AV Advances to Enhance Future Events in New Normal
Challenges and obstacles drive us to innovate and find solutions. That statement can apply to a number of sectors and industries, but is undoubtedly true in the audio visual space.
As we have moved towards a new way of life through the global pandemic the audio visual sector has had to rapidly pivot and innovate in how we deliver our services from education to health and of course to live events.
As live events return and social distancing restrictions ease we are set to see the continuation of the hybrid event – which only increases the demand for solid AV solutions.
Replicating the live experience at home
Perhaps the biggest change for AV technicians and live event managers has been the rapid change from an in person to virtual event. General Manager at DG Global Steve Smith tells Integrate forging a connection is the greatest challenge.
“Events are there to connect people and celebrate success together and enjoy each other’s company,” says Steve.
“Hybrid events or online events, they are the antithesis and antagonist from doing a live event.”
As Steve explains it, the shift to virtual events has meant slashed budgets, loss of jobs for hospitality staff, media and entertainers. But it has meant an increased demand for AV specialists and technology to deliver hybrid events.
For DG Global, this need for technology came in partnership with WooHah Productions who were able to pivot events online using Studio45 to broadcast with the virtual event platform Kasō.
Arosh Ferdando is the Managing Director at WooHah Productions and says the biggest tech change from the global pandemic is broadcast equipment.
“Before COVID it was a live experience, but everyone working from home, we had to make sure that engagement and interactivity in a virtual format worked well,” he tells Integrate.
“The use of broadcast Studio like Studio45, based in Melbourne, was a quick pivot by many AV businesses around Australia.”
Interactivity is key
For Arosh and Steve, virtual events needed to provide an interactivity for attendees to simulate the real life experience – from moving through virtual conference spaces, to waiting in foyers, and being able to chat with other attendees as you would in real life.
“The primary reason for a virtual event in conferencing is so that messaging is still serviced and people can feel a part of it,” says Steve.
Arosh believes this hybrid model will be enhanced by AV technology.
“The use of AV and streaming gear will be crucial post covid. As the technology becomes widely accepted you will use more 3D virtual spaces, interaction between attendees to conference improve as well.”
Hybrid here to stay
“I firmly believe that as restrictions ease many companies will slowly move into a hybrid model, with shows designed for both in person and a global virtual audience. From cameras, to LED Screens these will become the backbone of Hybrid events,” says Arosh.
Steve agrees,and with the likelihood of international travel off the cards for a while longer, a hybrid event still allows international guests to attend.
“It allows as a stop gap and quite frankly it could be quite attractive too, as you don’t have travel or accommodation costs – I’ll be very interested if we offer a hybrid model how much the take up will be,” says Steve.
“This technology has allowed some clients to maintain a program, celebrate success, bring some people together and at least catch up. Just because we can’t be in a room together doesn’t mean awards need to be pushed aside.”
The appetite for hybrid options – particularly in the age of social distancing – is increasing and opens up a new segment of the market for the AV industry. The need for slick, sophisticated AV solutions will only grow – and that’s a strong positive for the sector.
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