.


The banquet seating style is similar to the cabaret, however it utilises the entire table and seats eight to ten guests. This takes up less room and makes serving food more streamlined. Banquet seating is ideal for awards nights, gala dinners, weddings and other such events.


A cocktail layout does not usually involve chairs, but instead utilises a few high-rise tables as mingling points for guests throughout the event. Consider the type of event you’re having, the guests who will be attending and if it will make sense to have them seated or not. This layout is great for Christmas parties and other social functions, along with more casual weddings.


The boardroom layout is essentially a large table setup with chairs around, ideal for board meetings as people are facing towards each other which makes interaction easy. This layout is used a lot for corporate meetings, events and small presentations.


The U-shape seating layout is ideal for when the boardroom layout is too small for your event needs. Commonly used for small conferences, workshops and meetings, it is made up of tables positioned into a U-shape and makes it easier for each person to see the speaker or screen if one is set up.


This seating layout takes up a lot less room per person and is ideal for conferences and other such presentations. Guests are seated in rows and all facing the front, much like in a theatre, giving everyone easy viewing.


The classroom layout allows guests to be seated behind long tables. It’s similar to the theatre layout but gives guests the use of tables, so for this reason it’s ideal for training, workshops, meetings and conferences where writing may be required.

Need some help deciding on your seating layout? Contact AVPartners today.