7 Ways to Punch Up Your Conference

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7 Ways to Punch Up Your Conference

When it comes to conferences, especially recurring ones, it can be difficult to find ways to excite your attendees and inspire enthusiasm time and time again. Perhaps you've even fallen into the trap of repeating every element of an event from year to year, simply because it worked the last time. If you're searching for ways to bring your next event up a level, here are seven tactics you can use to punch up your conference!

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For starters, you'll want to make sure that the person hosting your event is lively and engaging. Try to choose someone with a natural stage presence who feels comfortable speaking to your audience as a friend or mentor. 

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Audience participation can mean polling your audience or requesting questions for Q&A's, but it can also mean fun activities like games and raffles! We frequently use UMU for audience participation - it is easy for attendees to interact with on mobile devices, comes with lots of templates for fun interactions, and provides you with a great interface to show onscreen! 

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Pair an LED video wall with some exciting video content, and you've got yourself one impressed audience! Check out last month's blog post to see some of the other benefits of using a video wall for your event (Seven Ways to Make the Most of Your Video Wall).

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Nothing brings a drifting audience back like an exercise break. Especially effective in the mid-afternoon, exercise breaks can help to alleviate fatigue and get attendees re-engaged, whether it's with a few jumping jacks or a whole five-minute dance party. (Bonus points if you bring in an expert to teach a new exercise technique!)

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High production value can make the difference between a "blah" conference and a "so when's the next one?!" conference. Details like discreet wireless microphones, assigning backstage runners to attend to speakers, and having content managers to handle on-screen transitions allows your event to run seamlessly, like a show. Producing your event in this way can provide your attendees with an elevated experience that makes them feel valued and excited for what comes next.

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As much as we love the flexibility that digital screens give us, there's no denying the impact of a visually interesting physical set piece. Whether it's simple or detailed, big or small(ish), a physical set can be impactful in a unique way that is hard to replicate with digital media.

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We recently came across a quote from a producer - "If we can't end with a bang, then we shouldn't have an event." While that may not hold true in every situation, a big finish is often underrated! Use the last moments of your event to make a splash (this may be where that dance party comes in!), and keep attendees talking about your conference even after they've left!

 

Thinking about using any of these ideas for your next event, but not sure where to start? 

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Event Design in After Effects

Event Design in After Effects

We've shown you how we use SketchUp to lay out event sets and create 3D models, and we've shown you how we use Photoshop to create more realistic drawings and renderings of our designs. But there's another tool that we use to enhance our creativity and prepare more thoroughly for events:

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After Effects is a motion graphics and compositing program that we use to create animated video content for a variety of uses, from projection mapping to design visualization!

Sometimes we use After Effects to create custom motion graphics for use at events. If our client already has some graphics or event-specific visuals that they are working with, our creative team will work with them to expand upon those elements and create effective content for their specific application.

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It can be helpful to see video content in use and get a better idea of how it will read in the event space, so sometimes we will use After Effects to drop the content into a rendering to get a realistic preview. Seeing the video play out in the space also helps us in our creative process, and sometimes gives us better ideas on how to use content to complement the set!

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Sometimes we use this program to visualize the timing of the content and to coordinate transitions within the event. This is especially helpful in clarifying the run of show when there are lots of assets or screens to be managed.

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These practices also help us to identify visual weak spots in the program that could use more "oomph", or to spot areas of the set that need separate content at a specific point in the program.

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We love finding new ways to push our creative boundaries and continue to provide the best possible service for our clients, and After Effects allows us to better communicate our ideas and maintain a collaborative energy with your team. By integrating design visualization and graphics production into our creative process, we are able to offer full-service event production that reflects our clients' goals at every step!

Seven Ways to Make the Most of Your LED Video Wall

Seven Ways to Make the Most of Your LED Video Wall

If you've been following our goings-on lately, you know just how much we love our new LED video wall panels! We're big fans of high quality displays, stunning visuals, and versatility in a set piece, and these panels provide our clients with all that & more.

If you're interested in using an LED video wall for your next event, here are some ways that you can get the most out of your video wall and wow your attendees with an elevated experience!

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Keep your audience engaged using dynamic video content. Yes, this is something you can also achieve with projection screens - but with the high-impact intensity that LED video walls afford, your video content can truly shine. Even during downtime in your program, ambient motion graphics can keep your audience interested and excited for what's up next. (If you need assistance creating content for your event, please don't hesitate to contact us - we'd be happy to assist you!)

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We've said it before, and we'll say it again - utilize your existing branding! Even when used in subtle ways, digital signage can be very impactful in driving home your brand's message. Your brand's visual identity communicates your overall mission, so it can easily help to establish the tone for your event. Our team is great at finding ways to tie branding assets into LED wall graphics, so give us a shout if you're stumped on how to achieve this!

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This may seem like a no-brainer, but high definition graphics make all the difference! LED video panels produce a stunning, crisp image for your audience, so make the most of it by utilizing high quality images and video content. To be specific, we prefer content to be at a resolution of 1080p or higher. The better the resolution, the more your LED wall will impress your attendees!

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Our LED video wall panels can be configured in any number of ways, so take advantage of their flexibility and have some fun! Lay out the video wall in any way you like. And don't worry about how your content will read - our designers will help you create content that makes the most of your unique panel configuration.

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Because our LED panels are so bright, you can use the best lighting conditions for your attendees without worrying about it impacting the display. When using projection screens, the light in the space must be kept low so that the projected image doesn't get washed out. But with our LED video walls, you can feel free to keep the lights up, allowing your attendees to take better notes, move about more easily, and stay alert (we all know what effect a dark room has during that post-lunch energy dip on a long conference day!)

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Be aware of where your speakers will be standing, and if they'll be placed in front of your LED video wall. Video walls can provide a great backdrop for speakers, but too much contrast between the graphics and the speaker is bad for visibility, especially in photos and recordings. For example, if you place a speaker in dark clothing in front of an LED wall that has mostly white imagery on it, the white light from the LED wall will make it difficult to see the speaker's face. (This is one we've learned from experience - don't make the same mistake we did!)

As you can see here, the white light behind the speaker compromises the image.

As you can see here, the white light behind the speaker compromises the image.

But here, where the LED content is darker, the image of the speaker is crisp & clear.

But here, where the LED content is darker, the image of the speaker is crisp & clear.

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And lastly, use your LED video wall to create a set, like you would create for a theatrical show. LED walls are impressive in their own right due to their high quality displays, but you can also use the scale of your LED wall to raise the production value of your stage set. Integrate your LED video wall with other set elements, perhaps even disguising it to achieve a bigger moment of impact when you reveal it at an opportune moment! 

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There are so many unique and interesting ways to use LED walls as part of a staging composition, and we'd love to help you find the perfect strategy for your event! Our multi-faceted tech & design team is waiting to help you knock your next event out of the park!