Category

Audience Response

CES 2019 Trends and Innovative Tech

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Audio, Brand Experience, Creative Services, Design Thinking, Digital Signage, Education, Engagement, Event Trends, Exhibits, Expo, Industry News, News, Product Review, Touchscreens, Trade Shows

CES 2019 Trends and Innovative Tech

By Victor Paan

National Director, Digital Innovation

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) provided a scope and scale of technology that had a common thread. Ai and 5G provided the foundation that powers smarter TVs, smarter homes, smarter cities, and the vehicles that will navigate them. The future is here. Below are a few of the biggest trends we noticed at this year’s CES.

Screens: Flat, Roll-up and Holographic Displays

A few of the trends we observed when it came to screens included the roll-up OLED screen that, not unlike Saran Wrap, rolls up and back into a long rectangular box. Its pure futuristic eye candy design holds promise for live event activations as it’s space efficient, easily portable, and overall awe inspiring technology.

Mostly every brand that offers flat panel displays on the show floor featured 8K LED screens. These screens have beautiful detail and colour that would allow PIPs over High Res backgrounds to be displayed at a high resolution, whether 4K content or HD 1080 content.

Although not something that is defined as a ‘screen’, HYPERVSN’s 3D Holographic Display System provided a wow-factor via their new LED rotor units.  Upgraded in size and framerate, the new units are breathtaking and provide an extremely crisp hologram.  A showstopper.  Along with a new customer portal to easily turn 2D content into 3D content for these displays, makes jumping onboard with this technology an easy uptake.

Headset advancements and eye tracking

A much subdued presence at CES this year.  Some headset advancements of note are to do with ocular tracking.  The HTC Vive Pro Eye adds eye tracking that allows users to control in-game experiences using eye-movements.  This also allows developers to track what users are attracted to and spending time looking at within an experience, providing user data that can enhance future development of products/designs through the VR tech.

To take this further, the company responsible for developing the aforementioned eye tracking, Tobii allows for this type of eye movement capture for any digital assets seen on a screen.  Stakeholders can obtain data on user’s habits as to what they focus on during a browse of a soon-to-be-launched website or service.

Compounding this, and providing a use case for the events industry, is the ability for individuals to wear glasses that track what an attendee’s eyes are drawn to while, say, walking an exhibit floor or a creative staging setup.  This data can provide insights towards best practices on brand and design elements; honing the process in how designers deliver on realized projects.

Ai (and the IoT) in action!

If VR & AR were the buzzwords of recent years past, Ai was the newly crowned monarch of CES 2019.  Everything from TVs that ascertain what you are watching and adjust picture and sound settings to match the experience, to smart home appliances powered by your favourite voice assistant that communicate and learn together, Ai was everywhere.  The real shift in the idea of what Ai means to the masses is that no longer are we expected to adapt to the technology, rather, the technology is shifting to a model that adapts itself to each of us and the context of our experiences.

Robotics, from a concierge standpoint, remained stagnant for the most part.  Designs felt either overly stylized (read ‘cute’) or were downright creepy. The rush towards 5G connectivity is absolutely being driven by the onset of Ai and the Internet of Things.  All of this connectivity will only benefit from the accelerated speeds and bandwidth of 5G… which is really what the hype is all about; more things online, faster!

Author
Victor Paan
Freeman Audio Visual Canada
Director of Digital Services

Victor Paan is Director of Digital Services for Freeman Audio Visual Canada. Since joining Freeman in 2002, Victor has worked diligently for his clients, advancing his career from a delivery technician role to his current position as the Director of Digital Services. In this capacity, he draws on his technical and sales experience to support Freeman’s teams and clients in integrating state-of-the-art event solutions that will transform, grow, and extend the world of live engagements.

Latest Trends In Presentation Technology

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Education, Engagement, Freeman Audio Visual Products & Services, News, Presentation Management 4, Presentation Management 4.5, Presentation Tips, Simultaneous Interpretation, Social Media, Wide screen projection

A presentation is the finished product of months of research, analysis and practice. It’s your speaker’s chance to share information on your expertise with a room full of like-minded people who are interested in learning about your topic. But a good presentation is more than just the information itself; it’s also about how that information gets communicated. And that’s where unique presentation technologies play an important role.

It’s no secret that the world is rapidly advancing technologically. People have smartphones, high-tech televisions, at-home personal assistants like Alexa, not to mention everyone’s personal computer. This means it’s likely safe to assume that you’re speaking to an audience that’s familiar with some form of technology when giving your presentation.

The latest trends in presentation tools and technology revolve around this high-tech transformation. Without further ado, here are some of the latest trends we’ve identified in presentation technology that will wow your audience and create buzz around your brand:

Flat Screen Displays

A vivid flat screen display offers image quality that makes the viewer feel like there’s no separation between them and the visuals being depicted. Whether it’s a tundra, a busy city, the middle of an ocean or a calm village, modern flat screen displays really do these scenes justice.

Flat screen displays aid presentations by making it more pleasurable for your audience to view your slides, your video, and whatever other visual components you’re sharing. The quality of the image also makes it easier for a room full of people to view, taking in every detail. This means you can share more detailed images without worrying about them being grainy.

Simultaneous Translation

If your attendees are from global offices, incorporating simultaneous translation into your presentation can be hugely helpful. Simultaneous interpretation is a reliable option for bringing in remote parties when giving a presentation. Provide native-language messages through headsets so that every member of your audience is able to fully participate in your event. With fluid interpretation that allows your attendees to listen in their own language you leave no attendee behind.

Social Media

Social media is ubiquitous, so it might as well be put to good use. Many conferences, seminars, learning presentations and corporate meetups use social media technology to spread awareness of their brand and engage their attendees. Social media walls and live feed projections give event attendees their ‘five seconds of fame’ and get them excited about using their social media in a tangible way. It also allows them to share their ideas in a public forum, an example of using social media the way it was originally intended: for greater collaboration and communication.

Audience Response Service

Think, “Ask the Audience” on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Audience response technology allows you to ask your audience questions and get their responses in real-time. This makes for a much more engaging presentation, but also makes your audience members feel like their voices are really being heard. Gathering popular opinion in the midst of a presentation can help you underscore the points you’re trying to drive home. It can also help you get a sense of how engaged your audience is, and whether further education on a particular matter might be helpful to them.

Technology advances have given us so many more presentation possibilities. Now, with so many different types of event technology available, you can be as creative as you want with your events. For more information about the latest trends in presentation equipment, call us at 1 800-868-6886 or contact us here.

 

3 Factors to Consider When Thinking About Audio for Your Next Conference

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Audio, Breakout Sessions, Education, Engagement, Event highlights, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Power Point, Technicians, Video, Video Conferencing, Webcasts

There are many variables when it comes to organizing a successful conference, from selecting the right presenters to taking breaks at the right time for networking. When it comes to audio, one of the variables that deserves attention is sound reinforcement. The point of reinforcing or amplifying your presenter’s voice in a ballroom, or any room for that matter, is not just so that he/she can be heard from the front to the back of the room, but more importantly, that he/she is comfortably understood from the front to the back of the room.

In addition to sound reinforcement, sound quality is equally important. This is especially the case if you plan on recording your conference. This documented evidence of your event is likely to be used in the future for promotional videos, training or archived for private or public record.

So when thinking about the type of audio support needed for your event, we encourage you to consider the following three key factors:

  1. Your Purpose

The audio needs for a Town Hall, a sales rally and an awards gala with entertainment are all different. Fail to match the type of meeting with the appropriate audio solution and you could end up with understated audio or audio overkill. For example a meeting with the purpose of imparting new information or learning requires a focus on clarity of speech and equal coverage throughout the room (arguably this should always be the goal). Therefore, the audio system selected should complement the dominant frequency range of the human voice which is generally accepted to be around 300Hz – 3kHz. This is the spot where intelligibility and recognition like to get together and party.

  1. Your Equipment

Once you’ve understood the purpose of your meeting or event, list out your audio needs as this will dictate the equipment required. Use your agenda to visualize the day from your attendee’s and presenter’s points of view. A sound system comprises of four main elements that will work together to capture and amplify sound at your event. They include:

  1. Input devices –wired and or wireless microphones, discussion systems designed for multiple participants and playback devices.
  2. Processing devices –audio mixers and signal processors for adjusting the quality of sound through equalization, compression, feedback suppression, etc. Used skillfully audio processors can eliminate/minimize unwanted echoes, vocal pops, feedback, etc. and aim to control the audio being amplified.
  • Amplification devices – amplifiers to boost the input sound to the loud speakers. This boosting is required regardless of system configuration applied, hence the term ‘sound reinforcement’. Amplifier configurations can either run independent of loudspeakers or they can form part of the loudspeaker itself. In the latter form this is usually indicated by the term ‘powered speaker’.
  1. Output devices –loudspeakers and headphones, depending on how the audience intends to receive the sound.

Depending on the nature of your conference, you may need additional ancillary equipment for recording, teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or streaming. This is uniquely beneficial when all attendees or presenters cannot be at the event at the designated place and time.

  1. Your Audio Partner

When the audio fails at event – people notice. And keeping in mind your purpose and equipment, having the right partner’s onsite can make or break the experience you are trying to create. An audio company that takes the time to understand what matters most to you and your brand, is creative in their approach, and has the experience to troubleshoot, are always worth more in the long run. Consulting with your sound/audiovisual company early on in the process will ensure that the event space you have selected is suitable for the type of audio-visual support your event will need. For example, low ceilings, pillars, rigging points, built-in counters, big windows, proximity to other meetings on the day, power distribution and other factors can dramatically affect the setup of your audio equipment, your budget and ultimately the intended experience of your presenters and attendees.  Ultimately your audio engineer’s efforts towards achieving great sound on your event are governed by the laws of physics, not magic, and takes years of training, experience on show sites, and continued learning to master these skills.

Focusing on your event purpose, understanding the equipment you need, and selecting the right audio partner, are three ways to guarantee exceptional sound at your event. And remember, a good sound engineer is ALWAYS listening.

For more information, contact the Freeman Audio Visual Canada team today.

Author
Rene Barrow
Freeman Audio Visual Canada, Account Executive

Joining Freeman in 2009, René Barrow brings nearly 20 years’ experience of customer relationship management experience in the banking industry and 13 years’ experience as a technician in the performing arts. His extensive expertise and positive approach means that clients never have to worry about their audiovisual solutions when René is in charge.

Tips to Consider for an Effective Audio Visual Presentation

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Audio, Breakout Sessions, Education, Engagement

Presentations have gone far beyond the traditional setting we’re very accustomed to. Technology is quickly being adopted in many forms for the purpose of reaching a much broader audience. Whether you are webcasting, hosting a webinar or videoconferencing, you are connecting with a virtual audience.  As streaming technology advances, becoming much simpler and cost-effective, we’ve put together some tips to consider so your messaging is on-point.

Sound Quality

It is imperative to ensure that the quality of sound is top notch. Having muddled or a weak sound is not only annoying to those present, but far worse for remote attendees. Engagement is key to the success of your event, and poor audio quality will largely decrease the amount of people interested. Not only is it important the presenter is heard, but remote attendees and those sitting in the back of the room need to be able to hear audience members when a question is being asked. Ensuring a microphone is available is paramount!

Internet Bandwidth

Internet bandwidth is easily something that gets overlooked; purchasing enough bandwidth to cover the entirety and scale of your event is crucial. Internet bandwidth determines how much data can be transmitted and at what speed. Having shaking or freezing video streams will be frustrating for your live virtual audience. Be sure to check that you are getting what you are paying for and demand time for testing, as you don’t want to be scrambling on the day of.

Types of Cameras

To figure out how many cameras you’ll need, begin by determining which sessions you plan on live streaming. Streaming events need at least one fixed camera, and multiple cameras can be helpful if you have the budget for it, as they allow different angles and shots to be taken, keeping things engaging.

Mobile Friendly

Mobile and tablets are increasingly popular with everyone using them to do all of their tasks. Having scalable streaming capabilities that are available on iOS and Android will make a huge difference in your event. Your remote audience will be able to tune in from wherever they are, and you’ll reach a larger group of people regardless of the device they’re using.

Virtual Audience

It’s easy to forget about those streaming in once your event is up and running. Making sure you engage your virtual audience is very important. Speakers should greet them at the beginning, use their name and where they are from when a question comes in, and remember to look into the camera when speaking, as the speaker will most likely be trained to look only at the local audience.

A mediator or MC is a great way to engage the audience, help them develop some conversation and allow them to feel part of the event, and as latency (delay) of streaming services becomes more immediate, also look to add engagement tools like polling and live Q&A for both your local and virtual audiences.

Following these tips for an effective audio visual presentation will help your event thrive and give your audience something to remember. Contact us for more information.

Author
Victor Paan
Freeman Audio Visual Canada
Director of Digital Services

Victor Paan is Director of Digital Services for Freeman Audio Visual Canada. Since joining Freeman in 2002, Victor has worked diligently for his clients, advancing his career from a delivery technician role to his current position as the Director of Digital Services. In this capacity, he draws on his technical and sales experience to support Freeman’s teams and clients in integrating state-of-the-art event solutions that will transform, grow, and extend the world of live engagements.

The Customer Journey: Who’s In Charge?

By | Audience Response, Face-to-Face with Freeman blog

By Molly Casey, Vice President, Brand Marketing | Originally published in Face to face with Freeman blog

molly caseyI recently attended an event with fellow Marketers from many industries looking to hear how leading organizations are evolving their cross-channel marketing efforts. There were many great tips and take-aways, but the one that stood out the most for me was this:

You don’t define your customer’s journey. They do.

You hear a lot these days about using the customer journey to optimize and enhance the customer experience. But who defines that journey? As marketers we might fall into the trap of thinking we do when in fact, the customers themselves are in charge. That’s right, as much as we would like it to be different, the customer journey is not defined by Sales or Marketing but by the customer themselves. This means we need to continuously learn more about our customers – what their journey look like, what their pain points are, how they like to engage – so that we can build a narrative that is  personalized, and on their terms. Again, it’s not about us, it’s about them.

During the Roadshow, Marketo’s Shyna Zhang, shared the following five principles for engaging people. I believe they are extremely helpful to consider whether you are looking to engage people at a meeting or conference, through email, via mobile, social or on the web:

She said we must engage people:

  1. As individuals
  2. Based on what they do
  3. Continuously over time
  4. Directed towards an outcome
  5. Everywhere they are

Do you know enough about your customers to engage with them in this way? What methods are you using to learn about your customers so you can create a better personalized journey?

Engage Your Audience with Freeman Audio Visual Canada

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response

avw-telav

Your event may be perfectly planned with logistics, dates and invitations sent out, but how do you ensure that your audience will be captured and interested in your material? One of the most difficult parts of a presentation is retaining your audience’s interest, and ensuring they feel involved with the material. We’ve found solutions that work – engage your audience with these Freeman Audio Visual Canada services, and see the difference in the results of your meeting.

Our Audience Response+ solution is an interactive tool that will engage and involve your audience. It’s a great tool that allows each individual in your meeting to respond and participate using their own handheld devices, helping to stimulate discussions, reinforce learning and gather information on your audience’s opinions and behaviours. Audience Response+ also allows your audience to vote and team build during training exercises.

The keypads are wireless and handheld, allowing for ease of transport and comfortable usage while delegates are in their seats.  If your presenter is taking a poll or survey of the crowd or asking them to answer multiple choice questions, guests can see the results of the group’s answers immediately displayed on the screen up front, allowing for more sparked interest amongst attendees. For post-presentation results and information gathering, Audience Response+ can export your collected information to Excel or other programs and formats. This collected data can be vital for reporting and understanding statistics, behaviours, and opinions of your group. Categories such as regions, teams, age, and other demographics are all important for your company to understand its audience, so let Freeman Audio Visual make it that much easier for you to capture this data.

The simple and fun tool integrates easily with PowerPoint, and is easy to use, needing minimal explanation. Audience Response+ is especially beneficial at product launches, sales meetings, scientific and medical sessions, and governance applications.

interpretation-booths

Freeman Audio Visual also offers Simultaneous Interpretation support which can facilitate the translation of up to 32 languages simultaneously. We offer infrared or radio frequency interpretation equipment, which complies with ISO international and Canadian standards. Portable sound proof booths and multi-microphone discussion capabilities allow for seamless communication across any channels and representation you may have at your meeting.

Both of these event communication solutions  can highly increase your odds of an engaged and interested audience. Not only will you be able to support any language constraints, appealing to a larger group, you will also be able to gain personal insights and record these findings, ensuring your meeting was productive. Consult Freeman Audio Visual for solutions to engage your specific audience, and see the difference in your in the level of satisfaction during and after your event. Contact us for information.

AVW-TELAV VP Marketing Heidi Welker writes about uniting people with technology in Corporate Mtgs & Events mag

By | Audience Response, Event highlights, Interesting Articles, Meeting Planners

Uniting people through technology:
Bridging the communication gap for a common cause

By Heidi Welker
 
When you’re in the business of uniting and engaging large groups of people from various walks of life in the same space, there are few tried-and-true methods you can bet your last buck on: scrumptious food, great entertainment and AV technology coupled with the right digital and presentation solutions.

Case in point: A leading provincial organization produced a breakthrough event, from which the organization will reap the benefits for several years. “Our clients still talk about what a great day it was and how we used innovative ways to bridge the distance of the province,” said the group’s transition manager.

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Elevate your message with Audience Response

By | Audience Response, Education, Hot Technology, Meeting Planners, Polls, Tools & Tips

A business that understands the importance of the voices and opinions of staff and customers is a successful business. Modern-day event technologies can drastically enhance your ability to listen to stakeholders, and moreover, understand how you can serve them. No event technology does this with better precision than an Audience Response system.

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