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Planning AV For Your Event

Planning an audio/visual presentation for your event

Event planning is stressful. Even seasoned professionals and enthusiastic novices can get overwhelmed by the minute-to-minute changing details. When this happens, obvious choices can be overlooked. We here at Audio Visual of Milwaukee know exactly what questions to ask to find out what audio/visual technology suits your needs. Consider these tips to help you know what you’re looking for:

Size matters

One of the very first things we ask our clients is how many people are attending, and how large the room is. This is an important piece to gauge how powerful or large the equipment will be. You maybe looking to grab the first screen you find for the lowest price, but is that a value when your 100 attendees are squinting at a 6ft screen that’s 20 feet away? Will everybody hear the presenter when there is only a small, underpowered speaker that’s cranked up to the max causing feedback and distortion? You may want that big 12’ screen, but the ceiling is only 8’ high. These details need to be accounted for. Typically, the size of the audience and room are not the only contributing factors to gear needs, but they are certainly one of the most important.

Light and density

Visual gear, such as projectors and TV Monitors are great to draw people’s attention to the presentation. According to Mind Tools, approximately 65% of the population are visual learners. It certainly is a very important medium of communication and one should take care to make sure there is no issue conveying the information. Ambient light, either from natural or artificial sources, pollute the effect of projectors. Combating this can be difficult, and often times selecting a projector with more lumens is an important consideration to combat this particular problem. This especially goes for situations where you have no control of the ambient light. For instance, outdoor events, or daytime events where windows will be exposed.

Audio on the other hand, is greatly affected by density. Soft and porous surfaces absorb sound, while hard and smooth surfaces bounce sound off of them. It is true that cavernous sounding rooms require a softer touch of sound to travel across when empty (else the sounds bounce into each other too much making it difficult to hear), however, that will change as soon as you pack a group of 200 people, requiring more power from the front end. Keep this in mind. The space your event is a unique environment than any other environment and has different needs than what you may be used to.

What is comfortable for the presenter is comfortable for the audience

Make no mistake; the attendees of your event are very important. The consideration of their needs is important to carry the message you are conveying. However, the presenter, or master of ceremonies needs to be comfortable too in order to allow the audience to remain attentive. Your presenter may have a preference of microphone, or maybe they need an accessible view of the presentation via confidence monitor in front of the stage/presentation area. It is therefore recommended that you speak with your presenter(s) before you place a rental order to see what their needs are. Make sure that you obtain enough equipment for multiple presenters as well. Stopping the show to allow to presenters to change the same lavaliere microphone can being jarring to an audience, especially if it entails a noisy exchange.

You may need to have professional help

We understand, your personal/company budget may be stretched thin and you may not have enough left over after all is said and done. The idea of do-it-yourself audio/visual is appealing. Certainly if you can set up a home theatre system you are half way there in setting up a projector to a laptop. What may not be considered is that effective management of audio/visual equipment at your event allows you, and the people assisting in running the show, time. Time is valuable to everyone, and while your are preparing to speak to the audience (or worse, speaking to them at that moment), the last thing you need is to troubleshoot a problem with your audio system. Having experienced onsite technicians frees you of that burden. One step better, professional technicians are capable of following along with your program to cues, allowing smooth transitions and timely adjustments.

We all can use some help sometimes. It’s good to know who to talk to when you can’t find all the answers yourself. That’s why at Audio Visual of Milwaukee we specialize in addressing your concerns and helping you put together all your needs for a stunning audio and visual experience. 

Analog Sunset

The Analog Sunset

As we near the end of 2013, it is important to recognize the “analog sunset”. This is an accepted industry term for audio visual equipment moving permanently away from use of analog peripherals, such as composite video and VGA computer connections, to newer digital peripherals like HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI.

These changes were made in a licensing agreement between content providers and device manufacturers called the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) to accommodate digital copyright protection in efforts to dissuade piracy and illegal duplication. Most new bluray players, laptops, and other digital content players will no longer be made with the analog connections like the ones listed above.


What does this mean for your business?

This can impact your audio visual usage in different ways. For starters, it is imperative to know that you will need to upgrade your audio visual integrated system sometime in the future. It is not something to take lightly or ignore. The consequences will take effect over the next few years. Slowly but surely, you will run across instances where your analog projectors will not have a way to be plugged into your newer laptops. Adaptors may provide a physical connection, but digital copyright protection will not be able to display your content on the screen at all. Images that were high quality before may lose quality in down conversion. Ignoring the necessity will drive business away unless you adequately plan for this.


What do you need to do?

There are simple solutions that can help you out in the interim, but expect to require a full audio visual integrated system for the long term. Costs are very dependent on the scope of your needs. Audio Visual of Milwaukee (AVM) provides custom systems that are tailored to your business. We may offer to provide a simple converter or switcher, or we may need to replace all the wiring for your A/V in your building. Our integration sales specialists will be able to give you an accurate quote based on the needs you will have for a full integration upgrade. This will give you an idea of what you need to budget for. As with all things in a fast changing technological world though, prices can vary in the future, so it may be best to pad your budget to accommodate change based on the original quote.

The next step is to determine what you need now. It maybe nothing as we start 2014, but certainly, it won’t be long before the frustrations with keeping your analog system will affect your business. AVM integration specialists can provide novel temporary solutions as your business prepares to get ready for your future upgrade.

The most important thing: Be decisive. If you have waited up until now for the Analog Sunset to commence, you have already waited too long.