The Purpose behind the Meeting and Events Industry

It remains amazing to think about all that has transpired over the course of 2020. The world experienced an incredible disruption to how we did just about anything. The shock to both our personal and professional lives came suddenly as we were forced to adapt to new ways of operating.

Against this backdrop of social distancing, however, the value of human connection and the benefits of community are only more appreciated. And in this way, there is an opportunity for the meeting and events industry to play an important role in the recovery from this global experience. I have been inspired by our industry’s resilience – we did not sit on our collective hands, waiting for the health crisis to pass in order for us to meet again. At PSAV Encore, we are motivated by our purpose to “connect and inspire people to better our world.” The focus on this ‘why’ we exist has always been more important than the ‘how’ we deliver against that purpose.

Signs of Growth – This Is How

We have embraced a recovery with new solutions and innovations to help our customers achieve their goals. Importantly, we are starting to see some green shoots as evidence the tide is turning. First, many of our customers are pushing technologies further to support more engaging virtual or hybrid events. Second, and it may come as a surprise, we have produced nearly 10 thousand in-person events for customers all over the world these last few months. Both are positive signs for how our industry is adapting to a changed world.

One way PSAV Encore has shifted to virtual and hybrid is through the development and use of Presentation Stages™. These are remote presentation environment solutions that bridge presenters and attendees together in a pre-built location to produce, record and broadcast an online event. Then there is Chime Live, our proprietary all-in-one platform that offers multiple engagement tools to connect virtual or hybrid meeting attendees with each other and the presenter. And we have become more effective in connecting live in-person meetings with remote attendees to achieve an expanded audience. Please know we are doing it all consistent with our industry-leading MeetSAFE practices, ensuring we always keep our customers and team members safe.

We Are Meeting

We know that every organization is eager to re-engage with their stakeholders. Building communities, ensuring alignment as we plan for a new year in 2021, and creating opportunities for those moments of serendipity when people gather. We can all think of a situation where an unscripted conversation or chance encounter with a colleague served as the spark for the next big idea. It may be a bit longer before more things can return to the way they were, but all is not lost. We can still connect. We can still inspire. We can still meet. It may be different from what we were used to, but the meeting and events industry is here to help keep those big ideas coming.

To learn more about how PSAV Encore’s virtual and hybrid event capabilities can help your organization connect, click here.

How do you start planning hybrid and virtual meetings?

Here are three questions to get you started. Your answers will guide you in finding the technology partner(s) best-equipped to manage your event:

How large is my audience and how would I like them to participate?

Your audience size will differ based on the type of event you’re having. A large global conference might include over a thousand remote attendees with different educational tracks, pre-recorded videos, and breakout sessions. Conversely, a corporate town hall might be captured live with a group of in-person attendees and then broadcast through a single video stream to the rest of the company.

Takeaway:

Will your audience be a global one? Or much smaller? Identify who will be where, and how many will be there (in-person attendees, remote attendees, in-person presenters, remote presenters).

What challenges might they face?

Challenges can range from bandwidth issues to scheduling content within different time zones. For example, suppose you are streaming content to a large remote audience. In that case, there will likely be latency (delay) to contend with, which your presenters and operators need to know in advance. It becomes essential for live presenters or operators to have these details when collecting audience feedback, such as timing a poll question and determining how long it remains open.

In-person attendees will want peace of mind with a hybrid event that their health and safety are of the highest priority. Due to the event industry’s recent adaptations to combat public health risks, this will remain important for some time. Be ready to ask your event provider(s) if they have solutions to address any potential risks.

Takeaway:

Be ready to ask your technology partner(s) those questions on behalf of your audience. Ask how they can help mitigate challenges remotely and in-person to ensure your guests’ positive experience.

How will I deliver my content and will it be available on-demand afterward?

If audience engagement tools (such as Q&A or polling) are essential to you, prioritize them when looking for technology solutions. Ask to see a demo and test out the tools you’d like to use. What kind of information is best collected with their particular engagement tools? Also, ask how your provider will collect your audience’s feedback. Will all of the responses be captured in one queue/result? Or, will they be segmented somehow?

Whenever possible, we recommend you make content available on-demand. For one, it provides longevity to your messaging. Months later, people can revisit it or stumble upon it for the first time. While this may not be appropriate for all forms of content, it’s essential to consider it when possible. Secondly, in an age where people drift between the physical and digital realm, audiences like the flexibility of choosing to watch live versus later on-demand. Finally, you can use a timed release of on-demand content to simulate a live meeting rather than take on live streaming costs when budgets are stretched.

Takeaway:

Discuss whether your remote and in-person attendees will be able to engage with one another in a way that helps you meet your objectives. To be genuinely engaging, discuss how your content will impact your audience. Consider other networking opportunities to reinforce what they’ve learned and when possible, consider making your content available on-demand.

Taking the Next Step

Answering these three questions is a great place to start when planning any hybrid and virtual meetings. Arming yourself with detailed answers will go a long way in leading discussions with potential providers. If you don’t have the expertise on staff, hire a consultant to help you ask the right questions.

Have a hybrid or virtual meeting question for us? Please Contact one of our experienced Hybrid events experts to discuss.

Design an online educational series that provides meeting planners with relevant information about current changing trends in our industry, while earning continuing education credits. Download Case study to learn more.

Requirements:

  • Weekly live streamed presentations with interactive Q&A and polling
  • Recorded presentations available on demand
  • Participation tracking for continuing education credits

Results? A Successful event!

Solutions offered included:

  • Chime Live Platform
  • Q&A, Polling and Discussion Forum
  • Resource Document Repository
  • Digital Project Manager, Virtual Event Producer, Stage Manager

A Video Message from CEO Ben Erwin

Ben Erwin, President and CEO of PSAV/Encore, provides his perspective on the current state of the events industry due to COVID-19, the impact to our company, the strategic adjustments we have taken, and his vision for the future as our new CEO.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]August 23, 2020 | Press Release

SCHILLER PARK, Ill. – August 24, 2020 –  PSAV, a leader in global event production, today announced that Ben Erwin has been named Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, and will maintain his current title as President. In his new role, Erwin will be responsible for driving the strategic direction of the Company and overseeing the execution of its business plan.

This leadership transition occurs as PSAV continues to take a leading role in helping its customers adjust to the current environment of the meeting and events industry. Erwin succeeds Mike Mcllwain, who has served as CEO since 2011.

“I am honored to assume the role of CEO during this pivotal time,” Erwin said. “We are focused on positioning PSAV for a return to growth and long-term success as we continue to provide creative solutions to our customers and venue partners.”

Erwin continued, “On behalf of the entire team, I want to thank Mike for all he has done for PSAV during his tenure and, personally, for his mentorship and guidance to help me prepare for this role. His impact will continue to be felt by our organization long after his formal departure from the business.”

“Ben has been an important partner in supporting PSAV’s growth over the last five years, and he has the right combination of leadership skills and financial and operational acumen to guide the Company well into the future,” Mcllwain added. “Along with our full Board, I am confident in his ability to step seamlessly into the CEO role and build on our more than 80-year history of helping to bring unforgettable events to life.”

About Ben Erwin

Erwin was named PSAV President in October 2018. In that role, he was responsible for global operations, sales and marketing, IT and product management. Erwin was hired in 2015 as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer where he was responsible for global accounting, treasury, financial planning and analysis, tax and product management. Before joining PSAV, he served as Chief Financial Officer for TestAmerica Laboratories, where he led all accounting, finance, treasury, information technology and legal functions. Prior to 2011, he served as SVP Corporate Development for Cornell Companies, where he managed corporate strategy, financial planning and analysis, public market capital transactions, and investor relations.

Erwin earned bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Political Science from Wake Forest University. He is currently serving on the board of directors for both PCMA and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).

About PSAV®

The PSAV family of companies serves as a global leader in event experiences, providing creative, production, advanced technology and staging services to help meeting professionals deliver more dynamic and impactful experiences at their meetings, trade shows and events. The company operates in more than 20 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia. It is the trusted partner and exclusive on-site provider of choice at leading venues worldwide. PSAV was recently named to the Forbes 2018 and 2019 America’s Best Employer list. The company is headquartered in Schiller Park, Ill. www.psav.com.

 

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]May 18, 2020 | Press Release

Leading Response to Evolving Customer Needs

SCHILLER PARK, Ill., May 18, 2020 – PSAV, a global leader in event experiences, has created MeetSAFE, a set of guidelines to help the live event industry safely adapt to the changing landscape for meetings and events. As the world begins to reopen from COVID-19 shutdowns, PSAV successfully provides guidance for event planners on how to safely and responsibly host events.

Designed to inspire trust and confidence, the set of tools is focused on redesigning events to successfully deliver on the strategic goals of the meeting while defining new guidelines to minimize risk and promote health. Doing so safely will be the first priority of all planning activities as the ability to conduct in-person meetings will be dependent on making people feel safe in any setting.

“Our industry has more to consider when planning live events in the future. While there has been an explosion of virtual events due to today’s environment, we know there will be a time when both hybrid and fully live meetings will return,” said Ben Erwin, President of PSAV. “People feel a strong desire for face-to-face interactions, so we wanted to be proactive and offer guidance on how they can ensure important live meetings and events are productive, but also safe at the same time.”

The MeetSAFE guidelines were developed with four key areas of focus in mind: event design, room layout / traffic flow, technology enhancements, and cleaning guidelines. With input from venue partners, event planners and leading industry associations, the new guidelines include a series of meeting formats, technology solutions, and other recommendations that outline paths around how the event industry could re-open during the early phases of recovery.

“The Events Industry Council applauds PSAV for its leadership through this effort to provide relevant guidance and tools to industry professionals,” commented Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council. “We are encouraged and inspired by the work we are seeing in all segments and regions to address today’s challenge and adapt for the future. The APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force is focused on curating and sharing accepted practices across the global events ecosystem and will include this tool in that work.”

“PSAV has long been a pioneer in the meetings and events space, and their MeetSAFE initiative demonstrates their commitment to meeting the challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19,” said Chip Rogers, President & CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “Aligned with the hotel industry’s newly announced Safe Stay standards, these tools will be critical in preparing America’s hotels to safely welcome back guests and employees as the economy reopens.”

To view the overview of PSAV’s MeetSAFE guidelines, visit https://www.psav.com/what-we-do/industry-advocacy/meetSAFE

About PSAV®
The PSAV family of companies serves as a global leader in event experiences, providing creative, production, advanced technology and staging services to help meeting professionals deliver more dynamic and impactful experiences at their meetings, trade shows and events. The team consists of approximately 14,000 professionals across 2,100 on-site venue locations and more than 50 regional warehouses. The company operates in more than 20 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia. It is the trusted partner and exclusive on-site provider of choice at leading venues worldwide. PSAV was recently named to the Forbes 2018 and 2019 America’s Best Employer list. The company is headquartered in Schiller Park, Ill. www.psav.com.

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Media Contact

Bob Niersbach
Director, Communications
rniersbach@psav.com
(847) 385-3619

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[vc_row unlock_row_content=”yes” row_height_percent=”0″ override_padding=”yes” h_padding=”0″ top_padding=”3″ bottom_padding=”3″ overlay_alpha=”0″ gutter_size=”100″ column_width_percent=”100″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″ style=”inherited”][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ position_horizontal=”left” gutter_size=”4″ override_padding=”yes” column_padding=”2″ style=”light” overlay_alpha=”100″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ zoom_width=”0″ zoom_height=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_gallery el_id=”gallery-749185″ type=”carousel” medias=”88160,88165″ carousel_lg=”1″ carousel_md=”1″ carousel_sm=”1″ gutter_size=”0″ media_items=”media|nolink|original,icon” carousel_type=”fade” carousel_interval=”5000″ carousel_navspeed=”1000″ carousel_loop=”yes” carousel_nav=”yes” carousel_dots=”yes” carousel_dots_inside=”yes” carousel_dot_padding=”2″ stage_padding=”0″ single_overlay_opacity=”50″ single_text_anim=”no” single_overlay_anim=”no” single_image_anim=”no” single_padding=”2″ single_border=”yes” title=”Leading Financial Institution Case Study”][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ shift_y=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”77″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”100″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ medium_width=”3″ mobile_width=”0″ zoom_width=”0″ zoom_height=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_icon position=”left” title_aligned_icon=”yes” icon=”fa fa-paperclip” icon_color=”accent” size=”fa-4x” text_size=”h5″ linked_title=”yes” align=”left” title=”Case study” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Ffmav.ca%2Fcorporate-agm%2F|title:Leading%20Financial%20Institution|target:%20_blank|”]A leading Canadian financial corporation was looking to host their annual meeting of shareholders. With today’s current climate around meeting face-to-face, a traditional in person event was not going to be an option. As a result, our client was looking to host its first ever virtual event, a daunting task for these unprecedented times. Download Case study to learn more.[/vc_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”100″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″ medium_width=”3″ zoom_width=”0″ zoom_height=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_icon position=”left” title_aligned_icon=”yes” icon=”fa fa-beaker” icon_color=”accent” size=”fa-4x” text_size=”h5″ align=”left” title=”Pivot to Virtual”]Results? A Successful event!

The client was thrilled that the FMAV team was able to provide a seamless and secure experience for their attendees. Meeting participants and C Suite executives could view and hear the meeting from the comfort and safety of their home offices. Learn more about our Virtual Event Solutions.[/vc_icon][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row unlock_row_content=”yes” row_height_percent=”0″ override_padding=”yes” h_padding=”0″ top_padding=”3″ bottom_padding=”3″ overlay_alpha=”0″ gutter_size=”100″ column_width_percent=”100″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″ style=”inherited”][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ position_horizontal=”left” gutter_size=”4″ override_padding=”yes” column_padding=”2″ style=”light” overlay_alpha=”100″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ zoom_width=”0″ zoom_height=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_gallery el_id=”gallery-749185″ type=”carousel” medias=”88497″ carousel_lg=”1″ carousel_md=”1″ carousel_sm=”1″ gutter_size=”0″ media_items=”media|nolink|original,icon” carousel_type=”fade” carousel_interval=”5000″ carousel_navspeed=”1000″ carousel_loop=”yes” carousel_nav=”yes” carousel_dots=”yes” carousel_dots_inside=”yes” carousel_dot_padding=”2″ carousel_autoh=”yes” stage_padding=”0″ single_overlay_opacity=”50″ single_text_anim=”no” single_overlay_anim=”no” single_image_anim=”no” single_padding=”2″ single_border=”yes” title=”RBC AGM Case Study!” items=”eyI4ODQ5N19pIjp7InNpbmdsZV9saW5rIjoidXJsOmh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGZm1hdi5jYSUyRndwLWNvbnRlbnQlMkZ1cGxvYWRzJTJGQ2FzZS1TdHVkeS1WaXJ0dWFsLUV2ZW50cy1SQkMtQUdNLUZpbmFsLnBkZnx8fCJ9fQ==”][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ shift_y=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”77″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”100″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ medium_width=”3″ mobile_width=”0″ zoom_width=”0″ zoom_height=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_icon position=”left” title_aligned_icon=”yes” icon=”fa fa-paperclip” icon_color=”accent” size=”fa-4x” text_size=”h5″ linked_title=”yes” align=”left” title=”Case study” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Ffmav.ca%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2FCase-Study-Virtual-Events-RBC-AGM-Final.pdf|title:RBC’s%20Annual%20General%20Meeting||”]RBC entrusted FMAV to help them host a virtual AGM where attendees could participate remotely from the comfort of their own home. The Solution provided included Billingual webcast, back-up audio, phone bridges, closed captioning, Q&A and more. Download Case study to learn more.[/vc_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”100″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″ medium_width=”3″ zoom_width=”0″ zoom_height=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_icon position=”left” title_aligned_icon=”yes” icon=”fa fa-beaker” icon_color=”accent” size=”fa-4x” text_size=”h5″ align=”left” title=”Pivot to Virtual”]Results? A Successful event!

The Royal Bank of Canada’s virtual AGM broadcast went off without a hitch! RBC was able to pass motions, vote on their board of directors, and engage in two-way communication with their attendees. Though there was no face-to-face, FMAV provided a virtual setting that still enabled RBC to accomplish their business objectives. Learn more about our Virtual Event Solutions.[/vc_icon][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]Freeman Audio Visual Changes Name to Encore

Toronto, ON – March 31, 2020 – Freeman Audio Visual Canada announced today it has changed its name to Encore. Earlier this year, PSAV announced plans to align its portfolio of companies under a new master brand, beginning with Freeman AV Canada. Freeman AV Canada was included in the Encore acquisition by PSAV last year and was required to change its name by March 31, 2020.

“We are excited to be bringing the Encore brand to the Canadian marketplace,” said David Campbell, Managing Director, Encore Canada. “Our adoption of this new name will better reflect the full suite of event capabilities we can provide to our clients and venue partners.”

The Canadian division of Encore will continue to service their clients and venue partners as before with David Campbell leading the organization.

About PSAV®
The PSAV family of companies serves as a global leader in event experiences, providing creative, production, advanced technology and staging services to help meeting professionals deliver more dynamic and impactful experiences at their meetings, trade shows and events. The team consists of approximately 14,000 professionals across 2,100 on-site venue locations and more than 50 regional warehouses. The company operates in more than 20 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia. It is the trusted partner and exclusive on-site provider of choice at leading venues worldwide. PSAV was recently named to the Forbes 2018 and 2019 America’s Best Employer list. The company is headquartered in Schiller Park, Ill. www.psav.com

About Encore Canada
Encore Canada, previously Freeman Audio Visual Canada, is a leading provider of event technology, staging, creative and production services. Encore serves as the in-house provider at more than 120 properties across Canada including hotels, convention centres, and unique venue. The production division of Encore is a full-service creative production company helping clients tell their stories around the world. For more information, visit: www.encore-can.com

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Media Contact

Madeleine Bart
VP, Creative, Digital and Marketing
Madeleine.bart@encoreglobal.com
905-366-9241

905-366-9241[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As a global company of 14,000 employees operating in 23 countries, we are learning, along with the world, the impacts of COVID-19 for our industry, our communities and our teams. We are proud to be a part of an incredibly resilient hospitality and events industry. We are actively engaging with our many venue partners and industry associations (e.g. PCMA, MPI), and remain focused on designing solutions to help you connect and inspire your attendees. That is true today and will be true tomorrow.

While there are many questions we cannot answer, what I can offer you is a clear description of what we as a company are doing to respond to the situation:

  • Our first focus remains the health and safety of our team members and our clients. We are closely monitoring this situation. We remain in close contact with our venue partners to respond to any notice of potential exposure at any event we support. We are working with governmental and industry organizations to stay abreast of the current guidelines.
  • For cancellation notifications received on or after March 16, 2020, no cancellation fees will apply for cancelled events scheduled to take place between March 16 and May 15, 2020 in alignment with CDC and Health Canada recommendations.
  • For events cancelled prior to March 16, 2020 and prior to any city and provincial order or ban, 100 percent of cancellation fees paid may be applied as a credit (less any pre-event direct costs incurred) to events that rebook  before December 31, 2020.
  • Finally, we have expanded our virtual events team to ensure we can support more customers with the ability to connect meetings and remote participants in different locations. If you would like to learn more about how our team could help you, reach out your FMAV contact.

There is still much we do not know about the impact COVID-19 will have on our communities and our industry. What I do know is this will pass. We remain focused on delivering incredible experiences that ‘connect and inspire’ in all of our markets and countries around the globe.

Regards,
David Campbell
Managing Director – Canada
FMAV

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