Or: “What types of audio visual screens are there?” Or: “There’s no good way to phrase this like a question a human being would ask but people probably wouldn’t mind knowing about it?”
So you sign an audio visual proposal for an event at a great price, and after arriving at the venue you walk into the room for your plenary session. But the set up doesn’t look anything like you expected.
When I was working in hotels there would be hotel clients who opted to use a low cost provider, and when the client arrived there was a 6 foot screen for a couple hundred attendees. On the other hand I would also see AV crews arrive with a huge high end screen for a meeting of 30 people, and it literally wouldn’t fit in the room.
Which screen is best will depend on your needs. Here’s a quick primer on types of screens:
Tripod Screen – This is probably the most common screen you’ll see.
- Pros: Fairly low cost, and quick to set up. You only need one technician.
- Cons: Maybe doesn’t have the best appearance. Can look sloppy if not set up well. Tripod screens are always front projection, so the projector will be on a table or cart out in front of the screen. Max size is 8′ wide.
- Pros: A somewhat nicer presentation than the tripod. Most commonly drape surrounding all sides, but just the frame itself can be attached to truss or hung from sets. Precise dimensions. Relatively large sizes.
- Cons: Slightly higher cost than the tripod. Requires more time to set up. Requires at least two technicians. This isn’t something you can add 15 minutes before a session starts.
Ultra wide format – This is an increasingly popular option. You may have seen similar screens at big product launches, like when Apple releases a new device.
- Pros: Wow factor – looks good and has lots of room for content. Ability to do “picture in picture” where slides are on one part of screen and video content is playing on another.
- Cons: Notably higher cost, not just for the screen but multiple projectors to illuminate it and a high end switcher to control the content.
Pop up or instrascreen – This is becoming more popular in some areas.
- Pros: A cleaner look than the tripod (it’s a smooth black material rather than drape) and faster to set up.
- Cons: Less weight than tripods so they sway due to air conditioning/someone walking by. The biggest size available is still only suited for small meetings.