8 Audio Visual Trends To Use This Year

We’re a few months into 2024 and the event season is kicking off! We’re personally expecting a rockstar year and the industry agrees. According to AMEX’s annual Global Meetings and Events Forecast, 82% of planners are optimistic about the health of our industry.

As we started the pre-planning process for our 2024 events at the end of 2023, we discussed as a group the audio visual trends we thought would shape the AV landscape this year. Now that the year is underway and we have a few events behind us, we’re sharing those trends and how to apply them to your own events.

1. Digital Signage

One easy and cost-effective solution we’re working with clients on is utilizing digital signage. Digital signage serves multiple purposes: it’s a sustainable choice, it elevates the conference technology, and it provides new opportunities for sponsorships and branding.

At a site visit at the Oregon Convention Center, we discovered they had very strict rules when it came to paper signage and what could or couldn’t be used. More and more venues (and events!) with an eye on sustainability are going to set guidelines around the use of paper materials. So stay ahead of the curve and opt for digital signage instead!


Elevate Your Conference Tech

Plus, digital signage just looks cooler. It enhances the technological feel at your meetings, and given the digital nature, you now have additional avenues for content. We’ve done everything from sponsor logos to event branding, important information, and directional cues for events with a large footprint.

There’s a few ways you can achieve this audio visual trend. The most effective way is a few LED panels or iPosters. When budget restrictions are in play, we've rotated monitors to give the same look and feel at a lower price.

2. Get Creative With High Venue Costs

We're all seeing venue costs for internet, rigging and power increase.  We have been successful in helping our clients keep these charges under control when we are brought in to help negotiate these costs down. Make sure to partner with your audio visual company to help negotiate these costs down. Here's a few other solutions:

Bring Your Own Internet

A new solution we think will make a big splash is the emergence of portable Wi-Fi systems. Per the Federal Communications Commission, a venue cannot block you from accessing Wi-Fi outside of the venue’s system. So why not bring your own? We’ve begun the process of building our own Wi-Fi system for clients to use, and there are currently third-party companies that provide this service. This isn’t always a solution for every space, but we believe its worth considering and researching as an answer to these purposefully inflated costs.

Ditch The Rig

Another area we look at savings is rigging. We saved Connect (X) thousands of dollars by engineering a way to ground support their massive screen, removing the need for expensive rigging costs. Solutions like this are why we believe the pre-event planning process is so crucial. There should be an ongoing, open dialogue about meeting event needs while maximizing your AV budget.


Connect X 2022 Conference - Colorado Convention Center - Ground Supported Budget Solution - ImageAV

Own Your Venue Contract

It’s time for our annual soapbox talk about negotiating out frivolous venue fees, often used as a penalty for not choosing the in-house provider. Keep an eye out for language that restricts your right to choose your own vendors, or for things like elevator charges for outside companies, etc.

Even better, use your own language in the contract that protects your freedom of choice. We provide that language to you with these AV RFP Tips.

3. Reducing the AV Footprint

Another way you can save or make money is maximizing your venue space. For certain events, we've worked hard to minimize the space needed for AV in the room. For instance, we'll use short throw projectors in tight spaces for more flexibility and additional seating. Thinking about your space differently can give you the ability to increase audience size or choose smaller, less expensive rooms.

This also applies to breakouts. Popular breakouts tend to fill up so fast, and you’ll see people squishing into rooms with limited seating. Short throw projection lenses can drastically cut down on space needed for AV in a room.

4. Design With Accessibility In Mind

We’re starting to have more conversations during pre-planning about designing stage sets with a focus on accessibility. Three ways we’re implementing this audio visual trend is larger screens, captioning, and translating.

Large screens are a great solution to help with visibility in audiences. No matter where you’re sitting in the audience, you’ll have a clear view of the content and speaker. They also have the added benefit of being less expensive than LED, and with the right planning can really make a statement on stage. The extra-large screen also gives you more variations and options for content and graphics displays.

Say It With A Caption

For NTEN’s 2024 event, we live captioned the sessions right on the screens. This provides greater access for those who might not hear as well, any non-native English speakers, or those who process better visually. This is also something we’ve added into session recordings when needed.

We’ve also partnered with translation companies for our international groups. Colored headsets allow attendees to quickly know which language is being translated. Providing content in the audience’s native language is one of the most inclusive things we can do!

NTEN 24NTC Conference - Portland, OR - Live Captioning for Events - ImageAV

5. Intelligent LED Lighting

With LED lighting becoming far more affordable and compact, it easily makes our audio visual trends list for the year. We love when clients let us "paint" the blank surfaces of convention centers and hotels. Air walls, ceilings, hard surfaces, and the back of the room are all wonderful candidates. It creates an all-encompassing feel versus only a stage at the front of the room. And even better - you can change the look multiple times a day!


6. Higher Production Values


Through a combination of a strong event industry and attendees eager for networking opportunities, we're witnessing event budgets increase to accommodate higher production values. This means that the same show today has more equipment and labor than it did three or four years ago. Events are more complex, more visually appealing with better technology, and the labor is more skilled.

A bigger budget for production increases audience engagement, better presents your brand, and encourages future attendance. AV technology - like the rest of the tech world - is advancing so rapidly that tech-forward solutions are in reach for a lot more budgets. From projection mapping to LED walls to blended projection, the options for designing creative set designs are limitless!

With an increase in event technology comes more "hands" onsite, especially in video and graphics. Pro tip: some AV companies have a creative services department who will help design custom graphics for your event.



7. Automate Presentation Gathering

The event world is no stranger to technology automation. From check-ins and badging to QR codes for data collection and custom event apps we've witnessed the power of technology to take some burden off the planning team.

We felt this needed to apply to the often very manual, very tedious process of collecting, organizing, and uploading presenter material.

Enter our Presentation Management Portal, where your speakers will have access to a secure site to upload their presentation in advance of the conference. Our proprietary system matches up the speaker to the correct breakout or general session room and sends the presentations to  the correct room on the correct day.

The result? A super clean, efficient, and hassle-free process for you and your team. We can run reports on what's been submitted, and even have an approval process if you have specific presentation guidelines.

It will forever change the way you handle presentations!



8. Expo Theater Halls


Audiences are hungry for content - so let's give it to them everywhere they are! Expo theaters are a great way to deliver something unique to your attendees. It doesn't need to take up a large footprint and there's just a few additional tech needs.

You can sell 30 or 60-minute presentation slots to sponsors and give them the opportunity to share their message above and beyond a traditional booth. Consider different "tracks" each day, focused on topics like education or product spotlights.

This also helps increase traffic through the Hall, so be strategic where you place the Theaters.

The biggest challenge you'll want to get ahead of is audio, so work closely with your event production team on that.

Outdoor Retailer Exhibit Hall Theater - Denver, CO - Colorado Convention Center Exhibitor Services - ImageAV

Hop On These Audio Visual Trends With ImageAV

Let our experienced and creative team put these trends into action!

You focus on big picture branding, content and experience while we make the audiovisual magic happen. Our team will bring your creative vision to life with the latest audio visual trends and technology guaranteed to delight attendees and make your company shine.


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