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Immersive events are those which ‘immerse’ event attendees as deep into the event as possible, creating an atmosphere so far away from everyday life that they forget all else around them and are fully present in your event, moment to moment.

Here are our top ideas for achieving an immersive event:

Leverage technology

There are some great technological advances available these days that really give the wow factor. Speak to your AV specialist about how you can incorporate digital elements, lighting and sound to create a 360 experience.

Take advantage of social media

Most social networks have the capacity for ‘live’ coverage. You can invite attendees to use certain hashtags for the event and have a projection screen broadcasting tweets, posts or updates from people at the event. This gets people involved – sharing on social media and creating a bit of a buzz – ensuring your event is noticed before, during and after its debut.

Ask the audience

Surveying your attendees while at your event is a great way to drive involvement and feedback while they are immersed in the experience and can express their feelings in real time.

Include hybrid elements

Hybrid elements at your event combine virtual and live components, reaching people not only live at your event but online as well.

Change up the scenery

Holding the event at a ‘never before held’ location or venue or using audiovisual elements to create a whole new look and feel will definitely wow your attendees and hold their attention.

Surprise your attendees

Step outside of the ordinary and shake things up a little to give your event a unique feel. For example, you could consider incorporating photo booths, circus entertainers, or themed cocktails.

Ultimately, people want to be involved rather than be just a spectator at your event, and these options will give them a chance to do so. Immersive events are a great way to engage and excite all participants and can really make your events stand out.

Planning an event is a huge and complex undertaking, with countless tasks to keep track of, tight deadlines and multiple stakeholder demands.

Thankfully, with the use of digital technology, the enormity of event planning becomes a whole lot easier.

And with most solutions now offered through apps, you gain the added convenience of accessing them on your smartphone or device, while on the go.

Here are our favourite apps for event planning:

Eventbrite – a ticketing website and app that allows you to go paperless through online event registration and ticketing. The app allows attendees to show their tickets on their phone, and for hosts to quickly scan at the door, with the attendee list updated in real time.

QuickCal – an intuitive calendar app that lets you create events using natural language, for example, ‘event starts @5’. It gives you reminders, shows you multiple calendars and provides views of upcoming events.

Scanner Pro – go paperless with your documents and receipts by scanning them into the Scanner Pro app. It scans documents with a snapshot and converts them to PDF, ready to email or save.

Super Planner – don’t stress about running out of drinks or overcrowding anymore, Super Planner calculates venue capacities, staffing, and catering to avoid these kinds of issues.

Asana – a task management app, Asana let’s your team collaborate seamlessly together. It allows for project teams to allocate, organise and manage tasks or communicate directly using chat functions.

What apps can’t you do without when planning events?

Gala dinners can be one of the best ways to gain support for your organisation and cause. They usually include dinner, entertainment, dancing, raffles, and silent and live auctions. While they require a huge amount of planning, they are so effective in raising awareness, fundraising and presenting your organisation and cause in a professional light.

Here are some of our tips for hosting a successful gala dinner.

Define the Event’s Purpose

Outlining the purpose of the event and what you hope to achieve will give everyone involved a clear picture of what’s ahead and keep people focused on the desired outcomes.

Set your Budget

You should determine a budget before the planning begins. Include all possible financial considerations, such as venue costs, food and beverage, entertainment, audio visual equipment and support, advertising, and prizes and items to be auctioned. Hopefully some of these things can be donated or discounted, but it’s good to budget in for some contingencies.

Identify your Fundraising Methods

Selling tickets to the gala dinner is a great way to raise money for your cause, but that usually won’t give you the most profit, so finding other ways to fundraise is necessary.

Some of these other options could include holding a raffle, a live or silent auction, selling advertising opportunities, and selling sponsorships or corporate tables. Depending on the event you could even have games that require a ‘pay to play’.

Decide on the Venue and Theme

The environment and atmosphere of your event should be welcoming and allow people to socialise or network freely. Choose a venue which will be inviting and impressive for guests.

By selecting a theme for the event, for example ‘striving for excellence’, you can set out your vision or goal for the event. This will bring all activities together cohesively and set the tone.  A theme will also inform your decorating styling choices, entertainment, lighting and audiovisual elements, menu selection and activities. It’s important that everything flows together to create a visually stunning environment, after all, you want this to be a night to remember!

Get the right AV Technical Support

Work with a reliable, creative and experienced AV provider.  You want access to quality equipment and dedicated people to help you deliver a spectacular event. Your AV provider can provide audiovisual, innovative design and styling, support to create that magical atmosphere for your guests.

Activities and Entertainment

A successful gala dinner includes suitable and on theme entertainment and activities designed to raise money. It’s good to make sure guests have time and space to mingle, but you should also consider how you will maintain the energy of the atmosphere and the interest of guests throughout the night. A dance floor and games with small prizes are great for involvement.

Marketing and Advertising

It’s so important to put the word out about your event throughout the community. Reach out to the local newspaper, TV stations and radio stations for pre-event coverage, and use social media where appropriate. You may even be able to use these avenues for seeking sponsorships and donations.

Interested to hear more about how AVPartners can help wow your gala dinner guests? Talk to us today.

As technology advances, hybrid events are becoming increasingly more popular and accessible. Hybrid events are events that combine a live (in person) and a virtual (online) audience experience, blending and engaging the two elements. The technology and capability for web streaming is growing rapidly, and event organisers are actively trying to include this option in as many events as possible.

Hybrid events can be great for an array of event types, including meetings, product launches, conferences, trade shows, company announcements, training, and sales and marketing updates. Those that attend virtually can view live footage and content from the event, such as keynote and guest speakers, workshops, launches and education sessions via a webcast direct to their computer, tablet or mobile phone. Generally, they are also able to interact with the speakers and other virtual attendees via messaging tools, a chat line or social media channels.

When holding a hybrid event, the most important thing to consider is that your event is fulfilling for all attendees, whether in person or virtual, and effectively engages both audiences.

Here are some things to consider:

Be prepared

To have a successful virtual experience, you must have  flawless technical output. Information such as video, slides and other event data needs to be prepared, input into the streaming system and tested in advance.

Make sure you identify the ideal camera positioning on the stage, the main focal areas and the spots to avoid filming. Some time should be taken to ensure your speakers are prepared and comfortable. Some people may be a little more nervous knowing they are being live streamed.

Keep on time

It can be hard to keep events strictly on time, but this is even more important when providing a hybrid event. Like waiting for a TV program to start, your virtual attendees will log on specifically at that time, for that speaker or presentation, and if there are delays or confusion with timing, they may log off.

Acknowledge the virtual attendees

More often than not, many presenters fail to acknowledge the online audience. Take some time during introductions to acknowledge both in person and online audiences – this will ensure that both feel welcome and part of the event.

Participation and engagement

Allow time and access for both online and in person attendees to participate in discussions or workshops, and remember to allow time for online attendees to contribute, as they may not be able to answer as instantly as those within the room.

Hybrid events using live webcasting are a powerful communication tool and can assist you to save money, extend the life of in person events and broaden your audience and event exposure, offering different perspectives and an exciting experience for all involved.

Event styling is one of the most impactful and cost-effective ways to add that wow factor to your event. At AVPartners we’ve helped create nearly every event theme or style you can think of – from the Oscars, to Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge, Masquerade and many more.

Event styling incorporates furniture, decor, centrepieces and table layout, props, audiovisual and digital elements. It takes your guests on a journey, showcasing your theme, your branding and your ideas.

You want to make sure that your event is hitting the mark and delivering your desired event message to your guests. How can you be sure that your event will do this successfully?

Begin by confirming the reason for the event, and why you are gathering together. This is the message you want to get across. Think about the power of your message and how you can convey this to your guests.

Next you will want to look at what new, fresh ideas are available for your event, to impress, inspire and connect your guests. These days, event styling and theming draws heavily on technical production with content displayed on digital screens, unique lighting and other audiovisual elements creating a dynamic, immersive experience.

By combining traditional styling with bespoke ideas, themes and modern, digital options your event can really make an impact.

This article originally appeared at Business Events News.

The nature of the world we live in today means that whilst the basics are still fundamentally important, when giving a presentation, it’s all about what will take it to the next level to leave your audiences truly inspired.

1. Delivery

We have various technology-based solutions readily available to us to help engage audiences in a relevant way and encourage interaction. It is, however also very easy to congest content with excessive information and various technologies.

Superfluous wording in PowerPoint slides, too many videos and even too many combined technologies, can lead to loss of audience attention and failure in delivering the content effectively.

Simplicity is always best, so being concise and maintaining fluidity is essential for a productive and impactful presentation:
• Use bullet points to minimise wording
• Reduce transitional and animation effects
• Spread video content throughout your presentation, rather than just in one section.

2. Creating conversation

It sounds like an oxymoron to create conversation when presenting involves delivering a one-way piece of communication. However, a great presentation engages the audience and naturally encourages conversation.

Thanks to social media, you can in fact facilitate conversation at the same time as delivering a message. Providing access to excellent content, not only in your presentation, but also online, enables audiences (both physically present and virtually), to share relevant points and materials.

A qualified AV technician can help guide you on what technology you should consider integrating into your presentation. They can even make helpful adjustments to ensure your presentation is concise and technically sound.

A well prepared presentation that incorporates effective uses of technology can lift your presentation to leave a longer-lasting and more impactful impression.

This article originally appeared at Business Events News.