Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Image result for event stage
Photo credit: Greaterthanentertainment

Matthew Saravay, the president of Wizard Studios gave planners and production managers tips on slideshows, audio, and speaker management at a recent event.

1. Use a dark background and light letters for presentations.

For PowerPoint presentations and others that involve speaking with a screen, Saravay said to always use a dark background—such as black or purple—with light letters, so the letters pop off the screen. “For presentations, I want to fool people's eyes,” said Saravay, who noted that an audience will have trouble viewing a presentation with a light background and darker letters. Saravay also said it's best to ask clients to build slideshows in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

2. Equip speakers with an appropriate microphone.

Saravay noted that giving speakers an appropriate mic is key for the most effective sound, as microphones pick up signals in different ways and signal flow is key. Lavaliers are popular, because they're small and don't have to be held, and can easily attach to clothing around the chest area such as a tie. For instances where one is wearing a top that won't suit a lavalier, Saravay said it's best to suggest a handheld mic.

3. Consider what's behind the presenter.

“Make sure a podium sign or logo is behind the presenter. What you don't want directly behind the presenter is the screen,” said Saravay. “Think about what the photographer will have as the shot. The screen should be above or to the side.” He also noted that there should be texture on signage, as well as a pattern or color other than pure white.

4. Ask clients what their needs are so the right type of stage can be selected.

Saravay noted that planners should always ask clients questions about the logistics of staging, including whether there is a band, if there's a drummer, and the number of people who will be on the stage. He also says that for talent and V.I.P.s, there should be green rooms that have a clear path to and from the stage. The sequestered space should have a separate entrance and exit to the venue.

5. Use teleprompters effectively.

“When to use a teleprompter is up to your client and what your specific needs are,” said Saravay. “It's better than a written script.” He explained that they should be used in a way where the speaker can have a conversation and look at the audience as they're delivering their message. “You always want people to rehearse because of pacing,” he said. “You want to make sure the rhythm is in sync, so words are going at a pace that sounds natural.”

6. Set different lighting looks.

When it comes to lighting an event, he said that planners should understand the difference between functional and decorative lighting elements, and that lighting designers should design rooms with different lighting looks. One thing he said to always stay away from is the use of LED blue lights on stages, as they cause light distortion.

7. Create a show flow.

“Think about a show flow and how to integrate service,” said Saravay, who mentioned that planners should figure in breaks for light refreshments and clearing tables so that it's not out of place or awkward during an event.

8. Be strategic when selecting a venue.

“If I've never been to a venue, I will always give clients a preliminary quote,” he said. When it comes to venue and site selection, he noted some of the most important things to check for are the availability of power, rigging points, and Internet access.

Source: Bizbash

8 Audiovisual and Production Tips for Stage Presentations

Photo credit: Greaterthanentertainment Matthew Saravay, the president of Wizard Studios gave planners and production managers tips on ...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

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Photo credit: www.rsexecutiveprotection.com

Violent crime, terror attacks, natural disasters: A sense of danger is putting a chill on special events, and adding more urgency to the jobs of special event professionals. Many of the big DMCs profiled in SPECIAL EVENTS' latest "25 Top DMCs" tell us that they have been putting greater focus on security planning in their work for clients.

For starters, here is a Q&A with Jeff O’Hara, CMP, DMCP, president of AlliedPRA New Orleans, on the tactics he takes to keep guests safe and happy at events in the Big Easy.

SPECIAL EVENTS: Are more clients raising the issue of security to you than they were five years ago? 

Jeff O'Hara: Yes. To be sure, the vast majority of concerns and tactics are around intellectual property protection, especially in technology, pharma and financial. With that said, given the recent events in Europe, we have started to hear concerns from our clients in the recent months and have shared our emergency plans more frequently than in the past.

SE: Do you find that most clients today are security-conscious, or do you have to stress security?
JOH: Clients are definitely security-conscious. It is a collaborative discussion we have in the logistics phase of event implementation. Sometimes we have to nudge them along--see nametags below as a frequent example--but most big organizations have this as part of their standard review.

Something as simple as requiring nametags for admittance to off-site events is a strong security step in the current environment. Sure, attendees find it a pain and planners are reluctant to ruffle feathers with enforcement--but a terrorist is unlikely to know to counterfeit a credential to gain access to the target. Nor is a common thief who poses a different type of security threat.

SE: How have you developed your approach to security and risk management: professional experience, consulting with security experts, other?
JOH: In New Orleans, we regularly host international large-scale events--Super Bowls, Final 4, BCS Championships, Mardi Gras, Jazz Festival, NBA All-Star Games. Not to mention just normal nights in the French Quarter. As a result, the city has developed quite an expertise in security of large crowds wrapped in the velvet glove of being welcoming.

The hospitality community has regular strategy meetings with the New Orleans Police Department, U.S. Homeland Security, fire and paramedics to coordinate ongoing and special event plans, and we are able to leverage those relationships to assist in our plans. Further, we commonly use off-duty police detail for traffic control and event security. In addition to the roles they play for us, these officers are highly trained in recognizing threats in large crowds, so we have their expertise at our service.

SE: How has your approach to security at events evolved over the last five years? Are there threats you plan for now that were not such a concern five years ago?
JOH: Absolutely. The global terrorist actions show that any large gathering of people can be a target. We regularly produce off-site events for several thousand people, so we have to make this part of the planning.

In the DMC world, we often use nontraditional spaces for our events. As a result we have to educate partners for whom this is not a normal concern and likely don’t have an existing security plan of this magnitude.

SE: Can you share any anecdotes of how your security planning protected an event from a threat?
JOH: There have been multiple instances where our event staff has intercepted people who did not belong at events we were producing.

Recently at a technology company kickoff meeting, we had to constantly remove people away from a product launch. They could have been innocent, curious hotel guests, or they could have been looking to find out about the IP being launched. We’ll never know.

Similarly, we have stopped people from entering our off-site events several times in the past year. They could also be curious and innocent, could be small-time thieves, or worse. Again, we will never know but by being proactive and having staff trained to look for suspicious persons, we will never have to know.

SE: How much of any security plan can be a template (e.g., identify entrances, get emergency contacts) and what must be customized to an event?
JOH: The basic things are a quick checklist--event entrances and exits, means of identifying credentialed attendees, security posts, venue emergency procedures, etc.

However, a lot has to be customized for each event. There are external factors that could impact the event--what other events are going on in the city that night, what type of crowds might those events attract, do we have headline entertainment that may induce gate-crashers? In New Orleans there can always be unannounced parades on any given night, so we check for parade permits with the city to understand implications on traffic flow. If we are using a nontraditional venue--warehouse, art gallery, etc.--we have to develop the venue security plan and then educate the venue on how to implement it.

SE: Have you seen the increased focus on security adding to the cost of special events?
JOH: It certainly adds to our internal costs, as the time required to ensure we have a proper security plan in place is extensive. As a DMC, this is part of the service that we provide to clients and one of the key reasons that they engage a DMC. So it is not something that increases costs to our clients in the scope of our programs. However, many do have internal security teams and they being deployed on-site more often now, so that is an increased cost to the client.

At the end of the day, all of the preparation that goes into this--our planning with the venue, the client, the on-site protection--has to be invisible to the attendees, which is kind of ironic. While everyone wants to be safe and secure, nobody wants to see it. People who attend our events attend events all over the world and understand the inherent risk of travel, but nobody wants to be in a security state. So by definition, all of our hard work needs to go unnoticed!

Source: SpecialEvents.com

Tactics to Keep Guests Safe and Happy at Events

Photo credit: www.rsexecutiveprotection.com Violent crime, terror attacks, natural disasters: A sense of danger is putting a chill on ...


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