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Tech hacks all event profs should know about

By Tom Bennett, business development manager at IET Venues

It will come as no surprise that event technology is developing faster than event organisers can keep up with. As soon as you learn about one piece of tech you find out there is a newer app, plug-in or AI that can do the job more effectively.

We understand that in the midst of organising events and juggling the multiple pressures associated with the job, that event professionals can sometimes get a little left behind when it comes to event tech, but it’s important to know your stuff if you want to run slick events for your clients.

At the IET London: Savoy Place we can tell you everything you need to know. We’re renowned for our own state-of-the-art technology as much as we’re know for our world class events. Every year our in-house AV team of eight experts search for the best digital investments and new tech to ensure we’re always future proofed. We’ve outlined all the hacks, but without the headaches, on the tech you should know about for your next event.

Lighting

Often overlooked but can make a huge difference to any event space with additional lighting really changing the mood of the event.

  • Battery powered uplighters – great versatile lighting option that can bring a room to life.
  • Production lighting – completely moveable and programmable
  • Recessed colour changing LED strip lights – a great and easy way to showcase your brand colours

Sound

Microphone choice is particularly important for conferences and there is a huge variety of options available.

  • Lectern mic vs lapel mic – this age old debate is often affected by budget. Lapel mics are attached to the clothing of speakers whereas lectern mics are a cheaper option but don’t allow the speaker to move around the stage.
  • Catch boxes – a microphone you can throw into the audience and great to increase audience participation during live Q&A’s.
  • Push-to-talk mics – perfect for a boardroom setting, allowing up to three speakers to talk at once can be wither wired or wireless.

Presentations

What happens if multiple speakers have multiple presentations on different devices?

Projector Choice vs LED Wall? Is there more than just PowerPoint?

  • Electronic Switchers – enable speakers to switch between devices with different presentations on them, without having to fiddle with cables mid presentation
  • Projectors – built-in projectors are great, using two projectors is favorable as you can show your presentation or videos in an ultra-wide format in cinema style quality.
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  • LED walls – these are panels of LED screens connected together to create a large-scale screen that’s sure to leave a big impression.
  • Presentation software –  we’re all familiar with PowerPoint but it’s worth checking out Prezi, an online tool, for creating dynamic presentations and if you want to include interactive elements check out Glisser or Slido.

Wi-Fi 

Do you know what Wi-Fi capabilities you need? Dedicated or Shared? Personalised SSID and Password? Branded Landing Page?

  • There currently isn’t an industry standard for Wi-Fi in venues so it’s good to check capabilities before you contract.
  • If you can, find a venue that offers you dedicated Wi-Fi, this gives you the chance to personalise the SSID including choosing your own network name and password

Video conferencing 

There are many different systems to choose from. Skype and BT Meet Me are most commonly used in the UK but remember there is a difference between Skype and Skype For Business

Digital branding 

Venues often have LED or plasma screens set up around the building which you can utilise to brand your event. Remember, digital screens are much more sustainable than having single-use assets physically printed and take up less space, have shorter lead in times and usually cost less.