5 Trends in Event A/V

From flat-panel LED displays to ultra high definition, here's what to look for in 2016

5 Event Production Trends opener

One of the great things about A/V equipment is that it is always evolving and improving. On the downside, it is something you need to keep on top of in order to create the best event possible for your attendees. Here's a quick rundown of five trends in A/V production that will help you deliver the "wow" factor at your next conference.

1. Draw your audience into the action with ultra high definition
You've heard of high definition, now meet ultra high definition, also known as 4K resolution, or 4K. The name refers to a screen featuring more than 4,000 pixels (4096 x 2160 to be exact). The technology first appeared in the film industry, so it's no surprise that the crisp display makes event attendees feel like they're being immersed in whatever's happening on-screen.

2. Go wireless with sharper, brighter LED video displays 
Flat-panel LED video displays and walls are becoming thinner, more flexible, lighter, and less expensive. The continued trend toward a smaller "pixel pitch" (distance between pixels) provides sharper and brighter image quality. Some display panels do not require cables, meaning they can be installed more quickly at venue sites. Displays are available in different shapes, including triangles, opening the door to more innovative design possibilities beyond the standard rectangle. Using smaller LED displays instead of printed signs around the venue allows event planners to update venue and schedule changes by simply updating a digital message -- no reprinting of paper signs required. It's time for event planners to talk with their A/V partners about how to incorporate LED into their events.

3. Zoom, navigate, and draw on larger, more interactive displays
These screens not only display information, but allow users to interact with them using their hands. Users can navigate through information, zoom in and out, draw on the screen, insert digital sticky notes, import images, and even draw on the images. One example is FlatFrog, voted Best New Technology at the Digital Signage Expo 2015. The company has screens that range in size from 15"-110" and can detect 80 multitouch points and 1,000 pressure levels. This technology adds extra interactivity to your event registration and networking areas.

4. Transform unconventional shapes and surfaces into projection displays
Projection mapping, or video mapping, uses projectors to display images onto any multidimensional shape or form. This means you can transform any object into a display space, even irregularly shaped ones such as columns and stage props. The technology has evolved and costs are dropping, making it more feasible for standard event budgets.

5. Display content quickly and easily
Sending content from a computer or mobile device to a larger screen has become commonplace. Now imagine you can do this faster, with no wires, saving time and money on venue installation and dismantling. This technology also allows event managers to easily move content from a main screen to multiple smaller breakout screens.

Scott Stedronsky is president of Rental & Staging Network (RSN). Established in 2007, RSN is a national network of A/V companies whose expertise ranges from meetings and conventions to live concerts, broadcast, and special events. Gearing up for a big event? RSN members can help you transform a special event into an extraordinary experience. Visit www.rentalandstaging.net to view a map of RSN affiliates and find an event production partner.