You hear it all the time, content is king. No surprise there, but more often this year than ever before content is driving production design, rather than the other way around. Clients demand wide aspect ratios and display technologies to fit with their content desires and formats, and we as content providers have to muster the design acumen and technologies to make it happen.
So what are the current trends for the live event production industry? Here are a few that we’re seeing.
LED technology: As LED light sources get brighter and more consistent, it won’t be long before our lighting inventory, both automated and conventional, will all be LED-based. ETC [RE1] just released their retrofit LED engine for the Source 4 Ellipsoidal spotlight, the industry standard in conventional profile fixtures, and while it’s not as bright as we would all like it to be, yet, it’s a welcome solution to convert our vast inventory of Source 4’s to LED technology sooner than later. I expect that by 2018 sometime, our entire lighting inventory, numbering some 800 units, will all be LED driven.
Event Execution: For clients, great concepts are one thing but executing is quite another. More and more, we are welcoming clients to the Riverview fold who have been referred to us by their colleagues because of our reputation for extreme execution and event satisfaction. Regularly we will get a call or an email from someone we don’t know who wants to talk about their client’s needs and how we can help them be successful.
High fiber media diet: Up until recently, the use of fiber technology to distribute signal paths has been primarily used in the IT and video disciplines, and often for permanent installation and systems integration solutions. In the last year or two at most, it has become an almost ubiquitous technology for distributing high resolution video signals long distances to projectors and LED walls, as well as transmitting hundreds of pristine audio channels via the Dante protocol and enabled hardware. Now in 2016 we see regular use of fiber networks to distribute production lighting system protocols across a whole venue to support multiple universes of DMX, RDM, and Artnet protocols. All of the disciplines using fast, efficient light pipe networks, and we now provide it all.
These are just some of the trends we are seeing, but there are certainly more that have the potential to drive our business in new and exciting ways in 2016, such as increased use of mobile apps that tie into events, multi-channel live streaming to global audiences and increasingly more conceptual/creative service demands. We are also encouraged by the Inc. Magazine research that includes dozens of exhibition and event industry suppliers in its list of the fastest growing privately owned companies in the country in 2015, signaling overall steady growth in the industry.
It will be interesting to watch as these trends unfold as the year progresses. What trends are you seeing?