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Audio/Visual Support for Engaging Breakout Sessions

Projector in a breakout session

Conferences are engaging, active events – especially when they include breakout sessions. While your general session is a great place to get the entire team in the same room, breakouts provide more intimate spaces for deep dives into a specific topic, and closer interaction between the presenter and their audience. It's important to keep your breakout sessions engaging, but that can be difficult to do so without the right audio/visual support.

Engaging breakout sessions are important in ensuring that attendees get value out of the conference they attend

Engaging breakout sessions are important in ensuring that attendees get value out of the conference they attend. Breakouts provide a deeper dive into a topic of interest, allow you to experience a new environment, and allow for networking.

Breakout sessions are an opportunity for attendees to interact with other people who share their interests and learn something new. They give people something different than what they would see at an exhibit hall or general session, which can help break up the day and give everyone something fresh to take away from the conference experience.

As a conference organizer, it's important for you to ensure that the breakout experience is a different environment, but not a different standard. You don't want breakouts to feel like an afterthought. It should be obvious to each and every attendee that the same level of care and preparation they saw in the general session was also given to their breakout track.

Aside from ensuring that your presenters are delivering great content, one of the best ways to do this is by providing a quality audio/visual experience.

Make sure the right equipment is available

A key part of planning your breakout sessions is making sure the right equipment is available. First, you need to match the needs of each session with the appropriate audio-visual equipment. Then, you can start building your package for each room.

Start with a base package that is standard for all rooms and add gear as needed based on individual presenter needs. Get clear details from each presenter about what they want their presentation experience to look like and then work with them to develop specifications for any additional gear requirements that may not be included in your base package. If possible, hosting sessions with similar technical needs in the same room will save money by not having to install extra gear in as many rooms. Our technicians can also provide a higher level of support for sessions that have advanced needs, as we'll explore next.

On call, or in-room technicians?

Depending on the needs of your breakout session, we can provide audio/visual support in two ways:

  • On-Call Technicians. In many cases, one technician can provide support for several rooms at once. This arrangement works best when you don't need a lot of hands-on operation during your session (for example, if it's just PowerPoint slides). Technicians can check in on each room before the start of the session to ensure that presenters are set up with their connections to the projector, internet access, microphones, and any other last-minute needs.
  • In-Room Technicians. If the session has more advanced technical needs, it may make sense to dedicate a technician to operating that room. When the presentation requires more advanced controls or adjustments — for example, on-stage demos, multiple computer sources, remote presenters, or live streaming — having a technician in the room to operate the equipment can save the presenters (and the audience) a lot of frustration and keep things moving smoothly.

Beyond the basics: recording, streaming, remote presenters, and more

Audio/Visual for breakouts is never limited to flipcharts and projectors. The same advanced technologies that we provide in general sessions can also be applied to breakout rooms.

Record, archive and share videos of your breakout sessions. This is a great way for attendees to review what was said and done during the session. It also allows you to use these recordings as part of future training efforts or as part of an internal resource library. Our production teams can provide cameras and recording gear to ensure that the breakout is recorded with the same professional standards as your GS, just on a smaller scale.

Streaming live content has become the new norm. Incorporating live streaming into your breakouts will allow your remote audience to have virtually the same experience as your in-person guests. Here again, the same streaming technology that we use to broadcast your big general sessions is also available on a smaller scale for the breakouts.

Remote presenters are another technical trick that we can implement. Whether the session is presented fully remotely to your in-person audience, or an in-person presenter wants to interact with a remote guest, our production crews can provide full integration of your remote presenters into the breakout experience.

And that's not all! Breakout rooms can host on-stage demos, live polling, multiple screens, picture-in-picture views, even live surgery on stage (yes, we've done that). Regardless of your presenters' needs, VIP Audio Visual Company can provide the support needed to make it happen.

Proper Planning Prevents Crisis

As with most things in the world of live events, being properly prepared well in advance can mean the difference between an easy, professional event, and a mini-disaster that sends the wrong message to your audience. This is why we emphasize strong communications between your event planners, our producers, and your presenters. Being aware of technical needs well in advance avoids the last minute scramble when a presenter enters the room and says "hey, my autonomous drone is going to fly around the room and project the video on-screen – can we make that happen?"

Breakout sessions are a great way to make sure that attendees get value out of the conference they attend. They provide an opportunity for small groups of people to discuss specific topics in depth and come up with solutions together. With the right planning and the proper support from our team at VIP Audio Visual Company, breakouts can be a high-quality part of your event, with the same standards of quality and excellence that your audience is experiencing in the general sessions.

We'd love to partner with you to make your next event a success. Get in touch with our production team and start the conversation today!

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