Tag Archives: technology team

It’s all about the Customer Experience!

Our staff recently attended InfoComm Live 2015, which is a conference for audiovisual companies in the live event business. One of this year’s speakers focused very intently on the customer experience.  The discussion revolved around the idea that we need to engage our customers on such a level that the experience is not just good, but great.  Here at Advanced we often say that good enough is not good enough, so this discussion was one that we saw a lot of value in.

Walt Disney once said, “Do something so well that people will come to see it again and will bring their friends.”  That is the ultimate goal of a great customer experience… getting them to come back and to tell their friends.

In the Advanced world, we chose to focus our attention on the three primary areas of the event technology… audio, video, and lighting.  By choosing to stick to those three elements and not expand into other areas of the live events world, we are able to not just be good at delivering those services, but great.  That covers the doing “something so well” part.

Time and time again, we have proven that once a client partners with us once, they will come back again and again.  Our people, processes, and equipment combined together make for a recipe for success and one that our clients want to taste again.  That covers the “will come to see it again” part.

Referrals have been, and continue to be, our best sales tactic.  Having a client or partner recommend our services to a friend, a client, or sometimes even their competitor is the best compliment we can get and it is the easiest way to grow our business.  That covers the “bring their friends” part.

What does all this mean?  It means Advanced Staging Productions is just like Disney World!  Okay, maybe not, but it does show that we have set ourselves on a path to great success, just like Mr. Disney.

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Sometimes the solution is just that easy.

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Ever look at a maze, and think, “How could anyone ever get through this?”  Ever read a word problem, or hear a riddle that once you were given the answer, you thought to yourself, “wow, is it really that simple?” Ever have a task set in front of you by your boss that you were certain would take you all day that you ended up finishing in an hour?

We often let our imaginations get ahead of ourselves when faced with certain issues or challenges. We instantly start following paths in the maze to try and make our way to the exit without actually taking a step back and looking at the maze from a logical perspective. Sometimes, as in the picture above, the answer is really right there!

Put this in terms of planning an event and handling all the various details. We are not event planning experts, so forgive us if we don’t mention all the elements… but you have to choose a venue, catering, decorations, handle travel arrangements, develop content, coordinate agendas, and of course… hire an event technology management company. Many of these tasks require a lot of work. Some may not. The point is, it is important to take a step back and look at the whole maze and figure out which paths you need to go down first and which ones you can conquer more easily. Some of the tasks have multiple layers to them and may be easier to navigate if you bring in other resources. That is where, if you reference back to some of our other blogs, you will see why choosing the right partners to work with is so vital to the planning process.

If you look at just the technology needs of an event… Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about the audio, video, or lighting at all? Wouldn’t it be great if at the end of the event, you realize you didn’t deal with anything from a technical standpoint? Wouldn’t it be great if the solution to the maze that is event technology management was as simple as the picture above? We have a secret… it is that simple. It is… The Advanced Way.

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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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How Your Event Technology Management Team Ensures A Flawless Event

From the beginning of their event to its end, an event planner has several key goals they hope come to fruition. One of those goals is wawa tent interior_1_blog19-resized-600starting the event with a bang, and maintaining a steady stream of excitement throughout. This doesn’t happen without an event technology management team who is able to efficiently run your event technology

Jeff Haden, pro public speaker, recently wrote “10 phrases great public speakers never say.” In his article, Haden lists everything from starting presentations with bad jokes to boring your audience with irrelevant information. The article focuses mainly on the speaking aspect of presentations, but several of those spoken phrases derive from stage technology issues. For example, “Can you hear me?” and “Can you read this?” don’t exactly reflect a responsible event planner or a reliable event technology team.

You want to avoid instances where stage presenters are blinded by bright lights or muffled by audio issues. AV issues are sometimes inevitable, but with an event technology management team, you eliminate those unnecessary on-stage instances that reflect on you as an event planner.

Live Sound Checks

When your presenter has to double-check their sound impact, it not only looks tacky, it makes it seem like the audio element of your event was ill prepared. This puts an immediate bad taste in the mouths of your audience. They start thinking, “Isn’t this supposed to be tested before the event?”

You don’t want your presenters asking the audience for volume feedback, but you don’t want their words bellowing over a screeching amp, either. Your event technology management team helps you avoid this by checking and double-checking all sound systems long before the audience arrives. They ensure the volumes are at correct levels before your presenters even touch the microphone.

Blinded By The Light

You don’t want your presenters to get on stage and jerk their head back, shield their eyes, or worse, trip and fall. If they are presenting on stage for the first time, they won’t know what to expect. The last thing you want your presenter to do is put up their hand-visor and exclaim “Wow! Wish I brought my sunglasses.” This might make for a chuckle or two in the audience, but again, it boils down to inadequate preparation, which reflects poorly on the event planner.

Your event technology team is going to ensure adequate lighting but they are also going to make sure your presenter is aware of its impact. A good technology team knows that a stage consists of not just equipment, but people. They take this into account when setting up.

Microscopic Text

If slides are presented on stage, the general rule is that font size should be twice as large as average audience age. When your presenter asks the audience about text visibility, they are basically revealing a lack of effective event preparation or rehearsal, which ultimately reflects poorly on you, the event planner.

When you hire an event technology management team you ensure that all projector and screen components are in place before the event. Any slides used are tested for visibility beforehand, and adjusted accordingly. Event technology management teams are familiar with any and all standards for screen resolution.

Avoid these unnecessary and potentially career-damaging instances by hiring a solid technology team for your next event. Event technology management teams ensure your audio, video and lighting needs are all calibrated to perfection, so the audience never questions your preparation or abilities.

Want to learn more about how the right event technology team runs a flawless, event from start to finish? Contact the event technology management experts at Advanced Staging Productions at 866-431-8202 and open the door to event planning success.

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The Key To Effective Event Planning: Communication

An event is only as successful as the team who puts it together. communication-resized-600Teamwork is an integral part of planning an event, and the biggest success factor of effective teamwork: communication.

Event planning teams usually consist of large numbers of people. There are many tasks to be done before, during and after the event, and each task requires skilled professionals. The event planner is responsible for keeping all team members in check. How do you do this effectively? Grab a megaphone and shout directions? That is a definite possibility, but for the stunning event you have in mind, team communication needs to be much more effective than bossing around through a bullhorn.

To ensure the best possible outcome for your event, communication with your event planning team should follow a couple of guidelines:

1. Plan Ahead

Most failures during the execution of an event trace back to the planning stages. When your team knows exactly what to do before they do it, the time you save is tremendous. Communicate to all team members important times and dates and any changes in them. Changes in the event schedule and venue access times affect the entire rehearsal schedule, so be sure to keep everyone in the loop. Along with being highly professional, this is also simply common courtesy. You don’t want your AV crew loading up all that heavy equipment only to find the venue doors locked.

Pre-event huddles: This is a great way for you and your event technology team to discuss progress, any changes or concerns either of you may have. Consider having these huddles at the beginning of each engagement so you are both consistently on the same page.

2. Establish Chain of Command

Every team needs a hierarchy. Establish which team members make which decisions regarding which tasks. Establish to whom certain questions should be directed. The client shouldn’t be asking the technology team about the planning progress, they should be asking the event planner. Once the event planner has established direct communication with the client, the Project Manager should be informed of any changes and then discuss them with the crew.

3. On-site Communication

Possibly more stressful than planning the event is executing it. There are certain mishaps and malfunctions that happen during an event, things that are simply out of your control. For example, you don’t plan for a fuse to blow, but it most certainly could. To ensure quick recovery from any glitches, agree on a crew communication system for the running of the event, like cell-phones or walkie-talkies.

From planning to execution, you see how communication plays a key role in events. Communicate early, communicate often and communicate to the right people. If you follow these simple guidelines, your event planning and event execution is sure to flow seamlessly.

Want to learn more about effective communication with your event planning team? Contact the event technology management experts at Advanced Staging Productions at 866-431-8202 and open the door to event planning success.

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