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Events are a great way to bring people together, and share a moment, message or idea with a captive audience. They do, however, take considerable time, effort and organisation to execute successfully.

When deciding whether to hold an event, the first step should be to ask why you’re holding the event. This will help you get to the heart of whether an event will be valuable and help you achieve your goals. Here are some of the common reasons organisations hold events.

To build brand awareness

Events bring people together at the one location at the one time, giving you focussed time you can utilise to build brand awareness around your business with target audiences. You might make a presentation highlighting your services, or hold a workshop that builds on your thought leadership, making you a respected and trusted person within your industry.

To humanise the business

It’s usually quite fun and interesting to meet the people behind certain brands, so make sure you give your customers or clients what they want by introducing yourself and letting them know that there are real people in your business. It’s also a good time to thank customers and clients for their support, and offer to answer any questions they have or help them in some way if you can. People buy from people, so make sure your business is real and authentic.

To provide networking opportunities

Events are a great way to expand your connections, gain new clients, customers or referrals, and also to show your existing customers or clients what else you can offer them. It’s also an excellent way to meet like-minded individuals in your industry, and you never know where those relationships may lead!

To fundraise

For not-for-profit and charity organisations events are a perfect way to do drive fundraising efforts. They offer a controlled and focussed environment for you to spread the word and incite empathy and curiosity in attendees.

To launch a new product or service

New products or services are a cause for celebration! Events can allow you to inform guests of this, offer demonstrations, or give away samples. It gives your potential customers a chance to interact with your product or service in person, and in a fun and upbeat atmosphere.

To recognise and reward

Awards ceremonies are a very common type of event to hold, and a fantastic way to recognise your team or others for their hard work. Recognition is always appreciated, and usually makes for a more loyal team.

To offer a face-to-face communication experience

Too often in this digital world, we lose that personal, human interaction. While the internet has opened up a world of possibilities, the feeling of being in front of someone; having a conversation and sharing a laugh, can’t really be replicated online.

So, now that you know some of the reasons and benefits of holding events, you might be wondering just what type of event suits your business. Events vary in style, size and outcome, but some common event types include a sit down dinner, a fundraiser, an awards ceremony, a cocktail party, or a conference. You might like to read more about which events really engage your customers or clients, or how to know which conference type suits your business.

Once you’re ready to start planning your event, ensure you have a solid timeline in place. For tips on this, check out how long it takes to plan an event.

At AVPartners, we love to help bring your event dreams to life! Speak to us today and let us know your ideas.

Choosing the right venue for your event is crucial to its overall success.

Once you know the type of event you are planning, and how many guests you intend to invite, you will have an idea of the type of venue you’ll need. Be sure to also consider the theme and style of the event, and that the venue reflects this along with the guests expectations.

Once you’ve got the logistics sorted, you will be armed with enough information to start researching venues. When it comes to choosing a venue, consider the following:

Location

The event location needs to form the basis of your decision making. Make sure the location is accessible by transport and has good parking access, along with accommodation particularly if the event goes over a few days. Ensure that the venue is in a location that is sensible and accessible for the majority of your guests to get to, an element of excitement about the venue always helps too.

Catering

Food is such an important element to any event, so whether you choose to have canapes, a sit down meal, or a cocktail option, make sure the venue can offer what you want. Find out what specialties the chef can provide that can give your event a point of difference. Always ensure you have catered for any special dietary requirements of your guests too.

Atmosphere

How the venue or event space looks and feels is a big part of an event atmosphere, and the message you want to convey. If you want to impress guests at a gala dinner with modern decor and a sophisticated ambience, you will need to look at more contemporary venues.

Services and accessibility

Consider your event audience and who are you are targeting, be it families, corporates, or gender specific events, and try to pick a venue that would best support their needs or expectations. For example, families may need access to baby change rooms, or children’s entertainment and enough room for children to run around in, whereas corporates would be expecting an up-market bar service or cocktail party. Be sure to also consider the ease of access to the event space for anyone with special needs, this includes parking, distance to walk, amenities, and ramp access.

Size and capacity

Your expected guest numbers will give you a good idea about the size of venue or event space you should be looking for. Many venues have a selection of spaces of varying sizes, and it will also change based on the type of event you are having, for example a sit down or standing cocktail style event.

Technology access

Ensure that the venue will be able to handle the audiovisual requirements for your event. Many venues will have an in-house AV team, such as AVPartners, who are able to make your lighting, sound and visual ideas come to life! This might include anything from setting up a stage and microphone for speeches, to a colourful and brightly lit ballroom with your logo projected onto the walls.

Make sure you visit the venue personally to see it for yourself, and to put yourself in the shoes of your guests. At AVPartners we couldn’t be more excited to show event planners through our venues, and to let them experience our state of the art technology first hand.

Contact us today to see how our venues can make your event a success.

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!

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:

Cabaret

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.

Banquet

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.

Cocktail

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.

Boardroom

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.

U-Shape

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.

Theatre

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.

Classroom

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.

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.

 

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

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

So, how do you choose the right AV team?

Focus on your event goals

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

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

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

Get techy

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

Build trust

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

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

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

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.

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.

The warmer weather is upon us and that means one thing – outdoor events! Outdoor events provide a unique backdrop and freshness for your event. You can get really creative when leveraging the character of the outdoors and you usually have a lot more space to work with than when planning an indoor event.

However, while exciting, the outdoors does present a new set of challenges when it comes to planning and executing a successful event. Here are some of our tips so you can get the most out of the open-air event experience:

Make sure your event is suitable for the outdoors – not every event will work outside, such as a lengthy seminar, so don’t just hold it outside for the sake of it. Is vision required for the dinner, some outdoor venues may be difficult to use a projector and screen due to wind, consider LCD screens or an LED wall.

Choose a venue or location – consider if the venue or location is already equipped for events. Consider whether there are amenities, access to power or any undercover areas, and also how easy it will be to get in and out of the area for loading in and out. Also, if needed, make sure you get permits and check for noise restrictions.

Ensure the comfort of guests – consider where guests will sit, how easy it will be to access drinks, food and any amenities, and if it is likely to be a hot summer’s day, what shade will you provide? If it is a cooler night event, can the venue provide gas heaters?

Organise the lighting and sound – just because an event is outdoors, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on any of the lighting and sound effects available to indoor events. Not only should you have lights for safety, to mark pathways or exits, but you can also get creative with event lighting and sound. Often, lighting can be complement or replace decorations.  Sound sets an ambience that guests will be talking about for weeks to come! The important thing is to work with an AV provider with experience working on outdoor events. They will understand how to mix sound in an outdoor space, what technology to use and which lighting effects to choose. For night events it is also important to consider general area wash, will there be enough light for people to see? How will it be evenly distributed over the venue and will it set the ambiance you desire?

Check for pests – it’s always a good idea to make sure you know what pests could be around the area, and if needed, organise a pest exterminator prior to the event.

Watch the weather – have a backup plan in case the weather turns on the day of the event, and also keep an eye on the wind, making sure to secure anything loose. It is likely the wet weather call will need to be made early in the day. It may be sunny at the time but with a forecast for storms. With enough time an experienced event team will likely be able to transform an indoor venue to a similar style. If you leave the call until mid afternoon there is only so much they have the time to do.

Outdoor events are a fantastic option and present guests with a change of scenery from what they are used to.

Need help with the AV at your outdoor event? Contact us.

New technologies are making it easier than ever before to stay connected with your colleagues or clients in different offices, states or countries. Video conferencing connects people in real time, through audio and video communication on laptops, TV screens, computers, smartphones and tablets.

Video conferencing has become the norm for meetings; saving travel, time, and money, and increasing productivity. It’s an effective way of communicating, especially if your organisation has a broad geographical spread.

But are we really getting the same benefits as in-person interactions?  Will video conferencing replace face-to-face meetings?

We took a look at some of the pros and cons of video conferencing.

Pros

Time and cost effective

The time and money saved when meeting virtually as opposed to investing in air travel and hotel stays can be a huge benefit to businesses. It can be faster to arrange these types of meetings because people only have to travel as far as their meeting room or even just reach for their smartphone to connect.

Meeting in real time with anyone across the globe

The convenience of discussing ideas in real time and not having to wait for email chain responses is an advantage when it comes to video conferencing.

Shared data

Depending on the software being used, people can be simultaneously working on the same document while on a video call on opposite sides of the world and easily share documents too. This ease of collaboration can greatly increase productivity.

Cons

Physicality

You can have the most high tech equipment available, but it is hard to replace the value of physically being in the same room as each other. There is so much communicating that is done through non-verbal gestures and cues such as handshakes and body language that is hard to replicate with someone through a screen.

Technology

In a video conference everyone is at the mercy of the technology. If the system stops working, or if there is a lack of knowledge about how to use it, it can throw a spanner in the works. This is why having an AV rep to assist makes sense.

Cost

While video conferencing is cheaper than flying people across the country for meetings, decent quality video conferencing software and services aren’t cheap, and other costs need to be considered as well such as high speed internet connections and perhaps a cost-per-user.

Although video conferencing offers an efficient way to stay connected, face-to-face interactions will always be the most effective form of communication, offering vibrancy and engagement within the meeting that you just can’t emulate via a screen.