Or “What size screen do I need?”
Have you ever been to an event where you couldn’t read the words on the screen? I recently went to a speech where the screen was so small only the first couple rows out of a few hundred people could be expected to see it. How do you prevent that from happening with your event? There’s a few things you can do:
The easy way is to ask a trusted AV partner what size screen you need, they should be able to help you. (But you could do that without reading this post!)
Here’s a rough rule of thumb: Take the length of the screen and multiply it by the width. You shouldn’t put attendees any further away from the screen than the result. For example, with a 7.5×10’ screen, the last row of seating should be within 75’ of the screen surface. (Keep in mind this is a rule of thumb, there’s a whole lot of other variables you could take into consideration)
If your layout calls for more space than indicated by this rule of thumb, you have a couple options. You could get bigger screens. Sometimes the ceiling height in a venue (or chandeliers) doesn’t allow for bigger screens. In that case you could also add more screens spaced apart. (ie. delay or repeater screens)
Lastly for visibility try to position the bottom of the screen(s) at least four feet above the ground. Have presenters use large fonts, think 18 point at a minimum, but ideally 24 points.