Tag Archives: audiovisual

Transforming your Live Event with Audio Visual Technology

Westlake Village, CA – March 10, 2017

Whether the focus is Brand-Building, Community Awareness, Client-Building or Social Networking, live events and meetings foster relationships, learning and knowledge sharing. Face-to-face connections remain the most effective way to convert leads by offering potential clients or customers the opportunity to experience the look, feel and personality of your brand. Incorporating audio visual elements to events add a component of non-spoken communication as lighting and sound can support a brand identity or set the mood in a room. Great event planners know having the right Audio Visual technicians on-hand makes the difference between an event that sizzles or one that fizzles.

Cost factors involved with incorporating AV technology often cause event planners to cut corners.  With today’s technology, anyone with a smart phone may feel they have all they need to incorporate sound or, at least, some elements of recording and projection.  While this may seem like a logical way to avoid unnecessary expenses, top event planners know the all too expensive cost of a failed mic or projector. Professional AV technicians arrive on-site, with all the experience and gear necessary.

Skilled AV technicians know how to transform a designer’s concepts into real experiences. They consistently communicate with event designers from the planning stage to post production and, most importantly, throughout the actual event.  Professional, experienced technicians provide the backbone to any event, large or small, handling every detail including lighting and sound management, projection, camera operation and live-webcasting to video and recording.  They plan for room size and equipment installation requirements ensuring every element of the production connects with the senses of every person in attendance. This expertise only comes with on-the-job experience and a passion for staying abreast of the latest trends and technology.

Four Costly Production Assumptions (and How to Avoid Them!)


WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA – June 16, 2015
It’s a known fact of life
.. We learn from our mistakes. (or at least we should!) You burn yourself when you’re a kid and learn not to play too close to fire, you assume that you can jump from the trampoline to the pool and break your arm and realize you aren’t invincible… These life lessons continue as we get older and no one knows these better than event producers and others involved in the events industry.  One must learn quickly to have a plan B, C, and even D if everything is going to run smoothly.

1. Assume that the last person to do the job did it correctly

CablesThis applies to event planners, producers and definitely audio visual technicians.  We are often called into a location that has some of it’s own audio visual equipment and we simply add to it with our own.  We then network it all together for a seamless event.  The problem arises when the A/V team does not properly do it’s research regarding the in-house equipment and simply reads over a list of needed equipment in preparing the order.  Many pieces of equipment simply are not compatible (like Macs vs PCs in the “old days”) and some others simply need the correct cabling.
This also applies to simpler aspects of the event such as confirming that the volume of the speakers are turned down before they are plugged in, the ratio of the projector to screen is correct for what is being presented and the wireless microphone has fresh batteries!

2. Assume there is enough equipment/space for the job

As with the previous assumption, it is common to get a call from a planner at a venue telling you exactly what they need. “We need a projector, no screen, a cable for a laptop, and a technician to set up and run everything“.  This frequent request can be very dangerous to your reputation if you do not already know what the venue has and what is expected of your technician.  If the event begins and the venue only supplied 2 speakers for a 300 person conference, everyone in the back of the room is going to be looking to your technician to resolve the issue when they can’t hear the presenter.  If you investigate beforehand the type of event, location, number of attendees and in house equipment, you can suggest to the planners ways to fix these issues BEFORE they arise.Behind the Scenes Tech

A few weeks ago we received a call for a projector and screen for a private meeting space in a restaurant.  The call was last minute, so we did not have time to check out the space beforehand to determine the proper size screen needed.  Because we have years of experience and all of our guys have “learned the hard way” in one way or another, our tech knew to bring 2 different screens to adjust for the size of the room.. Sure enough, the larger screen that he was planning on using was too big and he had to swap out for the smaller screen on location.

3. Assuming any guy with production experience is right for the job

confusedTo explain how we work, I often compare us to a general contractor.  If you want someone to install some drywall and expand your closet they can probably do it all.  The same is true for us, if you want a couple projectors, speakers and microphones any of our technicians can “do it all”.  However, if you want to do a complete remodel of your bathroom, the contractor will probably do most of the work, but call in a plumber when the major pipe work needs to be done.  If you call in the painter to repair the pipes, you’re probably going to have some major plumbing issues!  Again, the same is true for us.  If you need the projection/audio set up AND an LED video wall, we will call in the “video wall guy” along with our general technicians.  We’re not going to call our our lead audio technician to set up the video wall.  We know our strengths which means we also know when we need specific additional support for bigger or unique productions!

A few months ago I was on a job supporting the production team in the tech booth at an event.  The producer had called in some technicians with dozens of years of production experience who were supposed to create an amazing technical experience.  The problem was, all of their experience was working with a certain set of equipment and we had provided some different,  very specific equipment for a very unique job.  Even with three guys with 15+ years each of experience it took them hours to figure out how to set up and run the specific equipment because they were not properly trained and experienced with it. 

4. Assuming you can achieve any concept on the client’s budget

Everyone in the event world (and most people out of it) know that for every event or production there is a budget.  Sometimes the budget is flexible to meet the concept and other times the concept is flexible to meet the budget.  An event production team tends to run into problems when neither the budget nor the concept is flexible in the eyes of the client.  This is when producers tend to start cutting corners with their vendors.  Some cost cutting changes won’t have a major effect on the overall experience of the event – chicken instead of fish, simple cotton tablecloths and smaller floral arrangements.  Other changes can majorly affect the ambiance, such as one projection screen instead of two or half the number of speakers.  A great rule of thumb is to never promise the client something BEFORE you know the entire scope of the event.

There are a great deal of variables when planning an event and it all starts with having a great plan and a great team to execute that plan.  Analyzing the good and the bad after each event will always help you be more prepared for the next time, and the more you do this, the fewer problems you will have.  In conclusion – trust your team, learn from your mistakes, and always have a back-up plan up your sleeve!

 

How Much Does That Cost?

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA – May 5, 2015
It’s happened to us all.  We have chosen cost over quality and been burned.  You have your friend build your website for “half the cost” of the other guy, and 3 months later you have (maybe) half a website, that you hate, and have to start all over.  You use a coupon some guy on the street handed to you to buy lunch at “half price” at the burrito shack and have to call out the next day because now you’re violently ill.  Sometimes “half price” ends up costing you more than you save.

Conference SpeakerApril 24, 2015 – 6:30pm
A client calls our main line, we are out of the office and the line rings through to Randy, one of our owners.  This client is in a panic, their friend of a friend who was supposed to provide the audio equipment for their event is no where to be seen and the event starts at 8pm.  Randy jumps into action, goes to the shop and gets everything packaged and to the client by 7:30, just in time to be set up by 8.  How much does that cost?? Translated.. What is the value of that service??
At this point, the $100 that the client saved by relying on their friend is now worth nothing but a headache.  The friend does not have the reputation of a business to maintain and therefore their priorities may be elsewhere.

Mixer at Outdoor ConcertWhen working with a small to medium sized company such as ours, you come to expect a more personalized level of service.  When you call the office, you know the name of the person answering the phone.  You trust the business to provide you with quality goods and/or services because you have a personal connection with them.  You know that if you have an issue, you won’t have to call a 1-800 number and listen to a phone tree before speaking with someone to resolve your issue.  Here at LCS we always say that although we may not be in the office 24/7, we are available around the clock.

So how much DOES that cost?? What is the real value in knowing and trusting the people that you are working with??  We have learned from first hand experience that there is often no way to measure the value of a successful event, whether corporate or personal.  The value is all in the perception and we are in the business of creating amazing perception.

 

Benefits of an All-in-One “Turnkey” A/V Event Package

Church Service w/Projection

 

WhrDm54JUguaxaPQTJZRb0zLpBirMgTwQQiQdKvK7u-Me recently had a customer call us and ask for a quote of what the cost would be to video record her event.  During the conversation, our technician asked her who would be providing the audio support for the event – She replied that the in-house team would be responsible for event audio.  This is often the case when someone decides to “shop around” for each individual part of their audio and visual needs.

Sometimes shopping around for the individual aspects of your event production has its benefits, however are each of these companies getting together before your event to make sure that all of your needs are covered?? In this case the predicted benefits did not outweigh the problems with the outcome.  We had explained to the customer beforehand that by only producing the video, we would have no control over the quality of the audio for her recording.  Sure enough, during the presentation there were constant interruptions with the audio and the microphones had to be switched out multiple times which greatly affected the quality of the video.  Now not only can the video not be played continuously, the editing costs could potentially be greater as well as it will take some creativity and additional effort to cut out low quality portions.

1LFB3o9ndmHfHovW5kmu3xt_OKvmlGwYjlvtjNhKXPMThis example can be applied to almost any type of event.  If your lighting guy is not in communication with the person providing the projection prior to your event then the quality of the projection could be seriously affected.  If your staging person hasn’t spoken to your audio portion the stage may be too far to connect to an appropriate power source.

IMG_1827This is why we at LCS pride ourselves on our turnkey event solutions.  We will build what you need, specific for your event and venue from the ground up.  We know that no two events are the same so we won’t give you something designed for someone else!  We can also be your one stop shop for everything that plugs in at your event.  We will also walk through your venue and help you plan the most ideal set up and make sure that there are no missing elements & everything works together at your next event!

Top 4 Reasons to Video Record Your Next Conference

Small Conference in Thousand Oaks

 

Today it is nearly impossible to go through your day without seeing something that has been previously recorded and shared with you via technology.  Why is that? Why is our primary way of receiving new information and entertainment via pre recorded media and production? There are many reasons for this in our current technological age and I would like to share with you OUR top 4.

Future Profit

If you are conducting a one-day 8 hour conference and charging $100 per seat, in a 100 person auditorium you have the potential to earn up to $10,000 (before the costs of the venue, meal break, etc..)  What if I told you you could more than double this revenue by only spending a couple thousand… Would you be interested? If you have done the math right I am going to assume your answer is yes.  What about the 30 more people who wanted to attend and the conference was already full? What about the 20 additional people who had scheduling conflicts? With these people alone, you could spend 0 marketing dollars promoting your event and sell the recording or your event to these 50 additional people and earn another $5,000, and chances are that recording cost you less than $2,000 to produce.  That’s an additional $3,000 revenue with little to no additional work.

Marketing Value

Say you already did Step 1 because you saw the value and followed through.  Awesome.  What about your next event? Think it’s worth booking that 250 person venue? How are you going to show these new potential customers the value of what you have to say? You are going to use the footage from the first to create a short “teaser” roll of your top one or two points to bring them in the door.  This may not earn you money directly, however if it brings the additional 150 people in the door it has more than earned its marketing value.

Professional Expert Credit

Today’s media driven culture teaches the consumer that anyone who who is confident enough to stand up in front of a crowd and share new information must be an expert in their field.  For those conducting and recording these conferences, this is a major benefit.  By being able to display a high quality video of you sharing your knowledge of your field, you can be immediately perceived as an expert.  This credibility can go a long way when it comes to getting people to “sign-up”, “register” or “buy” whatever you have to offer them.

“Share” Value

Going back to Step 1, you have completed your first conference which is a total success.. Where do you go from here? Half of the people who attended have now shared your program with their friends and half of those friends are now contacting you asking when is your next event and how can I learn what you have share? Instead of going into a panic and trying to plan an event right away or sit down and have one-on-ones with 25+ people, you can refer them to your website where they can purchase a copy of your presentation for only $xx.99.  And you can’t overlook the benefit of the social media share.. That teaser roll you created in Step 2? Time to share!

Lastly, you have to know when it is the right time to call and hire a professional.  Yes you can have your friend with a nice videocamera in the back recording your conference, however are they going to be double and triple checking to make sure the lighting and sound are correct? Probably not.  And this may be the option for you if you would simply like to use this recording as a playback tool for your personal benefit or to share with friends, however the production value will most likely not be up to par for resale.

Call professionals like the guys here at LCS and let them take care of all Lighting, Audio, Visual and Recording needs from start to finish so that you can worry about the important things, like how to fill the room.  #Ready

Below is a little sample of a couple different event recordings, from Conferences to Concerts we’ve got you covered.

I Don’t Need A/V Equipment.. Do I?

Small Conference in Thousand Oaks

idea-xxlOctober 8 , 2014

In my marketing efforts the two questions I hear most often are, “Why would I need A/V equipment??” or “Oh, weddings and bar mitzvahs, right??”
It didn’t take me long to discover that it isn’t my job to SELL audiovisual equipment or find the biggest partner to rent to or work with (of course that would be nice too!).  It’s my job to be an educator, an informer and to put a face to an industry that not many people know about!
As I begin to tell people what we can do I immediately see lightbulbs going off in their heads, “Ohhh, you’re those guys!”  So I wanted to take a few minutes to explain what it really is that we do, how you can use our services and how to spot us behind the scenes at the next event you attend!

  • Anything with the word “Gala” “Fundraiser” “Auction” “

If you’re in the industry of supporting events your ears will always peak at any of these words.  When I hear “Gala” I think, fancy.. ergo pretty lighting, a man in a tux on a mic, maybe a live band with great acoustics so speakers, microphones, the whole deal.  “Fundraiser” and “Auction” are both along these lines as well.  Every auctioneer needs to be heard so that requires a good PA system specific for the venue type and a cordless mic.  And you can’t forget a rear projector and screen, I mean how are the people going to bid if they can’t see what they’re bidding on!

  • Anything advertising “Live Entertainment”

Any event advertising “Live Entertainment” must think about what kind of venue it is to determine the speaker and microphone situation.  A big metal box is going to need a different type of set up than a gym or concert hall would need.  This is when our experts come in to tell you exactly what type of equipment you will need, from the location, size of the PA system, and type of microphones.

  • Any type of “Conference” or “Seminar”

When was the last time you went to a large gathering with 1 – 3 people speaking (think church, conference, concert, etc..) and the venue did not have video playback? For those of you who don’t know what video playback is, not to worry.  Video playback is what you see on the screens to the right and the left of the stage at one of these events, where you can see the speaker(s) so that you do not have to be in the front row to actually know what’s going on.  This is when you see the guys dressed in all black behind or to the side of the audience on their various small podiums manning the video cameras.

  • Production Support

Production support is really just a fancy way of saying that many companies that produce movies, short films, commercials and other videos do not own all of the equipment they need for every event.  Maybe a project they are working on requires 5 camera angles and they only have 4 cameras.  This is where a rental company comes in.  We will support them by bringing that one extra camera and possibly the person to run it as well if they need.  Anyone in the film/video production industry can be a great partner for a rental house.

In short, we’re the guys that get called when someone needs anything that has to do with audio or visual recording or events, whether the event is tomorrow or two years from now!

By: Lacey Foss
https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=209933037&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

Rent vs Own – Audio Visual Equipment

October 1, 2014   –    By: Lacey Foss

The idea of “Rent vs. Own”For RENT in the current economy has become a huge discussion with lengthy pro and con debates, whether the subject is your next home, car, or even a boat. When it comes to audio visual equipment, large companies, schools, hotels and event spaces all must have the same conversation. Is it worth the cost to buy the projectors, the screens, the wireless microphones and all of the other equipment needed to provide for their event space? What about the other costs incurred by owning this equipment?
So why is it better to rent? Here are some reasons:

  • Minimal Responsibility – When you buy, for example, a 2 speaker fancy new PA system you may spend a couple thousand.  Think of this “investment” long term.  Is it insured? For how long? And if so, when you take it in for repairs what are you going to use in the mean time? With equipment rentals this is not a factor, the rental company is responsible for all maintenance and  insuring that the speakers are in top working order at all times.  Also, what about when this equipment is out of date? Do you remember when everything started to switch to HD and your TV only had one, or maybe no HD port? This is not a factor with rentals.  The rental company is responsible for making sure every piece of equipment is up to date and compatible with the entire production.
  • Lower Costs Incurred – From maintenance to having experts on site who are familiar with the equipment, simply owning the equipment isn’t always enough.  Also, if you have an event space, the cost of renting the microphones, staging, speakers, lighting and everything else can be passed onto the client, so you can ensure the client top tier service without having to do anything other than make a simple phone call, to us of course!
  • Flexibility –  Even if you own an arsenal of equipment, it is very difficult to cover all of your bases and make sure everyone has exactly what they need.  For example, maybe you have 10 meeting spaces and 20 microphones, however a client wants to come in and run simultaneous meetings with three speakers a piece? 20 microphones may have sounded like plenty before, but now something as simple as microphones could make or break your relationship with that client.  Another example, what if that same client wants a 27′ projector screen and you only carry 24′?

Maybe in your particular industry you have exactly what you need for the space you provide.  Excellent.  However are there any negatives to having an audiovisual rental company on hand that you trust? For that “just incase” moment?
With rentals, you can be sure that you always have exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.