Before getting into the audiovisual and events business, I had no idea how many nuances there are when selecting audio solutions. As a meeting planner, I would just let my audiovisual provider “handle it”. The truth is, many components determine the best audio system for an event. In this series, we’ll look at the importance of audio in events as well as microphone basics based on different event needs.
Planning your event audio goes beyond selecting a microphone, sound board, and speakers. Sound is the second most influential sense in learning, only behind sight. Sound enhances mood, can reinforce what you see, and can also supplement text that you read. Imagine a presenter emphasizing certain words as they speak to drive a point home, calm background music, narration in a video, or sound effects in an immersive space. Having the correct equipment in place to ensure you deliver the message you want your attendees to hear is key to your success.
Microphone Basics – Planning for Success
Let’s start with microphones, where not all are created equal. There is no “one size fits all” solution for every event. For example, you’d want to use a lapel microphone if your presenter tends to walk around; but a handheld or throwable microphone is preferable for question and answer sessions.
Are you planning a panel table discussion? Then you have a few choices available to you! To maximize quality, place a condenser microphone about 6-12 inches from each person on the panel. Doing so ensures that they can speak directly and clearly into the mic. Keep in mind that for every 1 foot that a panelist is from a microphone, you will want to make sure that the adjacent mic is at least 3 feet away. This concept is known as the 3:1 rule. It prevents audio distortions that make speech less intelligible. In certain situations, one mic can be shared between two panelists. We always coach panelists on proper microphone proximity when speaking, to help them maximize the delivery of their message.
If you plan on having entertainment, such as a band, they will typically request specific microphone types that are different from those used in standard meetings. Other accommodations to think about are stage monitors so the entertainers can hear themselves and processing equipment for FX and dynamics. These are just some of the microphone basics to consider when planning any event.
Microphones are just the very beginning of your ideal audio setup for a meeting. Just like an electric guitar without an amplifier is basically a prop, a microphone without speakers is just for show. Tune in to our next blog where we explore speakers!
When I was a child, my mother had my “color matching” evaluated. This is the tedious process of putting color swatches next to your face to determine if you are fall, winter, spring or summer – or rather, if you look best in warm or cool colors. It was determined that I was a fall, as a warmer color palette tends to make my eyes pop more and looks best against my skin tone. When I wear these colors, I feel good about myself.
There’s no denying that the colors you surround yourself with in your day-to–day life can impact how you present yourself, act, and feel. As with the colors that we associate with different seasons, we can also relate them to our mood and how they affect us and those around us; warmer colors may feel welcoming, and bright, bold colors may elicit a sense of excitement and outgoing enthusiasm.
The same is true for an event space. The color used directly impacts the look, feel and the reactions of your attendees as they enter a space. There have been studies done that color also influences cognition and mood. Although the effect of your color choice may be subconscious to your participants, determining color enhancement should be based on what best suits your meeting’s goals.
Choose Your Colors with Purpose
Having your meeting’s message retained is key, and all five of our senses play a big part. However, with sight attributed for 83% for adult learning, color clearly can have a significant impact. Color assists an attendee to remember their environment, which can be very effective in a learning or educational setting.
It is a shift of thinking, since in many cases, companies choose company branding to be displayed during their meetings. Depending on those colors, it may have an adverse impact on their participants’ cognitive skills. You need to make sure color is chosen purposefully and relates to the message intended, rather than solely maintaining company branding.
Ready to Experiment? We Can Help
There are several colors in the rainbow, and with LED Lights, we can create most of them at moment’s notice. For your next meeting, try blue if you are having a brainstorming meeting and want to increase creative thinking. Or maybe, if you are just having a long day of meetings and want to make sure your attendees do not have the after lunch slow down, think yellow. Keeping the room bright will increase attention and optimism as the day comes to an end.
Curious to learn more? Check out my on-demand Professional EDge webinar session for an in-depth discussion on using psychology principles in the event space.