How to Deliver
The Best Conference Production?
What Do you Need for the Best Conference Production?
There are 10 core factors to creating the most engaging, talked about and professional conference production.
- Professional technical production for smooth operation
- Venue, location and accessibility
- Communication and translation
- Speaker support and accessories
- Filming and recording
- Stage design
- Branding, consistency and lighting design
Professional technical production
At the top of our list for delivering the ‘best conference production’ is the technical event services. It’s for good reason too; professional technical production will ensure your conference runs smoothly and on time.
During a live conference, there isn’t room for presentation glitches, sound checks or slow loading screens. Any technical issues will distract the speaker and the audience.
For the best conference production, you need a smooth technical operation. Choose a company that is reliable and has a great reputation.
Here at TPP, we are no strangers to delivering expert technical production. Many of our clients use us to deliver their conferences worldwide because they know we don’t leave a stone unturned when it comes to planning, specifying, installing and professionally producing their conferences.
This level of planning is not just noticeable by our clients, but by the audience themselves. Take for example, the quote below.
Not a Plant!
During the final remarks of the Causal AI conference at the Bike Shed in Shoreditch, London, one audience member recognised the importance of smooth technical production.
“This is the first conference I have ever been at where there was not a single glitch…”
Needless to say, the remarks were much appreciated by the TPP team and caused a teeter of laughter among the audience. We must stress, this was not a plant!
Venue, Location and Accessibility
The venue, its location and accessibility have a huge impact on those that attend your conference. The best conference production takes into account how easy the venue is to get to, the sustainability of the overall location and the amenities.
Here’s a few things to check off when selecting a venue for your conference production…
Where is your audience travelling from?
If your audience is coming from overseas, you need a venue with great accessibility. City venues with reliable public transport are best.
In the UK, London is a natural resource for centrally located venues with access to several London airports and the Eurostar. However, Manchester, Cardiff, Newcastle and Liverpool too offer good public transport.
Do you need accommodation or entertainment?
Depending on the nature of your conference, you may need to offer your guests accommodation, a place to dine or some sort of site seeing.
For such events, a hotel with conferencing facilities and good access to local landmarks will ensure you offer a great all-round experience.
Will the venue meet your conference production needs?
The venue you choose for your conference will not only impact on the audiences’s overall experience, it can have a big impact on the technical specification too. For example, a venue with limited access points, power supply, network or ceiling height will alter the layout and equipment needed to create your event’s set, stage and lighting design.
Top Priority – Arrange a site survey with the technical team!
Our advice is to involve the technical production company from the beginning of the planning process. They will advise on the specification for the venue that will match your desired look and performance for the event.
There are many reasons for involving your technical team early on. One of the biggest is a review of the venue’s access and services. If you can’t load in at the required time, or a piece of equipment won’t fit through the access route, this can delay the installation, and can add unexpected costs.
The tech team will need to carry out a full site survey to understand the power supply and rigging points. They can then identify and deliver any temporary solutions as necessary.
Space planning is also a major consideration when undertaking a site survey. A technical production manager will scale the set, stage and lighting rig to the floor plan. They will also plot a technical hub within the floor plan, which is usually a corner of the room, on a balcony, or behind the set.
Having a technical production company on board early in the planning stages will ultimately save you a lot of time and prevent any unforeseen problems/costs.
Communication and Translation
For an audience to truly engage in your conference, you need to ensure everyone clearly understands the content.
Having reliable and high-quality audio visual equipment is fundamental to communicating your core messages. A professional audio system, mixed by an engineer will ensure the sound is consistent and clear.
In terms of PA systems for your speakers, there are several options to suit their presenting style. For example, a lapel mic or lectern-mounted mic frees up the hands for a professional presentation that may require hand gestures, or a demonstration. While presenters that use a handheld mic have less formal/relaxed/comedic presentation style.
As well as sounding on point, you need to ensure that all of the languages within the room can understand. For a multilingual conference, there are usually translators for each language.
From the technical side, we provide sound-proof translation booths for interpreters. In each booth we install a mic and headset, which the interpreter uses to listen to the conference and relay the information to the audience member’s headset via a transmitter.
Speaker Support and Accessories
We mentioned previously about the mic preferences for different presentation styles, but there is other equipment that can support presenters depending on their style.
Comfort monitors for example, can be mounted on the floor in front of the stage to act as a prompt for the speaker. These small screens face the presenter and mirror the screen that the audience can see. As a result, the speaker can remain facing the audience at all times, while have a clear view of the presentation.
Spot On annotation is another speaker aid, used to highlight parts of a presentation during a conference. Think of it as a replacement to the laser pen. The Spot-On software works via a tablet – usually mounted on a lectern. The presenter can highlight, circle, underline and draw on the presentation on the live stage and it will appear instantly on the main screen.
This is particularly useful during the Q&A stages of the conference, as the presenter can refer back to certain slides to answer questions and pinpoint key information to answer the question.
Ensuring the presenters stick to their allotted times, allowing lots of breaks and starting/ending on time are all critical to delivering the best conference production.
To support the timing process, we recommend displaying a countdown on the speaker’s comfort monitor as they near the end of each presentation. This informs them how much time is left and how long to allows for audience questions.
The best conference production ensures all audience members are engaged and have a good view of the information on offer.
It’s fair to say that the seating layout will have a lot to do with the audience’s view of the stage. Most venues will give you an idea of the best seating arrangement for your guest numbers, but it’s up to you what works for your conference format.
Typically, the most common conference seating arrangements include:
As well as the seating, we optimise the audience’s visibility at a conference by ensuring:
- The stage height is suitable for the number of people in the audience and seating arrangement.
- The screen on stage is large enough to be seen at the back of the room.
- Additional screens are positioned at midway points throughout the room to give the audience at the back a detailed view of the content.
- Handheld tablets are available to the audience for gamification or audience participation during the event.
Filming and Recording
For the best conference production, you need to allow for filming, streaming and recording your event.
A virtual element within your event production allows you to reach a wider online audience beyond the live event.
There are many virtual streaming platforms available to suit your needs.
If your event is not for the public domain, you can choose a secure platform that streams the event live online, with breakout sessions and audience participation. This is is ideal for virtual training events and industry conferences.
If your event content is designed to benefit a broad audience, you can record it for later viewing. YouTube is the typically chosen platform for recorded conferences, as it allows easy sharing, analytics, and integration options.
You can find out more about filming and recording your conference in our Guide to Producing a Virtual Event
Professional set and stage design is a MUST for achieving the best conference production.
In a practical sense, you need the set and stage to:
- Accommodate all the speaker and the panel.
- Be an adequate height for audience members to see at the back of the room.
- Be lit suitably.
- Feature screens for presentations, messages, branding, videos etc.
- Include a PA system.
- Accommodate furniture, a lectern, and any display items
From a visual perspective, the stage is the centrepiece. So it needs to dominate the focus. Dynamic lighting is essential to drawing the audience’s attention, define pivotal moments, set a mood, highlight specific people or objects.
Branding, Consistency & Lighting Design
An immersive brand experience will set your conference production apart from the rest. But don’t be mistaken, there’s more to branding your conference than applying set graphics or handing out some flyers. It’s about setting a tone. You need to ask yourself:
- How do you want your audience to feel about your brand?
- How will you engage them in your content? Really engage them?
- How creative can you be to get your messages across?
- Are there specific sounds, music, shapes, colours or videos that represent you brand messages?
We support clients worldwide with recreating events that are consistent with the branding. It’s important that your conference looks and feels the same no matter where the audience is.
The best means of maintaining consistency at multiple conferences is through using lighting design. The set and stage may differ from venue to venue, as access and floorspace will vary, but lighting design can remain consistent.
Your conference lighting design and specification can be creative and dynamic. Both set lighting and room lighting can create a unique experience to match your brand hues, company culture and values.
Through lighting design, we can create suspense ahead of a big reveal, or as an individual enters the stage. Moving lights can be programmed to music and sounds. While colour wash lighting can transform any conference room.
For virtual events, we install broadcast lighting to ensure skin tones and colours of objects are rendered accurately on camera.
The options for creative lighting design are endless. But ultimately, the right design will become the benchmark look for all of your conferences.
Having a reliable, professional and experienced technical crew is critical to delivering the best conference production. You can have high quality kit, you can plan, you can have creative content and an amazing set design, but it is people that make the event happen and happen well!
For the best production, you need professional engineers for:
- Audio and sound mixing
- Lighting design and programming
- Filming, streaming and editing
- PowerPoint and video playback
- Rigging and installation
How Can TPP Help Deliver the Best Conference Production?
For genuine support with achieving the best conference production, please get in touch. The Production People have been delivering conferences for large corporate events worldwide for over two decades.