With a flood of photos, forum discussions, and Facebook friend requests floating around since the close of the 2009 WEVA Expo, I felt the timing was right to release my list of things WEVA needs to fix before the 2010 Expo. Now let me preface this all by saying that the purpose of this list is to initiate a discussion on how to make the event video industry’s best and only trade show & convention even better. I’ve been attending Expo for the past six years, have been a speaker four times, and I consider attending Expo to be an integral part of my business success – I’d just like to see Expo keep relevant to me as I grow my own business.
1 – Fix the gala video coverage:
As I mentioned in my 2008 article in EventDV Magazine – there were a few problems with previous IMAG video feeds to the projectors.
I’ve always felt that in an effort to showcase potential markets, the video feed of the onstage activities should be provided by cameras that are commonly used by Expo’s attendees. I was pleased to see that the on-site cameras were Canon XH A1’s, although the operators struggled with the stage lighting, which was noticeable in a room full of video professionals. Besides an overexposed video feed, the evening moved along efficiently, an improvement on previous marathon-session award galas.
I’m not going to spend too much time commenting on the fact the projectors were displaying all the award winning widescreen videos in 4:3 but I will say that if there is any audience that would notice video problems it would be the very attendees of the Expo gala so the bar is rightfully high. Compared to last year, the camera operators for this round were wise enough to take their cameras off of auto exposure but for a variety of reasons, the video image left WEVA Chairman Roy Chapman appearing to be just a floating head against a black backdrop. When my company provides video production services for conferences and conventions we always make sure we let the speakers know in advance they are not to wear black, especially when the background is black, nor strong diagonal patterns to avoid stair-casing problems. Of course the speakers don’t always listen so we usually add in two additional light sources:
1 – Back light: This puts a bit of light on the hair and top of the shoulder and helps them “pop” away from the background.
2 – Up-lights: These are different from the pair of lights that can be seen trying to light-up the black backdrop. They are typically coloured to change the colour of the backdrop directly behind the speaker so as to help him/her “pop” away from the background. I would recommend a blue LED up-light that works with the WEVA corporate blue.
Here is a photo from Grant Photo & Video to help illustrate the lighting challenge.
Check back tomorrow for #2 on the list of things WEVA needs to fix for Expo 2010. Or better yet, subscribe using the RSS feed.