So, you’re tasked at pulling together an event. The charter? To produce an excellent event for the client that will engage the attendees, foster great conversation and networking, and not to mention, run smoothly. One of the key components to having a successful event is the choice of technology, which can be overlooked or underestimated. Technology can affect the overall energy, perception, and even communication of the event. It is an element that, if done right, can boost your clients ROI, increase networking, and keep the event running seamlessly. Here are the top five technologies that can really make a difference at your client’s next event:
1. Wireless LEDs
When lights need to be in a place where cord placement is inconvenient (cords over doorways, through a room, placement where there is no power, etc) wireless LEDs work very well. Good lighting sets a tone and energy for the event that is important for networking. Research shows that light, music, color and food all affect learning. Neuroscience has determined that when multiple senses are employed, the brain remembers better.
2. iPad registration:
The first impression of the event begins when the guests arrive, which is not the time to be scrambling to find that piece of paper with the guest list and frantically scanning to check off names. Not to mention, you’d have to cross reference later with any colleagues to see who they checked in. Invest in an iPad for unified guest registration and consider event check in apps such as Event Check In or Check In Easy, which can efficiently help you check in guests, and will make you look sophisticated too. Or, if you're not interested in purcasing a tablet or iPad, CheckIn Tech can provide iPad rentals, staff people and more. Key advantages of online registration:
- Know how many people have arrived at anytime
- Can add/change guest names and information quickly and succinctly
- Retrieve an historical data report of how many people arrived at what times (helpful for staffing future events)
- Each iPad has the most up-to-date information (vs printed list which are outdated when a second list is printed)
- Can add notes and photos so key sponsors, speakers, VIP are acknowledged (no embarrassing situations of not realizing you are speaking to a high level donor or a speaker)
- Easy to see if there are empty seats at a table
- Visually cleaner, faster, more welcoming - not to mention it looks stylish and smart
3. Screen size appropriate for room size and content
Limit live speakers to a minimum and consider incorporating short two minute videos to portray messages. This introduces a visual element that is captivating and often, more engaging. Video also helps avoid "wasted time" by having speakers walk to and from a podium.
- If seats are too close to screen, people can't see content
- Content determines the seats that will be able to see clearly. Seating 4x from the height of the screen is good for graphics (so a 6x8 screen means graphics can be clearly seen up to 32 feet away - anyone seated further away than that won't see the graphics as clearly). Whereas you should consider 8x the height of the screen for video and 6x the height of the screen for any visual in the middle.
4. Countdown clock for speakers
- Reconfirms the amount of time someone has to speak to avoid going over the allotted time and keeping your guests too late
- Subtle on stage
- Helps speaker stay on track - they don't want to go off on too much of tangent and not get their point across
- It provides comfort for speakers to know how long they have been talking
- Make sure tech company resets the clock! It’s important to walk through the process in advance with the speaker.
- If a countdown clock isn't available - warning signs also work. Holding up signs noting 10, 5, "Wrap", from the back of the room helps your speaker stay on track.
5. GREAT sound
Sound can affect the energy, mood and thinking for attendees. The clarity of the sound is just as important as the level of the sound and it’s evident that one without the other doesn’t get the job done. Loud, inarticulate sound is blaring and offensive to the listener. Clear, articulate sound that’s not loud enough to hear is, well… not loud enough to hear. It’s important to note the point of measurement of which sound can be heard clearly. Sound will decrease by approximately 6dB for every doubling of distance. If the sound level at your loudspeaker is 100 dB at 1 meter, it will be 94 dB at 2 meters, 88 at 4 meters, and so on.
- Speaker placement is important, as it needs to be evenly distributed into the room
- The ability to hear a spoken word vs a thump thump (think rock concert)
- Prevents sound delay from front of room to back (producing an out of sync effect - think bad foreign film dubbing)
- Wireless microphones: anyone speaking at the event should be hands free so they can engage with the audience effectively and not be distracted by the technology itself
Cassie Brown is the chief experience officer at TCG Events, an award-winning, full-service event planning company whose work includes milestone, nonprofit, and corporate events, as well as grand openings and more. TCG Events specializes in planning and executing corporate events with the company’s proprietary EventSmarter™ approach, which includes a detailed pre-event walk-through that covers every facet from the perspective of the attendee, to ensure absolute success. Eventwithtcg.com