We caught up with Scott Frankel, President of Animatic Media, to get his thoughts on hot topics in the live events industry.
AVIXA: What’s the role of on-demand content in the future of live events?
This is the only reality for the live events business right now. Animatic Media has spent the last three weeks retooling our Conference-On-Demand service to not only enhance the on-demand service, but to also allow a new way of producing virtual events and webinars.
AVIXA: What’s your top tip for connecting a live event to a digital experience?
It all depends on your definition of a digital experience. On a broad scale, we can assume that this includes bringing in any technology from apps to social media to augmented reality to streaming. For the purpose of this question, I will separate my answer into two areas – first, live in-person events. There are so many ways we can engage audience and conference attendees, but my goal in doing this is always exactly that – to engage them and to hear what they have to say and apply it to a live event. Interaction, opinions and apps that facilitate spontaneous meetings between matched attendees are all things that will enhance the attendee experience.
Second, bringing in speakers or attendees through streaming or third party services like Animatic’s Conference-On-Demand offering is the natural progression to engage individuals who cannot attend a live event.
AVIXA: Considering the rise of digital communities and social media, how has the role of live events changed?
I’m not sure I would say the role of the live event has changed because of digital communities. I would say that live events now have ways to embrace attendees both local and distant. Some may find this an enhancement, while others may say this is distracting.
AVIXA: What does it mean to be a co-creator of experiences?
Being a co-creator is an opportunity and an honor. It means that working with my clients and vendors, we can shape an event to be something unique, something that people will remember and something that gives all of us a chance to leave our mark on an event.
Having a core of clients that have been with Animatic for over 15 years, we run into the “Houdini Syndrome” where we are always being asked to outdo ourselves from one event to the next. So, we take that as a challenge and we never get frustrated by that. We turn it around. We bring that challenge to our staff, to our vendors, and to potential new vendors. As we all put our minds together about how we create content or use audiovisual gear and we hear “we’ve never done that before,” we then ask, “why not, will it not work?” We run with that and we are proud that with this attitude, we have been responsible for a number of industry firsts. Again, we are proud to be able to be co-creators.
AVIXA: How do you keep up with new technology?
I read a lot, attend industry shows or these days webinars. I’ll make calls to our vendor partners several times per year to ask them “What’s new? What have you seen that’s cool? Have you tried to do something new and cool using tech and if it worked tell me more, if it didn’t work tell me where it fell short?” Maybe we can lend our expertise and figure it out together. You can’t do anything new in a vacuum.
AVIXA: How do you shift a client’s (or anyone else’s) focus from the gear to the experience?
I explain that one of the main differentiators for Animatic is that we are producers. We are not order takers. We think about the big picture, how one thing affects another and then the audience experience. Everything the audience sees, hears and feels is taken into consideration from the time the doors open until the time the audience leaves the room.
We explain that anyone can bring in projectors, screens, mics and lighting, but how it’s used and the content it’s used with, is what will affect your audience. This doesn’t mean you need to spend the most money. It just means that there may be an intangible that the audience feels good about what they just experienced. Maybe it was the walk-in music, maybe the content or how it was used to engage the audience and keep them focused on the message. It really doesn’t matter as long as you keep the focus on the end result, it will be the experience that outshines the gear.