Steve Wildemann is president of Rental and Staging Network and president and owner of Advanced Staging Productions in Pennsylvania. With more than 30 years of experience in the event technology business, he leads RSN, a top-tier network of AV production companies throughout North America.
To make an association event memorable, attendees need to walk away feeling inspired.
Audio-visual (AV) is an effective tool to create a connection with your attendees and make your association’s message stand out. AV technology can drive an entire event in exciting new ways to engage attendees and deliver results for sponsors.
You might think leveraging AV as an engagement tool is expensive, but it doesn’t have to cost your association a fortune. There are ways to maximize what you’re already paying for, and technology advances have allowed independent audio-visual companies to offer reasonable pricing. Ask your AV partner for their advice on how to deliver your association’s message in an engaging and memorable way.
Every meeting room probably has a microphone, speakers and a screen. These elements are already in the room, so why not use them? Use the speakers to elevate your opening by playing upbeat music to excite attendees, grab their attention and engage them from the beginning. This is far more creative and memorable than tapping the microphone and asking if it’s on. Music also naturally drives curiosity and attracts people into a session. Make sure you get a license for whatever music you choose.
Embracing social media is a way to attract younger members to an association event. Use the screens you already have in a room to show your association’s social media feeds throughout the event. This will encourage attendees to engage with each other virtually. Who doesn’t love seeing themselves on the big screen?
To create an exciting event wrap-up, utilize a variety of your digital assets to showcase pictures of attendees at the conference participating in all the great activities. This makes “See you next year!” a more personable and memorable send-off than a wave from the podium.
Using technology can also help save on hard costs and elevate the attendee experience. Developing an event app can save on the costs of printing materials, as well as shipping. To encourage adoption, offer exclusive content on the app, such as revealing a private networking reception.
Think beyond the traditional projection of a pull-down screen or rear projection and, instead, look to large-format LED panels. The demand for these at events has been steadily increasing for many reasons, including:
Projection mapping is an opportunity to pump new, vibrant life into an exhibit hall, which can add value to sponsors who want to maximize their visibility to potential patrons.
Projection mapping enables light to be mapped and projected onto any surface — leaving the traditional pipe-and-drape exhibit booth in the dust. This tool allows three-dimensional objects of any size and shape to become canvases for images or video. Everyday objects come to life with color and the optical illusion of movement.
New technology is making projection mapping easier and faster to execute at events. Instead of taking hours to render an image, computers may take minutes or even seconds to process and have it ready for use, cutting down on time and labor costs.
Sponsors are willing to pay top dollar to be the main attraction on a show floor, and projection mapping is a way to offer that benefit. The human eye is naturally attracted to light and movement, so projection mapping onto something within your exhibit space is an effective way to draw eyes to where you — and your sponsors — want them.
Bring your presenters out of hiding from their breakout rooms by applying the idea of “silent disco” to your event. Wireless, multi-channel headphones allow attendees to hear the speaker of their choosing, regardless of their physical location. Breakout sessions once relegated to smaller separate rooms can now be incorporated in the main hall with everyone.
Using headphones allows attendees to focus their attention on the speaker, so they are not distracted by outside noises.
You can also elevate your sponsorship opportunities with this technology. Sponsors are attracted to ideas that are fresh and different so they stand out and are remembered. By bringing sessions together to a central space, sponsor signage and collateral can be showcased in the main area instead of being relegated to the breakout room, and the silent disco concept with its sponsor support can be showcased during pre-conference marketing.
Using what you already have — your expo hall — in a new, creative way can be a budget saver, as it eliminates the need to rent extra breakout spaces that may only be used once or twice throughout an event.
Partner with your independent audio-visual provider to collaborate about ways to integrate the latest technology to attract additional sponsors and attendees for an association event. AC&F
About Rental and Staging Network (RSN)
The Rental and Staging Network (RSN) is a network of top-tier AV production companies throughout North America. Founded in 2007, RSN has members across the United States, Canada and Mexico providing state-of-the-art expertise in corporate meetings, conventions, live concerts and special events. RSN membership is by invitation-only and limited to the most qualified AV production companies. All members are vetted based on stringent criteria for quality equipment, breadth of knowledge in audio, video and lighting production and sound business practices. www.rentalandstaging.net