COMMENCEMENTS & GRADUATIONS: AUDIO/VISUAL MUST HAVE’S
After all of the planning and hours of hard work you put into commencement this year, how are you feeling? Are there one or two things that you didn’t do this year that you would like to do next year? Is there something that just can’t happen again. Here are 4 commencement and graduation planning tips to consider that are guaranteed to alleviate stress during next year’s ceremony.
1. IMAG stands for “image magnification.” IMAG, in simple terms, is delivering a signal (camera feed) from a camera to a screen. It just so happens that IMAG is the most trending topic in commencement production as higher education institutions have become increasingly savvier and more creative with their video production capabilities and are budgeting for large display screen rentals. For a parent investing their life savings only to miss the monumental moment of their child receiving their diploma is devastating. We’ve arrived at a point where if you do not provide IMAG you are 1) producing a show that is technologically behind the times and 2) undeserving of your audience. IMAG IS A MUST! Hiring an experienced team that will work effectively with your student crew OR can provide you with professionals in that discipline is not only important, but it can also affect the overall success of the event.
Large Format VIDEO SCREENS
2. LED Screens and Projection Screens are a major component of ensuring that loved ones in any seat or standing area have an unobstructed view of their graduate receiving their diploma. Some institutions using large screen displays experience challenges with screen placement due to the physical location of the stage. Using existing displays like a stadium/arena jumbotrons often result in tough angles for the viewer. Regardless of the situation, attention should never be taken away from the main stage. If your audience has to turn their head 90 degrees for an up-close view of their student walking the stage, you should consider alternatives. Tree’s, hills, art installments are often in the way for outdoor Commencements. Mobile & modular screen configurations can be strategically placed to enhance the quality of the audience viewing experience.
BEING MINDFUL OF YOUR AUDIENCE
3. ADA – Are you currently accommodating for their needs? This is a crucial part of the audience that deserves additional attention. For the hearing impaired, it’s not always enough to have a signer by the stage. Seats, in general, fill up quickly and imagine not being able to find a seat that has a clear view of the signer. We advise having a closed captioning service so that the presenters’ speeches are understood by everyone. This can be routed to all screens or to select screens where you have a designated ADA area.
CAN THEY HEAR YOU?
4. Audio – Everyone has had that sonic experience where something just isn’t right, unpleasant to the ear, and it severely distracts you from the action on stage. Audio can often be overlooked in terms of quality as sound issues can destroy a Commencement experience. It’s very important to work with a legitimate sound company that can identify feedback or slap-back off of nearby buildings and understand sound waves, speaker placement, and volume. Using delays as opposed to increased volume is very important.
Budgets are a tough obstacle, and as an organizer, it can be difficult to try and implement your ideas. It’s important to collaborate with a production partner who understands your specific needs and is committed to helping you achieve your Commencement goals.
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