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EideCom Team

3 Reasons Why Creative Content is Crucial to a Great Event

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By Kelan McQuinn
Kelan joined the team in 2018 as the Lead creative director at EideCom. Mixing years of experience in the broadcast and agency world, he has used his unique experiences to reinvent the way brands and content are produced. Kelan has consistently created unique content of exceptional quality. He always strives to push the bar forward in design and media creation, working to understanding the needs of each client.

 

Did you know that scientists believe humans now average a 8.25 second attention span? Woof. And, it’s reported that this is actually a shorter attention span than a goldfish! So, it’s no surprise that trying to keep the attention of your attendees can feel challenging. However, through my career I’ve realized it really comes down to one thing – an integrated approach. What does that mean? Well, it means all of your content, from audio/visual production, to staging, to design, and everything else, is under one-roof. When the creative content is cohesively enmeshed with the overall arc of the project, it just makes sense. So, here are three key reasons why you should invest in custom design and creative for your next event project.

1. Everybody Loves a Story

All good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end – and your event should feel like a good story. From the moment your audience enters the venue, there is a single moment of opportunity to really WOW them, and custom creative is the super power to take them there. Design has the ability to tell a story, adding depth, movement, and intimacy. And, when content creation is fully conceptualized and storyboarded, it can help create meaning and hold your audience form start to finish.

2. It’s Your Brand, Treat it Nice

Your event is like a job interview, people will judge you on how crisp your materials are. Great design demands respect and professionalism. If you are hosting an event for something you care about, it should feel like it. In fact, the Greek word and philosophy ‘logos’, from which the English Logo is derived, means “divine wisdom” or a “controlling wisdom of the universe.” Damn. So, if your organization’s logo is actually a form of divine wisdom and influence, it’s about time you treated it like it!

3. Bold Creative = ROI

Do you care about your audience? Do you want them to have a good time? Then you NEED to make sure they feel special to see a return on your investment. When I begin the creative process, I always start from the end. How will the audience feel when they experience the content? And, especially as we turn to hybrid event experiences, if your creative isn’t getting the attention of your attendees, you’re wasting time and resources. Bold creative, that is unique to your brand and your mission, can be a one-time solution that ignites engagement and conversation. Don’t waste your time with monotonous creative, make it something your audience will remember.

Overall, this isn’t rocket science. You want to build events with value, and your audience wants that too! So, make sure you’re delivering an end-to-end experience that is compelling and unique. At the end of the day, you really need a team that has your back and is willing to collaborate on your entire project, not just one aspect of it. With an integrated approach to a project, our creative design team is a part of every step of the process – enabling us to build a better product that doesn’t feel cheesy, outdated, or disconnected. Connect with us today, and let’s start brainstorming something amazing!

 

4 Considerations For Budgeting Your Hybrid Event

By | HYBRID EVENTS | No Comments
By Kyle Arndt 

As events begin to reclaim their former status in the world, everyone is looking for hybrid event solutions to maximize their efforts and create an inclusive experience for their attendees. Unlike a fully virtual or in-person event, hosting a hybrid event anticipates multiple types of audience interactions. And, with hybrid events being relatively new, it may feel like you’re lacking prior experience on what to expect.

First thing first, to set up your hybrid event for success, begin by mapping out your event budget. It is more important than ever to future-proof your events, and exploring best practices, ways to cut cost, and the best resources to invest in, will result in a truly rewarding hybrid event. So, here are some things to consider when budgeting out your next hybrid event.

1. Venue

The biggest elephant in the room. Literally. Hybrid events are unique because they really function more like two events, rather than a single one. This means you need to consider a virtual event platform, as well as an in-person space. This being said, don’t be afraid to brainstorm and leverage a space you haven’t tried before. Hotels can come with added costs, and maybe an open gallery, warehouse, or company building will be able to facilitate the same objective. And, for your online venue, it’s critical to do your research. With so many event platforms out there, make sure your choice comes with the features you need, and the customer service you deserve.

2. Your Strategy

Building a hybrid event is like a choose your own adventure novel, there are many options, and all can provide different value. One option is hosting a large in-person event, and broadcasting this to your remote audience. Then, there is the possibility to host your event on separate days, with in-person and virtual audiences treated as separate. Or, you can choose to have your main content appear online, and relay this information to smaller in-person events. Explore the different hybrid models, and brainstorm creative solutions with your partners to build an event that makes sense for your organization and your attendees.

3. Decor

While we are moving away from strict COVID regulations, it is always important to create a comfortable and safe environment for your attendees. That means you can’t decorate your room how you used to, with shuffled table assignments and a standard room layout. It may seem mundane, but make sure you consider the flow of the room, chair/table count, as well as six-feet of furniture distancing, and build these needs into your budget.

4. Event Production

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention production decisions when curating your event. Arguably, production has provided the most value in the world of virtual events, creating a link between the at-home and the in-person audience. In order to host an event that’s engaging for all of your attendees, a webcam video just won’t cut it. When you invest in crystal-clear, broadcast-level technology, you won’t regret it. This professional element takes an event from ordinary to memorable, and will keep audience members connected to the content.

 

Ultimately, the ROI potential from hybrid events is what really sets it apart from events and budgeting of the past. With the ability to reach a larger demographic, your event influence has double, even triple, the power. The low barrier to entry for hybrid events allows your audience to grow and expand, and this is where your investment pays off. I am really excited about the future of the hybrid events, and exploring ways to build creative solutions that result in success. If you have a question, or want to learn more, connect with me today and let’s get started!

 Kyle has been in the production industry his entire career— over 18 years. Since joining the EideCom team in December 2016, Kyle has taken the lead on managing and producing all of our largest shows with his world-class technical expertise. Kyle is known for his positive approach, keeping his team’s goals at the forefront of every project. 

Like a Wedding, the Magic of a Successful Event is All in the Details

By | EVENT MANAGEMENT | No Comments

Before moving into large corporate events & conferences, I spent over 20 years in the wedding industry, working both with brides & small businesses alike. I learned very quickly that planning a wedding is strikingly similar to the effort & strategy of executing a successful corporate event.

Like a wedding, details matter. Here is what I’ve learned to be the most important (& sometimes the most overlooked!) details:

1. First Impressions are EVERYTHING

One of my favorite authors & friends, Lee Cockerell, says, ” It’s not “magic” that Makes Disney World work, it’s the way we work that makes it magic.” When you think about anything really special in life, especially events, the details are really what make that experience truly magical.

Imagine going to a friend’s home for dinner. Upon arrival, the front lights are on, the front door is propped open, the hosts are waiting to greet you with a big smile. Walking in, the house smells incredible, and you’re offered a fresh drink & some appetizers. All the details have been thought of in advance & executed to make you feel welcome, wanted, special.

Now imagine the same dinner party. The front lights are off, you have to ring the doorbell and wait for the hosts to open the door. They are stressed, and hurry back to the kitchen to finish preparing the food. You stand waiting in the entryway wondering what to do next. How do you feel?  Same event, very different experience, just within the 1st 60 seconds! And from this moment on, the rest of the evening is set for a different course. Even if the dinner was delicious, the way the hosts made you FEEL determines the quality of the experience more so than the quality of the food.

Now take this “1st impression” observation to your event. How are your attendees greeted when they arrive or login virtually? Is it overwhelming & confusing, or is it clear where to go & what to do. Are there warm smiles and helpful employees, or poor signage & no sign of event staff. Take the time to determine how you want your guests to feel before you start planning anything else.

2. Stay on theme (yes, even corporate events should have a theme!)

From the 1st moment your guests hear about the event, to the marketing, the arrival, and the message throughout, there should be a strong theme that your audience can connect with. This doesn’t have to be over the top, like a themed-kids birthday party, but there should be a message or a concept that embodies both the messaging and the visual components.

After determining Step 1 of “how do we want people to feel,” now ask your team “what do we want our audience to walk away with, what will they have learned? What was the core message or purpose of this event?”

3. The weakest link

Every partner you choose to help with your event directly impacts the overall experience of your guests, down to the caterers & the production crew. A beautiful, sophisticated wedding can be instantly tarnished by an inappropriate DJ, or a lazy photographer, or a rude bartender.

Take the time to learn about the people & the core values of the vendors you hire; do they value customer service? Are they willing to go the extra mile for your guests? Sometimes the way a person does a job can be as important as the job itself. Again, who cares if the food is delicious if the experience was terrible?!

4. Always have a Plan B (& C, & D, and sometimes E!!!)

Any bride who has ever planned an outdoor wedding knows you need a Plan B. And if we have learned anything from the past year, it’s that things can change at the drop of a hat! Now more than ever we need to be flexible and learn how to move forward with lots of options, rather than be stunned by indecisiveness.

I used to tell my brides: “If you strive for absolute perfection on your wedding day, and ONE thing goes wrong, you might spend the rest of the night in the bathroom crying! However, if you expect that about 5-10 things may go not-as-planned, and only 3 things go wrong, you will be thrilled!”

Going back to Step 3, make sure your partners & vendors can handle the stress of an event & know how to problem solve on-site. The best in the biz will have back up plans already in place, and will seamlessly execute a solution with the audience never even knowing. 

Happy planning! And, if you have more questions, connect with me today!

Ashley

By Ashley Hawks
Ashley has been in the events industry for over a decade, and knows how to create a truly magnificent event experience. She is most passionate about helping our partners find innovative solutions, and promises to be a dedicated member of your team.

Tips to Build a Successful Hybrid Event

By | EVENT MANAGEMENT, HYBRID EVENTS | No Comments
By Todd Smith

Todd is a Production Manager for EideCom, and in the past 2 years, he has helped create hundreds of successful events. Todd’s previous experience in audio engineering and editing drive his passion to create moments that engage audiences, both in-person and virtually. He is known for his client-centric approach to every situation, and always focuses on creating a meaningful outcome for all. 

 

As the world returns to in-person and hybrid events, it may feel like the events industry is in a completely new landscape – and, well, it is! There’s so much to consider when organizing your event, and making sure your hybrid event is engaging, information, AND in your budget, can be challenging! Plus, with varying sets of state regulations, guidelines, and the tendency for these rules to change quickly, knowing what you can control – and how to make these elements great – is critical to the success of your event. In the past months, I’ve worked with great clients to build some amazing hybrid events, and I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to do this well. So, here are a few of my key takeaways:

1. Be Concise

We all know that attention spans have shorted in the digital age, but it’s worth repeating – be concise in your messaging! The days of 2-3 hour shows are long gone because of Zoom fatigue, and it’s important to stay on track. Finds ways to tell your story in as few words as possible. Get to the point of your conversation, and be sure to include clear takeaways and lessons. Your audience will thank you for it!

2. Consider the Delay

For hybrid events, you are really speaking to two audiences. Think about presenting something different to your at-home audience than to the in-person audience. If you are live-streaming content, keep in mind there is typically about a 1-min delay from when something is said, to when an online attendee actually hears it. Think about this delay creatively, and make sure your presenters are aware of the delay in order to incorporate both audiences effectively.

3. Pre-Record Can Be Your Best Friend

Determine in advance which segments are worth pre-recording, and which ones will be best live. Often, segments that are pre-prerecorded are just as engaging and impactful as live. This consideration allows the presenter multiple takes, ensuring they present the message they want.

4. Hi Mom!

Perhaps the most simple, AND the most effective – say ‘Hi’ to your audience! When your  keynotes/presenters say hello to your virtual audience, it is thoughtful and friendly. It may seem silly, but it’s always nice to be recognized and incorporated!

 

I hope these tips are helpful when you begin to create your next hybrid event. We have worked to produce countless hybrid events, and I am excited by each opportunity. If you have any questions, or want to hear more about our experiences and lessons learned, reach out today and let’s start a conversation!

4 Ways to Make Your Event More Accessible

By | VIRTUAL EVENTS | No Comments
By Paige Dorman
Paige joined the EideCom team as Vice President of Sales after spending 10+ years in various event roles. From event planning at venues, selling trade show booths, working weddings, to executing keynote speeches for 15,000 attendees; there isn’t much of the events world she hasn’t seen. She is most passionate about helping clients craft new & creative ways to engage their audience through impeccable production.

 

As I speak with more and more of my clients, I keep hearing a recurring sentiment, virtual events are confusing! In order to pull one off, you have to understand so many ins and outs, and the varying interfaces of event platforms doesn’t make it any easier. It’s time to go back to basics, and remember why we organize events in the first place – to honor and provide an incredible attendee experience. We need to make our virtual and hybrid events accessible to audiences. 

In order to do this, we have to make sure we are providing every participant with an equal experience. So, when people with disabilities are at your event, it is crucial to build the most inclusive and constructive space for success. Here are a few tips and items to keep in mind when planning an event for your audience. 

1. Ask Your Attendees if they Need Accommodations

Sometimes in the heat of the moment, we overlook the simple things. While it’s always important to make events accessible, it is useful and thoughtful to create space for your attendees to make that request. This can be as easy as including a question in your event registration. Or, you can share your planned accommodations with your audience in an email, with an opportunity for responses.

2. Include Closed Captions

This is one of the easiest ways to ensure a comprehensive audience experience. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans are deaf or hard of hearing, and providing closed captions allows attendees access to all of your important content! And this feature doesn’t just apply for pre-recorded content, many real-time transcription services and ASL interpreters are available for virtual and hybrid events.

3. Avoid Strobe/Flashing Effects

One, often overlooked, event feature that can negatively impact your audience are flashing and strobe lights. Many people with epilepsy are light-sensitive, making it extremely difficult to consume content. So, make sure you are conscious of what videos or sizzle reels you include in your program. In any situation, it is best to include a proper disclaimer before the content is presented. 

4. Read polls/questions aloud

If your event plans to incorporate polling features, or a live Q&A session, make sure your presenters are reading all of the content out loud. This includes all questions, and the replies from other attendees. Taking this simple step allows people with learning disabilities the time and space to process all of your questions, and will encourage more engagement!

 

Those of us in the events industry are all about creating great experiences for our audiences, and that means thinking about the attendee experience from every perspective. If you have any questions, or want to learn more about how to make your next virtual or hybrid event more accessible, connect with us today!

3 Reasons You Should Try Hybrid This Fall

By | HYBRID EVENTS | No Comments
By Lisa Mendenhall Johnson
Lisa joined the EideCom team in spring of 2017 as Senior Vice President of Sales after spending five years in the corporate world selling mobile phones and software. She loves working at EideCom because of the relationships she’s able to build year over year, helping each client craft new & creative ways to engage their audience. Lisa has built quite the reputation as a connector within the events industry – and her philosophy is to bring value to anyone she meets.

 

 

As we begin to head into the sunnier months, it seems the events world is as well! With more and more events hosting portions of their attendees in-person, the hybrid event landscape is beginning to take off. That’s why I wanted to write a bit on hybrid events, and explain a few reasons why you should consider it for your next event. 

1.You can do in-person, safely

In-person is coming back, and we know your audience wants to meet again (safely, of course!) Trends suggest that by late summer to early fall, gatherings of at least 500 will be allowed. A hybrid event can allow a safe number of in-person attendees to gather, while still enabling a larger audience online. It will be exciting to see people in-person again, and hybrid lets you do it safely, without sacrificing turnout!

2.You’ll be able to reach a broader audience

If you’re gung-ho on going fully back to in-person, you will likely miss out on a huge chunk of your audience who won’t be able to travel (both from corporate restrictions, as well as budgetary concerns, and international border closures). Like I said, with a hybrid event, you don’t have to worry about a limited turnout. The flexibility and accessibility of hybrid allows you to reach MANY more attendees. We believe the way of the future is to create value both in the virtual space as well as in-person. While online tickets may be cheaper, the volume can be much higher. 

3. Everyone is doing it – the Superbowl is a hybrid event!

Think about it – the NFL has been doing it right for years! They reach 50-60,000 attendees in person, but MILLIONS on TV. When you think about your overall event ROI, there is so much more you can do when you are activating an event for 2 audiences. The sponsor opportunities alone is a reason to go hybrid!

These are just a few reasons why I believe you should make your next event a hybrid one. To learn more, and hear what else hybrid can do for you, connect with me HERE today. 

 

6 Takeaways From Our Biggest Virtual Event Yet

By | VIRTUAL EVENTS | No Comments
By Kelsey Ahern
Kelsey is a client-centric project owner and manager for our virtual platform, Second Stage. Before working in the world of Event Production, she was an Account & Project Manager for a large Fortune 500 third-party logistics company. After growing and sharpening her skills, she made the jump into her passion: events. She brings a tailored project management service to each client – as she believes there isn’t a “one size fits all!”. With a  hybrid background that marries event management and project management, Kelsey is an ideal one-stop-shop professional for our Second Stage Platform.

 

 

We’ve learned a lot about hosting virtual and hybrid events this year. And, while we are still learning more everyday, we were able to host our biggest event last week, with more than 22,000 individual users! 

Since last March, we have adapted and grown in the event space to create meaningful experiences, even online. However, we are always trying to make these experiences better, and that’s why I wanted to share my key takeaways from our largest virtual event to date.  

1. Ensure engagement with a sponsor of the day

During a virtual event, you want to make sure your audience is exploring as many booths as possible. Use your platform to program-in daily sponsors, highlighting a new booth every day at a specific time. And, for an added level of interaction, have your live stream direct attendees to check out the ‘sponsor of the day’. This feature not only guarantees sponsor engagement, but allows attendees to interact with your event in-depth.

2. Chat boxes aren’t always a good thing

Chat is important to the audience experience, but if you are hosting a large show,  be mindful of the sessions you allow with group chat. As more attendees interact with the chat and with each other during a live-streamed session, it can start to take away from the stream experience. Make sure you examine up-front what activities and streams are best-suited for chat. 

3. What the *$@!!

On the topic of chat boxes, you’ll want to make sure your event’s chat feature is enabled with a profanity filter. With a larger event, you never know what kind of sh!t people could be up to. 

4. Branding is key

In order to provide a seamless virtual event experience, make sure your platform is fully-customizable. If your organization’s website and your virtual platform feel like the same space, your attendees will feel right at home! This helps to boost your brand, and also ensures a cohesive audience experience. 

5. Determine your metrics of success before the event

With our platform, you can completely customize your analytics. So, it’s more important than ever to make sure you determine your event goals before the event actually starts. This will allow you to examine your analytics real-time during the event!

6. Get people pumped!

Finally, find a way to soft-launch your event. Whether it be a pep rally, exclusive concert, or a keynote speaker, get your audience excited before your event even happens. With an online platform, you can get more interaction and engagement out of your event. For an in-person event, attendees would never fly somewhere twice. But, for an online experience, your audience can log-on at any time, building momentum for your show and increasing engagement opportunities. 

 

I hope you find these tips helpful, and, if you’re looking for more advice on how to make your next virtual event a success, connect with me HERE today!

Industry Alert! LED Walls and the Future of Events

By | EVENT TECHNOLOGY | One Comment
By Kelan McQuinn
After working as a contractor for years, Kelan joined the team in 2018 as the lead creative director at EideCom. Since then, he has spent his time reinventing the way content and live stream graphics are produced. More recently, Kelan created the branding for EideCom’s newest platform, Second Stage, and assisted with the UX/UI design. For his entire career, Kelan has created unique content of exceptional quality. He always strives to push the bar forward in design and media creation, working to understanding the needs of each client.

 

 

Technology is always in motion. Due to this constant change, it can be hard to know what’s here to stay. What is worth your investment? Well, if you are looking for impressive, innovative, and cutting-edge technology; an LED wall is your answer. 

 

Unlike other screen methods, LED walls are made up of multiple panels, built from even smaller modules which consist of multi-color LEDs. This technology is a game changer for all entertainment purposes, and here’s why:

1. Precision

When it comes to proper formatting and ensuring your content is uniform, LED walls are king. Unlike projectors that easily distort content, LED walls offer greater consistency for your images, video, and motion graphics. It will look exactly how you imagined, every time.  

2. Versatility

LED walls are dynamic. Projectors display their image using light reflection, meaning the image is locked into space and focal length. However, a LED wall is its own source of light, enabling a unique flexibility. LED panels can curve and work to fit into any space, indoor or outdoor. And, unlike a projector, LED walls don’t require open space between the projector and the image, LED walls stand alone, making them far more efficient. 

3. Quality

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a LED wall is simple, the quality. LED walls provide crisp, vivid visuals. And, since the images aren’t affected by ambient light, it guarantees your subject is well-lit and your content crystal clear. The dynamic range of LED creates immersive content that feels alive. 

 

If you’re curious to learn more, and want to transform your next event with an LED wall, reach out to us today!

4 Innovative Ways To Engage Online Event Attendees

By | EVENT ENGAGEMENT | No Comments
By Paige Dorman
Paige joined the EideCom team as Vice President of Sales after spending 10+ years in various event roles. From event planning at venues, selling trade show booths, working weddings, to executing keynote speeches for 15,000 attendees; there isn’t much of the events world she hasn’t seen. She is most passionate about helping clients craft new & creative ways to engage their audience through impeccable production.

 

 

These days, everyone is asking the same question: How can I keep my attendees engaged during an online event? It may be Zoom fatigue, rambunctious children, or that tempting next episode of your favorite Netflix show, but it’s challenging to keep the attention of your audience. So, here are four simple ways to energize your attendees. These tips will not only help to maintain your event enrollment, but will also ensure your event is something to remember!

    1.Virtual Workout

Get out there and get healthy! Hold a race for your attendees during your virtual event, and challenge them to log their miles. By utilizing a tool like Challenge Hound, your attendees can join a virtual race challenge and log their miles, competing individually or in teams.

     2. Social Responsibility Box

While we may not be able to gather in person, it’s still important to stay connected to our local communities. Encourage your attendees to engage locally by sending a box that includes a shipping label and a grocery list of items a food bank may need. Your attendees can take this box to their local food bank or ship it in the mail. Participants can then document their delivery with a photo upload on a social media wall.

    3. Game Show Extravaganza

Place your attendees in a virtual game room, with each teams consisting of five people. Your attendees can compete in various gameshow challenges like Family Feud, Pub Trivia, or BINGO. Using a video conference platform, place teams in breakout rooms to decide their answer, and move them back to the mainstage to share. This allows your audience to bond, while also enabling each attendee to participate remotely. 

    4. DIY Floral Design Kits

Surprise your audience with an experience they will never forget! Work with a local vendor to send each of your attendees a collection of flowers, branches, and a festive pot. Then, using pre-recorded or live video, have the florist explain how to build their own arrangement. Attendees can then share their design and have a souvenir from the event experience. 

 

 

Looking for more event engagement ideas? Connect with us now to learn more! 

3 Must-Haves At Your Next Virtual Event

By | EVENT MANAGEMENT | No Comments
By Kyle Arndt 
Kyle has been in the production industry his entire career— over 18 years. Since joining the EideCom team in December 2016, Kyle has taken the lead on managing and producing all of our largest shows with his world-class technical expertise. Kyle is known for his positive approach, keeping his team’s goals at the forefront of every project. 

 

By now, event planners know that virtual and hybrid events are the future of the industry. In fact, a recent analysis from Global View Research found that the virtual event platform market is expected to be valued at $774 billion by 2030. With a calculated annual growth rate of 23.2%, the virtual event space is growing exponentially. That means it’s important you know how to make the most of your next virtual event. They are here to stay, and you don’t want to get left behind. 

So, how can you ensure your next virtual or hybrid event doesn’t fall flat? Check out these three must-haves that will make your event shine.

1. Use a Teleprompter

All of your presenters need to use a teleprompter. While often overlooked, this feature is not to be underestimated— it will transform your virtual or hybrid event from something impersonal to something intimate. Just because  your audience isn’t in the room anymore, doesn’t mean they’re any less real. If your presenter isn’t looking at the audience, you can kiss their engagement goodbye! Teleprompters guarantee a human experience, even online.

2. Create Network Redundancy

Create network redundancy to ensure a strong connection. Network redundancy is the process of creating multiple pathways for the virtual event to travel to your audience. Your audience is all over the world, and keeping them online is crucial to your event’s success. Think of your virtual event like a chain of events: from assembly to production, every link is important. Make sure to have a backup plan, so if one link goes down, your event can still run smoothly. 

3. Generate Audience Engagement

Everybody loves a story —  so make sure your virtual event tells one. Whether it be prizes, a treasure hunt, or a twist ending, you want to incentivize your attendees to pay attention and stay until the very end. Many virtual events won’t commit to the entire arc of their event, treating each presentation as an individual moment. Use your event to create intrigue – and captivate your audience from start to finish. When you tell a story with your event, you guarantee your audience stays on the edge of their seats. 

 

Want to learn more about taking your virtual or hybrid event to the next level? Connect with us now