Behind the Scenes of Annual Conference: Audio Visual
Audio Visual (AV) for the Upper New York Annual Conference Session is a balancing act between preparation and execution. The Conference staff and on-site AV contractors collaborate to assure that the presentations, worship, reports, and music etc. are able to be executed smoothly.
A lot of time and effort goes into organizing all materials long before they appear on the screen during the Conference Session. The better organized, the smoother the show (from an AV standpoint). It takes many hours to prepare the videos, perfect the presentation slides, and make sure the sound needs are impeccably met. Here are the steps involved.
In fact, the AV planning for Annual Conference (AC) begins as soon as the previous AC finishes. The Conference staff analyzes what worked, what didn’t work, and what could be improved with presentations, show execution, flow, sound, etc.
Early spring the following year, the Bishop’s Office sends out presentation guidelines and standards. The Bishop’s Office and the Communications Ministry Area organize videos, PowerPoint presentations, and scripts that are sent in. The Communications Ministry Area creates PowerPoint presentations for petitions, resolutions, and worship.
Guest speakers are contacted to see what there AV needs are (Do they prefer a microphone? Are they using PowerPoint? Are they showing a video?) Clergy and Laity Session AV needs are assessed. Sound needs from the musicians are collected and sent to the AV contractors. Scripts are sent to closed-captioning contractors for accuracy. Also, AV tasks, such as running the clock that appears on the screen, are assigned to volunteers.
Equipment set up begins early on the Tuesday before Conference and the next 48 hours or so is spent working with the AV contractors to make sure everything is ready to go for our Session to begin Thursday morning. The AV contractors and Conference staff collaborators walk through worship sound needs, prepare any videos that will be played, go through sound checks with the band, etc.
But it doesn’t stop there; each day of Conference, those involved with AV are at the site by 7 a.m. for sound checks and last-minute preparations for the day, making sure all presentations have their materials ready to go. And they spend each day of Conference assuring all items that appear on the screen are correct and presented in the right order.
This generally sums up the AV preparations for AC, however; this all takes place around an ever-changing, detailed schedule. And the AV people are always on top of everything amidst the changes!