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Your Live Event Questions Answered

Do you have a question about your next live event? Well, we have the answers. From what you need, what you don’t, (and what even is that?!) – we’re here to help!

Our team of experts is ready to talk design details, sponsor and branding opportunities, and so much more. While you dial our number (202-783-0300), here are a few answers to the questions asked recently. So read on and we can't wait to work together. 

Who/What is LAI Live?

LAI Live is a full-service client experience encompassing event design, production management, program development, content design and audio-visual logistics; all led by a professional team of Live Event Producers and creative content designers.

What is a Live Event Producer?

A Live Event Producer is an extension of your Events Team and utilizes the event objectives to best create and execute a live event experience that meets the highest expectations. They become the point of contact for all things related to event production, both in planning and on-site. Producers focus on the logistics and creative planning of the main stage and key programming through Production Management so you can focus on the overall event and attendee needs.

What is Event Production

Event Production refers to creating an event that is more than talking heads on a stage.  Each segment of your event can become a “production” with a few small elements.  Engaging, well-rehearsed speakers, a condensed script, punchy music, professionally designed graphics, surprising moments of awe, audience interaction, and a polished execution can all turn your meeting into a Production!  Need help?  Bring in an LAI Live Producer!

What is Production Management?

Production Management is the focus of logistics and design for any stage or show component of your event.  Our Live Event Producers will take the lead in this area by handling production timelines and deliverables, AV logistics, contributing and executing creative program ideas, cue sheet development, scripting, content creation, on-site schedules, leading regularly scheduled team meetings, talent rehearsals, stage management, tech rider management, education session logistics, and much, much more. 

What’s the difference between an Event Producer and a Meeting Planner?

Meeting planners are the overall event lead. They are responsible for all logistics including housing, registration, food and beverage, and maintaining the event agenda. Without these key components the event wouldn’t take place. Simply put, they are the “people managers.”

Just as a Meeting Planner has a lead/team to manage registration, housing, exhibits, etc., the Event Producer is another member of that team, managing the production for stage and programming.

An LAI Live event producer takes the roadmap created by the meeting planner and brings it to life onstage. We are the “experience managers.”  

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What type of events does LAI Live work on?

LAI Live handles events in all shapes, sizes, and categories: convention general sessions and education sessions, award shows, fundraising galas, road shows, festivals, brand activations, concerts, sales kick-offs, high-touch Board meetings, recurring Hybrid or Virtual “update” events, annual meetings, executive forums.  Whether a 7-day event or a 1-hour livestream, if an event requires a well-planned, smoothly run production then LAI Live is right for you.

What other events do you produce in my industry?

LAI Live works across a variety of industries for non-profit organizations, associations, corporations, institutes, and societies among others. We produce events in all shapes, sizes, and categories.  Convention general sessions and education sessions, award shows, fundraising galas, road shows, festivals, brand activations, concerts, sales kick-offs, high-touch Board meetings, recurring Hybrid or Virtual “update” events, annual meetings, executive forums.  If an event requires a well-planned, smoothly run production then LAI Live is right for you.

Some of our most common industries are education, healthcare, pharma, technology, child and family support, membership groups, scientific, military, and finance, but there are many others our Producers and Designers lead throughout the year.

Can LAI Live provide accessibility and inclusion services for attendees?

LAI Live has a selection of partners we work with to provide accessibility services for live, hybrid, virtual, and pre-recorded events we’re producing.  Options include: ASL, ISL, closed-captions, language translation (spoken or captioned), descriptive audio, RTC-RSI.

What venues are best for live events?

The best venue depends on the overall event needs. When you can, think outside of the ballroom or convention center and test out amphitheaters, museums, industry-related buildings/sites.  If attendance size restricts going beyond the convention center, we recommend transforming it into a space that transports the attendee to another location or dimension. 

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What’s the difference between an AV Company and LAI Live?

Oh goodness, where do we start?! LAI Live designs, produces, and manages events from start to finish. The event producer and creative team take a hands-on approach to deliver full-service client experiences encompassing program development, graphic design, scripting, production management, audio-visual logistics, scenic design, animation and video production, talent management, plus lead all onsite logistics and execution.   

With an AV company, you’re responsible for managing all the above elements and often get little support, creative input, or preproduction communications from your AV lead. Onsite, you’re responsible for handling the talent and handing off your run of show in hopes that it’s executed the way you’ve envisioned with few hiccups.

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Do you have recommendations for RFP must-haves?

YES!  Be honest about your budget, include a note about the audience and event vibe, share your most up-to-date conference schedule or a similar one from years past, provide a high level overview of what equipment beyond a traditional set-up your production requires in key spaces (four-cameras in GS, mics for 6-person panels in education sessions, teleprompter), and what other services you may need like creative design, video content, and speakers.

How have Live Events changed post-pandemic?

First the bad news: They’ve gotten more expensive as prices have raised across all event points.  Staffing is still limited with many venues and service providers so it’s important to get on their planning schedule early.  Attendance is still building back to normal so decisions on room layouts, food and beverage, or number of sessions may need to be made closer to the event date than before.

Now the good news: People are happy to be back and there is a real buzz in the air across all events.  Attendees are a bit more forgiving of changes or lack of amenities they’d come to expect. Key event influencers are more amenable to change in format and program presentation than they were in previous “because this is how we’ve always done it” times. With event venues filling up quicker than before, it’s a perfect time to try new venues and destinations.

Can I stream my General Sessions in a live event?

Absolutely and it’s easier than you think!  The GS already has a switcher creating your program feed with cameras, video, graphics, and audio.  The AV team can simply stream the program feed to a location of your choice with streaming software, no extra cameras or switching needed. If your scenic/screens are not traditional 16:9 format, you’ll want to work with your Event Producer to discuss how custom show graphics and video can be adjusted to accommodate the one feed. LAI Live was streaming general sessions pre-pandemic to Youtube, Facebook Live, Vimeo, or company websites.  Now we can add Zoom and other virtual platforms into the mix. 

Can I include virtual speakers in my live event?

Yes! LAI Live has a few different ways to have a virtual speaker join as a solo presenter or as a panelist. Though weather, travel disruptions, or other unforeseen events may cause this to be a last-minute requirement, you’ll want to include it in your pre-production plan so the proper equipment is ready and your virtual speaker has an opportunity to test.  For best results, a hardline internet connection should be used in the general session space. Try to use virtual speakers minimally so the in-person audience doesn’t feel like they paid to watch a virtual event on the big screen.

Can I use LAI Live’s Producers if I’m using in-house AV?

Absolutely!  While LAI provides scenic design and industry elite AV equipment and technicians, our Producers can also work with in-house AV or your preferred AV company.  Our Producers, Designers, and Stage Managers are able to work anywhere you need us which allows for flexibility in your budget and event locations, while keeping the consistency of a Producing team that you and your key event contributors will come to know and trust. 

Can LAI Live help me redesign my event?

Yes! LAI’s event professionals are here to help with any scale of redesign, theme/branding/logo design for an upcoming event, or even laying the foundation for successful debut events.  We have a variety of design and consultation packages available to fit most any budget.

Can LAI Live help with event branding and graphics design?

Yes, we offer a wide range of design packages that can include event brand design, event logo design, show graphic design and build, annual reports, newsletters, promotional marketing materials, venue branding (signs, decals, wraps) program books, digital items for social, platforms, and apps, and anything else that can be expressed through graphics and design.  Check out our ‘gallery’ page to see examples of our work.

Does LAI Live work nationally and internationally?

Yes!  Our team regularly works nationwide with our full scope of services.  Internationally, our team provides all services except our team works on your behalf to source local AV equipment and labor that’s necessary for the show.  As with nationwide shows, your LAI Live Producer will be there during load-in to oversee the build and to run technical rehearsals.

When should I RFP an event?

There are a lot of reasons you could decide it’s time to create an RFP for your live event production.  But here are some of the most common:

  • The Events team is ready to take the next step to elevating the production value of the main stage program
  • The show/event has grown and more help is needed to manage the main stage production elements
  • The show has been on rinse & repeat for quite a few years and it’s time to change it up
  • The in-house Marcom/design team is tapped out so it’s time to find a trusted design partner
  • The current production costs have become increasingly expensive, but not much has changed with the show
  • The production contract says you’re getting a support team, but you don’t feel supported
  • Just to see what else is out there from price, creativity, Production teams, etc.

Some organizations require an RFP be issued regularly, but still choose to stay with the same companies year after year.  If you’re required to issue an RFP, think about what could sway your decision to try someone/thing new.  Is it price, design, creative ideas, team support, incentives, or something else.

When you’re ready to issue an RFP, be sure to check out RFP Must-Haves!

How does the cost of a live event compare to the cost of a hybrid or fully virtual event?

There is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to event costs. The LAI Live team helps build and produce events based on each of our clients’ unique requirements and costs vary greatly. Most event professionals were surprised at the cost of hosting virtual events when it was necessary to do so.  With virtual you need to consider the production level desired for the platform/infrastructure of the stream.  Hybrid events require a mix of in-person elements (venue, scenic, AV) and virtual infrastructure.  Live events area based around location and size of attendance.  The best way to figure out what’s right for your organization is to speak with one of our event consultants.

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Do you have more questions?

Well we have more answers for you! Reach out to our team today to start talking all things virtual event design and online meeting management.