Real World: A Typical AV Production Event
This is the true story of one production event, picked to live in a house.... Just kidding. But we'd love to share with you the journey of one production event we recently had the pleasure of working on.
A healthcare company contacted us a few months ago asking for our support on their annual sales conference. The three-day internal event typically saw about 450 attendees, but attendance was expected to nearly double this year to an audience of 750 thanks to the significant growth of their sales team. An extra 300 pairs of eyes and ears (attached to actual people, of course) means you can't really do things the way you've done it in the past.
Meeting Tomorrow had worked with this healthcare company before, but they normally used the in-house AV for their larger conferences. The annual sales meeting is held in a different venue and city yearly, which meant they worked with a different in-house AV team every single year. Since this year's event needed to accommodate a larger audience than they were used to, the healthcare company wanted to work with a partner they knew, trusted, and had a track record of executing their events successfully.
We collaborated on a stage set design that was eye-catching and showcased the unique event theme. In addition to a standard two screen set up, three lightboxes were displayed onstage. (Side note: lightboxes are a really easy way to have custom set pieces on your stage. It's a metal frame with a printed fabric sleeve fitted over the frame and lit internally. For this event, we split one image into three parts creating a cool, distinctive structure.) White drapes and uplights contributed to the overall sleek stage look.
Equipment and labor were provided for the general session, awards dinner, and several breakout rooms. All the standard AV elements were covered to ensure the audience could see and hear the content - screens, projectors, microphones, speakers, and lights.
We also helped manage and streamline the event's content so on the day of the show, we were working with the most up-to-date slide decks. You know how it gets - last minute changes to your presentation here and there can quickly snowball into 'V7' with a third of your team still working off of 'V3.' It happens to the best of us and we were happy to provide that support and added value.
'Great, sounds like everything was perfect. I tuned in for some classic reality TV drama!' While everything went pretty smoothly, obstacles inevitably popped up as that's the nature of live events. For example, a presenter's flight was canceled due to impending storms. *gasp* *cut to commercial* He ended up sending an audio file of what he was scheduled to say (luckily just a short introduction) so we were able to accommodate on the fly.
Additionally, set up for the general session needed to be done quietly because a breakout session was going on right next to the general session room. The only thing separating the breakout session and a crew setting up a ton of equipment was an airwall (a movable barrier that partitions a large area into smaller areas).
Overall, the few hurdles were handled but it's important to know something will always come up. That's why it's crucial to work with a team you trust! You want to know solutions will be found and workarounds will be implemented, rather than get shrugged shoulders and an apologetic 'It happens.'
After the event, our main contact went out of her way to praise the professionalism of the technical director, as well as express her gratitude. The healthcare company enjoyed working with Meeting Tomorrow on this conference and plans to include us in future RFPs.
The entire journey was reminiscent of the early seasons of the Real World; people coming together, cooperating, learning from each other, and ultimately creating a memorable experience. Maybe we'll add video confessionals the next time around.
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