You do the research to find a good stage act- ask industry professionals, read websites, watch demo reels and write 300 back-and-forth emails to said talent. Then you coordinate, book travel, reserve rooms, find out if they like turkey, ham or despise meat for philosophical reasons, and plan a full agenda. Bragging to friends, selling tickets and inviting sponsors to grab the closest seat by the stage. The moment comes when all of your hard work takes the stage- in the dark with a crackling microphone- and we all have to ask “What’s the point?”
Put an act onstage that can’t be seen or heard, and what is the point of all of that work you completed? You have a room of bored attendees who tuned out as soon as they realized the speaker was barely visible three rows from the stage. You have a presenter who is frustrated that their life’s work cannot be shared properly. And a list of sponsors, who walk away with their money in hand but no take-aways from the presentation. In hindsight, going with the lowest cost provider who helped “save money in unnecessary areas” negated crucial elements in other areas.
So, what are the best ways to ensure your hard work is illuminated for the crowd? Here are three ways to shed the best light on you, and your presenters:
1. Stage Wash- A few lights highlighting your stage in the right places will ensure the presenter can be seen from the back row as well as the front. Facial expressions, hand gestures and even a smile are practiced elements of a “show” that your presenter takes seriously, as it all plays into their message. 90% of information that comes into the brain is visual, and if your audience members are not able to see, you will leave them asking “What’s the point?” in reference to attending your conference next year.
2. Microphone compliment- Bad microphone elements, untrained staff and closed-circuit house sound all lead to a fork in the road pointing to: ear-grabbing “Ahh!!” or “what? did you hear what they said?” Determining your direction from this point in the program is not fun. Working with professionals who use quality equipment is the easiest way to ensure the message from the stage is heard, LOUD and CLEAR, by everyone in the room.
3. Video Inputs and Switchers- Let’s go back to #1 for a moment- 90% of information that comes to the brain is visual. Properly setting up your videos, powerpoints and photos are crucial for message delivery. Heart strings tugged at fundraisers or laughs, participation and engagement at conferences- whatever your goal is for your event, enabling content to play properly can make the difference between success and disengagement.