Author Archives Matt Emerson

Stay Strong. Stay Positive. Stay Healthy!

Partnership is one of CEAVCO’s core values, and a true partner doesn’t disappear when times get tough. The value of partnerships is more apparent now than ever before. We’re here to lend an ear, share industry guidance, and provide production support if you need it.

We believe that staying positive in the face of adversity is a choice. The March/April edition of Fast Company profiles Evan Spiegel, cofounder and CEO of Snap, Inc., the parent company of Snapchat. Spiegel quotes Jon Gordon Jon Gordon, author of The Power of Positive Leadership, who says, “We are not positive because life is easy. We are positive because life can be hard.” Spiegel goes on to say that “Positivity is what we use to overcome challenges and negativity. Being positive requires hard work.”

In his book, Gordon goes on to say, “There will be times when it seems as if everything in the world is conspiring against you and your vision seems more like a fantasy than a reality. … Being a positive leader is … the way to lead if you want to build a great culture, unite your organization in the face of adversity, develop a connected and committed team and achieve excellence and superior results.”

Stay strong. Stay positive. Reach out if you need words of encouragement. We will get through this together.

  Matt Emerson   Apr 07, 2020   Blog   0 Comment Read More

We’re in This Together

As COVID-19 continues to spread, so does the disruption to businesses and everyday life in ways we never could have imagined. During these extraordinarily difficult times, it’s important for everyone to maintain open lines of communication. Proactive outreach and dialogue are essential with your teams, your clients, your supply chain, and your community.

Now is the time to consider what others need. How can you help those around you – and how can we help you? For our part, we will continue to act with the best interests of our community at heart and strive to pay it forward. Transparency, teamwork, and trust are more critical now than ever before. We are ready to serve you in any way we can because that’s what community means. Please reach out if we can help in any way.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with every one of you. We’re all in this together, and we will get through it together.

Sincerely,

Your Friends at CEAVCO Audio Visual

  Matt Emerson   Mar 25, 2020   Blog   0 Comment Read More

Meetings and Events Best Practices for 2020: CEAVCO Interview with Sheila Fox

How are meeting and event professionals using audiovisual resources to enhance their events and increase audience engagement?

As part of CEAVCO’s new meetings and events interview series, CEAVCO president Matt Emerson recently asked chief events officer Sheila Fox (pictured to the left) to weigh in.


In what ways have audiovisual technology, services, and support helped you achieve your event goals? In what ways has problematic support hindered your ability to achieve those goals?

Nothing stresses me out more than when AV technology doesn’t work – a microphone, LCD projector, laptop, slide advancer …. If I have to track down a technician to help, it’s a big problem. The room is usually full of attendees with high expectations, the speaker gets anxious, and I’m left sweating. Let’s just say I have learned to troubleshoot a LOT of AV issues on the fly.

Working with the right AV partner is key. One of my clients, the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame, has a complex, two-hour ceremony that requires a lot of AV support. I rely heavily on the AV crew to switch cameras between the emcee and inductee at the appropriate times, ensure the lighting is great for everyone who will be onstage, and ensure the microphones work for people of all heights. I give the AV crew a rundown of the show beforehand, along with a copy of the program and the script. It’s important that everyone knows what to expect.

What innovative ways have you found to engage attendees at your events?

Exhibitors often talk about how difficult it is to get decision makers into their booths, so I added a community-service element to the vendor booths at a recent conference. Each exhibitor received a different type of school supply to distribute. Attendees visited each booth, collected school supplies, and filled backpacks for students in need. This strategy gave the vendors an opportunity to maximize their time with conference attendees, and both the attendees and vendors had the opportunity to give back to the community.

If cost weren’t a factor, what would you change about your events? What do you wish you were doing?

I would love to have more creative staging, amazing lighting, engaging video, and cool furniture. I would also love to have an emcee at one of my client’s three-day conferences, where attendees are required to get continuing education credits. Some of the sessions can get a bit dry, so I would love to have the funds to hire someone to tie it all together and liven things up between sessions. 

What have you seen others do at events that you’re considering adding to your events in the future?

I attend PCMA’s Convening Leaders conference to get ideas for my events. I’m a long-time member and really admire their willingness to test new ideas and concepts at their conference of 5,000+ business event professionals. I’m looking at offering shorter sessions and different seating options. For example, I’ve had a lot of requests for standing options from people who work at standing desks.

I also attended a conference this summer that used Catchbox, a foam microphone that can be thrown around the room for Q&A. It was a lot of fun!

What makes a good event production partnership? 

Let me first start with what makes a problematic partnership. No planner wants to see unexpected fees after the event is over. I also don’t like to see a service charge on equipment and labor, and I try to negotiate those charges out of my contracts if possible. Poor communication and follow-through also make events more stressful.

Clear, timely communication regarding the event is critically important. Both the planner and the production partner need to understand the goals and scope of the event, the audiovisual technology requirements, and budgetary concerns. When the partnership is working and the show runs smoothly, I look like a rock star!


Shelia Fox, CTA, is the Chief Events Officer at Event In Site, LLC, a meeting and event management studio based in Columbus, Ohio, that elevates associations, non-profits, and business clients ready to attract and engage a growing audience. Learn more at www.eventinsite.com.

  Matt Emerson   Mar 03, 2020   Blog   0 Comment Read More

Meetings and Events Best Practices for 2020: CEAVCO Interview with Sam Thompson III

How are meeting and event professionals using audiovisual resources to enhance their events and increase audience engagement?

As part of CEAVCO’s new meetings and events interview series, CEAVCO president Matt Emerson recently asked Samuel L. Thompson III (pictured), Cofounder of Sync Meeting Management, to weigh in.


What innovative ways have you found to engage attendees at your events?

We really like mobile apps that include live Q&A surveys and provide valuable information about speakers. We also like gamification – photos with the CEO, scavenger hunts around properties, etc. These strategic games encourage attendees to engage with one another.

It’s great to see people making connections through apps and other technologies. The key is to ensure that the apps you chose connect with the client’s needs and the client’s style.

If cost weren’t a factor, what would you change about your events? What do you wish you were doing?

We would like to put more into the production and staging experience of the event. Clients often budget for production and staging last when they should budget for it first. Many times, the room just falls flat and doesn’t align with the experience our clients want to deliver.

People are visual. I want to find new ways to engage attendees visually and get them excited about the content and the location. Also, there’s far too much focus on being in a major city versus at a major destination. As a result, some great places get looked over.

Too frequently we see a lot of momentum, energy, and opportunities lost with too many clumsy handoffs from one presenter to the next. We would really like to incorporate an emcee into events more often to manage the stage throughout the event to keep the flow going and tie all of the elements together.

In what ways have audiovisual technology, services, and support helped you achieve your event goals? In what ways has problematic support hindered your ability to achieve those goals?

LED screens have helped maximize space and provide a higher level of impact. This technology can make a corporate event look like the Grammys or the Oscars. It adds spice and flavor to the event. The creativity and visuals can tie an event together.

On the flip side, the dominance of preferred providers and the proliferation of fees charged for using an outside production company are really getting in the way of our ability to help our clients. Limited choice and inflated costs hurt both the clients and the industry.

What makes a good event production partnership? 

A good partner is one that dedicates time to the planning and truly collaborates with their clients to achieve their goals. They participate in site surveys. They diagram. They plan load in and load out. They tie the design to the event objectives, and they’re prepared to execute. They collaborate to help the client look good.

Behind-the-scenes production effort truly impacts what happens on the stage. When there’s a true meeting of the minds, it’s magical!


Samuel L. Thompson III is the Cofounder of Sync Meeting Management, a full-service meeting and event management company offering years of luxury property sales and event management experience. Learn more at syncmm.com.

  Matt Emerson   Jan 23, 2020   Blog   0 Comment Read More