Choosing the right equipment

Are you planning a Fundraiser, Gala, Award Night, Fashion Show, Corporate Retreat or Training Seminar? I offer a wide range of Audio Visual Services to ensure your upcoming Maine event goes exactly as planned. But, where do you start? How do you choose which equipment you need to produce a successful show? Don’t worry, I am here to help! Through my free (and no pressure) consultation process I will gain an understanding of what you are looking to accomplish and will work with you to design an appropriate production. My ultimate goal is to represent you and your brand to the best of my ability while sticking to your event budget. In this article I am going to take an in-depth look at projection screens, TV’s and projectors.

Let’s talk projectors, TV’s and projection screens

Visuals and the ability to clearly see the content displayed is a huge part of an events success. There are many factors to consider when implementing a properly deployed visual presentation so lets dive in! This may seem obvious but the first thing to consider is the size of the space you are working with. Ceiling height and distance from the visuals are two things I commonly look at. The second determining factor in the planning process is ambient light. As it turns out, the sun is really really bright and can restrict the ability for projectors and projection screens to be clearly seen. Depending on the space you may be best served by TV screens or an LED Video Wall. To better understand what your needs might be I have put together some common applications and outlined some of the common rental needs below.

Every event is different so please contact me to discuss the details.

Breakout Rooms or Small Events: 

Due to the smaller size of these gatherings smaller (6ft or 8ft) tripod/pulldown projection screens with 3,000 to 5,000 lumen projectors are commonly used. One thing to keep in mind when using a tripod screen and projector it will always be a front projection surface so the projector will need to be placed near attendees. To fill an 8ft screen the projector is typically 6 to 10ft from the projection surface. If attendees or the presenter walk in the path of the projection screen, a shadow will be visible on the screen.

Over the past few years flatscreen TV rentals have become increasingly popular for these applications. An 8ft tripod pulldown screen offers a 90″ viewable diagonal and takes up a fair amount of space. Alternatively, 70″ TV screens can be used to allow increased floorspace for attendees and the presenter. The screen is clear, crisp and the content is viewable even in rooms where ambient light cannot be controlled. Attendees and the presenter can walk freely without casting a shadow on the screen. 

Panel Discussions and Medium Sized Events: 

In scenarios where there might be a moderator and multiple speakers presenting information we generally provide staging, a podium and visuals left and right of the stage. For events with 50 to 100 attendees two to four TV screens (or a pair of 106″ diagonal) screens are typically used. You may also want to add a confidence monitor placed out front of the stage for the moderator and presenters to see. A confidence monitor is out of sight for attendees but allows the individuals on stage to see what is on the screens without having to turn and look at the screens.

For events with 100 to 200 attendees we generally recommend  106″ or 133″ diagonal screens fitted with rear projection. These screens are fast fold and skirted for a more formal presentation. Rear projection allows attendees to walk freely throughout the event space without fear of interfering with the content on the screen (no shadows). For these size screens we use ultra short throw projectors which allows us to take up a minimal footprint. The benefit to ultra short throw projectors is to fill the screen we only need 3 to 6ft of space behind the screen. The projectors used in these scenarios tend to be between 4,000 and 5,000 lumen.

Event Production and Large Events: 

For events with 200+ attendees it’s important to get a sense of the room dimensions and available space for the production equipment. Fundraisers, for example, tend to maximize floor space for guest tables to raise as much money as possible. While award nights and galas may have a bit more space allocated to the production. In either scenario we have the equipment required to ensure a successful outcome. If you are tight on space you may need to do a mixture of projection screens and TV screens. If you aren’t restricted by space we recommend 161″ or 200″ diagonal screens with ultra short throw rear projection. Projectors for these sized screens tend to between 6,000 and 8,000 lumen.

We find, in most applications, 161″ diagonal screens are the appropriate balance for size and scale. As the screen size starts to increase the awareness of height is important. You don’t want the screen to start so low that people in the middle/back can’t see it. And, as the screen size increases the frames and screens themselves become increasingly taller. Therefore, the ceiling height in the venue becomes a determining factor in choosing the appropriate screen size. Of course, if ceiling height isn’t a concern you can always go bigger.

Ready to discuss the details of your upcoming event? Contact me today and let’s get started. I’ll help you make those critical decisions to ensure your event is a success.