Corporate Events Managing Director Andy Ashley talks about how AV has changed over the last 20 years
Twenty years ago the events industry was a very different place, overhead projectors (OHP’s), 35mm slide projectors and flip charts were your only means of presenting. There were a few data projectors that had started to become available but they were very expensive (about £5k), very low power (300 lumens) and VGA resolution, so each pixel was the size of an ice cube.
The idea of a ‘delegate journey’ with immersive brand experiences, networking and event apps were a long way off. Client’s expectations were low. Stage sets and event branding were very basic using small, low powered screens.
Our first ‘ultra-wide’ screen show was in 2006 using three ‘blended’ projectors. At the time this was at the cutting edge of technology, yet if we look forward a few years this form of projection is widely used. Even projection mapping, still a fairly new concept, is already the go to solution for large conferences and events. If there is one thing I have learnt in this industry, it is that to stand still is to move backwards and with the speed at which new and improved audio and visual technologies are becoming available it is imperative you continuously look to re-invent yourself and your service offerings.
Audio is probably my favourite discipline. It is often over looked by clients but done well it can make a huge difference to the delegates ‘immersive’ experience. We often talk about that ‘hairs on the back of your neck’ moment, and for me that is created with amazing audio quality. Over the past 20 years the audio industry has also moved forward considerably with digital desks, mini-line arrays and the ability to mix bands from your IPad.
These day’s events are so much more than simply what happens on the day. It’s about engaging with your delegates pre and post event using social media and networking; and giving your delegates the ability to mould their own agendas using unique event apps. From a business perspective it’s about brand engagement, motivation and changing behaviours in the business environment that can be measured and attributed to your key business messages.