When you are looking to start an event, the first thing that comes to mind is what is your message and how do you want to say it to your attendees. But along with establishing your message, you should contemplate how that message is going to be delivered. This is why audio becomes one of the essential elements to making your event shine. Your message matters and so does how you say it. The message you’re delivering at your event is important, and you want to make sure it’s only your message the audience hears, not static, interference, or unexpected noises. Since audio is such an impactful element, Advanced Staging Productions’ Director of Operations, Jim Cathers and Audio Department Lead, Ryan Reed share their thoughts on the top 5 essential audio elements to make your message clear.
1. Understanding Your Space
When you first think of your event and the audio needs, the number of attendees comes to mind to help determine your audio solutions, but it’s not necessarily how many people will be attending the event rather it’s how large is the space. When designing the audio system, you need to be cognizant of how large the venue is and design it to the space. Along with the size of the venue, you need to be aware of the seating chart as well. When it comes to audio you want consistent levels at all seats, because you never know where your client may be seated and want to ensure every attendee has the perfect audio experience. Just making the audio louder isn’t always the best solution, and you don’t want your front row to turn into a Maxell commercial getting blown out. Understanding the size, materials, architecture of the space, and whether its an indoor or outdoor event all play major factors in designing your audio system and should be the first step you take.
2. Knowing Your Core Component of the Event
Once you’ve understood all aspects of your space, you need to define the scope of your event and determine what is your most important component of the event. This component could be a speech given by the keynote, a sales video promoting an upcoming product, it could be music from your headlining band, or even the reception bringing your team together. Whatever your core component is will determine your next step to ensure your audio is planned perfectly. Along with understanding the space, this step will help you determine what type of audio gear will be brought for the event. When it comes to live and virtual events you only have one shot to make an impact on your audience with the core component, and by defining the scope of the event ensures all audio elements will be in line to make it a showstopper.
3. Having the Right Audio Engineer
Whether it’s a large or small show, it is essential to have the right audio engineer supporting your event. Elements of being able to run a show are very important to ensure the success of your event, and you do not want to just leave this up to anyone. You need to have an experienced audio engineer that has a solid background to help with communication amongst the entire team on-site. Along with communication, you need to have an audio engineer that has confidence and knows how to hit all cues during a show. Hitting your cues becomes one of the most essential elements for an audio engineer, and by missing cues this can have a major effect on the overall show; from taking the audience out of the moment, throwing off a presenter’s confidence and pacing, losing the feel of a produced show, and finally this can throw off the entire energy of the event. With any type of event there are no do-overs and you need to have an audio engineer you can trust to hit all cues. With so many changes that come during events you need someone that can roll with the punches and execute at a high level, and you can not trust this position to just anyone.
4. Keeping Up with Technology
Keeping up with technology allows for more opportunities for your event from an audio perspective. Working with a partner that has a variety of equipment allows them to match audio gear that fits both your budget and needs of the show. The advances in audio technology have opened up more opportunities in the event space while taking up less real-estate in the venue. We no longer have to see stacks on speakers sitting on a stage to ensure your message is being heard, and with these advances it made venues more aesthetically pleasing having audio heard and not seen. This is why it becomes important to work with a partner that is keeping up with these advances. That way they can best fit to your need’s vs having to adjust your needs to match their equipment. Not only have there been advances in audio equipment, but also there have been advances in software as well; specifically, prediction software. Working with a partner that utilizes prediction software allows them to know exactly where to place their equipment and are aware of any potential issues before even physically stepping into the venue. This has resulted in faster turnaround times for the set, and ensures the appropriate coverage is being met for your event and putting your mind at ease.
5. Maintaining and Quality Control of Equipment
Just like buying a new car, even though it is the newest equipment in the industry doesn’t mean that maintenance isn’t necessary. Quality Control becomes the final essential element for your show and guarantees the gear is going to work throughout your entire event. All audio equipment should be going through quarterly and yearly maintenance, and this should be a best practice for the partner you are working with. Quality control not only ensures that the equipment is going to work but also guarantees it will be aesthetically pleasing in your venue. You not only want the audio system to work, but you don’t want to see the gear damaged, chipped, or anything that would draw unwanted attention to itself during the show. With Advanced Staging Productions, quality control falls into 3 essential elements: guarantee the equipment works, guarantee all components are provided, and guarantee the equipment is aesthetically pleasing.
Your audio design should enhance the event not overpower it. This is why audio is the vehicle to get your message out in the first place, and your message doesn’t get delivered if people can’t hear what you have to say. By following these steps, you can ensure the audio elements for your show will be the best audio experience for your entire audience, whether next to the stage or at the back of the venue.
Want to Know Even More?
Advanced Staging Productions’ audio engineers would love to discuss all kinds of audio tech pros and cons in detail (they geek out over your audio needs). We house a staff of expertly trained technicians that are fully versed in specialized audio technology and always ready to help our clients make every event experience the best it can be. Small ballroom events, university commencements, national sales meetings, or large convention spaces are all enhanced by our audio capabilities.