AV + Connectivity

The New Guide to Recording Your Event

Garbled voices, malfunctioning sound feeds, murky lighting — there are many ways that recording events can go wrong.

“It’s not just as simple as pushing a button,” said Jeff Schulz, convention and conferences manager for the American Society of Anesthesiologists, during “Improving Event Recording,” the latest video for The Intersection, presented by PCMA and PSAV.

In the video, Schulz joins audiovisual professionals from PSAV as well as a fellow planner, Belinda Keota, CMP, meeting manager for the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), to run through the pitfalls of event recording and what can be done to counter them. To illustrate the need for preparation, Keota cites a recent experience at PMA’s Fresh Summit. “We had a group of people that couldn’t make it [to the session],” Keota says, but who nevertheless wanted to address the crowd and field questions. “They were essentially speakers who were not in the room. And it was three days before the event.”

Keota’s instinctive plan: “Let’s just mic out the phone.” But then her AV provider told her about a tool that could more deftly handle the task: a Gentner Box. “Using the device made the audio so much better,” Keota said in an interview with Convene. “The moral of the story is, have the conversation [with your AV team]. Don’t just say, ‘Oh, let’s add another mic to the room.’ While [planners] might be comfortable with a live or handheld mic, things we work with frequently and understand, we can learn more [from our AV team] about ways to make things happen.”

When it comes to event recording, “We’ve all had a mix of good and bad,” Chris Wissinger, video product manager for PSAV, notes in the video. But it’s important to communicate needs and expectations to an audiovisual provider, because “there’s no second chance.”

Derek Blake, PSAV’s director of learning and development, also emphasizes the power of early, solid communication between client and provider. “The customer should have a good vision of what they want the end product to be used for,” he says in the video. For instance, are stills or video needed? Will the footage be used internally, or for promotional purposes? Knowing the stakes and the desired outcomes “will raise the likelihood of a good product.”

“Sometimes, recording is one of the last things we think about [with meetings], so there’s not often the budget for it,” Keota told Convene. “But if we can have those conversations earlier, we can have that budget available.”

Event Recording 101

1. Establish clear expectations for your event recording, and communicate them to your team.

2. Event capture can be a high-risk endeavor without ample planning with the right audiovisual partners.

3. Don’t underestimate the dozens of details involved in event recording.

4. Be sure you have labor dedicated to, not distracted from, event recording.

5. Engage your audiovisual provider early.

Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch is associate editor of Convene.