Corporate meetings and conferences have long been characterized by tedious PowerPoint presentations echoing off the walls of fluorescent-lit hotel ballrooms. But thanks to new trends in event technology, these long-dreaded symposiums are getting a makeover. Immersive content and interactive engagement are just a couple of innovations changing the event industry.

Exploring this rising trend in this episode of Backstage Pass is Ben MacKinney, Audio Services Manager, and Allison McMahan, Marketing and Communications Manager of Alford Media. The pair have their pulse on the rapidly changing industry of event technology and corporate events.

“People are tired of sitting in front of a PowerPoint for 90 minutes,” said Ben of traditional corporate events. As a result, audio-visuals that incorporate the idea of immersive entertainment have taken precedence. “One of the things we’re seeing is less PowerPoint and Keynote, and more advanced presentations with media servers,” he said. “We’re seeing a level of presentation that is much more than a PowerPoint slide. There are videos with motion and graphics moving in and out. So, there’s a lot more involved in content creation and the thought of how you’re going to build this presentation.”

Allison points to the influence of the entertainment industry as a major instigator to event changes, with clients requesting visuals they see on television award shows or integrating assets that make the experience “playful and fun.”

Is this change here to stay? Ben thinks so.

“It’s coming, whether you like it or not. And, you can either figure it out now or you can figure it out after everyone else already has,” he said.

Both end-users and industry clientele are demanding a more interactive, exciting event experience. Stunning productions with engaging event tech components don’t necessarily have to break the bank. “It’s really important that event planners and producers know their goal upfront…there is no off-the-shelf option at this point, so much of it is custom,” Allison said.

As event technology specialists are pushed to innovate, there’s no boundary to new, never-been-done-before audio-visuals. Allison said it’s an “open playing field,” with the most creative event tech experiences rising to the top.

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