There are a lot of moving parts of every meeting and event you plan and produce. When planning for AV and production needs there are three main factors that should be top of mind while developing your AV plan. None of them involve equipment, interestingly.
Before you start thinking about the massive LED video screen, how many lights or the gigantic stage, you may want to consider the three things I was taught were the most important part of any production.
The following are the three things I learned during theatre school and a subsequent 20 years working in events on how to begin the process of producing an event.
Start with the Script
The Story is everything, so you must start with the script. In the theatre, this is a rather simple proposition. Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing has been around for about 500 years and the text is not going to change that much. It may seem obvious that the first step in putting on a play is to sit down and read it. But in the event and meeting industry we sometimes forget this, often focusing on the latest trend, coolest gadget or the color scheme of the room. Certainly those are important parts of how the event is finally realized, but first you must start with the story.
Why are you holding this event? What story are you trying to tell? What do you want to achieve? How do you want your attendees and guests to feel or learn from your tale while they are there?
When you start with the story you want to tell, the rest of the decisions you make should support that narrative. Weigh each decision you make about Lighting, Audio and Video solutions on whether it supports the message.
No, not the most entertaining and spectacular bands of all time, the Acronym K.I.S.S. this stands for Keep It Simple and Stupid.
This is not to say dumb it down or do the least possible you can. Really this is about making sure you don’t try to reinvent the wheel when sometimes the most direct path is the best one.
Countless times we see planners or producers looking to create elaborate and complex grids of moving parts. When the majority of the time, using the most efficient and direct method of doing a thing is the best way to handle it.
Remember to walk the path of your attendee for the event. What are they going to see, hear and feel? You don’t always need to inundate them with flashy, sparkly and big. Focusing on your message and delivering it in a clear and concise manner is the best way to get your story across.
Three Choices, Pick two
I am sure you have seen the triangular diagram before. There are always three choices, but you can only choose two. Cheap, Fast or Easy. Plenty of things can be achieved Fast and Cheap, but they won’t be easy. Want things to be easy and fast, well, they won’t be cheap. This is basic economics.
This is also about being realistic about the situation you are faced with. If you have an abundance of time and an unlimited budget, wow, is that meeting going to be a breeze. If you are short on time and you don’t want to stay up until 3 am each day cooking food for your guests, then let’s face it, you are going to have to spend some money.
In the end, design and creativity, especially when it comes to AV Production is not about an abundance of choices but limiting them. Left with unlimited choices you will inevitably feel overwhelmed. But focusing on the story first and keeping it simple while limiting yourself to the realistic parameters of your situation you will always make your meetings and events successful.