Light, sound, and smell all have a profound impact on our memories and how we perceive the world around us. A particular smell, an angle of light, or a song can cause a sudden and radical shift in our mood. How do you harness this ability to influence the mood and tone of an event? This is where A/V professionals come in. Whether you have an A/V business or are looking for ways to amp up your events, sound and light are the most direct ways to accomplish this goal.
Good lighting is essential to any event. Finding an appropriate balance between too bright and too dark is crucial, but also varies between events. For instance, you’ll want a dimmer environment for creating an intimate tone for dinner parties, but bright, energizing lighting for trade shows and conferences. Once you achieve your optimal base lighting, it’s time to get creative.
The most obvious way light can draw attention to something is by using a spotlight. We see spotlights used in theaters and concerts all the time, because it works. Another way to draw attention to something is backlighting, or adding lighting behind something to draw attention to the item or area. Uplighting is useful for illuminating walkways and paths, or to light up a building facade. Well placed, attention-grabbing lightning is a sure way to add drama to an event while also directing attendees’ eyes to the focal points of the event.
Lighting as décor can be as simple as using Edison bulb string lights in an outdoor event or as complex as using projection mapping (projecting visuals onto an object) to decorate a wedding cake. Projection mapping is also useful for branding at your event, as it can be used to create interactive (or not!) 2D and 3D displays. You can be sure that a high tech installation will draw attention on social media during and after the event!
Tone & Mood
As previously mentioned, standard and colorful lighting can be used to influence the tone and mood of your event. Broad spectrum, or “daylight” bulbs have a cooler tone that is used to energize a room, while “soft white” bulbs have a warmer tone, which relaxes a room. Using soft white lighting in addition to Edison bulb string lights will instantly create a cozy, romantic feel that is ideal for dinners, wedding receptions, and other events where you’d like guests to be comfortable, relax, and mingle. Daylight bulbs, on the other hand, are perfect for trade shows, art gallery openings, and any other event where you want to promote movement, activity, and energy.
Like light, sound is an essential tool for event profs that’s easy to overlook or undervalue. The reality is that sound has as much of an impact on mood as lighting, and should always be considered when creating a stunning event.
Sound is a great way to draw attention to something at an event— we already use it in daily life without even realizing it. A school bell, your ringtone, and the sound your computer makes when it turns on all draw your attention to something; since our brains are already conditioned to react to sounds signaling events, why not take advantage of it at events? Use sounds to notify guests of events, the start of break-away groups at corporate events, or even as a call to a meal.
Amplify or Dampen
At large or recorded events, making sure speakers can be clearly understood can be a challenge. Using microphones is an easy way to make sure speakers are heard, even by guests in the back of the room or those attending virtually. If your speakers remain unheard, guests will likely get bored and/or frustrated and leave the event early.
Empty rooms are prone to echoes, which do not lend themselves to a comfortable environment. While echoes and reverberations may be reduced with more people in the room, the room will still be unnecessarily loud, which makes it difficult to hear performers, speakers, and other guests. An easy way to reduce unnecessary echoes is to add area rugs, furniture, drapes, and acoustic panels to the room.
Tone & Mood
Time to bring in your sound engineers and DJs! Music and soundscapes are a perfect way to profoundly influence moods without getting in the way of the event. DJs hype up the room and get people moving, while soundscapes and ambient music relax or gently energize guests. Make sure to use music wisely; because it has such a huge impact on people, it makes sense to bring in a pro to design your soundscapes and playlists, as they have experience and know what will energize, agitate, or bring down a crowd.
Light and sound are essential to creating memorable events. Even small changes can have resounding effects on an event as a whole. Light and sound both have the capacity to slip past our conscious thoughts and affect our emotions directly and are, therefore, powerful tools for event professionals to harness. If you have an event rental company and do not currently have an A/V team or partner with an A/V company for your events, 2022 is the year to start. Take your events to the next level!
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