The beat goes on

The stage is set. The lights are spectacular. And the sound? Just phenomenal. But then the mic cuts out, the projector turns black and the computer freezes…

So, who you gonna call? They may not be ghost busters, but they’re certainly our saviours when technology fails us. The unassuming, behind-the-scenes role that the conference tech teams play is one of the most important of the whole event. Without AV, videography, photography and multimedia, the event would be, well, nothing.

EPH Productions is a dynamic technical events production company. “We can offer you everything you may need under one roof, from a baby projector for a boardroom meeting all the way to setting up a stadium concert for an international band,” says Leon Pheiffer from EPH Productions. With decades of experience in the industry, EPH Productions has provided its services to a number of record-breaking events such as the RMB International Conference (for 15 years running), the past four Harley Davidson Africa Bike Week events, FNB Starlight Pops Opera and the Johnson & Johnson International Conference.

“We offer both indoor and outdoor stages, outdoor roof structures, daylight screens and LED screens, sound, lighting, audio-visual, generators, drawings and designs, technical crew and a whole lot of imagination,” explains Pheiffer. “With the economy the way it is at the moment, it’s our mission to provide our clients with extremely good service at great prices.”

TechRig is a creative technical solutions agency. It specialises in lighting, AV, audio, structures, rigging, design and sets for all kinds of events, including conferences, gala dinners, business meetings, TV shows, launches and all outdoor functions.

TechRig has acknowledged that keeping up to date with the latest technology trends is vital if you are to stay on top of your game in this industry. Two of the latest elements the company has pinpointed are:

  • AV – video mapping, HD, 3D projection and holography
  • Lighting – going green and saving power by utilising LED lights.

AVL Africa is one of the few AV companies that runs its own in-house staging and set design departments. “With more than 180 stage blocks on site, including circular stages, we can raise your event to a new level. Safety is one of the most overlooked factors when building a stage,” adds AVL Africa’s MD, Tyron Davis.

“We provide a full turnkey solution,” says Davis. “To accompany our technical service, we provide our clients set design drawn in ‘Grand MA 3D’ to illustrate what their event will look like before setup.”

“Many AV companies out there will tell you they’ll happily hire in a DJ for your event, but the truth is you never know who you’re going to get. That’s why we have our own DJs who get in-house training. This eliminates the guess work when the party starts and you can be assured the music will run smoothly,” Davis explains.

Towards the end of last year, IML Worldwide conducted a global survey. The questionnaire asked over 300 event companies and event stakeholders worldwide the following questions:

  • What are the key trends in the use of technology to harvest audience response and interaction globally and in local markets?
  • How is the event industry adapting to accommodate the role of interactive event technology?
  • What value do event owners place on the gathering of data and information at events and meetings?
  • What key features do event owners value most from interactive event technology?

“Over recent years, our industry has evolved as technology advances and philosophies on shared intelligence develop. IML Worldwide’s global reach and 20 years’ experience means we have a unique perspective on these changes, many of which we’ve led or significantly contributed to,” explains Richard Fisher, CEO pf IML Worldwide.

He continues: “We’re always interested in listening to our clients and industry colleagues to understand their perspectives about the direction of our industry and gaining more insight about what’s important to them. It’s this ethos that led to the commissioning of the survey. One thing is clear: our industry continues to change at pace along with the opportunities represented by the new technologies available within it. This is a major opportunity coming at a time when ‘return on investment’ is becoming a prerequisite.”

Here are some of the survey findings:

  • Data gathering from delegates at events and conferences is important for event stakeholders (over 90% agree).
  • 60% believe that interactive event technology has made a major difference to events in the past five years.
  • 75% believe that interactive event technology will become either much more, or one of, the most important components of events in the future.
  • There are two main ways in which event stakeholders believe interactive event technology will become more important in the future: increasing audience engagement (56%) and facilitating data and insight gathering (20%).
  • While cost is a factor when selecting interactive event technology, it’s not the main one. More stakeholders are concerned with ease of use (41%), functionality (22%), and reliability and stability (20%).Return on investment is an important factor for 90% of survey respondents.
  • 95% believe specialist advice is important and 95% believe interactive event technology is important in terms of maximising an event’s overall success.
  • Nearly 90% believe they could do more to maximise the insight they gather via technology at events. An important statistic considering 95% also believe that the insight gathered at events is imperative in driving business decisions and strategy.