Choosing the Right Venue: An A/V Company's Perspective

When you're planning an event, you're looking at the big picture. Things like catering, transportation, lodging, the quality of the hotel and meeting spaces, nearby attractions for your guests to enjoy, and hundreds of other details. These are all important aspects of the meeting planning process.

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Understanding the Difference Between Virtual and Hybrid Events

As the world of technology evolves and changes, it has had an impact on everything we do, including events. While we were beginning to see an increase in the prevalence of virtual and hybrid events in the years leading up to 2020, the pandemic has forced the adoption of this technology in new and exciting ways. These types of events combine elements of both traditional face-to-face meetings and online conferencing solutions to provide a seamless experience for attendees.

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Audio/Visual for Small Meetings

Not every meeting is going to be a large audience in a big ballroom, but smaller events need support too! Large or small, at VIP Audio Visual you receive the same personalized and attentive service from our technicians to ensure your event is successful.

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Remote Production Teams for Virtual Events

Everyone is happy to be getting back to in person events, but the pandemic has taught us a lot about the usefulness and practicality of virtual events, and it looks like they aren't going away anytime soon.

Virtual events provide a lot of flexibility for your company, including reduced travel costs, and the ability for presenters and attendees alike to join from anywhere in the world. While you can't beat the impact and energy of a live event, there are certainly situations where the virtual event makes a lot of sense.

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LED Posters Add a Unique Touch to Your Next Event

LED displays seem to be everywhere these days, from your TV at home to the big screens in Times Square and the Las Vegas Strip. And it's no surprise - LEDs are energy efficient, lightweight, and durable. The widespread adoption has led to some creative uses of the technology.

At VIP Audio Visual Company, we're proud to offer another innovative use for LED displays: Our new LED Posters.

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AV Company or Production Company: What's the Difference?

At VIP Audio Visual, we regularly hear from our clients about the terrible experiences they've had with AV providers at other events. Sloppy setups, poorly configured equipment, missed cues, and a general lack of attention to the details seem to be a common thread in these stories. Unfortunately, many clients (and their audiences) have come to accept this as normal.

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Overcoming the Technical Challenges of Hybrid Events

While audiences seem to be eager to get back to in-person events, there's no denying that the pandemic has created a new level of acceptance and awareness around attending events online. It's now expected that most events will provide an online alternative for those who are unable or unwilling to attend in person.

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Vehicle Mounted Displays for Outdoor Events

LED display technology is an amazing tool for many applications. LEDs emit their own light rather than reflecting light from a projector, so they're visible in bright environments like exhibit halls or outdoors in full sunlight. They can be viewed from almost any angle, and can be assembled as screens large enough to be suitable for huge crowds.

They also have some serious drawbacks.

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Hybrid Events in a Post-Pandemic World

As the world begins to settle into our "new normal", it's becoming obvious that events have changed for the foreseeable future, and perhaps forever. While nothing can replicate the energy and excitement that comes from in-person live events, people have also become accustomed to the convenience of presenting and attending events online.

Hybrid events combine the best of the live and virtual worlds.

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Making Zoom Great Again

After more than a year of non-stop online meetings, Zoom fatigue has fully set in. The thought of yet another endless session of talking heads is enough to make us wish we were on a beach somewhere instead of sitting in front of the computer.

While we can’t help with your travel arrangements, VIP Audio Visual does have some solutions for making your next online event more exciting, professional, and engaging.

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Taking Virtual Events to the Next Level

By now we’ve all grown accustomed to having a grid of heads filling our computer screens. Business meetings have gone from “who’s bringing the donuts” to “hey, you’re muted!”

Now that the initial shock of working remotely is wearing off, more and more businesses are looking for ways to make their virtual events more professional. In a world where everyone from the Fortune 500 to your local elementary school is meeting online, creating an event that stands out in terms of professionalism and engagement is becoming more of a priority.

VIP Audio Visual helps our customers create truly professional virtual events that move you from casual business meetings to broadcast quality.

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Continuing Corporate Communications with Video

The COVID-19 crisis has brought the business world to a screeching halt. Fortunately, some of those businesses are now getting back to work, but the world has changed. For the time being, large gatherings of employees or customers are going to be a challenge – requiring business leaders to find new and innovative ways to communicate with their audiences.

At VIP Audio Visual Company, we are doing everything we can to help our customers continue to create compelling experiences by providing a full video production studio at our Pleasanton headquarters. Whether you need to create a live or pre-recorded video experience, our extensive experience with live events and production technology allows us to support virtually any scenario.

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Helping You Begin the Reopening Process

As California’s businesses begin the reopening process, there’s never been a more important opportunity for businesses and customers to reconnect during unprecedented times. VIP Audio Visual Company understands the new demands of communication between parties, and compelling content with a clear message creates awareness and generates excitement for your business.

VIP Audio Visual Company is pleased to offer a complete line of video production equipment to help rejuvenate your business. Whether you’re wanting to show off a new product, demonstrate your new cleaning and sanitation processes, or simply letting your customers know that you’re open for business, VIP Audio Visual Company's state-of-the-art professional HD cameras, LED lighting, and cutting-edge editing software will help you stand out in a crowded digital world.

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Getting back to work, safely

For many years, our clients have trusted VIP Audio Visual Company to create amazing A/V experiences. Now, the new world that we’re all living in means that trust is extended to helping keep us all safe.

We take this responsibility seriously, and have devoted much of our time during this state-mandated shutdown to researching and implementing new policies that will let us get your corporate events back up and running while reducing the risk of spreading disease.

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Using cameras at your corporate event

Cameras have a lot of uses in the world of corporate events. Whether we are showing your presenters on the big screens, broadcasting a worldwide web stream, or simply recording for archival purposes, having the right cameras set up in the right places allows us to provide exactly what your event needs.

Manned Cameras

The camera setup that provides us the best image quality and usefulness is the manned studio camera. This is a high-end camera, with a large viewfinder and tripod-mounted zoom and focus controls. Having a skilled operator running this camera allows them to smoothly follow on-stage events: zooming, focusing, panning and tilting all at the same time to create the best possible viewing experience.

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Getting an AV quote: What we need to know

If you have spent any time at all reading our content, you know that VIP Audio Visual can create amazing experiences for your next corporate event. The events we handle range from super basic, to completely over the top. Our entire team is dedicated to providing the best possible experience for each customer, no matter the scope of their event or their budget.

Before we start doing our wiring diagrams and designing sets, we need to handle what for many clients is the most important part of this process: the quote. The crew and equipment we include in our estimate will be based on the information you provide to us, so it's important that we know as much as possible about your event before we start providing budgets.

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Why we recommend the gear we do

We can “do” AV at a lot of different levels. At VIP Audio Visual, we work with every client to understand the scope of their event, and the level of the show that they want to produce.

When we provide a quote, we do our best to match the equipment we're providing to the client's needs as we understand them. Many times we get questions from a client wondering why we’ve chosen to include a certain piece of gear. On the surface it may appear that we can get by without that equipment, but our years of experience in the industry have helped us recognize the most common problems that are likely to arise, and the tools we need to avoid them – creating a flawless event for you and your guests.

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Producing Creative Events with LED Walls

Corporate events tend to follow the same general mold. Two projection screens in a dark room with black or gray pipe and drape behind them. LED uplights coloring the drape, maybe a couple of banners here and there, and you’ve got yourself an event.

Most of the time this is by design. Video projection is extremely sensitive to light, so event setups are laid out to keep lighting separate from the screens. The dark room keeps the focus on the stage while also minimizing the amount of light that could wash out the screens.

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Great Sound Starts With Great Microphones

Ever been at an event where you feel like the presenter is standing an arm’s length away, speaking directly to you? Even with a couple thousand people in the room, a properly dialed audio rig creates a presence that can make any venue seem intimate and inviting.

Good sound requires quality equipment in every part of the system - speakers, mixers, processing - plus operators who know how to put it all together. But to get really great sound, you need to start at the source: the microphone.

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Audio Visual for Conventions

Conventions are a bit of a niche market in the A/V field, bringing a specific set of challenges that a lot of A/V companies aren’t prepared for. Supporting dozens or hundreds of rooms across a large facility - most of which all begin and end on the same set schedule - requires a lot of organization and teamwork amongst the A/V crew. Many A/V companies choose not to work in the convention market, as the amount of gear that we have at VIP Audio Visual and the quality of our technicians isn’t something that is easy to obtain.

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Conducting a Successful Site Visit

If you’re an event planner, you’ve got a million things to look at when you do a site visit. In the audio/visual world, we’ve got some very specific things that we like to know before we walk into a venue. If we have the opportunity we always like to do our own site visit, but that’s often not possible.

With that in mind, here’s a meeting planner’s site visit checklist that is sure to keep your A/V crew happy.

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Filling Dead Air on Your Live Stream

A few years ago, live streaming was new and exciting. Now it’s basically expected. Whether it’s an internal event being broadcast to employees worldwide, or a public event targeted at customers or partners, live stream opportunities have become an essential part of the corporate communications world.

As beneficial as the technology is, your audience likely still has a few gripes. The experience of attending a live event is very different than sitting in front of a monitor at your desk, and most live streams are essentially letting the remote audience “peek in” on the live event.

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What can you do with LED walls?

The Way Things Are

Projection and imaging have been used in corporate presentations for decades. From slide projectors and overhead transparencies, the industry moved to early CRT projectors - massive, 100-200lb behemoths that required expert technicians to converge color tubes every time they were turned on. LCD technology revolutionized the industry by introducing small and lightweight projectors that could be moved by a single person and powered off a standard 110v outlet, without the maintenance issues. In the past few years we’ve seen the introduction of DLP chips for better color accuracy, and laser projectors that are lighter, brighter, and run cooler than anything the industry has ever seen.

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Passing the Baton: Planning Effective Handoffs Between Presenters

It seems like it should be an easy thing, but in our experience the most-often bungled part of a presentation is the handoff from one presenter to the next. There have been countless scenarios where we’ve seen a speaker finish their talk and just walk offstage, leaving awkward dead air while everyone tries to figure out what to do next. Or, they’ll finish the presentation and look helplessly at the emcee for direction.

Avoid these scenarios by planning how you want to handle your transitions ahead of time. There are a lot of different ways to do this. No one option is better than another - the right answer just depends on how you want to run your event.

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Videos in Presentations

We’ve all sat in the presentations where the speaker builds up to their awesome video, clicks the button… and nothing. I can’t even begin to count how many times a presenter has told me “I took all the videos out of my presentations because they cause too many problems.” Or at the other extreme they’ll say “I’ve got 15 videos, I just need you to click the button to play each of them. I’m also going to need to pause, rewind and fast forward a few of them. You can do that for me, right?”

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Painting Your Venue with Light

Whether it’s a Rembrandt masterpiece, an Ansel Adams landscape, or the venue for your next meeting, there’s no scene that isn’t made better with proper use of light.

Good lighting is the simplest and cheapest way to transform a room. Whether you’re working in a 5-star hotel, the production floor of a winery, or a warehouse, carefully planned and executed decorative and accent lighting can add color, depth and dimension – adding a touch of class to any event.

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Managing Aspect Ratios in Your Content

Aspect ratios are a confusing topic for most people. We start throwing around numbers like “4 by 3” or “16 by 9” and everyone rapidly loses interest. In spite of the confusion, aspect ratios aren’t that complicated, and they’re important to understand. Your onscreen content will look best when the screens, projectors, and presentation content all share the same aspect ratio.

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Help Us Help You! Tips For A Successful Relationship With Your AV Company

It sounds like a cliche, but we really are here to help make you successful. Our goal as your AV provider is to help your event go off without a hitch. While we can’t make the food taste better or make the valet attendants drive more safely, when it comes to what your attendees see and hear, we’ll pull out all the stops to make sure everything is perfect.

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Working with Confidence Monitors

When your presenter is on stage, they want to speak to the audience, but if their only view of their slides is behind them that can be difficult. Speaking with your head turned back over your shoulder takes your attention away from the audience, turns the mouth away from the microphone, and is a recipe for a sore neck.

Confidence monitors are the answer to this problem. Placed on the floor in front of the stage, confidence monitors (Downstage Monitors, or DSMs as they’re professionally known) allow your presenters to see their slides while naturally and comfortably facing their audience.

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The Art of Keeping Your Meeting on Time

No, it’s not a hum in the audio system. It’s the sound of your attendees stomachs rumbling in unison as the speaker drones on 45 minutes past their lunch break.

How do you, as the event organizer, prevent this from happening? In this article, we’ll share some techniques that we’ve learned over decades of producing, managing and operating both large and small events.

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Why You Shouldn't Skip Rehearsals

Rehearsals usually seem to fall into one of three categories. They’re either super-organized and regimented, or really casual and disorganized, or they don’t happen at all. Most presenters view them as a waste of time - an interruption in their day that doesn’t accomplish anything. If there’s no organization, that may be true. Here’s how to set up rehearsals to maximize value and minimize time.

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Leveraging Web Streaming for your Event

Web streaming isn’t just newfangled expensive technology anymore. It’s mainstream in the business world, with millions of meetings being held online each day. While most of these meetings consist of only a few participants, the same benefits that make online meetings appealing also apply to web streaming your corporate event.

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Everything you need to know about Lighting

Good sound and video are cornerstones of any effective presentation, but when you’re ready to take your event to the next level, it’s time for lighting.

Stage Lighting

Stage lighting is usually accomplished using ellipsoidal reflector spotlights, commonly referred to as Lekos. These lighting instruments can throw light from some distance away.

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Everything you need to know about Sound

It’s fairly obvious: you can have the perfect venue, a perfectly planned event, and great speakers with amazing presentations, but if your guests can’t hear well then it’s all for naught. Having good audio is one of the most important elements of your meeting, and it doesn’t “just happen”. Setting up any venue for good sound requires careful planning, good equipment, and professional expertise.

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Everything you need to know about Graphics

If you’re a meeting or event planner, most of your interaction with the AV team will probably revolve around the graphics desk, where we handle your speakers’ presentations: PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, Prezi, and more. At VIP AV, our experienced team can roll with the punches and make your event a success regardless of the challenges, but there are some things you can do which will make our - and your - life easier.

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Using IMAG at Your Corporate Event

If you’re planning large events, sooner or later somebody will throw the suggestion out: “Hey, you should really be doing IMAG!”

What the heck is IMAG?

Image MAGnification is simply the process of using cameras to project your presenters on the screens. It’s a great way to increase the engagement of larger audiences, making them feel like they’re closer to the action. It creates a high-end “large event” feel. For the right event, it’s a great way to go. There are a few factors you need to consider though.

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TC3 Summit: Cutting Edge Technology

When your entire organization is focused on promoting new tech, it takes a lot to wow your audience. That’s the situation that The Telecom Council of Silicon Valley found themselves in while planning their 2017 TC3 Summit, where telecom operators from around the world come to find out what’s new in the industry.

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Web Streaming your Corporate Event

Only a couple of years ago, live streaming your corporate event was considered cutting edge and fairly exotic. Today it is common, and often expected.

The advantages of running a live stream are obvious. You can reach a much broader audience when people don’t have to leave their homes or offices to participate in your event. Facilities, travel, lodging and meal costs are all reduced. Recordings of the event can be embedded on your website, making it available indefinitely for those who weren’t able to watch live.

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