My name is Abby Tobias, and I am the owner of Sole Power Productions, an event and production company in Toronto Canada. We help execute and or produce over 2500 events annually. Our Audio-visual team is made up of events managers, technicians, specialized Av leads, and designers.
Recently, we have seen a variety of concert and event cancelations, both high profile and not. Events ranging from local fairs, to major touring acts are having their end product affected by audio visual issues and mishaps. Below I have detailed some of the key reasons why this is occurring.
WHY? Isn’t that always the question? In this case there are a few keys to look at.
Let’s use the touring act as an example here. In the modern age of music, artists earn the majority of their income from there tours. Once upon a time when people purchased CDs, artist income was more evenly balanced between sales and live shows. This is no longer the case. Streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify are the way of the future and the way of the present. This is a big win for fans and music listeners, as it gives them unmatched access to music of all kinds. That said, for the artist it’s not as great. Profits from streaming services are exceptionally low for artists. Thus, in the past few years they have had to lean towards touring in an effort to stay profitable.
This brings me to the touring budget. Managers and show designers are being pulled in multiple directions. On one hand, the show has to be the best it has ever been. Guests need to be blown away by sound, lights, effects, and stages. On the other hand, the budget is limited. Artists can’t afford to over spend on these treatments, as they are relying on the profits from shows to keep them in the green. This causes cutting of corners, lesser qualified staff, and shorter blocks of time for sets and strikes. It’s not hard to then understand how we are seeing more high-end glitches than ever before.
2. Technology vs the Creative: We live in a world where what is advanced today, is considered old news in 6 months. There are consistently options for larger, brighter, louder, and more powerful replacements to product that we thought was incredible just a short while ago. When these products are put in the hands of the creative talents of stage directions and visionaries, a world full of incredible concepts can be thought of. In most cases we see an incredible outcome.
Think back to Kanye’s 2016 North American tour with the floating stage moving across the arena, and Drakes world tour where he had kinetic lite balls moving in sync from the rafters to just above the audience’s hands. These were incredible advancements in the concert experience. Only possible by the gift of AV and production. The down side, of course, is that we are still talking about technology. Just like your when your home TV doesn’t turn on, or the microwave at your office flashes the wrong time, technology has its own mind. As the advancements have grown, so have the complications. We are seeing some incredible failures live in front of our eyes as triggers don’t fire and in the worst case, the technology can be dangerous, and some concert doors don’t even open to the public.
3. Regulation: I am a fan of regulations. I will always choose safety over profit. What we are seeing now is that tours are being designed locally and expected to pass regulations internationally. So, when a tour bus and crew roll up on the other side of the world and start to work, they are finding push back from local officials where the rules and regulations regarding safety may differ. This is nothing new, but as my two points above-mentioned, the shows are larger and more complex, and are also expected to be designed faster, and cheaper than before. The losing team in these cases are the fans. Fans who buy tickets months out, only to find out a day or two before that the show won’t be put on in their city because the safety is not up to local guidelines.
For more info on Abby Tobias you can find him at Solepowerproductions.com
Careers are oftentimes forged when people meet the right folks at the right times. This is especially true in the technology industry. All of you who are a part of this industry know very well how important it is to stay well connected and interact with your peers. Of course, tech events are where you get to meet your colleagues and get an insight into what they are currently working on. These conferences can be really valuable when it comes to your potential career opportunities. So, you have to know how to prepare yourself well and take the best out of these events.
Why do you want to go?
You have to ask yourself this question before you go anywhere. Take a good look at the event’s keynotes and workshops and compare that to your priorities in the office and your personal ambitions. How do you benefit from that event? Is it for your personal gain or for work? Consult your boss and colleagues who aren’t attending the event and figure out why they decided not to come and whether there are some particular breakouts that would benefit you and your team at work. These all serve to provide you with the reasons of why you should or should not attend.
Look at the list of attendees
The value of an event also lies in the list of people who will be there. That’s why you should look at the list of attendees and see if you can spot someone who garners interests or someone who you already know. You will most likely see some interesting names there so make sure to do some networking while you’re there. Also, you should solidify existing professional relationships. Don’t just rush to meet the new contacts, devote some time to your existing ones. If you can’t find the list of attendees, reach out to your colleagues on LinkedIn and similar social media platforms. Enquire there about the event and you’ll probably find people who are attending.
Download available software for the event
Oftentimes tech events have their own apps for smart devices that will help you navigate easier through the event space, find your favorite speakers and other stuff that could be of use to you. On top of that, many apps of this kind have a schedule of the event on them. You can take advantage of that by creating your own schedule with the help of that one. Maybe there are some segments of the event or conference you’d like to avoid. Your time is precious and you probably can’t waste it on things that are not interesting to you. That’s why you should check out whether there is some event software available to attendees. If there is, it’s there probably to help you get the most out of the event.
You are there to learn, not to compete
It’s fine to feel competitive when you’re in the room full of people from other companies that are probably the rivals of your company. However, you should never allow that feeling to overwhelm you during the event. Look, no one at the conference would be so friendly in a normal, everyday environment. However, at the venue, you all have to mingle and be friendly. Why? You are there to learn and take something valuable out of each other. Even though it shouldn’t be strictly business. Well, it kind of is. It is a professional event, after all. Right?
Do not forget to connect!
Say that you’ve just met a colleague at the event. You’ve exchanged a few words, you’ve realized that the person you talked to can be potentially valuable. What is the worst thing that you can do after meeting such a person? The worst thing would be to do nothing. You can’t afford to forget valuable contacts. That’s why you should make it a habit to connect to these individuals as soon as you’re done talking to them. Find the person on LinkedIn or Twitter, trade contact info, do everything to remain in contact. You never know how valuable someone can be.
Are you ready for the event now? Well, there are some things beside the ones mentioned here but these are your top priority. Well, they should be your top priority. Prepare well, do the research and go. Remember, contacts are valuable, the event is there for you to learn something that can benefit both you personally and your company.
Are you planning an event? Do you need to attract more people to your business, make your company stand out and get noticed? If so, a good event goes without saying as a major prerequisite for that. Of course, it’s easy for big companies to host events. Well, it’s not that easy but it’s certainly better when you have loads of money at your disposal, right? Well, if you belong to the less fortunate group here, where you have to allocate each buck carefully, take a look below and you’ll find useful tips that will help you do just that.
Timing is important
You know how hotels located in mountains charge less when it’s autumn? That’s because fewer people visit highlands when there’s no snow which means less revenue. In turn, hotels lower the prices to attract people to still consider making a short escape from the city life and relax in the mountains. When it comes to events, the concept is quite similar. Since you’ll hunt for a venue, it is good to learn about seasons. Venues often share bookings with other events such as weddings or receptions. If you go for that season, you’ll be paying a lot. Instead, schedule wisely, see if you can pick out a date when there are no other events. Pick a ‘cheaper’ date, you could save a lot of money.
Look for volunteers
Every event planner needs staff for their events. Without your own people helping with everything, there can be no event. It’s plain and simple. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend through the roof and hire contractors or something like that. Work with what you can get. Consider younger people who need experience in events to help manage things. Of course, you have to give something in return. But it doesn’t have to be money. Experience is a valuable asset too.
Finding a partner or a sponsor oftentimes isn’t easy. However, if you’re tight on cash, you need to try and look for sponsors or partners. Consider theme and purpose of your event and then look for organizations that might want to align themselves with your particular theme. Remember that both sides need to benefit from this. For example, if you’re hosting an event and you are a small tech company, try to figure out what other company (a partner or a sponsor) would benefit from having their logo displayed at your event. Many companies see sponsorships as a form of marketing. Take advantage of that. Also, if you can find a renowned partner/sponsor, that could help you with event experience. Your attendees will respect you more if they see logos of other giants besides yours. That means that your business is in good company.
Consider going digital
Back in the day printed material was everything. People needed it to plan, promote and basically do everything event-wise. Nowadays the situation is different. A great alternative that will save you money is technology. You can use e-mail to send invitations, promotional material, schedules and general info about the event. Also, you can even create a website for a fairly small sum of money. A simple website that has everything your attendees need to know about your event can go a long way.
Always keep an eye out on your budget
The budgeting process needs to start early. That’s because you want to know whether your event is going to be feasible. However, many planners forget to keep an eye out after planning a budget. That’s why updating it regularly needs to be a priority. Make it a habit to dedicate 10 to 20 minutes on a daily basis to updating your budget. That’s a good way to stay on top of new developments in real time and anticipate additional costs.
Having a tight budget can be a real pain in the neck. However, every single event planner had to make it work with small amount of money at least once in their career.
Social media guru, ex-Chief digital Officer of The MET, Former Dean of Columbia School of Journalism, Sree Sreenivasan wants to take YOU and an exclusive group of techsytalk LIVE guests on his famed instagram Walkabout the morning of techsytalk LIVE 10.
“HOW DO I ENTER TO WIN?” Simply register for techsytalk LIVE by FRIDAY JAN. 26 2018 by 5pm EST and you’ll automatically be entered to win!
**All winners will be notified via email by Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.
Drones. Artificial Intelligence. Cryptocurrency. Vacation Space Travel (soon, soon.)
Technology is morphing faster than a client’s mind and it ain’t slowing down! In less than 3 minutes we’ll give you 3 important event tech waves to surf in 2018:
We’re not **quite** Tom Cruise in “Minority Report” level but, AI is impacting our industry TODAY and it will only increase in 2018. What if you could use the terabytes of data points you’ve accumulated about your audience to help them make decisions and deliver a more intuitive experience? Customize an experience to their taste? Increase your attendee retention by automating suggestions based on prior attendee behavior (in a non creepy way, of course). AI is enabling us to leverage technology to make smarter, more targeted decisions to benefit our audiences faster than previously humanly possible. Am I saying technology is smarter than us? Wellllll, not just **yet. <<wink>>
You’ve heard about Venmo, Stripe, Apple pay and other digital payment solutions and a once seemingly far-reaching concept called cryptocurrency, now being embraced by the mainstream. The landscape of how currency is being exchanged is evolving right before our eyes and will have a lasting impact on how we plan and execute events. The key here is to learn about these types of technology by experimenting with some of these new modes of payment and to stay in the conversation with other early adopters via reputable Facebook groups, blogs etc. Expect to see these new modes of payment integrated in our day-to-day planning and influencing how we think about paying for services, pricing (less fees please!), transaction speed, digital security etc.
From the dynamic possibilities with aerial event videos & photos, to the promise of Amazon drone deliveries – drones are here to stay. And the thing you’re really going to want to pay attention to with drones in 2018 is the law. The FCC and other entities are scrambling to make sure your drones are registered and that you’re properly trained to operate them. If you’re hiring drones at your next event, make sure the operators are up-to-speed on the regulatory requirements. Oh – and make sure they are properly insured!
My 3 minutes are up, but JOIN US AT TECHSYTALK LIVE 10: THE GRAND FINALE as we dive deeper into these and other event tech trends to anticipate NOW.
If you’re anything like us, you’re always on the go – balancing clients with domestic and international travel. You’d like to stay on top of the business side of things, but it’s a challenge.
We get it.
But if one of your goals was getting on top of your business in 2018, here are 3 business apps that we absolutely depend to operate more efficiently.
If you spend WAY too much of your time writing proposals, this online tool will save you TONS of time, make you look more professional and even handles the signing/payment process for your contracts. I love how easy it is to customize proposals from templates we create that reflect our brand look and feel. We can drag in sections of a contract or line items in a budget and deliver the proposal at record speed. We also love the analytics so we can see how much time they spent looking at each part of the proposal!
For those of you driving all over, this app is priceless. It uses location tracking on your phone to track all of your drives – including your starting location and mileage. Then – you simply login and swipe right for business travel and left for personal. Each month, it’ll deliver a report that can easily be imported into Quickbooks or any accounting software and you’ve got your eye on your mileage reimbursements with very little time or effort!
Finally, this app is one we use all. the. time. Whether you’re tracking reimbursable expenses for your client or for your annual accounting, this app makes tracking expenses on the go seamless. Take a pic of your receipt, track it, and then run any reports you need, any time!
Revolution is in the Air – A New Way of Sculpting Negative Space: The Originators Launch Atmospherics
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michelle Bergstein
New York, NY, April 12, 2017 – The Originators, highly regarded pop-up experience designers, have seized upon the current zeitgeist and are reflecting this general state of change and flux by launching a revolutionary new décor concept – Atmospherics – that introduces an exciting new approach to incorporating negative space in unexpected ways.
Using different fabrics and rigging methods to create a totally immersive environment – be it an entry element like a tunnel, a ceiling treatment, stage backdrop or lounge – Atmospherics are heralding a new design aesthetic that is just now capturing producer’s imaginations.
Originators’ co-founder and chief creative, Debra Roth, devised the concept of using new technologies to create more organic shapes and complex forms that sculpt space like they never could before: “3-D design is showing us points of view we’ve never had. Now we’re interpreting the unique shapes of computer-driven parametric designs with an array of fabrics to create visually complex, artistically-driven décor design that’s ultimately relatively simple and highly impactful.”
Marc Posnock, co-founder and head of sales and marketing, points out, “Like any artistic expression that reflects its time, the Originators are shaking it up, doing our own disruption. Atmospherics echo ‘something’s in the air,’ literally, but that it’s new and different.” Quickly adding, “In a good way.”
This is hardly a radical departure from tradition for the Originators. As their name implies, the Originators have always led by example with out-of-the-box thinking. And now they’re embracing change with new and different styles of décor and its usage.
The concept behind Atmospherics is to take the repetition of form (in this case, individual fabric panels, called “Wisps”) and create the illusion – a “trick of the eye” – that, when viewed with the negative space it shares, appears to be a solid object. It’s the repetition of the Wisps, with each one being gradually different than another, that creates the rhythm and form of the Atmosphere. This perception operates on the same persistence-of-vision principal of motion pictures and gives the overall shape an animated visual effect and a one-of-a-kind impact.
From undulating ceiling designs to twisting-turning tunnels and cloud-like lounge areas, Atmospherics play with the dimensions of space and perception. Debra explains, “What I love about it is that your eye fills in the negative space to make it a volumetric form. And that negative space surrounds our shapes and gives it definition.” And Marc points out the emotional connection, “We’re creating a spatial optical illusion and your brain is in on the conspiracy. It completes the 3d form and leaves you no choice but to interact.”
Debra adds, “It’s an interpretation of a live Hologram…the positive and negative compete…and you have to experience it to feel the full effect. The sheerness of multi-layer opacities create intrigue. And who doesn’t like a little mystery?”
The Originators are a design and fabric structure boutique whose creative niche as experience makers of pop-up environments, 3-D design, fabric décor installations and live special effects for events, exhibits, and permanent display. Its founders, Debra Roth and Marc Posnock, are the two people most responsible for originating the use of fabric structures in the events industry over 25 years ago. Now they’re offering the same innovative spirit, creativity and ingenuity they’re known for to explore new dimensions.
23rd January 2017
For immediate release
A new collaboration of best-in-craft event tech suppliers has been launched to make life easier for event planners and marketers, and to help make their events more awesome.
The Event Tech Tribe is a collaborative ensemble of businesses that have chosen to work together technically, but more importantly, to co-ordinate at a client level. The Tribe includes mobile app provider ShowGizmo, registration platform Swoogo, onsite specialists TRC, content management system Hubb and audience engagement platform Glisser and is currently focussed on North American, European and Australasian customers.
ShowGizmo CEO, Marie-Claire Andrews says “The raw potential of event technology has created an explosion of new companies and innovative products. But, this placed the burden of supplier co-ordination and integration of technologies on already overworked event planners. We aim to solve that – making life easier – saving time as well as money.”
In defiance of the alternative ‘vanilla’ options presented by enterprise solutions, the Tribe has built a way of working that puts the customer first. Based on a fundamental belief held by all the members – that each piece of the event technology ecosystem needs to be excellent on its own, and that the best companies focus on doing their bit really, really well – the group will offer all the advantages of an end-to-end experience by taking each of those components and blending them at the edges to create compatible functionality.
Founder and CEO of Swoogo, Leonora Valvo, was the pioneer of the concept and confirms that “The Tribe ensures service, technology and data are all connected in a flexible way to make your events world-class.” “Data is at the heart of what we all do: technology is just a means to help you create truly ‘intelligent events’ – measurable, repeatable, scalable and evolutionary.
TRC founder and Chief Executive, Greg Lazzaro is excited about the potential the partnership has for his customers: “Ultimately, this is about excellent events. Building these strong relationships with key partners means we can continue to offer innovation after
innovation” He adds, “And the best bit is we’re flexible, we’re independent, and we’re complementary. We can help whether you need to work with two of us or all of us”
The Tribe is launching with a webinar on 25th January and presentations from Tribe members around the country, with a roadshow scheduled for March/April.
For further information:
The Event Tech Tribe: https://eventtechtribe.swoogo.com/tribe2017
Marie-Claire Andrews, ShowGizmo CEO
email@example.com Mob: +64 21 814 224
14th December 2016
For Immediate Release
One of Australasia’s longest standing event app companies, ShowGizmo is announcing a new focus on Associations for 2017.
Since launching one of the world’s first event apps in 2010, ShowGizmo has now powered thousands of events throughout the world with their suite of native whitelabel and owned event apps. “We’ve served clients from all industries and sectors over the years, as event people as well as mobile specialists. Helping to create awesome events has always been a huge driving force for us,” said CEO and Co- Founder, Marie-Claire Andrews. The company was recently named one of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 in the APAC region.
“Our experience with Associations in Australasia and the USA have consistently been positive, we really love the collaborations that Associations foster, and we want to continue to help make that a possibility for these vital organisations by ensuring their requirements are front and centre for our product development,” said Marie-Claire.
In a nod of more to come, ShowGizmo has confirmed 2017 partnerships with two of Australasia’s leading Association industry bodies: The Australasian Society for Association Executives and Associations Forum. Both will be utilising ShowGizmo’s technology as a year-round platform to digitise the way they communicate with their members.
“Face to face events are still our core business, and we’re going to continue supporting them as always, but we want to help Associations and other organisations leverage the possibilities that year-round mobile interactions offer. Our partnerships with AuSAE and Associations Forum is a sign of great things to come!” explained ShowGizmo’s COO, Ryan O’Connor.
David Browne, Executive Officer of the Professional Teachers’ Council (PTC) NSW is looking forward to showcasing his 45 member associations a digital platform throughout 2017, “I’m excited to offer the platform and I’m confident of great adoption, not only because of the opportunities to cross promote events, but because our app will also be an attractive tool for our associations to attract sponsorship.”
Marketing Executive at ShowGizmo