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Top 5 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Virtual Event Software

Posted By Tallen | February 01, 2023

Recently, virtual events have exploded in popularity. Not only do they provide unprecedented accessibility by making it easier than ever to gather attendees for webinars, conferences, career expos, and more. They also lead to greater reach, more engaged audiences, and the ability to provide more value to attendees. 

Alongside virtual events’ growing popularity, we’ve seen many new virtual event softwares hitting the market. However, with so much variability between platforms, event organizers might find it difficult to choose the best platform for their event. This guide will provide you with the top questions to consider when selecting the best virtual event software for your event. 

What’s the size of your virtual audience? 

Like live event planning, virtual audience size dictates many other choices you’ll make. While many platforms claim to be perfect for “events of any size,” we recommend confirming a chosen platform’s capabilities, especially if you need something that can accommodate large-scale broadcasts. By keeping your specific audience size in mind, you can find a platform that fits your needs rather than adapting your event to fit the platform. 

How much production control do you need? 

Zoom meetings have become so routine these days that we hardly even think of them as “virtual events.” Still, your basic Zoom meeting is a great benchmark when considering how much production control you need over your virtual event. 

For example, Zoom’s native production capabilities are limited—attendees can change their backgrounds, event organizers can share screens and audio, and the chat function offers a simple way for audience members to engage with each other and moderators. On the other end of the production spectrum, we can create fully custom and immersive virtual environments, which can enhance or completely transform many off-the-shelf virtual platforms. Depending on your event goals, plenty of platforms offer different degrees of production control. 

You can also consider whether you need built-in production tools or have the ability to use external hardware and studios to achieve your desired look and feel. For some events, simpler is better, especially if you plan to handle production in-house.  

What happens after your event? 

The days, weeks, and months leading up to your event are full of planning and strategy. But have you considered what comes next? The beauty of virtual events is that they aren’t constrained to one time or place. Instead, attendees from around the world and in different time zones can engage with your event at their own convenience. Of course, you’ll want virtual event software that supports your post-event needs to take full advantage of this fact. 

For example, do you need an on-demand feature so attendees can access your event recording after the live stream? Do you need powerful post-event analytics to track who participated, as is the case for events offering CE credits and certifications? These post-event considerations will narrow the scope of your search for the best virtual event platform. 

How much interactivity do you need? 

Virtual event software runs the gamut when it comes to interactivity. So, how do you want attendees to be able to interact with presenters and each other? Are you looking for an immersive experience where attendees can feel like they’re in the conference hall or on the trade show floor? 

A few ways to promote attendee interaction include: 

  • Gamifying the virtual event experience
  • Enabling 1-on-1 chats and networking opportunities
  • Supporting side meetings and breakout sessions
  • Asking for audience responses and enabling push notifications
  • And more!

Consider whether audience interactivity is a top priority for your event. For example, the interaction requirements for a company-wide town hall likely differ significantly from an ongoing Webinar series. 

Does the virtual event platform meet your organization’s security requirements? 

None of the bells and whistles matter if a virtual event platform can’t meet your organization’s security requirements. With so many options becoming available in such a short time frame, vetting security capabilities remains a significant challenge for many. Luckily, Tallen has provided expert insights into running secure virtual events for over a decade. We’ll never recommend a platform or software if it puts your or your client’s sensitive information at risk. 

Which is the best virtual event software? The one that works for you!

At Tallen, we focus on reliability and usability when recommending virtual event software. The best platforms have a strong backbone and built-in redundancies so that if something does go wrong, the impact on your event is minimal. Unfortunately, while numerous new platforms offer flashy VR and trendy avatars, many have yet to be thoroughly vetted. As a result, after extensive testing, many have failed to live up to Tallen’s high standards for reliability. 

Let Tallen recommend a virtual event platform that works for you

When organizing a virtual event, you have enough on your plate without comparing and contrasting hundreds of available software options. Tallen’s expert team has over ten years of experience creating impactful virtual events. We can integrate with the platform of your choice or make recommendations based on your event’s size, scope, and goals. From Zoom and WebEx meetings to specialized platforms, we meet you where you’re at and create solutions that work for you! 

Get in touch to learn more about our virtual event capabilities, and let’s create impactful events together!

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3 Event Considerations Unique to Hybrid Event Production

Posted By Tallen | January 18, 2023

Technology has forever altered the way we think about events. These days, global experts can deliver the keynote at your event without the expense and inconvenience of international travel. Virtual audiences can log on at their convenience, and the constraints of physical venues no longer limit event size. And with the return of in-person conferences and tradeshows, many event organizers have embraced hybrid event production as the best of both worlds.  

By combining elements of in-person and virtual events, hybrid events expand your event’s reach and impact, making it possible to connect with global audiences like never before. But hybrid event production also has a unique set of considerations and challenges. So what are the keys to running a successful hybrid event? 

Top Considerations for Hybrid Event Production

If you’re like most event organizers, you’re already invested in the idea of going hybrid. But planning your first hybrid event can feel like twice as much work. Not only do you need to create an immersive, engaging experience for your in-person attendees, but you must also check the right boxes to ensure your virtual audiences don’t feel like an afterthought. 

Tallen’s Virtual Meetings Department has added value to hybrid events of all shapes and sizes for over a decade. During that time, we’ve learned that key considerations when planning a hybrid event boil down to audience engagement, timing, and your overall production goals. 

#1: Audience Engagement

For in-person attendees, your event is likely a sensory-rich experience. From the moment they enter the venue, they can see, hear, and interact with your event and each other. Being able to physically attend an event also reduces distractions and makes it easier to keep audiences engaged. 

With virtual attendees, things aren’t always so straightforward. Your event might be competing with the neighbor’s barking dog, arguing kids, and a running mental to-do list a mile long. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of event multi-tasking: trying to fold the laundry or do the dishes while half-heartedly paying attention to a Zoom meeting. 

Keeping a virtual audience’s attention requires strategic planning and expert hybrid event production. At Tallen, our goal is to make hybrid events feel seamless so that virtual and live audiences have a cohesive experience. Thanks to over a decade of experience, we’re ahead of the curve in creating innovative engagement opportunities for both live and virtual audiences.

#2: Production Value

Virtual and hybrid audiences in 2020 may have forgiven awkward transitions and tech glitches. But two years later, these same attendees expect a lot more from event organizers. That means higher-quality streaming, crystal-clear audio, and well-rehearsed transitions. For example, while grainy web cameras sufficed just a few years ago, hybrid audiences now expect virtual events to be streamed at full 1080p or even up to 4K video.

Furthermore, technology like green screen, XR studios, and professional graphic design can increase the look and feel of hybrid events for remote attendees. Instead of streaming content that looks and feels like a routine Zoom meeting or webinar, Tallen can raise the bar with immersive and interactive environments.

See some examples of our past hybrid environments

#3: Hybrid Event Production Goals

In our experience, many event organizers do things backward regarding hybrid events. They’ll start with available technology and work backward to see what type of experience is possible. At Tallen, we prefer to keep your hybrid event production goals and ideal outcomes front and center. Then, once we know what you’d like to achieve, we can design a custom AV solution that makes it happen. 

During the pre-planning stage of your event, we’ll work collaboratively with you to define your production goals. These considerations might include the following:

  • Virtual attendees—Do you need to facilitate live and virtual audiences, live and virtual speakers, or both? 
  • Interactivity—Will virtual audiences interact in real-time or access recorded materials after the event? 
  • Virtual platform—Have you already committed to a virtual platform or need recommendations?

By defining what a successful event looks like, we can design seamless experiences that hit the mark.

A Trusted Team of Hybrid Event Production Experts

The Tallen team has over a decade of experience navigating the challenges and opportunities that hybrid event production presents. Whether we coordinate a live broadcast across multiple time zones, design an immersive virtual trade show experience, or innovate ways to engage live and remote audiences seamlessly, we take a proactive approach to create impactful hybrid events. Get in touch with our team to learn more about how we can bring your next hybrid event to life through professional hybrid event production. 

 

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Innovative Event Stage Design That Breaks The Mold

Posted By Tallen | January 11, 2023

Your event stage isn’t just your presenters’ platform; it’s the vibrant focal point that brings your event to life! That’s why great events deserve world-class stage design. Through innovative event stage design, Tallen’s team helps create lasting impressions and impactful events. Here are some of the top benefits of custom stage design, considerations for doing it effectively, and our favorite examples of concepts that break the mold. 

Benefits of Custom Event Stage Design

Custom stage design elevates events in many ways. First, custom staging lets you draw on the strengths and unique character of your venue and event location. Integrate local cultural icons or draw inspiration from the region’s geography. For example, your stage can evoke the sandy beaches of Miami, the rustic Southwest desert, or the misty forests of the Pacific Northwest. These elements help attendees from both near and far feel more grounded in your event space. 

Second, custom staging can create a more cohesive event. Incorporating branded elements into your stage design subtly keeps the focus on your central message. Creative branding literally sets the stage for your event.

Finally, a custom event stage design sets your event’s tone. For example, you might want an intimate forum with a chic backdrop and cozy seating. Or an expansive stage with dramatic lighting and multiple focal points. Regardless of your event’s specific needs, custom staging allows you to be intentional about your staging decisions. 

Considerations for Effective Event Stage Design

As your event partners, Tallen’s experienced team considers every element of your event’s staging, working with you to find innovative solutions that bring your event to life. Considerations include: 

Rigging And Event Safety

Rigging is one of the most critical considerations when designing custom event stages. It can also be highly dependent on your event’s venue. For example, ceiling height and load-bearing limitations can impact sound, lighting, and special effects equipment options. We leave no stone unturned and ensure that, first and foremost, your event’s stage design and rigging setup are safe for presenters and attendees alike.

Stage Location And Orientation

While the front of the room might seem like the most logical stage placement, it’s not always the most advantageous. An alternate location or orientation could be better depending on the venue’s layout, the number of attendees, seating design, and event format. Other important considerations for stage location include stage accessibility, backstage requirements, and ensuring every seat in the audience has a clear view. 

Presenter Setup Needs

The size and layout of your stage will also vary depending on your presenters’ needs. For example, are you hosting a multi-person forum that needs cozy seating for an intimate discussion? Or will you have one presenter who needs to engage an entire audience? Understanding what your speaker or performers need affects stage size and other event staging considerations.

Creative Design

Creative design includes everything from custom backdrops and panels to technology like LED screens, lighting, and special effects. There’s also the fact that hybrid events come with their own unique set of staging design challenges. Creating an immersive experience for both live and virtual audiences requires considering your event from every angle and perspective—creatively and technically. 

Creative Custom Stage Design Concepts

Are you looking for some inspiration for your next event? These are some of our favorite stage design ideas for impactful events. 

Multi-Dimensional Sets

Unique shapes, overlapping elements, and dynamic lighting add depth and texture to event stages. In smaller venues especially, strategic multi-dimensional staging can create the illusion of more space, making your event seem bigger and bolder!

Branded Stage Elements

There’s nothing wrong with proudly displaying your logo on a centerstage screen. But the Tallen team likes to take things a step further for branded stage elements. For example, when a major pharmaceutical company came to us for custom staging design, they wanted their product launch to leave a lasting impression. So Tallen got to work designing a custom stage built in the shape of the new medication’s logo

Creative Backdrops

How you “dress up” your stage matters! Backdrops go a long way toward reinforcing your event’s theme or setting the mood for your presenters. And with more high-tech options available than ever, there’s no need to settle for lackluster backdrops. From rustic, textured backdrops with an eco-friendly feel to high-tech floor-to-ceiling displays, Tallen’s team has seen (and built) it all!

Partner With Tallen For Innovative Event Stage Design

As a full-service event production company, our in-house team has the experience and skill to create impactful events. From custom stage design and AV to seating design and immersive environments, we work with our clients to create impact together. Plus, Tallen uses advanced “render to reality” technology, so you can visualize exactly how your stage will look on event day. Get in touch to learn more about how we bring thousands of events to life each month. 

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The Essential AV Equipment Checklist for Hybrid Meetings

Posted By Tallen | December 26, 2022

Hybrid meetings are on the rise, largely because they provide unprecedented levels of convenience, accessibility, and synergy across virtual and live audiences. But a glitch-free hybrid meeting requires high-quality AV equipment and the know-how to put it to work. Here at Tallen, we talked to a few of our expert technicians to get their input on the essential AV equipment checklist you need to run a successful hybrid meeting.

Essential AV Equipment Checklist

Of course, the answer to “What’s essential?” will change based on the nature of your hybrid meeting. For example, the platform you use will dictate, in large part, the AV equipment required to power it effectively. Still, a few pieces of gear are crucial to your hybrid meeting’s success. 

Computer & Internet

It might seem obvious, but this was the number one response from our team of technicians. Because hybrid meetings must facilitate both a live and virtual audience, a dedicated event computer and strong internet connection are absolutely non-negotiable. 

Your computer serves as the foundation for the virtual aspect of your meeting. Using something more portable, like a smartphone or tablet, might be tempting. But these smaller devices have limitations in size and power, making them insufficient to host a high-tech hybrid event. Instead, opt for a high-powered laptop computer with ample storage space. 

Next, you’ll need to consider your event’s internet capabilities. Currently, internet is one of the most significant technology-related expenses an event can incur, especially since we’ve seen a significant increase from venues post-COVID. And that excludes wireless connectivity for attendees. In general, we recommend 5 mbps of dedicated bandwidth for receiving a stream, such as a remote presenter. We suggest 10 mbps of dedicated service for streaming video out of your meeting.

Flexible Switcher with Stream Deck

Video switchers allow you to stream audio and video from multiple sources within your hybrid meeting room. In addition, they can save multiple graphic backgrounds, picture-in-picture (PIP), and SuperSource. These elements alone can elevate your hybrid meeting from basic Zoom to TV-level production. 

One of our team’s most popular switchers is the ATEM Mini Extreme ISO. This switcher has a compact design and robust capabilities, allowing for professional multi-camera production of up to 8 HDMI channels. Plus, ATEM Mini models feature a built-in hardware streaming engine, which works with any streaming software. 

Pairing a flexible switcher with a stream deck allows for instant, powerful, and seamless switches. The result is a clean, professional hybrid experience.  

High-Quality Camera & Microphones

One challenge of hybrid meetings is ensuring that the live and virtual audiences have a cohesive experience. The virtual audience should feel like they’re in the room, which is impossible if they’re staring at grainy, pixelated video or listening to low-quality sound. The right AV equipment should make your virtual audience feel like they’re sitting in the front row.

A camera with an option to stream out the video feed via USB or HDMI is a must. You’ll need a professional grade camera to stream high-quality video. 

But high-quality cameras and microphones alone aren’t enough. It’s also essential to have the appropriate amount of each. For example, some events incorporate a dedicated microphone for participants, at least one camera that faces the live audience, and one or more cameras dedicated to the stage and meeting presenters. 

An Experienced Team

The key to a successful hybrid event isn’t the AV equipment at all. Instead, success hinges on having a skilled technical team and adequate support staff. This is where Tallen truly shines. Every team member has experience with many different scenarios and the ability to deliver every time. 

We think our technical team says it best: 

The success of a hybrid meeting often comes down to our ability to create a sense of connection between live and virtual rooms. This is where great technicians simply can’t be replaced. We must be firing on all cylinders. As with live AV production, our ultimate goal is to become invisible, and achieving this requires perfection. The right equipment gives us a fighting chance at that lofty goal, but at the end of the day, it’s on the team to deliver.

Let Tallen Handle the AV Equipment Checklist For Your Next Hybrid Meeting

With the right AV equipment and an experienced team to run it, hybrid events elevate both the in-person and virtual experience. Every month, the Tallen team is on-site or behind the scenes of thousands of meetings worldwide. Let us take the guesswork out of your next hybrid event with the essential AV equipment and a dedicated technical team. Contact us today to learn more about how Tallen can power your next hybrid event. 

 

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3 Innovative AV Solutions That Are Driving Today’s Events

Posted By Tallen | December 12, 2022

The audio-video industry’s history is rich with innovations. Over centuries of invention and experimentation, we’ve reached a point in human history with a remarkable capacity for communication. Even the earliest AV pioneers couldn’t have anticipated that one day, with the touch of a button, we could connect with audiences worldwide. Still, events AV has undergone unprecedented levels of change in the last two years. Today, we’re looking at some of the innovative AV solutions that have emerged and how they’re changing the events industry.

AV Solutions for More Engaging Hybrid Events

While hybrid events have been around almost as long as live-streaming technologies, their relevance has spiked in recent years. This is because hybrid events make events more accessible by catering to both in-person and virtual audiences. As Forbes notes, “Pandemic or no pandemic, running an event as a hybrid event—taking place both virtually and in-person—or offering a virtual ‘digital twin’ of an in-person event, instantly makes it more accessible.” 

However, in the past, it’s been challenging to translate the experience of a live event into digital platforms. After all, it’s hard for virtual attendees to experience an immersive live event when they’re staring at a screen. During the early days of the pandemic, event professionals scrambled to take events virtual; a few AV solutions emerged that continue to elevate hybrid events today. One of hybrid events’ most significant challenges: seamlessly engaging both in-person and virtual audiences. 

Interactive tools and digital event elements help level the playing field. For example, direct messaging, forums, polling, and interactive Q&A sessions ensure virtual attendees can engage and network with guest speakers alongside their in-person peers. Special effects or integrations like AR and VR can help replicate lighting and staging. And with recent advances in VR and fully digital event environments, we’re confident that hybrid events will only continue to evolve. 

Tech Advances Supporting Asynchronous Events

We’re also seeing an increased interest in asynchronous or non-synchronized hybrid events. With asynchronous events, in-person and virtual events take place at different times. While at the outset, that might seem like twice the work, this event format removes many of the challenges of traditional hybrid events. 

For example, asynchronous events side-step complications from various technical challenges  and ensure that virtual attendees don’t miss out, even if they lack the internet speed to keep up with live-streamed events. Asynchronous events can also improve overall engagement by making materials available on-demand. Because attendees can view materials on their own timelines, pre-recorded and uploaded content generates more impactful conversations and allows audiences to offer feedback long after the event has ended. 

The applications are especially notable for companies with global teams or teams in different time zones because these on-demand and customized experiences allow attendees to interact on their own timelines. For example, businesses can conduct a virtual town hall for employees in different cities or countries to come together across time and space. 

While this type of content is still in the early stages, many experts feel that many events will soon run asynchronously. This AV solution attracts wider audiences, can keep distracted attendees engaged, and provides the flexibility people have adapted to in other aspects of their lives.  

Augmented Reality (AR) For More Engaged Attendees

With recent advances in augmented reality technology and the rollout of 5G, high-quality augmented reality content is increasingly accessible. As a result, these AV solutions are perfectly poised to supercharge the events industry.

Holograms, 3D technology, and augmented reality are exciting AV solutions that first gained momentum in the entertainment industry. Now they’re beginning to make waves in corporate event spaces. For example, Microsoft’s HoloLens’s keynote speaker has the power to address audiences in different languages.

We also see AR being used more frequently in tradeshow and conference environments. For example, one innovative system projects directional arrows so that event attendees can get real-time recommendations on where to go next. 

AR is also empowering a more “gamified” event environment. AR networking games help attendees network more effectively by providing a helpful icebreaker and sparking conversations around pre-determined topics.  

Innovative AV Solutions for Live, Hybrid, and Virtual Events

For over 20 years, Tallen has been at the forefront of innovative AV solutions. We’re excited to take these AV industry trends and adapt them to meet our client’s needs. So whether you’re planning a live, hybrid, or virtual event, Tallen’s full-service event production teams can leverage these and countless other AV trends to help you deliver your message clearly. Get in touch to learn more about our capabilities!  

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What You Should Expect From Your Full-Service Event Production Partner

Posted By Tallen | November 28, 2022

Meeting planners and event owners know that an incredible amount of work goes into creating impactful, seamless experiences. Everything from stage design to graphics creation and showflow need to be executed flawlessly. Engineering the proper audio, video, and lighting systems is critical to deliver a successful event. Even the smallest details can be the difference between a memorable event and another humdrum lecture. 

As a full-service event production company, Tallen understands how much hinges on the success of your events. We’re here to do the heavy lifting so you can focus on what matters: satisfied attendees. Here are a few things you can expect when you partner with Tallen. 

Full-Service Event Production That’s Actually Full-Service

When we say “full service,” we mean it! Regardless of your event’s size, scope, or format, Tallen becomes an extension of your team. We fill in the gaps where our expertise is needed and take the pressure off of event owners. A few of Tallen’s production services include: 

  • Stage design and creative content development 
  • Project management 
  • Stage, video, lighting, and sound 
  • Recording, editing, and streaming

A full-service event production partner means you get access to all of that and more. Our personnel can expertly manage every element of your next event—live, hybrid, or virtual—from start to finish.

A Team That’s Focused On You

Where other companies might call themselves your event production provider, Tallen truly strives to become your partner. We believe your production team should never make you feel like yours is just one event on their busy docket. Full-service means full attention and a team that’s fully focused on making sure your event is one-of-a-kind. 

When you partner with Tallen, you’ll have a dedicated account team. This team is available 24/7 and acts as your point of contact throughout the entire lifecycle of your event. Your success is their singular focus from the strategic and planning phases through the post-event wrap-up.  

Flexibility and A Solutions-Based Mindset

In the fast-paced world of events, things move quickly. That’s why you need a full-service event production partner that stays ten steps ahead at every turn. Because the only thing you want to hear when problems arise is: “We have a plan for that.” 

Our clients are consistently impressed with the scope and scale of Tallen’s capabilities. In fact, we’re one of the only global event production companies equally willing to do a simple projector setup for one client while coordinating a global hybrid event with thousands of in-person and virtual attendees for another. We’re always thrilled when we can elicit an excited “I didn’t know Tallen could do that!” 

Making Impact Together Through Full-Service Event Production

When you need professional production services, you can trust Tallen to deliver. We offer corporations, meeting planners, exhibit houses, and associations the project support and technical expertise needed to create impactful and flawless events. Interested in partnering with Tallen on your next live, hybrid, or virtual event? Get in touch! 

 

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Tallen is the epitome of an audio-visual partner and client relationship. Aside from first-class planning and production across an array of events, their unwavering attention to customer

— KRISTIN RIDAY, VINDICO