When planning an event there are a myriad of decisions to make and obstacles to overcome. From deciding the menu with your caterer to designing the décor of the room, the checklist seems at times to be endless. While juggling other vendors you stumble across the term “AV” and think to yourself: “Is this important?” or “Do I even need this?”. The short answer to both questions is a big, fat YES!
AV can seem intimidating at times with all the cords and terminology, but it doesn’t have to be. As an introduction to this field, we have broken up AV into 3 easy to understand pieces: Audio, Video, and Lighting.
Audio is one of the most essential elements of any event. Think about a time when you were shopping in a store with no background music. Was it weird? I bet it was weird. Those are usually the stores where everyone speaks in a whisper for no reason. “Audio Wallpaper” is a term that we use to describe background music at events. It sets the proper atmosphere for the type of event that you are having. We recommend a curated playlist to ensure the mood is appropriate and enhances the event without being disruptive.
Whether your event is a celebration, fundraiser, corporate gathering, or everything in between, someone is going to need to be heard at some point. Audio is a necessary component in making any announcements, remarks, or speeches. Surprisingly, this is an area that is often overlooked. Whether it is a podium microphone, a wireless handheld, or a wireless lapel microphone, you’ve got things to say and we want to make sure it is heard appropriately for any sized crowd. Our technicians dedicate themselves to making sure you have all the equipment you need and nothing you don’t. The hardest part of your speech should be overcoming stage fright, not playing with the microphone to get it to function.
Have you thought about your sound system? The size, number, and arrangement of your speakers requires careful strategy. This particular component of your event depends on spatial awareness just as much as the quality of the technology itself. The size of the venue, the crowd, and the floor layout will all be taken into consideration by an experienced AV technician. There is always an optimal array of sound for groups of any size. Ultimately, our goal is to prevent the disappointing “we couldn’t really hear you” debacle.
Video can be a very nuanced and important part of events. If a presentation is given, videos can hold the audience’s attention better than a lone speaker. If you advise your AV tech that videos would enhance your event, we will be optimizing your equipment to fit two needs: Content and Display.
Content is the actual picture or video that you want seen. It could be a Slide Presentation (such as Powerpoint, Keynote, or photo slide show) or video. At ProductAV, we encourage you to send us your content approximately 72 hours before the event itself. This allows us to ensure your content is precisely the way you envisioned. We want your event to be incredible, so the more time we have to dial in every little detail, the greater the final product.
Display is the other half of the video equation. It is the medium in which your content is seen. It is important to determine the best way to show the world your amazing content. The variables to consider are very similar to audio – room size (ceiling height and floor space), guest count, and desired effect. You would never want a couple 70” TVs to be your display choice for a giant ballroom. Similarly, you wouldn’t want a giant screen dominating your intimate event space. Our AV technicians will plan your space so that all of your guests will be able to see exactly what you want them to see. You worked hard for your content. We won’t let it go to waste.
Unfortunately, lighting is the most overlooked aspect but we consider it one of the most important elements. There is no better way to transform or create a dramatic look for a room than lighting. Whether the goal is ambient lighting to create a mood or moving lights to create energy, the versatility of event lighting cannot be understated. We consider there to be two main categories for lighting, and that is “décor” or “show” lighting.
Décor lighting can be described as lighting that is intended to set a mood or enhance a room. It could be as simple as some market lights strung above the floor, up-lights set around the venue to add ambient lighting, or a gobo hung to add a stylistic design to the open spaces of your event. This can be particularly useful if you intend for photographs to be taken of your event. Make those pictures look good! Décor lighting can make the not so exciting spaces seem over the top and, when used properly, can really take any event to the next level without breaking the bank.
Show lighting is a bit more complex. Show lighting can be described as lighting with the intended effect of adding movement, excitement, or clarity to one or many areas around a venue. This could come in the form of stage wash to add brightness to a performance stage, moving head lighting to create excitement and energy in the space, or even dance floor lighting meant to get the party started!
Lighting is your best friend. It is, without a doubt, one of the most important weapons in your décor arsenal and can be used to dramatically change an event from blah to spectacular.
The many facets of AV can be complex, but each component can make or break an event. What do you want people to remember most about your event? That they couldn’t hear a presentation, see a slideshow of the bride and groom’s childhood photos, or that they can’t use the pictures company award ceremony because the lighting washed everything out? Certainly not. We want you and yours to have a wonderful time with as little effort on your part as possible. The technicians at ProductAv have your back from start to finish. We understand what each event truly needs and have the tools to make your dream event become a reality. That’s why they say that we “lead the industry one extra mile at a time”…