Go wide: Wide-screen presentations create engaging events

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Technical specialist Joanna Moor of VisionEvents shares tips for using wide screens effectively at special events

One of the biggest challenges for any conference organizer is to ensure you meet your return on investment (ROI). There are many varied activities and event musts that will assist in achieving this result; however, one major factor is to nail down how best to display those key messages.

Although you may not have control over the actual content in the presentation (if you have external keynote speakers, or senior management-level speakers creating their own), you can certainly make sure that the surface on which the content is displayed is creative and engaging, which will ultimately enhance your delegates’ experience.

There are many options for conference screen set-ups and stage designs, one of which incorporates a wide screen within the event stage design--a particular favorite of mine!

Put simply, this is a huge screen, as you may have expected, and is flexible to fit any venue (ceiling heights/internal architecture restrictions) and suit any conference design, as the screens are often custom-made. We have put wide screens in the smallest of venues, even in between venue columns--which really added to the overall aesthetics of the set as we intentionally include the columns as part of the onscreen graphic design!

Using a wide screen opens up a world of possibilities to display video, various presentation formats (keynote, PowerPoint, etc.), live camera footage and event graphics at the same time, as the screen can be split up into "picture in picture" boxes, allowing all the conference media to run together side-by-side.

Your graphics team will be able to create this by producing a background slide complete with subtle animations based on the event branding (colors, logos, graphics, etc.), onto which boxes can be programmed to display the content you want in each box. These can be used for live camera close-ups of the keynote speaker at the lectern, wide shots of panel members, PowerPoint/keynote presentations and video.

As the screen is—literally--wide, the information isn't crammed onto the surface, making it illegible. Rather, it is displayed in a flowing way so the delegates’ eyes have a visual feast of information, creating a fantastic impression and an engaging event.

Not only a must for conference production, the wide-screen format is being used more and more for awards ceremonies for maximum finalist exposure, and I believe it’s the best way to keep your guests eyes on your show content and off their Twitter feeds!

Joanna Moor has been event production industry for more than 13 years and is currently at VisionEvents, a U.K.-based event production company specializing in award, conference and custom event production with a focus on utilizing the most up-to-date audio-visual technology.

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