Using AV to Enhance Your Event

When I think of the perfect event, it’s filled with all the things.

Swanky lighting, good music, and an impactful message.

Have you ever been to an event where the lighting and sound were a total hot mess and all you could do is cringe and silently scream “get it together?”

It’s painful.

Luckily, that won’t be your event because you realize that fine-tuning your AV is key to having a show that is memorable for the right reasons.

But AV is always changing and the old standbys aren’t going to cut it anymore.

You need to leverage all the wow factors that AV can provide and let it reveal your show’s unique identity – lose that and you’ll be just like everyone else.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can use AV to enhance your event.

For the Eyes

Display technology is all about breathing life into once static imagery.

When I’m at a conference or show, nothing gets my heart jumping like a well-done video presentation. It gets me fired up and ready to take action.

Just imagine the kind of movement you can get from your audience by tapping into that.

To get you started I have created a list of my favorite go-to visual displays just for you…

Stage Presence

I always recruit the best speakers but sometimes the stage itself can be a bit dull which is why I like to have display screens that bring up facts and information on the keynote speaker while audience members are waiting.  It’s a good way for attendees to get to know the speaker and preps them for what’s to come.

Good stage lighting is often overlooked which is a shame because it really sets the mood and gets attendees psyched up. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors – just keep in mind that it should reflect the tone of the speaker’s message.

Pro-tip:  Have something that you don’t like about your venue, like an unsightly pole? Use lighting to your advantage by taking the focus off the area you wish to hide by highlighting a new focal area nearby.


Ah, the beloved Gobo.

If you don’t know what a gobo is, think back to the last wedding you were at -do you recall seeing an image of the words Mr. & Mrs. fill-in-the-blank on the dance floor?

That image was created by a Gobo, which is composed of a customized template made of steel or glass that is placed in front of a light to project an image onto a background, such as a wall or a floor.

What’s great about this simple technology is that it provides interest when you don’t want something distracting. For example, a GOBO would be great for splashing a logo on the backdrop of the stage when you want brand recognition during a speaker’s keynote without detracting from the message.

Social Walls

A social wall is the hub of all the great live social feedback and interaction that happens during an event. They are one of the best ways to boost social interaction at your events and they are so captivating that I wrote a blog post all about them – you can peruse it.

For the Ears

Sound quality is very important.  Muddled sound becomes muddled messaging and diminishes the significance of what is trying to be conveyed.

In other words, why bother?

That’s why it’s so important to give audio the attention it deserves.  Don’t skimp on quality mics and always do sound checks before keynote talks and music. Having an experienced audio technician is critical to have a sound that is clear and uniform.

It’s an investment you won’t regret.

For the Mood

When you are planning any gathering, setting the mood is critical for creating an inviting space which means thinking about lighting and what tone you want to convey.

Warm, amber hues might make people feel cozy and relaxed, while cool hues like blues and pinks might get people ready to party.

You should also consider the time of day when you are coming up with your lighting scheme.  For instance, you may want to use brighter lighting in the a.m to keep people motivated, while in the evening you might want to set the mood with more color to make the night feel extra special.

The entrance is one of my favorite areas to jazz up with light because it makes the statement that we are here to brighten your day. Side note: since your GSC might not have bigger lights in stock, make sure you give him plenty of time to special order them.

Pro-tip: don’t wait until the last minute to think about what tone you want to set because it might be too little too late. Think about it during the initial planning stages. Sometimes just knowing what mood you want to set for your show can help you make other decisions more easily.

For the Attendees

Now that you have read this far, I want to share with you one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given: never forget that you are doing this for your audience.

A good presentation isn’t for kudos and for showing off. It’s for the attendees that make your show possible.

When you’re intentional, everything else falls into place.

AV just happens to be a good place to start.