Everybody stop whatever they’re doing – we’re playing corporate AV and event production bingo! So, our lovely hosts have been busy so far in 2020. And Brandt Krueger in particular! Which is why we decided to do something a little different this week. Instead of the usual conversation, we’re playing a little game. But don’t worry, we’re not straying away from our favorite topics!
If you’re ready to have some fun, then we advise you to join us today. As always, Will Curran and Brandt Krueger are here to entertain and educate you. And what better way to do so than with corporate AV and event production bingo? If you want to play along, make sure you go and grab your own cards. Even if you’re still a bit confused, go ahead and press play. It will be worth it!
Just in case you’re confused, Brandt and Will lay down all the rules of event production bingo. “As frequently happens on these shows you get, it’s like go, go, go, go, go”, Brandt explains. “And then it’s like downtime, waiting for someone to go through their slides. Or someone’s late for a rehearsal or something along those lines. And so anytime we had a little bit of downtime we started talking about kind of corporate AV bingo”.
“So I have a list of a bunch of them”, Will says in regards to the cards. “So as I kind of go along, you have the card and I have the card. But basically we’re going to read out a bunch of things that happen on-site and then check and see who gets bingo. Which is, we’ll do diagonals, vertical and then sideways. That’s the kind of standard bingo ones”.
Why Should You Care?
“Sometimes to pass the time, everyone’s just kind of talking to themselves”, adds Will. “Obviously, usually very quietly under their breath so no one can hear them. But sometimes we’re kind of joking around and what we wanted to do is there’s this AV and event production bingo game. And we thought it would be not only funny for anyone who totally understands, has been on in production or been on an event. But we also thought this might also give an opportunity for us to educate on some of the things that kind of happen at events”. Just a little extra motivation to join us!
Adjust Lectern Before Speaking
So, the first card is “adjust lectern before speaking”. Unfortunately, none of our hosts seem to have this one. However, it still opens up the opportunity for some conversation. “I would also throw in adjusts gooseneck microphone on the electric podium”, says Brandt. “Because I’ve seen, there was a guy on one of my shows that would hit the mic”.
“And so it was brutal”, he continues. “And so the other thing is that the audio technician will go through, they’ll ring out the room, they set the microphones up just perfectly, exactly the way that they want them. It works for tall people, it works for short people and then the person comes up and they just bend the snot out of that thing to get it out of their way so that they can read their notes or something along those lines”.
“So just something to kind of keep in mind guys”, adds Will. “Always give a chance for every single person who’s ever going to speak a chance to talk on the microphone beforehand. Hopefully, and we’ll talk about rehearsals probably at some point, it’s like in order in which they’re going to speak”.
Presenter Clicks Laser Button Instead of the Slide Advance and Blames the Crew
Number two on the event production bingo is “presenter clicks laser button instead of the slide advance and blames the crew”. Will offers some extra insight into this one. “So they say, my gosh, the clicker’s not working. And they’re pressing the laser button. The slide advance systems that we use are a perfect cue and it has four buttons on it, typically. There are ones that only have two for people to know that it is possible. There’s a forward slide backward slide. Which is standard. Then there’s one that’s blackout, that’s my favorite too. They press the button that blacks out these lines and then there’s a laser button. And they usually end up clicking it. Because it’s on the right-hand side and it looks like it means next. But really the next button is the top and is the biggest button and they always end up clicking”.
“I think that’s when you would coach them to say, if you need to go back, just say something”, adds Brandt. “So that’s living on the edge. That’s why it’s important to have a rehearsal. So they can get used to the clicker. And they can realize, okay, it’s the big green one, not the little green one and not the one with the circle on it”.
Dumps Out of The Slide Show
The next one is “dumps out of the slide show. So for example, you get to the end of the slideshow and they hit next after it’s been black. And it shows their entire desktop with 300 icons and the picture of a wife in a bikini”, says Will. “It says click one more time to end the show. But the reason why you haven’t seen it in such a long time is that you’re working with good crews. And so the pro tip on this one is that again, the reason why you want a graphics operator. Usually, when they had known which slides are coming up, they know which is the last line. Then what they do is on the perfect cue you can actually turn off control so they can no longer keep clicking. So it stays on that slide. You’ll hear all the time right at the end, slide, last slide, taking away control. And boom, like that’s the easiest way to avoid that”.
“The other addition that I’ll tack on there is if you’ve got a theme slide or a conference slide, throw that at the end”, adds Brandt. “So that the person hits their last side of their presentation and then if they do advance, it’s just a conference slide. And they’re less likely to then to try and get another one and another one in another one”.
When the song ‘Happy’ by Pharrell is the theme song or presenter’s walk-on song
“This one’s really funny”, says Will. “When the song ‘Happy’ by Pharrell is the theme song or presenter’s walk-on song”. This is something our hosts have thoughts on! “Man, there are about five songs that I could include in here that just don’t seem to go away, no matter what”, says Brandt.
“And I think one of the things that most people don’t think about too is they might hear that song once. But if you think about it again, kind of going back to that theme we always talked about. Is that we go to so many. So we hear a song over and over and over again. It’s just like it’s definitely overdone for sure. So get more creative song out there”, adds Will.
“Just don’t assume that every audio engineer has every song ever made at their fingertips”, says Brandt. “And yes, maybe you can bring it up on Spotify, maybe you can’t. But don’t assume they’ve got good Wi-Fi access even for that matter. If you’re going to be really specific about what songs you want people to walk up to, really do please make sure that you give them time to be able to try and pull it down. And cut it to the big part so that it goes at the right spot. Because a lot of songs have like a real slow warm-up, you don’t want that. And some audio engineers are way comfortable with that and others really aren’t”.
Presenter wearing a lav stands in front of the speakers
Moving on to the next round of event production bingo! “So once again, the importance of rehearsal”, explains Brandt. “The importance of talking things through. The importance of explaining how feedback works. I had to literally explain to a presenter once how feedback works because it just was not clicking. They were doing the thing where they kept holding the microphone further and further away when they would start to hear feedback. And so this is another one of those teachable moments. So if you’re starting to hear feedback and you’re doing a handheld or something like that, hold it closer to your mouth, not further away from your mouth”.
“I think it’s also important for people to know too that lavs are usually the least preferred type of microphone to be on stage. Especially big rooms or someone walking on the audience, things like that”, adds Will. “Not in a controlled environment, 100%. If you can try to go for those nice, DPA headsets, countrymen headsets, Britney Spears mic, a Justin Timberlake mic. I’ve heard it called everything. They’re 15 bucks extra to rent from an AV company. They make a huge difference. And then just make sure you have a good audio engineer who knows how to use them the right way. Because if you’re starting to hear scratching noises and things like that, it’s because your guy has a beard and all that stuff”.
Can You Fix The Text In This Video?
“This isn’t related to PowerPoint, not saying keep these texts in PowerPoint. In a video. Most people don’t know that it’s really hard to edit when it’s finalized”, says Will.
“So it’s another reason why it’s important to rehearse and it’s important to communicate these things to your executives. A lot of times when we’re doing the big pretty center screen, panoramic content, it’s not being built in a PowerPoint. It’s being built as video rolls. So when you do like a name reveal and it splashes rolls across the screen and that kind of thing, a lot of times those are being built in the video as video rolls and then running off a media server of some kind”, adds Brandt.
When People Are Late For Rehearsal
“What I think more grinds my gears is late for rehearsal but then forces us into overtime”, says Will. “And I have to start the conversation of they missed the rehearsal time or they missed the three rehearsal slots we gave them. And now we have to try to fit in after the session and now we’re going to go into overtime, which might push us into this and this and that. I’m always sad about it because I have to say look like we’re about to go into overtime in about 45 minutes. I don’t want to do this”.
“And you’re exactly right”, adds Brandt. “Obviously I’m not going to get upset somebody who’s a little late because they got delayed coming out of a session or something along those lines. I think where it does bother me is when you’ve got a crew of 15 people sitting around and they’re just standing in the back of the room, talking to someone. Or they miss their rehearsal and then want to come in over the one, 45 minutes slot where the crew has to get lunch”.
The Person’s Up on Stage, They’re Squinting and They Ask To Turn the Lights Down
“I think the learning of this one just that this is why you do rehearsals with the lighting guy there. So we can put the stage wash on, they can see how bright it is beforehand”, Will explains. “Most people don’t realize that the reason why it’s so bright is that we want to make sure they look really good obviously for cameras primarily”.
“People always complain about the lights being bright”, he continues. “If you want to make it so people don’t complain about it being bright, do the rigging, get it up high so you can get that nice 45-degree angle or whatever you have to hit. And that will help a ton because then that way when they’re looking out, it’s just at the top of their vision rather than being directly out to an audience”.
It’s An Event Production Bingo!
Brandt is the official winner of the event production bingo with the last card “unsolicited audio advice given”. On the topic, Brandt says that “I think the way that I’ll expand on this is, and it’s just something that’s been bugging me in the back of my head for a little bit now, is that when something goes wrong, somehow people think we don’t notice. Like they’re the only person in the room that notices that mic is feeding back or something. Or that the left screen just went blank and they blow up texts or they come running back to the tech table. And it’s just like, we notice these things”.
“You got to be nice about it. We totally understand because it’s your show and you want it to be perfect”, he continues. “But I think, for some reason that’s grinded my gears a little bit more lately is this assumption that we didn’t notice. Maybe it’s just been the last couple of shows and I’m sleepy. But it just feels grouchy. Yeah, we know, we know. We know, we’re working on it. What’s unfortunately almost worse is that when like multiple people come running up. So like the first person runs up and you’re like, “Yep, we’re working on it.”
Event Production Bingo: Conclusions
How was that for a fun little episode of Event Tech Podcast? Hopefully, you enjoyed hearing or playing along with the event production bingo! It was packed full of awesome tips, so keep playing with your team. And don’t forget to tune in next week for another exciting edition and some more event tech talk!