When I was a child, my mother had my “color matching” evaluated. This is the tedious process of putting color swatches next to your face to determine if you are fall, winter, spring or summer – or rather, if you look best in warm or cool colors. It was determined that I was a fall, as a warmer color palette tends to make my eyes pop more and looks best against my skin tone. When I wear these colors, I feel good about myself.

There’s no denying that the colors you surround yourself with in your day-to–day life can impact how you present yourself, act, and feel. As with the colors that we associate with different seasons, we can also relate them to our mood and how they affect us and those around us; warmer colors may feel welcoming, and bright, bold colors may elicit a sense of excitement and outgoing enthusiasm.

The same is true for an event space. The color used directly impacts the look, feel and the reactions of your attendees as they enter a space. There have been studies done that color also influences cognition and mood. Although the effect of your color choice may be subconscious to your participants, determining color enhancement should be based on what best suits your meeting’s goals.

Choose Your Colors with Purpose

Having your meeting’s message retained is key, and all five of our senses play a big part. However, with sight attributed for 83% for adult learning, color clearly can have a significant impact. Color assists an attendee to remember their environment, which can be very effective in a learning or educational setting.

It is a shift of thinking, since in many cases, companies choose company branding to be displayed during their meetings. Depending on those colors, it may have an adverse impact on their participants’ cognitive skills. You need to make sure color is chosen purposefully and relates to the message intended, rather than solely maintaining company branding.

Ready to Experiment? We Can Help

There are several colors in the rainbow, and with LED Lights, we can create most of them at moment’s notice. For your next meeting, try blue if you are having a brainstorming meeting and want to increase creative thinking. Or maybe, if you are just having a long day of meetings and want to make sure your attendees do not have the after lunch slow down, think yellow. Keeping the room bright will increase attention and optimism as the day comes to an end.

Curious to learn more? Check out my on-demand Professional EDge webinar session for an in-depth discussion on using psychology principles in the event space.

On July 17th, the UK government announced what we have all been waiting for: live performances can resume on August 1st, and conferences and business events on October 1st.  While this is great news for our industry, the threat of COVID-19 remains and events should follow our MeetSAFE guidelines to minimize risk.

With this announcement, the longing to host live events again has increased at a rapid pace. But because socially distant meeting layouts can lower the capacity of our venues by as much as 75%, we need to offer our clients solutions that enable them to connect with the same size of audience as before, but with a high volume taking part online. With a vaccine still some way off, these hybrid events could be our future for quite some time!

Hybrid events will have two audiences – one in the room, and one viewing from their home or office. I believe that we need to do everything we can to ensure that the guests taking part from home have the same experience as those in the room. At its simplest, we can stream a meeting to an online audience with little more than a camera and an internet connection. However, engagement is key for an online audience, especially with the distractions around the home or in the office.

When planning for a hybrid conference, there is a wide range of tools that we can use to bring together delegates in the room and online. Live-polling, Q&A sessions and even chat functions can ensure that everyone attending feels engaged and inspired. If speakers aren’t able to travel to present at your event, we can pre-record their sessions or even stream them into the room and onto the remote platform live.

Using Chime Live, the delegates who are attending the event in-person can interact with the conference using their own devices to answer polls, ask questions, check the agenda for the event or find out more information about individual speakers. The remote delegates are able to have the exact same experience, with the added functionality of a live stream of the event.

When producing a hybrid awards event for example, we can stream sponsors, presenters or even winners live from their devices into the room and onto the streaming platform. Competitions can be hosted using social media, allowing all guests to compete together whether they’re live or remote. Guests can even be brought together using live chat, so that people can interact and network as they would at a live event. Combining both audiences is key to ensure that those at home feel as much part of the event as those who are in the room.

It’s important to remember that the move to hybrid principles doesn’t always need to be viewed as a ‘problem-solver’. A hybrid event can actually increase the attendance at the event and add value – global pandemic or not. We have seen attendance numbers of virtual events outperform those of in-person events because of the convenience of attending remotely. Adding hybrid technology to an event will no doubt add some element of cost for event organisers, but this can be outweighed by reduced travel requirements and F&B spend, and can even add an extra channel of sponsorship for the remote platform.

We have an undoubtedly challenging time ahead of us, but hybrid events will enable us to support our clients to engage with large audiences both in person and online for some time to come.

After an exciting year, it’s that time again to consider trends we can expect to see moving forward. Advances in our industry move as quickly as the technology that powers it, and vigilance is important. We polled our experts and these are four technology-powered trends you need to follow for 2020.

1. Audience Engagement

Audience engagement technologies are becoming more mature in the event services space. In the past, one or two (single function) engagement devices may have been used to deliver presentations to audiences in real time. Now, this trend is evolving into sophisticated systems of engagement devices. For example, polling, note-taking, productivity, and communication can all be part of one suite. Expect to adopt engagement systems that allow the presenter and audience to connect authentically and create shared group experiences.

2. Adaptive Spaces

We are seeing a shift: meeting planners are now considering non-traditional environments for both their character and economy. But planners also want their spaces to be flexible enough to suit various logistical needs. Well-designed spaces can do both. By thinking about how people interact, spaces can be adapted for multiple uses. Planners can anticipate solutions that seamlessly facilitate intimacy, comfort, collaboration, and the ability to share content from a variety of channels.

3. Event Measurement

It is no longer acceptable to only evaluate a meeting based on people’s recollections. Today’s digital services collect useful statistics in real time so we can see what people are doing in the moment. This allows us to evaluate the efficacy of an event plan, and consistently make improvements based on the analytics. In the future, technologies that provide additional ways to capture event data and provide even clearer insights will be on the rise.

4. Power Everywhere

Planners and attendees alike need access to power sources to keep their devices charged and ward off potential anxiety about dying batteries. Meeting planners should be aware that visible, plentiful power options are going to reduce anxiety, add value, and contribute to productivity. In addition to power strips, be sure to include plenty of wireless induction chargers, USB-A and USB-C chargers, and mobile charging stations.

Stay Connected

As technology evolves and we learn more, best practices evolve as well. These are only a handful of exciting trends in our industry that can be addressed with well-designed solutions. For more technology trends and insights, keep the conversation alive with your technology solutions provider.

Internet set up wiring

This post is the first in a series on event internet from Matt Harvey, VP of Internet Services at PSAV

Internet is cited as one of the most challenging items in event planning and often leads to apprehension over using Wi-Fi dependent tech like polling, streaming, and audience engagement tools. Without the confidence that these tools will work, it’s hard to invest in their use and, in turn, this limits the meeting experience.

Connecting people is quite literally in PSAV’s purpose statement, so in this series, I’ll lift the lid on meeting Wi-Fi – focusing on how to buy with confidence and successfully connect and inspire your audience. For this post, the often-misunderstood concept of bandwidth is the focus.

Bandwidth is something we all know something about since we buy it for our homes. It makes sense to us that more bandwidth means we can do more “stuff” at once with the internet. But in an event setting, getting the balance right between too little (resulting in a poor experience) and too much (resulting in overpayment) bandwidth can be tough. In other words, how much is just enough?

Shared vs. Dedicated

The first thing to know is the difference between shared and dedicated bandwidth. You can watch our explainer video on that here. It’s only two minutes long, and we’ll be right here when you’re done.

Now that you know the difference, it’s important to note that the home internet is an example of shared bandwidth. In an effort to make us upgrade, the cable operators tell us that we need faster services for all our devices. “Ultimate Internet (up to) 300 Mbps suitable for 10 devices!” they say.

This type of marketing leads to confusion. If 300Mbps is good for 10 devices, then each device needs 30Mbps, right? Not so fast. Dedicated bandwidth is different. For large groups, we actually need less bandwidth than we otherwise might think, and in the dedicated bandwidth world of events, it’s easy to assume that the numbers are the same as the cable company marketing which leads to an overestimation of bandwidth needs.   

Calculate It

Next time someone tells you they need 30Mbps each because that’s what they get at home, take a breath and remember there’s a calculator for that. This tool will give you a good starting point for attendee bandwidth needs.

What if a presenter requests a lot of bandwidth as part of their requirements? Chances are, the presenter is also thinking about shared bandwidth in-home internet terms. Have a conversation about the presenter’s intended use of the internet and include your trusted techie. Most everything a presenter will need to do from a presentation laptop can be done in less than 5Mbps.

Remember:

  • Use the bandwidth calculator to estimate your needs.
  • Make sure your venues are providing bandwidth usage reports, showing your total bandwidth consumption over time. These will help you dial in on exactly what your needs truly are.
  • If you are concerned about running out of bandwidth, consider pre-negotiating an optional on-site upgrade with the venue. If you need to use it, pull the trigger with the confidence that the additional cost is already understood.
  • You can always email us at Internet@psav.com. We’ll answer all of your internet-related questions, regardless of venue.