MPI Perspective - October 2008 - (Page 13)

SPOTLIGHT on Audio-Visual By Guy I. Nahmiach The world of audio-visual (AV) has advanced significantly in recent years. From slide projectors synced with music to connected video walls, interactive participation to remote location for audience overflow and LED screens of all shapes sizes and textures. That’s as much AV lingo the average meeting planner can handle. As customers demand more innovative ideas and look to their vendors for direction, I thought we would turn to someone in our own chapter for the plain truth on the latest trends in the world of AV. What’s hot and what’s not? What’s driving the costs and what can we expect in future years? Rod Mickels, CEO, and Jaime King, marketing specialist, from InVision Communications, a local production company within our chapter, were kind enough to help us with our search for the “plain truth.” It’s refreshing to hear them describe the same challenges my colleagues and I experience in our professional lives such as highlighting the value of our work and efforts and making sure our clients understand that seamless doesn’t mean easy. Using expressions such as “It was nothing,” suggests little effort. Without making it sound like a big deal, we need to get the customer to understand the amount of time, labor and equipment it takes to plan and produce its event. GN: Budget aside… what is the latest trend in AV, in the world of meetings and events? Mickels: Meeting audience sizes are getting smaller and the wall between the presenter and the audience is coming down. Clients want more audience interaction with the presenter utilizing audience response systems and interactive hardware such as Spotme and nTag, as well as text to stage using cell phones or any tool that helps involve the audience into the content on stage. Another trend is the decline in the use of hard sets and the emergence of soft good sets. Using fabric and stretch materials, the client is able to obtain many different looks through lighting and projection (DL3). Also this helps our client be ‘greener’ by using reusable materials (soft goods) instead of hard materials that need to be thrown away. GN: Are we in a situation right now where demand drives technology or is it the other way around? Mickels: Yes, I believe that demand is driving technology toward audience interaction tools. I think projection, lighting and audio are not being driven by the demand, but HD (high definition) is. Clients want higher resolution which requires HD. Another area I see of demand driving technology is in the video playback. Clients seem to be using more and more video clips and “bumpers” in their events. This requires faster response time from playback, requiring hard-drive-based playback systems. GN: What is the most misunderstood portion of AV in our industry? In other words, what is the most frustrating part for the vendor and customer? Mickels: I would say the most frustrating part of AV is the client’s lack of understanding of all that goes into the event. We have made it look easier and easier, but in the end it still takes time to get everything up and running and checked. Maybe due to costs of venue rental and/or timing for the clients, we have observed a reduction of load-in time which affects budget, staging, etc. GN: What fantastic advancement can we expect in 10 years? Mickels: More audience interaction involved in the messaging. 3D graphics where clients can ‘walk through’ their graphics environments. Everyone will become a publisher. Communities will surface at events and we will have smaller groups talking and working together. GN: Thank you to Rod and Jaime for their time and insight into the world of AV. Realizing that many more questions are out there, we encourage you to post them on GroupSpace on the MPINCC Web site. I’ll be sure to forward them to Jaime and Rod and post their answers. ● Guy I. Nahmiach is a 20-year veteran in the world of corporate events, trade shows and exhibits. Based in Colorado, Guy works with companies in North America and overseas with the planning and execution of their event needs. Guy can be reached at (303) 999-5789 or MPINCCperspective | VOL. 27, NO. 2 | 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MPI Perspective - October 2008

MPI Perspective - Ocotber 2008
President's Message
Spotlight on Audio-Visual
Connecting with - Mitchell Bakst, CMP
12 Technology Trends in the Meetings and Events Market
Corporate Social Responsibility - Good for Whom?
Member Pearls
Chapter Chatter
Destination Spotlight - Sonoma Country
Index to Advertisers

MPI Perspective - October 2008