Tag Archives: event technology management company

Best Practices for Working with your ETM Partner

What is the best way to maximize your relationship with your Event Technology Management partner?  The most important thing to do is engage your ETM partner as early as possible in your planning process.  Haven’t chosen a venue yet?  Why not invite your ETM partner along on your site visits?  Use their knowledge and expertise to figure out which venue and which room will work best for the kind of technology you want, or need, to use.  Room shape, size, and ceiling heights all play a major role in the design of a stage and what event technology (audio, video, and lighting) can be utilized.

Another great way to best use your ETM partner is to rely on them to figure out what technology is needed… after all it should be what they are experts in.   By sharing with them a clear understanding of the purpose of the event, the desired audience response, and the allocated budget, they will be able to offer a practical, viable, and affordable solution.  For example, perhaps the best way to light the stage is to rig a truss in the ceiling, but your budget doesn’t allow for such an expense.  Your ETM partner can figure out a way to do a ground supported light system that is more affordable.  However, be sure they tell you what you are losing, or what the downsides to that alternative are, so you can decide if it is worth the cost savings. That, once again, speaks to the importance of open and honest communication.

Probably the hardest “best practice” when working with your event technology management team is to trust them.  There is a reason you chose to work with them, so utlize their expertise and trust that they will give you the best show you can have with the money you have to spend.  They should be spending your money as if it were their own… not just adding in technology because it fits the budget, but using what is necessary and what makes sense, and possible saving you some money in the end.

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“I Can Help You With That!”

The Advanced Way, which all our regular readers know, is the guiding philosophy of what we do and how we do it. We often pick specific aspects of The Advanced Way to dissect in our blog. Something that we have been talking about around the office recently is that we are seen as a resource to all our clients and prospective clients. It is a simple concept of being willing to answer questions, offer guidance, make suggestions, and try to be helpful. Phrases like, “We don’t do that,” or “I can’t help you with that” are ones that are not said around our office.

If a client needs a stage for an event, which we do not technically provide as one of our core services, we still handle getting it for them.  If a client needs tables, chairs, ropes & stanchions, which are quite a stretch beyond our core services, we will still help them by either introducing them to one of our partners, or if it really makes it easier on them, by coordinating the rental on their behalf.

We had a customer call us the other day that we have been trying to partner with.  They were looking for someone to come on site at one of their events and record video footage of their trade show and create a highlights reel/happy face video.  This is a service that we have chosen not to offer as one of our core competencies.  If we told the client, “We don’t do that,” they would call someone else who does and that someone else may very well also provide audio, video, and lighting for live events.  That customer is now gone.  However, when we said, “No problem, we can help you with that,” we became their resource… their partner.

In this day and age, with so many different facets of the events world, and with so many different kinds of companies that handle AV, table rentals, catering, staging, etc., it is vital that companies find a way to stand out.  How do we stand out at Advanced Staging Productions?  We offer a customer experience and a level of service that is parallel to none! That is The Advanced Way!

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It’s time we start working together!

Client ABC wants to hire an event technology partner for their general session.  They feel that there is no need for more than 4 technicians in the room during the running of the event, and they simply will not pay for more than four techs.

Here is what the general session consists of: Audio support for 300 people, with up to 8 presenters on stage at a time (that’s at least 8 wireless microphones to manage); two screen show with multiple video rolls; basic stage wash with back lighting and some up lighting around the room for decor.  Sounds simple enough and could be operated with 4 techs… except there are also three cameras for IMAG (image magnification) and recording.  Well, unless the cameras are not moving (which will make for a unique shoot), or they are remote controlled (which they are not), three of our four techs will be tied up.  That leaves one tech to run audio, video, and lighting.  Is that possible? Of course it is possible.  Is it likely to be a smooth running, successful event?  Doubtful.

We would like to point out, before we get an influx of angry comments from event planners, that this scenario could easily be flipped, where the event technology company tries to dictate to the client what they have to have in the room from a technology and labor perspective, regardless of what they want or what they can afford.  Just because you can do something, or because it is the best way to do it, doesn’t mean you have to.  Is it nice to fly the technology from the ceiling?  Yes. Is it always necessary or worth the extra expense? No. There are many ways to effectively get your messaging across to your audience using technology. The trick is to work as a team to figure out what equipment and labor meets those needs as well as the needs of the budget. Sometimes concessions and/or compromises will have to be made on both sides, but that is why it’s called a collaboration and what makes it a true partnership.

This is why we have spent years perfecting what we call The Advanced Way. The Advanced Way is a philosophy of doing business that permeates throughout our company.  It is that philosophy that sets the stage for great collaborations and that allows us to be a trusted resource for our clients.

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How Important is Employee Recognition?

Many companies show employee appreciation such as bonuses, extra paid time off, parties, picnics, etc.  However, does your company openly show employee recognition?  Is that something that is important to your employees?

Here at Advanced, we have been giving out employee recognition awards for as long as we can remember.  We give out an Employee of the Quarter award and an Employee of the Year award.  Both awards come with a cash prize and a plaque.  In addition, the award recipients get a reserved parking space at our office.  Seems like a silly concept to some, but it has become quite the coveted perk around our office.

The interesting thing about our awards, is that the entire company votes on the winners, so the winners are truly being chosen by their peers, and not just the management team or even just the president.  This means that winning the award is not a sign from the boss that you are doing a good job, but a sign from the people you are working with day in and day out that your work is appreciated and respected.

This is all well and good, but why is this important?  We feel it is important for two reasons. First, recognizing employees for good work and for their accomplishments is something we feel contributes to their continued success and their continued dedication to the team and the company.  Second, the fact that the winners are chosen by their peers drives them to impress each other and to never let each other down.  It adds another level of accountability to the work they do.

Events come and go. Clients come and go.  At the end of the day, it is our colleagues that we sit across from at the conference table in the post con meeting, or that we eat lunch with in the cafeteria.  Holding each other to high standards and not allowing good enough to be good enough is The Advanced Way.

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It’s Time To Give Thanks!

As we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, we feel it is important to take time to reflect on the people in our lives that we should be thankful for. In light of that, we, the management team at Advanced Staging Productions, would like to take this opportunity to thank a few groups of people that have truly had an impact on our lives.

First, we want to thank our clients for their trust and confidence.  Obviously, without you, we would not be here, and the fact that you continue to allow us to collaborate with you is truly appreciated.

We absolutely could not go without thanking all of the members of the Advanced team and all the time and energy you put into your work. The amount of unwavering passion and drive that you all show is astounding and second to none.  We are humbled by your dedication to each other and to this company.

We would like to thank our many partners.  We know that without you, we would not be able to do what we love, which is provide professional and reliable event technology for live events and meetings. You help us deliver consistent, high level solutions to our clients and for that, we are grateful.

Lastly, we want to thank all of the people out there that follow us on our webpage, social media outlets, email blasts, and this blog.  The exposure that you all give us through viewing and sharing our information is an integral piece of our success.  We hope that you continue to find value in our post.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Please be sure to use the link below to sign up for our newsletter… 
The next one comes out in December!

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Should I have my Event Technology Partner travel with me?

Why would I want to have my local event technology partner travel to other cities with me?  Can’t I just hire someone local to my event?  Won’t it be too expensive to travel all that equipment and labor?  Are these questions that burden your decision process when selecting an event technology provider for your event?  Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to have your technology partner travel with you, or to hire a local company:

1) What is the size and scope of the event?  If it is a small event with basic technology needs, it will most likely be more cost effective to find a local company in whatever city you are holding the event.  Keep in mind, that your regular partner may be able to make some referrals of companies that can meet your needs.

2) You and your event technology team have most likely grown quite accustomed to working together.  They can probably anticipate your needs both before the event and during.  If they are a good partner, they will most likely always be prepared for the unexpected things that may pop up with your clients.  How much more time and energy will you have to dedicate to making sure everything is exactly as you, and your client, like it?

3) If you work with a specific company on a regular basis, odds are they have built arapport, not only with you, but with your staff, clients, executives, etc.  How will bringing a new entity into the mix affect the rest of your team?  Will it add more work for some folks that are already stretched thin?  Will the new team know how your CEO likes the confidence monitors setup and his/her style of presenting?  What impact might that have on the success of the event?

There are definitely times where it might make sense to hire a local company to handle your audiovisual and event technology needs, but be sure you know what you are getting yourself into.  It is important to know what you are saying yes to, when you say no to having your regular event technology managment team travel with you.

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Are You Working With The Right “Experts?”

Technology is changing on a daily basis.  There is always a new phone, new bluetooth device, new tablet, or new wireless electric razor that also brushes your teeth and combs your hair at the same time coming on the market.  Event technology is not much different in that there are always new developments in all aspects of audio, video, and lighting.  What is the latest in LED lighting technology?  What is projection mapping and 3D projection all about?  What are the benefits of working with digital audio consoles and digital, multitrack recording?  How will the lighting on my stage be able to bring my theme/vision to life for the audience?

Keeping up with the latest trends in the event technology world can almost be a fulltime job.  Should that be your job?  No… not as long as you have a trusted Event Technology Partner working with you.  A truly professional company will employ experts in their given fields… experts that are passionate about their trades and that are always striving to not only better themselves and their teams, but better the experiences of their clients.

When deciding on who you should partner with from an event technology standpoint, take a few of these questions into consideration:

1) How long has the company been in the industry?

2) What is the average tenure of their employees?

3) How many years of experience do their employees have in the industry?

4) Do they employ professionally trained experts in audio, video, and lighting?

5) Do they own the equipment and staff that they are telling you about in their sales pitch?

There are a number of audiovisual companies out there that can give you a list of equipment, assign some labor to your show, sit back and collect payment.  Is that going to give your client the best experience they can and maximize their return on investment?  Or would it be worth finding an event technology management partner that sees your event as their own; will spend your money as if it is their own; that knows the best choices to make in which technology to use; and that will work closely with you on designing your event to have the wanted (or needed) impact on the audience?

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Winter Is no Match For The Advanced Way

We began the New Year jumping into our normal routine of national sales meetings in the various resort destinations, which our staff were even more eager to do given all the snow storms.  Thanks to our planning processes, we never had to miss a beat because of something Mother Nature had to throw at us.  We can attribute that to our detailed and thorough planning, which we see as a key element to true even technology management.  A delayed equipment delivery or a delayed flight could mean the event ends before it even begins.  That is why during the winter season, we pay close attention to the weather and plan our shipping and receiving accordingly.  On a couple of occasions, we flew crew members in days earlier than needed to insure that they would be ready to load in as scheduled. 
However, let’s say for argument’s sake, a truck did arrive half a day late for an event load in.  What would your technology partner do?  How would they be able to get the show up on time?  If your partner is doing things The Advanced Way, they would be able to rely on their local partners that they trust and work with often to assist with necessary elements to get the ball rolling.  Once their truck arrives, what does it look like?  Is it a hodgepodge of cases that aren’t labelled or loaded properly for easy access?  If things are being done The Advanced Way, the truck is packed for easy offloading and the cases are all clearly marked with their contents and the staff knows exactly where in the ballroom they need to go.  Once opened, all the cases are neatly packed for quick setup.  Organization is imperative to a smooth, painless load in and set up of a show.  It can mean the difference between the show being successful or not.
All of this starts back at the office when the event starts to be formed.  The organization and detailed planning begin as soon as the equipment is entered into a quote and/or the drawing of the room begins to take shape.  This, along with solid, consistent communication with the various team members, the client, venue, and other vendors is what separates run of the mill AV companies from true event technology management companies.  Is your current partner doing things The Advanced Way?  Why not?

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5 Tips for Outdoor Event Technology Management

When planning an event, there are an endless number of factors for the event planner and the event technology management team to wawa tent interior_1_blog19-resized-600take into consideration. When planning an outdoor event, those factors are complicated significantly. Whether your event is being held in a tent or on a beach, you’re going to have to consider things that you may have never even taken into account when planning an indoor event.

Go through these 5 tips before planning your next outdoor event to guarantee the best possible preparation for the almighty outdoors.

1. Space/Accessibility

Evaluate your location. Your event is probably going to have a unique set-up; complete with tables, chairs, catering supplies and possibly a stage. You need to make sure all vendors have an accessible entrance to your location and enough space to set up their equipment. Certain equipment may require power, so you need to know if a generator is in order. You should also be prepared for the possible wrath of Mother Nature. Be sure to have a “rain plan” that ensures a quick and easy exit for your attendees.

2. Wind

You are going to run into many weather-related issues with your outdoor event. If you are lucky enough to avoid rain, you should still be keeping a close eye on other atmospheric elements. Strong winds are problematic and sometimes dangerous for your outdoor event technology. Opt for an LED wall instead of a traditional screen. Guest safety should always be your number one goal, so if you have any reservations about the weather, be sure to have a solid Plan B in place.

3. Cable Locations

This tip goes hand in hand with knowing your event’s space and accessibility. Long cable wires are hazardous for attendees. Make sure there is a clear-cut path for the guests, and that the cable wires are far from that path. Talk with your event technology management company to establish the safest and most appropriate footpaths surrounding all equipment. You might be unconventional and make the cables part of the décor. Remember, keeping guests safe is your main priority.

4. Lighting

First and foremost, your lighting design should serve its purpose and provide a sufficient amount of illumination for your attendees. If your event uses a tent, consider the effect that structure has on your lighting from both a stage wash and décor perspective.

If your event does not use a tent, consider the effect of direct sunlight. Natural rays have a tendency to manipulate projections. LED walls are a better option for outdoor image sharing. When you’re positive that the area is well-lit, then you need to make sure the area is properly adorned. Lighting the ceiling of a tent with colors and patterns adds a great décor element and provides general atmospheric lighting.

5. Audio

You want to make sure you have the proper audio coverage for your outdoor event. You’re going to be outside, so there are bound to be various noises to compete with. For example:

Outside Noise – if your event is anywhere near the city, take note of any loud traffic or random hustle and bustle. You certainly don’t want car horns or sirens disrupting any of your audio.

Inside Noise –Keep in mind any equipment that makes noise. For instance, does the generator roar particularly loud at times? Perhaps your event features a presentation requiring attendees to hear something outside the tent. You might need to make sure that is a possibility.

Planning an outdoor event is no easy task. Outdoor event technology issues differ greatly from indoor event technology issues. It is entirely possible to pull off the perfect outdoor event, but there is much more preparation involved. Keep these 5 tips in mind to execute a safe and visually stunning outdoor event.

Want to learn more about planning a safe and stunning outdoor event? Contact the event technology management experts at Advanced Staging Productions at 866-431-8202 for assistance with all of your event management needs.

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