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Breakout Sessions

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.

Event Staging: TD Canada Trust’s Touching Displays

By | Breakout Sessions, Event highlights, Touchscreens

*La version française suit le message anglais.

Cumbersome, wasteful flip charts and posters have had their day, as TD Canada Trust demonstrated at its recent company conference. Inside four breakout rooms at its conference in Ottawa, TD associates gathered mid-year to brainstorm and develop plans for the second half of the year. They were faced with the challenge of how best to display ideas and content and record thoughts collected for future consideration.

Freeman Audio Visual provided three vertically-positioned 60” monitors displaying data and trends, and two 55” horizontal touchscreen monitors running the Microsoft Paint program to capture and save notes from their discussions. A truss arch was installed and drape was uplit with LEDs for a clean, focused finish. This arrangement created an organized environment conducive to productivity for the TD thought leaders. They were able to record all their ideas and feedback, present it the next day, and make revisions to their original plans.

We would like to acknowledge the following Freeman Audio Visual staff and crew members for contributing to the success of this event: Dave Laramee, Dean Morris, Calvin Day, Cameron Marchand and Guido Guzzo.

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Mise en scène d’événements: Des écrans tactiles pour TD Canada

Les tableaux de papier encombrants et peu écologiques sont dépassés, comme l’a démontré TD Canada lors de sa plus récente réunion d’entreprise. Regroupés pour une séance de remue-méninges dans quatre salles de réunion lors d’une conférence de milieu d’année à Ottawa, les employés de cette banque devaient planifier le second semestre de 2014. Ils devaient trouver la meilleure façon de présenter leurs idées et leurs contenus et de consigner leurs réflexions pour qu’on puisse y revenir plus tard.

Freeman audiovisuel a fourni trois écrans verticaux de 60 po permettant d’afficher les données et les tendances, de même que deux écrans tactiles horizontaux de 55 po, utilisés pour noter et enregistrer les discussions à l’aide du logiciel Paint de Microsoft. Nous avons installé une arche en treillis et éclairé des rideaux par le haut au moyen de diodes électroluminescentes afin de créer un effet net et bien défini. Cette configuration a permis de créer un environnement bien organisé qui favorisait la productivité pour les experts de TD. Ils ont pu recueillir toutes leurs idées et leurs commentaires, les présenter le jour suivant et apporter des corrections aux projets initiaux.

Nous aimerions souligner la contribution de ces employés et membres de l’équipe technique de Freeman audiovisuel au succès de cet événement : Dave Laramee, Dean Morris, Calvin Day, Cameron Marchand et Guido Guzzo.