Technology for Live Events: Trends Big, Small, and Epic

Technology for Live Events: Trends Big, Small, and Epic
  • As we head into the 4th quarter of 2017, we’ve seen a year of much-more-than-usual technology evolution in the world of AV for live events. It’s impossible to rank all the tech trends in terms of importance– they’re all important: much more direct view LED, a boom in Laser Phosphor projectors, ultra-short throw projection for staging, LED lighting (that is affordable), DANTE in more places (for audio), more video production tools, and more.

On the business side– business is coming from unexpected places at a rapid pace at the last possible moment. Some end user clients are moving meetings/event in-house and virtual (and will more venues will become self-sufficient, lock-down, contracted, and unfriendly to outside AV?) The latter, a worrisome trend– but in the meantime the big shows keep coming.

We’ll be looking at a variety of those issues going forward, as we assess key trends in this booming industry.Les Goldberg recently assessed for us the evolving role of the show technician, and explained that while a technician in the past could fit into a more generic category of video, audio and lighting, and today we see that roles have shifted to technical specialties such as video projectionist, LED tech, FOH A1, and Spyder/E2 graphics operator.

Of course, a lot of the evolution– and changing expectations for what a good technician can do– is in fact the direct result of the feverish pace of the tech trends we’re all seeing. New tech tools, mean new expectations for technicians. But it’s important to consider that it’s not only about learning new tech skills. As Goldberg emphasizes, “the technician of today can know everything about technology but if they provide a poor customer experience and make a bad impression on the client, all that technical knowledge becomes meaningless– these skills are even more important today, as shows have become more complex and involve a greater degree of teamwork, planning, rehearsing, and overall client interaction.”

And speaking of new technology platforms and new imaging palettes: we recently shared with our readers the spectacular (epic?) projection mapping gig for no less a client than HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” and with no less a screen to project onto than the Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A. Projection mapping guru Bart Kresa summed up the importance of the building: “The Disney Hall is one of my favorite buildings in the world, so when this project came along from HBO I was very excited to do it.”

David Keene is a publishing executive and editorial leader with extensive business development and content marketing experience for top industry players on all sides of the media divide: publishers, brands, and service providers. Keene is the former content director of Digital Signage Magazine.