Union can get extremely complicated and can change from venue to venue and from city to city where Union is required. Union can also be double the price for any labor needs. This is important to factor when choosing a venue. We have a full write up on Union labor that we can send to you, just let us know!
Things to know
1. The Union will assign you an Account Manager for your event. They are commonly referred to as a “Steward” or “Administrative Steward”. The job of the Steward is to work directly with you and be your greatest support to ensure you are following all union rules, ensure safety guidelines are followed and oversee all operations while managing the schedule of all Union workers.
2. Hourly rates/requirements can vary from the type/grade of Union as well as the work being performed
3. Type of work being performed can affect rates. Example: Breakout Room is different than General Session work.
4. Safety First: Union will never do anything “illegally” or unsafe when it comes to setting up or operating your event, so it’s best not to ask (yes – they get these request all the time!).
5. You have the right to establish rules and regulations you deem necessary including conduct, dress, job performance, expectations. Review these expectations with your Union representative and ensure they do not conflict with any terms and conditions of your agreement with the Union or Union regulations.
6. Lower “grade” of Union worker might be able to perform the same tasks as more expensive grade. Work with your Steward to find the most cost effective option.
Make sure you…
1. Track all Union labor worked every day and for every shift. Have each employee sign the hour tracking or have your Steward track all hours with your daily approval.
2. Employer needs to present a Certificate of Coverage showing a current workers compensation Insurance policy is in effect
3. General Liability: Ensure you prepare general liability paperwork far in advance from the start of your event and ensure you have a copy with you at all times. Without it, your event can be greatly delayed or cancelled all together (Yes – events have been cancelled because of missing of general liability documentation – the venue will not take the risk).
4. Book time in your contract with your venue to allow for set up the day before the event and during regular business hours. Any hours worked outside regular business hours will increase labor costs dramatically.
Insiders tips directly from the Union workers
1. “Nice” goes a long way
2. Meet with your Steward far in advance of your event. Review your event, your expectations and possible challenges and concerns. This is not only an excellent way to meet and get know your Steward, yet provide needed time to resolve issues far before you come to the venue. They will appreciate your efforts to get to know them and understand their requirements.
3. Appreciate your Steward: the Steward has the ability to make or break your event. Make efforts to work with them and rely on them as much as possible
4. Keeping a sense of humor and keeping things in perspective: Problems will work themselves out and the event will go on. Stay positive!!
5. Everyone wants the same results: It’s everyone’s best interest for a successful event as this is the easiest and best approach for everyone involved. It truly is a team effort
6. Communicate: Take the time to go out of your way to ensure clear and updated information. Be a good source of information as best you can, and when you do not have an answer, be honest with all parties – everyone will work better knowing the situations at hand.
1. Make sure you determine the amount of devices expected to be used for internet use, not the amount of users. The average person has 2 to 3 devices they will use at an event.
2. Determine how the internet will be used:
· Low: Email and simple web surfing
· Medium: Web applications and streaming audio
· High: Instructor web training, large file transfers, video streaming
3. Determine your estimated bandwidth. A good example is 700 devices (about 350 users) using medium internet usage is about 36MB/s per day.
5. Your internet provider or venue can provide you with all internet usage during your event (amount of users, type of use, how many are logged in at any given time – all internet analytics). Ask them for daily updates.
6. You can easily place user name and passwords to log into your dedicated internet to keep unwanted users from logging in.
7. When possible, include your internet charges and the promised broadband in your contract. Also, state in your terms that your rates will not increase if you use an outside AV company. Why? Unfortunately, many in-house AV companies provide you an internet quote with the goal of being your AV vendor. But if they are not selected, they increase your internet rate. Many time doubling their rates. Ensure any quote provided to you is valid no matter who you use as your AV vendor.
8. You don’t have to always use the in-house internet. There are other options available to you via Verizon and AT&T where you create a separate, fully functioning internet system. For example, MiMedia Productions works directly with Verizon Wireless setting up full internet access with the use of “cradle points”. You bypass the venue internet entirely and go directly through Verizon’s wireless system. This can supply internet up to 1200 devices.
Networking / Speaker Presentation Rooms
Networking is extremely valuable when connecting computers or equipment for easy access anywhere in a venue. Examples: would include speaker presentations available to all breakouts and general session rooms or printing to any location in a venue. When networking is needed, remember that you will need access to the venues network. You may be charged for network access and certain scenarios determine availability and cost. Networking can help you streamline breakout rooms and insure they start on time and without difficulty.
Room size, room set up, environment, audience size, impact and budget all effect the type of equipment needed for room set up’s. However, below are some general guidelines for room set ups to give you a starting point for needed equipment:
1 to 30 people:
1. Audio: typically no audio needed. You can use computer speakers if needed for presentations that have audio.
2. Video: 6ft to 8ft screen / 2500 to 3500 Lumens projector
30 to 80 people
1. Audio: two speakers (type TBD), mixer, microphones
2. Video: 8ft screen / 3500 Lumens to 4000 Lumens
80 to 150 people
1. Audio: 4 speakers (type TBD), mixer, microphones (“delay” speakers may be needed as well)
2. Video: One or two 9×12 screen (4:3 format) / 5000 to 6500 Lumens
150 to 350 people
1. Audio: Line Array system or 6 speakers with sub woofers, mixer, microphones (using delay speakers when needed)
2. Video: One or two 10.5 x 14 screens (4:3 format), 6500 Lumens to 7000 Lumens
350 to 1000 People
1. Audio: Line Array system (flown is option) or 8 speakers with sub woofers, larger mixer, microphones
2. Video: One, two or more 10.5 x 14 screens (4×3), 7000 Lumens to 10000 Lumens
1000 to 3000 people
1. Very complex system for both Audio and Video. See your AV provider or call us for event review.
1. Room layouts provided by the venue are extremely helpful in determining the best equipment needs and best layout. This will also help determine if rigging is needed. Whenever possible, have your room layouts available at RFP stage. Also, for complex rooms and General Sessions, your AV provider can (and should) provide you with their own renderings for easy review and considerations.
2. Rooms with windows that do not provide window covers will need brighter LCD Projectors for use during the day.
3. The “Lumens” on an LCD Projector (example: 3000 Lumens) references to the strength, clarity and brightness of the LCD projectors bulb. The higher the lumens, the higher the quality (and higher the price).
4. You will always need room behind or in front of a screen for the LCD Projectors light “throw” or “projection”. The type of lens the LCD projector offers will determine how much room is needed. Also, you can attach a different type of lens to some LCD projectors if more room is needed or if you need to project from the back of the room over your audience.
5. Any room with sound should have a mixer included. This allows for quick control of the audio as well as allows for multiple pieces of equipment to be used with one sound system (example: 2 mics, one iPod, one computer). Small 4 to 6 channel mixers are common in breakout rooms. More advanced mixers are needed for General Sessions or with special audio needs.
6. Your room layout may require more cables, power and cords for the equipment set up. Be prepared for some flexibility in costs to accommodate the room layout.
7. For large audiences, determine ahead of time the layout of the room and where you will be placing the stage as well as the stage size. This will help the AV company determine the best equipment for that layout. Also, remember that a change in the layout can dramatically affect the equipment being used. You can always ask your AV company for their recommendations on size of stage and layout.
8. Let the AV company know if you are using 4:3 or 16:9 format. This will effect screen size, LCD Projector set up and video switcher equipment. Also, 16:9 screens are usually a little more expensive yet a better look and becoming more common. Let all your presenters know the format you are using to ensure they build their presentation in the correct format.
9. “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) is very popular with speakers. You will need to know what devices they are going to use so you can prepare the correct connections. For computers, ask if they are using a PC or MAC. If PC, ask if the output is “VGA” or “HDMI”. For MAC, ask what version of computer they are using (MAC frequently changes their video output so many adaptors may be needed). Remember, BYOD situations can create a chaotic situation for both you and your AV staff, especially when you have more than 3 breakout rooms. Try having your AV company provide computers in each room,
10.Encourage your presenters to “embed” any presentation video in their presentation. This way they will not need to rely on internet to play video. This will save on costs as well
Beyond your basic equipment, consider having the following included
1. Audio mixer large enough to handle last minute audio connections
2. Back up computer
3. One video switcher for smooth switching from one video source to another
4. Confidence monitor for speakers (so they can stay on track and not have to turn away from the audience to look at the screens
5. Mini audio jack for sound source (iPod/iPad/tablet/music player/other)
6. Ensure your speakers embed video in their presentations so not to rely on internet access to show video’s.
1. Mixer in all rooms with sound
2. Mini audio jack for sound from presenters computer
3. For small rooms without microphones or sound systems, consider small computer speakers for sound from presenters laptops
4. Wireless mouse/presenter mouse
5. Have your AV company provide the needed computers for breakout rooms to keep multiple speaker set ups easier and to avoid problems.
1. Apps are nearly essential in today’s events. Beyond the tremendous value they bring an event, one of the values is the ability to quickly change schedules, send push notifications and communicate with all attendees – anytime, instantly. MiMedia Productions provides event app services and many times offers a complimentary event app for your event.
2. Radio’s/push-to-talk phones are extremely valuable especially when dealing with multiple venue levels and a team of people. Know which type of radios you want to use and if there is a different in costs.
The Webcast vs. Webinar
When planning a webcast – remember it is a “broadcast” like golf, Nascar, and football – with a production truck in a “box” or computer that takes all the media, video, audio and graphics and is live switched to make the viewing experience equal to our years of live TV events.
Webinar style utilizes a laptop and operator and hardline internet connection. This is the >easiest way in which we use a service like GoTo meeting and the presenters PPT is loaded on this local laptop and then the audio feed from the room is directly run to the audio input of the laptop OR via a “Gentner” audio to telephone adapter and into a phone line and dialed into the GoTo meeting service. The Operator then follows along with the presenter and the viewer sees the slides and hears the presenter. Requires a one day prior internet set and test.
Webcast Single Camera
utilizes a desktop video/graphics (Tricaster) switcher and operator, and a camera and camera operator. This 2-man team gives a viewing experience of the PPT slides and a close-up shot of the presenter. The operator chooses to switch between the camera and PPT based on the delivery of the presenter and what is best for the “viewer” to follow the program and stay engaged. This service utilizes a CDN or content delivery network of server computers that broadcasts the stream out to your audience across the internet with solid performance and multi-platform/device confidence. This requires a landing page on clients website for player or we can provide a standalone unbranded page. Requires venue internet and a one-day prior setup and test.
Webcast – 2 Camera and Cam Switcher OP
Takes the single cam webcast (above) and elevates the experience to include a second wide shot, allowing second shot such as a panel or on stage interview to also been seen. You would then cut to the close-up and back to the graphics and so forth. Requires a 3-man team, equipment, venue internet, and a one-day prior setup and test.
Webcast – 3 Camera and Cam Switcher OP
A third camera can be added to show the room, the audience and often a wide shot of both the side of the presenter and the audience. This is extremely important if there is Q&A and you want to see and hear the audience participation. There are additional costs of this additional camera and operator and builds on the two camera option (above) for a rich multi-camera experience. Requires a team of techs, equipment, venue internet and a one-day prior setup and test.
This guide describes the approach we use for creating a better “live” experience and the difference of what is needed to create a good viewing experience.
Live IMAG Camera
IMAG stands for “Image Magnification” and is just that, a manned camera that holds a close up shot of the presenters and the screen video switcher and can hose to put this on the screens which usually is about 20% of the time and the other 80% is the PPT. This close up shot with no graphics can be recorded but only shows the presenter in the recording.
Record for Editing
This include the IMAG close up camera and a Second wide static (unmanned) second camera that shows the stage and the screen so that an editor can take the close up and the wide and the PPT slides and edit together a nice video of the presentation for distribution.
Recording 2 Camera Live Switch
This is a good way to have an edited version of the program available for immediate distribution. This takes the single IMAG cam and elevates the experience by adding a second manned camera with a wide shot so if there is a panel or an on stage interview that the multiple people can be seen. The cameras are run to a video switcher computer (separate of the screen switcher) and operator called camera director and allows the two cameras, audio, and graphics to be mixed live and recorder.
Recording 3 Camera and Live Switch
A third camera can be added to show the room, the audience and often a wide shot of both the side of the presenter and the audience. This is extremely important if there is Q&A
and you want to see and hear the audience participation.
By: Stephen O’Connor