Technology – people usually either love it or hate it and I don’t know if there’s really any middle ground here? I’m the type of person who loves technology. The office systems are electronic, we’re on all social media sites, we love technology involvement at events, and we try to stay up to speed with new developments in the area. BUT we know that you, the client, do not always love technology at your events.
Sometimes this is perfect, but it’s important to find the right balance. Do you want to spoil your beautiful rustic wedding with flashing lights, big screens and a big production? No I wouldn’t think so. However on the same vein would you like to try to give a large corporate presentation to an auditorium full of guests without a microphone, projector, or audio system? No, I wouldn’t think so there either. So how do you decide, how do you incorporate it into your event well, and how do you get others involved (or restrict them) when needed?
Technology at your wedding or personal celebration
The biggest use of technology at these events now is smartphones. Most guests will have one and be keen to take loads of photos and videos and share share share them! No sooner have you walked down the aisle your photo pops up on Facebook, or you make a speech at your retirement party and the video has been put out there for all to see. This might be fine for you, but you do need to decide in advance whether you are indeed happy for this to happen or not. You might want to release the photos yourself, or you might want to see them before they are released to the public.
Also bear in mind that if you have a photographer there the guests with their own form of photography methods may be quite a hindrance to them. Imagine your photographer there, crouched in position, ready to take the photo of that first married kiss, or the throwing of the bouquet, when out of nowhere someone sticks a phone in their direction! Your poor photographer potentially misses the shot, and you lose out on that once in a lifetime photo.
An easy way around this is to ask guests not to take photos of the day, or not to take photos of the day up until a certain time. Tell the you are having an uplugged wedding (sounds quirky and fun doesn’t it!!). If you are happy for people to take photos but not to put them on social media then say so. No-one will think you rude if you pop a little note or sign somewhere that asks them not to post their photos until you’ve seen them or you have posted your photos.
Of course technology isn’t always a bad thing. You may love people sharing your celebration with others, and why not. There are ways you can encourage them capturing the day. For example, we can provide a sign for you that asks people to include a certain # when they post a photo on social media. You might chose something like #carlyandjameswedding or #SKsBirthday. This # would be totally unique to you, and means that both guests and people who can’t be there can easily search for your photos from the day. It also means that you can search for them easily too and then download them for your own albums. Another way to gather photos is to give each guest a disc and ask them to put their photos on it and send it back to you. All it costs the guest is the price of a stamp (if you don’t see them to get it from them in person) and it gives you access to the photos of those people who don’t use social media.
Whichever option you choose be sure that people know about it – most people are more than happy to go along with your wishes.
Technology at corporate events
This is quite the opposite problem to the personal celebrations and you will almost certainly need to factor technology into your event. People expect for presentations, launches, team events, celebrations, etc to be interactive and technology laden, but you have to do it correctly to make the overall effect correct.
What do I mean by this? Well imagine you are going to talk to a crowd of 400 people and present a new product that you will be launching. How do you make all those people hear you, and how do you show them all the product? You can’t expect them to come up one at a time to have a look at it, and I’m sure you can’t shout that loudly that 400 people will hear you. You will need a screen to run a presentation through which will show people your product, and this will need to be large enough for your audience to see clearly. How will you run this presentation? Well you’ll probably need some kind of device connected which you can control and scroll through as you need to. You will need some audio equipment, maybe a microphone on a podium, or maybe a hands free mic which you would clip on to your clothing. Then how will they see you? Is the lighting in the room adequate? Do you need to be spotlit on a stage? Is it an evening event – maybe some ambient lighting is needed? A popular trend at the moment is for you to be able to display a direct twitter feed on screen. People tweet, they ask questions for the speaker to answer, they make comments, they generally big up your event. Again, allocate a special # which people can include and then these will feed in to the speaker for him/her to respond to instantly and easily.
Now imagine a smaller, more intimate event. You are giving a smaller team, say of 30 people, a special dinner to say thank you for their hard work. You want to say a few words to them, and maybe present a few gifts. Now imagine putting in all the technology we’ve just talked about. It’s a bit overkill isn’t it, and the sound and lighting would blow your guests away and leave them having had an uncomfortable experience. Instead, all you need here is a small PA system for making your voice heard, and maybe some kind of equipment for playing music or videos through.
Remember, people like to use pens and paper so it’s nice to provide those, but how fantastic is it that you can just email the presentation or elements of it to people in a split second after the event. Getting the balance right is crucial and can make or break your event. You want to impress and we can help you to do that. We have a team which specialises in audio visual equipment and we would be more than happy to give you a free consultation to help you to decide what you do and don’t need to get your event right.
Food for thought there but no need to panic! Just let us know if we can help.
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