EVENT SOLUTION - EVENT TYPE

From general sessions to breakout sessions and social functions,
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Breakout Audio Visual will simplify your planning, solidify your AV operations, and save you time, money, and stress. Our team of experienced audio visual technicians are professional and reliable, so you can focus on the other areas of your event.

With over 40 years of combined experience, Kurt Dommers & the team provide unparalleled quality in service and reliability. To ensure success, Breakout AV provides state-of-the-art equipment, knowledgeable and accomplished technicians, and a trained staff of AV professionals that you can trust to meet your needs.

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Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers for general sessions are often the centerpiece of your event and require specialized attention to make sure everything runs smoothly. Depending on the size of your event and the shape of your presentation hall, general sessions can be extremely simple – a sound system with microphone – or they can be significantly more complex – multiple projectors, multiple video sources, specialized lighting, highly upgraded sound, staging sets, and more.

Furthermore, the content of the presentation will also influence the technology. Presentations that are text or data heavy require a different type of projector and screen than presentations that are more focused on multimedia elements. Breakout Audio Visual has experience working with industry conferences, armed forces, medical associations, Fortune 100’s, and everything in-between, so we have learned a there is one common goal: showcase the presenter while engaging the audience and decreasing stress for the event organizer.

Lastly, it is important to note that keynote presenters often prefer a wireless lavalier microphone (the one that hooks on to your shirt lapel) in addition to having a podium with microphone available. Presenters also often request a wireless slide advancer “clicker” and be prepared to hear that the stage lighting is too bright (though that is necessary for the audience to see the speaker clearly).

Key AV elements to a general session include:

  • – Podium microphones
    – Table microphones
    (for a panel discussion)
    – Aisle microphones
    (for audience interaction)
    – Wireless lavalier microphones
    – Seamless switchers
  • – Digital or analog sound system
    – Presentation laptops
    – Screens and projectors
    – Confidence monitors
    (shows speaker the next slide)
    – Signal distribution equipment
    (such as splitters and amplifiers)

Panel Discussion

A panel discussion typically consists of 3 or more speakers sitting behind a table at the front of the room, sometimes with a moderator and sometimes without. Panel discussions may include visual elements, such as projecting slides or a movie on a screen, or it can be exclusively focused on audio with microphones and speakers.

One of the most significant variables in a panel discussion is the volume and sound quality of the speakers – our team calls this “presenter voice” vs “panel discussion voice”. For example, one common scenario is a session with several presentations followed by a Q&A discussion in a panel format. For whatever reason, presenters often use a stronger, louder voice while presenting and then drop to a more timid, softer voice when speaking in a panel discussion. In addition, vocal characteristics vary between the presenters on stage: some voices are naturally harder to hear and other project and carry well in any space. Additionally, panelists often sit back and move forward in their chairs, thereby getting further and closer to the mic, and change the default volume. With these variables in mind, it is important to understand why panel discussion often have poor sound quality and how to solve these challenges.

At Breakout Audio Visual, to address the challenges of panel discussions we have recently started implementing a proprietary system called Spectrapulse Wireless Boundary Microphones. We have found that the capabilities of Spectrapulse mics are greater at picking up the varying levels of panelist communications and they are virtually interference free and secure. To be clear, the increased quality of Spectrapulse mic systems often commands a higher cost but the significant improvement in the panelist and audience experience is well worth the difference in price.

Breakout Sessions

Many conferences incorporate a meeting format with breakout sessions or concurrent sessions. Breakout sessions often complement general sessions whereby the large group will attend the general session keynote speaker and then “break out” into smaller sessions for more specialized learning and discussions. Concurrent sessions are similar to breakout sessions except that they sometimes replace general sessions. For example, an NFL football team may organize concurrent sessions with one session being for the offense, one session being for the defense, and the third session being for the special teams.

In our 30+ years of combined experience, we have identified the most common audio visual set up for breakout rooms and we call it the “meat and potatoes” set. This refers to an effective (and cost effective) set that includes a projector, screen, microphone, mixer, and sound system. Additional commonly requested items include a laser pointer, wireless clicker/slide advancer, wireless microphones, table microphones, and audience microphones.

Concurrent session audio visual needs are often similar to that of a breakout room but often with a bit more “dressing up.” Concurrent sessions are more likely to include AV upgrades such as pipe and drape, fast fold screens, accent lighting, signal switching, and more. Concurrent sessions are essentially concurrent “keynote speaker general sessions.”

Breakout Audio Visual is very experienced in supporting conferences ranging anywhere from 0 to 30 or more breakout sessions.

Social Functions

Most meetings, conferences, and corporate events, especially those that last for more than one day, include some sort of networking social function. In our 30+ years of combined experienced, our expert technicians have found that the most common social functions are meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), receptions, and fundraisers. Social functions can be a bit more challenging than traditional keynote speaker general sessions or breakout sessions because they include coordinating between venue setup, audio visual, decoration, and entertainment.

The key to success with social events is to understand all of the moving parts, to plan ahead, and to connect the relevant individuals to coordinate ahead of schedule. You may need screens and projectors for a multimedia presentation, wireless microphones for speeches or toasts, or beautiful lighting and decorations to transform the look and feel of the room. Also, social functions often require more time to set up and more on-site adaptations in order to fit everything together to be effective and functional.

Social functions are usually a part of the event that stands out in attendees’ minds, so make sure to work with audio visual experts that you can trust to get the job done right. Contact us today and let Breakout Audio Visual turn your big event into your best event.

Training Sessions

Training sessions are smaller groups that are specifically focused on skill or knowledge acquisition. In our 30+ years of combined experience, Breakout Audio Visual has run the gamut for training session setups and each setup is very unique depending the format and scope of the training. For example, a training session could be set up like a lecture or it can be set up as a hands-on lab. Participants may be seated in rounds of 8 seats or in crescent rounds of 5 seats to a table. Some training sessions have power and internet access for all attendees while others prefer to stay analog with flip charts and markers. Some sessions are only live while others are recorded or tele-cast around the world.

The most important thing to keep in mind with training sessions is how the instructor wants their participants to interact. That key point will dictate how a qualified audio visual technician would organize the room and all of the technology to make a seamless and enjoyable educational experience.

Trade Shows

Conventions and trade shows are often significantly larger and more complex than traditional corporate events because of the extra element of the exhibit hall. In addition to the typical considerations around keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and social functions, convention and trade show organizers also have to coordinate all of the audio visual needs for their exhibitor booths.

Breakout Audio Visual has extensive experience working with convention organizers as well as with vendors or exhibitors and their booths. In 30+ years of combined experience, our team of expert technicians has done every conceivable permutation of audio visual setup for booths including simple things such as interactive computers, monitors, iPads, and small speakers to more involved booths including projectors, screens, full sound systems, and lighting trusses. We custom tailor every package to the needs of the individual and we always create the most bang for your buck based on your needs and your budget.

Most importantly, Breakout Audio Visual can arrange special rates for you and your vendors as well as allocate a portion of the vendor sales as a revenue share or as you see fit.

Outdoor Events

Outdoor events are naturally enticing, especially in parts of the country and during the times of the year when there is great outdoor weather, but holding your event outdoors poses a series a unique risks and considerations.

A key consideration for outdoor events is electrical power. How are you going to be providing power for your event? Do you have access to enough wall plugs or will you need to run a generator? If all your plugs are on one circuit, or if you are running off a generator, do you have enough amperage to run all of your electrical needs or will you be constantly popping a fuse? Make sure to identify your electrical needs up front and keep this critical component in mind throughout the planning process.

Weather is another crucial component and it’s especially challenging because sometimes it can be hard to predict. Unless your event is held in a tent that is protected from rain or extreme sun, we always recommend having a Plan B option in case the outside weather conditions prove unmanageable.

Finally, here are some more subtle considerations that we have unearthed in our 30+ years of combined experience:
1. Keeping water and moisture away from AV equipment. This becomes especially important if your event is held on grass in the morning when it is still damp with dew.
2. The ability (or inability) to control the amount of ambient light for projected images. If you’re trying to project outdoors in the middle of the day, it may be hard for participants to see the images on the screen.
3. The effect of disruptive wind noise for microphones. Certain microphone shields are better than others outdoors, so make sure to let your AV team know ahead of time if you are planning something outdoors.
4. The challenge of securing outdoor screens in windy settings. This often can be overcome with sandbags and other specialized gear, but it’s important to know that and plan for it when organizing the equipment list.