Ours is an industry of constant change and evolution. As new technologies and practices emerge the need for continued education becomes more important. So every year members of the Toronto meetings and event community gather together at the MPI Toronto Chapter’s TEC (Toronto Education Conference) event, the associations annual education conference, to come together and learn from each other, experience new and emerging technologies, and gather credits towards their industry designations. The three-day event includes keynote presentations focused on giving attendees a big picture view of the industry, networking sessions to meet new peers and reconnect with familiar faces and most importantly breakout sessions where accredited presentations keep attendees up to date with the newest tools, technologies and practices of the events industry.
This past May, more than 100 industry professionals gathered in Niagara Falls to attend the TEC and were treated to a level of staging the event had never experienced before. To accomplish this, a team of Account Mangers, Solutions Specialists, National Directors, and Technicians from FMAV gathered together to not only design a AV plan that could meet the varied requirements of the presenters and showcase some of the newest and most popular staging technologies, but also to design and present two accredited breakout sessions.
Our consultation process began with conversations with the MPITO organizing committee, a group of dedicated volunteers who had been working for almost a year to create the event’s theme, select its speakers, and design its objectives – plus the hundreds of other logistical pieces that go into planning such an event . Before any technical solutions could be proposed, the FMAV team sought to have a complete understanding of all of these elements to ensure the technical production truly reflected the conference. These conversations confirmed the event’s key objective (educate membership on basic AV and Event Technologies) and how FMAV would help achieve it.
The FMAV team then set about designing two breakout sessions for the conference, one that would serve as an introduction to AV technology and how to understand the proposals a planner might receive. The second session was designed to help planners understand new technologies and when they should be adopted. To ensure that the presentations resonated with as many learning styles as possible, both sessions would be led by members of the FMAV team in the traditional lecture style, while giving participants an opportunity for a hands-on experience with the presented technologies.
“AV 101: Hands-on AV” was the session designed to help planners and other industry attendees better understand the equipment used at their events and was hosted by Dan Wilson (Account Manager), Vincenzo DeCicco (Visuals Technician), and Markie Schofield (Lighting Technician). Participants broke into two groups where each set up a slightly different configuration of the equipment used in a standard breakout room. By giving the session participants an opportunity to use the equipment while covering topics such as aspect ratio, throw distances, equalizing a room, and speaker placement we were able to demonstrate and foster a better understanding of these topics than by simply showing them on a screen. Participants left the session with a greater understanding of core technologies and how to properly evaluate them when presented as part of an overall proposal submission.
The second session, “AV 201: When to adopt new technologies” was hosted by Alissa Hurley (National Director, Client Solutions and Emergent Technologies) was designed to help planners learn about cutting-edge technologies and when to deploy them. To accomplish this, Alissa presented attendees a version of the maturity curve focused on emerging trends in the AV industry such as LED Displays, Projection Mapping Augmented Reality, Drones, Virtual Reality, and a number of new Apps designed to help engage audiences. This session took place in the conference’s plenary where many of the technologies being presented were also being utilized as part of the stage design. Attendees were able to experience the advantages of LCD displays, see how projection mapping works, and experiment with Crowd Mics, a newly deployed audience engagement app. Attendees left the session with solid insights into the future of event technologies and, more importantly, how and when to incorporate them into their event plans.
For FMAV, this was a rare and special opportunity, for which we were very grateful. It provided the forum to engage with industry leaders and to learn about their unique requirements and how we can best help them to serve them and to be a true partner in their education. This meant that TEC 2016 provided us an opportunity to demonstrate each dimension of our value proposition: An absolute understand of event goals and requirements; AV and Staging Delivery Expertise; and Flawless execution.
To learn more about how FMAV can help you and your team learn about AV basics or when to consider new technologies, why not get in touch through FMAV.ca – or call your local branch.
“We can’t thank FMAV enough for their partnership and commitment to this year’s MPI Toronto Education Conference. From the time they swooped in to our rescue they brought along innovative ideas and all the cool stuff that was exactly what was needed to make the TEC a success. Their understanding and incorporation into all the elements of the theme Defying Gravity along with their professionalism and eagerness to partner with MPI and our team was impressive and appreciated.”
Kristi Contini, CMP | Meetings and Events Manager
Grant Thornton LLP