By Simon Hancock
They say communication is a two-way street – and although the specific objectives of an event are as varied as the events themselves, the foundational element of events is to communicate – to make a connection.
Event organizers and production professionals are increasingly incorporating the latest audiovisual and technologies into their meetings, events, and conferences to bolster engagement and enhance the communication. Not only can these technologies streamline processes and increase efficiency, but more importantly, they create a personalized, engaging and emotional experience for attendees. An attendee who is engaged is more likely to remember, reflect upon and act on the received communication after the event. In other words, an engaged attendee is one with whom you’ve made that all-important connection.
To take attendee experiences to the next level, here are five audiovisual technologies to dial up your audience engagement.
Projection mapping in 3D
Transform your ho-hum event space into a dynamic, vibrant environment with some projection wizardry. Traditionally, projection mapping has been restricted to flat surfaces and remains an impressive technique to create digital décor and vibrant images around a room. But today, the craft has evolved to integrating architectural elements, set pieces and other structures. Potentially any surface can be a dynamic video display – and the spectacular effect compels and inspires audiences without question.
Second screen event technologies
When it comes to distracted or disengaged event attendees, the main culprit is the gremlin in their pocket or purse: smartphones. By creatively integrating attendee smartphones through custom apps or by extending presentation content to smartphone displays, these ‘second screens’ hold many opportunities to ensure event attendees are intimately and personally involved with the event program. A hub of interactivity, these event apps can be tailored to support Q&A sessions, networking activities, live polling – anything to make it easier to connect with attendees and colleagues. What’s more, a strategically deployed event app can ease the burden for event organizers by pushing all relevant event info to attendees like agendas, speaker info, presentations and branded sponsor messages.
Gesture technology works by using body movements, rather than a keyboard, remote control or other device to control a presentation. As such, speakers can navigate through presentations with basic gestures like waving their hand or raising their arm. This kinetic and physical aspect enhances the connection between the speaker and the content. This subtle, yet impactful change from traditional presentation delivery keeps transitions seamless, smooth and holds the attention of the audience in powerful ways. Gesture-based technology is an ideal solution when speakers need to communicate a lot of information in a short amount of time: it’s visual, it’s kinetic, it’s fluid – and most importantly, it supports a heightened level of engagement from the audience.
What if your event requires some audience interaction? You could interrupt the flow of the presentation and awkwardly navigate rows and rows of chairs to get the stage mic to that person at the back. Meanwhile, you’re losing the attention of your attendees while the stage mic is passed around for each audience member that has a question or comment. This cumbersome process is slow and boring for everyone. Or you could use a CatchBox – the world’s first throwable microphone. When someone in the audience has a question, simply throw them the soft-sided cube and they speak into it. A specialized wireless microphone is housed inside that transmits through the audio system. Toss it back on stage or over to the next audience member and keep the discussion flowing and the engagement up.
Of all these recommendations, when it comes to holographic presentations you’ve got to see it to believe it. Holograms are a novel combination of a number of new and existing technologies, which allow content creators to unite live, animated and holographic content to deliver an incredible visual treat with real-world 3D effects. The result is a seductive and immersive experience that can be delivered to small or large audiences. What was once known as a Victorian-era illusion (look up Pepper’s Ghost effect) has evolved into a super-charged and sophisticated digital innovation. When enhanced with staging, lighting and sound, this ‘rebooted’ technology will catapult the most basic PowerPoint into a powerful and compelling presentation.
About the author
Simon Hancock is National Director of Marketing for FrischkornMEDIACO, an award-winning audio-visual design and production company that brings more attention, more creativity, more passion, more expertise and more memorable moments for your event. Visit www.fmav.ca for more information.