Author Archive

Announcing our new brand identity!

Posted on: May 28th, 2019 by Straight Street Event Services

 

As we grow and evolve into the future we are pleased to announce our new logo design. You can now see our new logo in our email signatures and business cards. Straight Street’s rebranding also includes a redesign of the company’s graphics, communications and correspondence and our social media as well as our crew apparel Coming soon! Our values, commitment and dedication to quality,  service and customer satisfaction will, as always,  remain a priority to you, our client.

New look – same great service – a winning combination!

Contact us to learn more about our rebranding

Which Microphone option works for your presenters?

Posted on: May 9th, 2019 by Straight Street Event Services

Here is a short summary of 3 styles of microphones with their pros and cons.

Handheld Microphones

PROS – Some Handhelds have a switch that you can turn on and off.   The best use of handheld microphones are for when you want the presenter to have full control over when they are heard and not heard.

CONS – A couple of issues with handhelds are most people don’t hold them the properly.   These mics should be held directly in front of the mouth so you are always speaking directly into it.  This allows for the sound to stay at a constant level and to avoid feedback.  Also, you have to hold the microphone the entire time or use a stand for hands free.  If you are an animated speaker and like to use your hands when you talk or if you are having any type of presentation where your hands are needed you need to take this into consideration when choosing your mic.

Lavalier Microphones

PROS – Lavalier microphones are great because it keeps your hands free for other things such as using a clicker for a presentation.

CONS – “Lavs” also pick up your voice if you turn around and your back is to your audience.  You do need to consider that because it’s only attached to your lapel or button up it has to be positioned properly so if you turn your head your voice will be picked up clearly.

Headset Microphones

PROS – These are the mics you see many performers using on stage, singers, theatrical performers etc.   Many conference presenters use them as well.   These mics are close to the mouth therefore they are less susceptible to feedback.

CONS – Be sure the person who you want to use this mic is comfortable wearing them.   Some find them intimidating and distracting.  And men with facial hair, beards may have difficulty using them also.

Talk to your presenters and find out what their preference is and be sure to outline all of the advantages and disadvantages to them.

Contact us to learn more about Microphones

Front vs. Rear Projection

Posted on: April 23rd, 2019 by Straight Street Event Services

Front Projection

This is the type of projection most of us grew up with.  A screen at the front of the room and a projector in front on the floor on a table, desk or cart.

The benefits of front projection is the opaque surface of the screen,  reflects as much light as possible making the screen surface a bright white to project your image on.  If you are in a room where you can control the room lighting.  The darker the room the brighter and clearer the image.

When designing your room layout it is important to know how front projection can affect your layout and  budget.

First, you will need to make sure you allot enough room for the projector and whatever it is sitting on and  there is clear space from the projector to the screen where no one can walk in front of the screen or obscure the screen or worse still, bump into it.

Secondly, if you need the floor space there is always the option to rig the projector from the ceiling.  This can affect your budget by adding rigging fees and truss.   In some venues it may also be possible to hang your projector from the ceiling.

Rear Projection

Rear Projection is exactly what it says.    Your projector is behind your screen.  A rear projection screen is  ‘translucent’ allowing your image to go through the screen and be seen on the front of the screen.  To find out the type of lens you should be using for the projector you need to calculate the ‘throw distance’.  Throw distance is the space between your projector and your screen.  Your AV company can calculate this for you.  When you are calculating the throw distance it’s best to add three to four extra feet in consideration of the size of your projector.  Utilizing the most space possible gives so many options of what the back stage can be used for.

The distance between the projector and  screen will decide  the space behind the screen, sometimes referred to as ‘back stage’.   The advantage of having a space for your AV company to store their empty road cases, or a space for your speakers prep or it could be where the video techs are placed.   It may be possible for the projector to be sat on empty road cases avoiding the need for a cart.

Rear projection gives a clean look to your room and set as the projector isn’t sitting in the room.

Your AV provider can help you choose the best type of projection for your event and venue.

Quick Tips for Choosing your AV provider

Posted on: April 1st, 2019 by Straight Street Event Services

Do your research and ask questions.

There are many AV providers out there but they are not all the same.  Some provide Sound and Lighting only, others provide or can help with most of your technical requirements as well as many times book or at the least suggest your entertainment options.   A reputable AV company can help with most of these.   They can also negotiate power and wi-fi for you and most times can get a much better rate for you. By hiring a provider that can check off more than one box when it comes to planning your event while staying within your budget can be a time and financial advantage to you. There is a good chance that whatever venue you choose, many AV companies have done an event there at one time or another and know the rooms which is a bonus for you!  They may already know the layout  and can suggest to  you what will and what may not work within your chosen space.

Communication

Very Important!!  Lines of communication need to be open between you and your AV provider.  You need to be available, especially during business hours by phone, landline and cell, or email to answer quickly any questions that may come up.   Any delay in response means a delay in the completion of the quote or planning.

The Site Inspection

Once you have chosen your AV provider it is very important, especially if they don’t know the venue, to arrange a site inspection with them as early as possible in the planning stage.   You can explain your ideas to them and they can provide you with valuable information that you may not be aware of when it comes to room layout.

The Budget

It is important to provide your AV provider with your budget.  Without knowing what is available they can’t recommend the best systems for the type of event you are having.  You may want the top of the line equipment but it doesn’t fit within your budget.   Think of it like buying a car – there’s lot of them out there but the salesman needs to know which ones you can afford to proceed with your purchase.    Your AV provider will have options and sure to have one that fits your budget.  They may even be able to trim your budget and take out things you think you need but really don’t.  That money can then be used to ‘upgrade’ your AV.

How Lighting can take your event to the next level without breaking the bank

Lighting changes the mood of the room.  There are many options but not all will be suitable for your event or budget.  Uplighting a wall or drape at key points in the room can add a wash of  color and ambiance to your event and is an inexpensive option.   Custom Gobos are also an enhancement for your lighting to provide many different effects.
We will talk more about Lighting options and Gobos in our next BLOG.

In Closing

Research, research, research!   You take time choosing your venue, do the same choosing your vendors. Ask questions!

Meetings!   Face to face are better than phone or email when possible, especially in the beginning stages.

Lists.    Make a list of all of your questions and concerns.   Be sure to ‘jot’ them down as they pop into your head so you don’t forget anything.  The more information you can provide the better

Your AV provider is there to help you and is  the most important vendor you hire, next to the caterer.   They are knowledgeable in many aspects and their suggestions can be invaluable to you.

We hope you found this BLOG helpful and look forward to learning more about the AV industry. Contact us to find out more!

 

Use This Audio Visual Checklist for Smoother Event Management Services

Posted on: May 16th, 2018 by Straight Street Event Services

Event management isn’t easy—and we speak from decades of experience in working with event planners.

Audio visual execution is the key to a successful event not only because it raises the quality in attendees’ memories, but because people notice when things seem off instead of just going well.

Follow this checklist to make sure you haven’t missed anything critical (including experts to install the equipment!). Ready for peace of mind?

Lighting

 

Lighting is arguably the most important aspect of your event venue.The only thing worse than not being able to hear event speakers is not being able to see them.

Effective lighting can be deployed with a variety of angles, colours, patterns, timers, and equipment types. The options are out there—it’s a question of accomplishing what you want on a cost-effective budget.

First, you need to make sure that the venue can support lighting for at least 40 or 50 people, if not more. Your event venue might have some lighting inside, or it might be held outside. Even hybrid events need strategic lighting for small things, like the transition areas.

Pick at least two spots where people will gather socially and focus the lighting there. It could be any of these locations:

  • The entrance
  • A dance floor
  • A bar
  • An anteroom

Those lights might need dimming controls if there are going to be “phases” to the event, like a wedding. Dances call for dimmed lights, whereas open mingling calls for wide lighting. You’ll also need three-point lighting on the presenter’s podium or stage.

Think about which of those styles will produce the lighting for your event. Create a checklist of the things you need (or questions about how to implement them) before you need them.

And don’t forget to ask your AV partner about the rigging!

Sound

Sound adjustment sliders on a sound control board for an event.

Being heard is just as important as being seen for most events, but there’s more to it than just grabbing a microphone before taking the stage.

You need to think about how the sound is going to reach attendees who aren’t up at the very front with the speaker.

It’s easy to put the speakers at the front of the venue where the speakers stand, but that doesn’t help everyone—and the people in the front row are going to lose their hearing with too many speakers blaring

Great events bring the sound to each person based on where they’re sitting or standing. Bring speakers for every corner of the room! You can place them on the ground or mount them higher up—your audio visual partner will be able to lean in on ideal speaker placement and what’s needed to support them.

This all needs to fit into your budget, of course, meaning that you’ll need to take a look renting vs owning certain pieces of equipment, depending on how often your event is held.

Projection and Screens

Screens and displays for Redken fashion event management.

What event would be complete without visual aides? Projectors tend to go hand-in-hand with event management due to the size of venues, but you’ll also need to think about:

  • What kind of projector works with your venue
  • Where the projector can and will be mounted
  • The distance from the screen

Larger events might even require screens at the periphery for everyone to see and hear what’s going on.

Audio visual teams can install these without a problem, and the best ones can even consult with you about strategic placement. Don’t be afraid to lean on them for expertise.

Screens aren’t as affordable as microphones, so be sure to ask your AV partner about how to make it all work on a budget (while still leaving room for the unforeseen). This will go a long way toward fitting the projectors and screens into your budget.

Miscellaneous Equipment

Commonly overlooked audio visual items for events, including cords, spare microphones, tablets for dimming controls laid on top of a sound control board.

There’s everything else that goes with your event; these things become overlooked because they’re often out of sight.

For example, we’ve had a client order lights without realizing they needed  to order the fixtures needed to mount them!

Add these items to your checklist and then run the list:

  • Soundboard
  • Rigging for lights
  • Extension cords
  • Foot covers for cables running throughout a venue, if needed
  • Secondary audio inputs
  • Smaller light sources for the ground
  • Cameras for recording everything

And don’t forget the on-site technicians! Audio visual production companies will have these on staff, but it’s always worth double-checking what your teams can cover (between in-house and external teams).

Contact Us and ask for the checklist!

How to Tackle Corporate Event Planning in Toronto

Posted on: April 9th, 2018 by Straight Street Event Services

Corporate event planning doesn’t need to be daunting. Newcomers to the event space can start with the basics, like checklists for everything you’ll need to cover.

Follow these guidelines to put everything under control before the company party. You can also take pointers from the City of Toronto’s event-planning guide right here.

Make Lists for Everything

Checklists underpin successful execution of every process, and event planning is no exception. You need a repeatable process to follow to make sure that no detail slips through the cracks.

The reason for this is simple: small details on the technical side can trip up an entire event. People tend to notice things that are missing or out of place just as often (or perhaps more often) than when everything fits together nicely.

Make lists even if you don’t need every item on those lists—it’s much better to have too much than not enough. Get checklists for everything from experts in the know, or ask them for introductions to people who can provide them. Someone will be able to give you a checklist to get started.

Professionals may not want to give you a checklist for free, but you can get detailed estimates from them with itemized breakdowns for any proposal. Ask for one if you encounter resistance to get an idea of how much everything will cost.

Create a Corporate Event Planning Team

Corporate Event Planning in Toronto

 

You can’t plan an entire event by yourself, especially in cities as busy as Toronto.

Establish point people for specific aspects of the event. They could look like this:

  • venue responsibilities
  • audio-visual equipment
  • stage and lighting preparation
  • catering and dining tables
  • music and entertainment

You might not have the budget or company size to warrant a separate point person for each set of responsibilities, and that’s okay. Divide them up evenly among the people who can lend a hand and ask for regular updates from them every few days.

Contact Us and ask for your Toronto Venue List!

 

Set the Budget Before Anything Else

Event Budgeting in Toronto

 

With everyone on board to plan the event, you can move into the bread and butter of the planning stages. This starts with the budget. Your budget will define the scope of the entire event, but don’t fall into the trap of spending it all. You’ll need to leave some in reserve to handle unexpected hiccups of all kinds.

If you have a budget of $15,000 to spend on your corporate event, then you should aim to leave $2,500 to $3,000 in reserve. People could forget something like cutlery, sound equipment, coat racks, or even just indoor decorations for the venue. These things can pop up at any time, so give yourself some financial breathing room to adapt.

Here’s where you can expect to spend your budget for a corporate event in Toronto:

Don’t forget to compare notes between different vendors, too! We’ve provided pages just above that list various venues, caterers, and entertainment groups in the Toronto area. You’ll find the best prices by comparing packages from different sources.

Be sure to decide if you need to purchase or rent equipment instead of paying vendors to supply them. Venues can supply certain items, but it might make sense to purchase others if your corporate event will continue for years down the road.

Secure Your Venue and Audio-Visual Equipment

 

Venues go quickly, so book them well in advance—especially if you want government funding. You might need to shift your day schedule in order to call venue owners at the right time of day and tour the facilities. Start your search with this list of 30 venues in the city.

Give your AV partner (a vendor) the floor plans and a chance to see the venue once it’s secured. You could even ask them about which venues have provided the best experience in the past to generate some ideas if the search has been delayed. Either way, your audio-visual experts will need to see the event space to plan for these elements:

  • Staging
  • Lighting
  • Displays (video)
  • Audience size

Toronto is a big city with plenty of resources and options to plan a corporate event, if you know where to look. Talk to us at Straight Street Event Services to turn yours into the talk of the town with stunning lighting, sound, and visuals.

Contact Us and ask for your Toronto Venue List!

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