As technology progresses at a breakneck pace, the quality of audio and video is an important consideration for major events. No longer restricted by limited bandwidth, audio and video streams are now available in real-time on portable devices, desktops, large screens and display networks. Nowhere is the advance of AV broadcasting more evident than at major events, where digital engagement is evident in quality video streaming, social media and digital signage.
While any user can upload a recorded video to YouTube and other video sharing sites, many lack the AV quality associated with commercial alternatives. The increasing demand for quality has driven innovations in many areas and created a growing need for skilled AV experts in several disciplines.
Let’s look at a typical marketing approach for a major event, the logic behind it, and the equipment and skills necessary for success.
Preparing months in advance, the technological challenges of a global event require a wide variety of technical skills, whether in IT, AV or engineering. The hardware used will likely incorporate all or some of the following:
- Large Screens: The advent of cheaper LED screens, 4K and 3D monitors offers high-resolution video in any location or multiple locations simultaneously. Hardware design engineers ensure screen technology is always advancing.
- Projectors: Using spatial augmented reality and projection mapping, any surface, even irregular ones, can be transformed into a display surface. One famous example of this technique in action is the Sydney Opera House transformed. Expect to see several ceremonies, especially the opening and closing, utilize this technology in some way.
- Integration: An essential part of any major event, AV and IT experts will ensure that additional features are added seamlessly as needed, whether these relate to CCTV, intercoms, emergency alerts or social media feeds. The only real limit in integration is their imagination, as the displays’ source feeds are normally browser-based and configured in the cloud.
In practical terms, companies and event promoters that require AV solutions will find that the software required is already available, but even its usage (especially for editing) requires specific skills. Given the scope and sheer volume of devices and broadcast networks involved in any major event setting, the software will be high-end. That said, the basic requirements in terms of software are:
- Content Management: Content management solutions where AV and IT share the same infrastructure and network, allowing easier integration with desired features, with browser-based remote admin a necessity.
- Server Knowledge: On-premise hardware normally includes a server and a video player (which displays the desired video or interactive elements if touchscreens are used.) Knowledge of servers is assumed.
- Video: For video production, editing and broadcasting, off-the-shelf software can satisfy all requirements.
It is clear that IT is essential in the digital marketing and video production area, but how about the AV experts? Consider the elements of film or video production for major events. How many IT admins will also have the necessary AV experience to select lighting, audio and video cabling, various microphones, video cameras, flash equipment and be familiar with ‘dollies’ and filing techniques beyond the standard interview? How about background noise cancellation, audio editing on the fly, not to mention working with ‘green screens’ or visual effects in the final editing process? Yes, we need AV experts, not just for high-profile events, but also as an integral part of any marketing campaign.
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