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Event technology is something to be excited about

Posted on 30 May 2013

Says Sage Gateshead’s head of technical operations, Chris Durant

On an average year, the Conference and Events team at Sage Gateshead plays host to around 100 conferences and events. As you’d imagine, these are very diverse – from intimate corporate gatherings and product launches to large scale political party conferences.

There’s nothing particularly run of the mill because we strive to make each event unique but each one does have something similar in common, and that’s a need for the latest technology to make it look good and most importantly, run smoothly.

At Sage Gateshead I oversee a team of up to 45 people who are fully trained on a wide range of production equipment and whose brief it is to stay abreast of emerging technologies. We do that work and recommend the most appropriate and cost-effective options so our clients don’t have to. Although there are always emerging technologies to consider, we already have a lot of the latest products in place or know where to source them to make life easy.

For example, live broadcasts are increasingly popular and we can deliver these via our partner Videojuicer, which enables us to stream content both live and on-demand across social networks and the web. What we love about this is that it’s very intuitive and in-player apps can be added to presentations such as Facebook ‘like’ buttons. People can also be directed to other web links, just like with an on-demand video. Really clever stuff made simple. We’ve invested in HD pan and tilt cameras for this as well, so we have the ability to deliver a complete streaming service using in-house kit and staff.

Projection mapping is fast becoming mainstream too. Previously expensive, this is now much more affordable for the corporate market and can really revolutionise events. The way this works is that even the oddest of structures can be made into a display surface for video projection. This opens up a world of options that weren’t previously there before.

Something we’re starting to experiment with is digital signage. Put simply, this is a series of displays that can be used to communicate all sorts of content and which can be updated quickly, easily and remotely. Most organisations, wherever they’re based, need to keep their clients and guests both informed and entertained and this is a stylish and professional way to do it within a closed and even moving environment, if that’s what’s needed.

Of course these are just a few of the technologies readily available and there are many more. The point is, event builds now have huge potential so if you’re charged with event organisation, there is lots to get excited about and it’s worth taking a proper look.

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