The Biggest Mistake We See With Event Audio Visual

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…and it’s a simple fix…

AV is probably the most confusing aspect when it comes to event planning. Not all of the costs understood unless you have a technical background. We wrote this article to cover the most common audio visual mistake that we see on a regular basis when we work on events around Vancouver.

The most common mistake that we see when it comes to basic A/V, is definitely the projection screens, more specifically: How the content fills the screen.

We’re not talking about screen size, we’re talking about the aspect ratio. It’s very important to be aware of the aspect ratio of the screens that get rented for your event. The aspect ratio refers to the relative dimensions of the screen.

Do you know if the the screen is 16:9 (like your TV at home), or does it look more like a square-ish 4:3 aspect ratio?

Let’s say you plan on having some really great presenters come in. They might prepare a 16:9 presentation since that’s the new default in PowerPoint, but maybe you didn’t know and you rented a 4:3 screen. You’re not going to be able to utilize the full screen and take advantage of their beautiful widescreen presentation. On the flip-side, we’ve also seen it where the client pays a lot of money to go HD, 16:9, but then all of the presentations are 4:3. Basically, people are ordering large projections screens and there is 10-15% of the surface area that is going unused.

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Here is a quick chart to show you the most common screen sizes and their aspect ratio:

 High Definition (16:9) Standard Definition (4:3)
 16 x 9 Screen 12 x 9 Screen
 12 x 7 Screen 10 x 7.5 Screen
  8 x 6 Screen

Side note: Make sure that you also pair a HD projector with a HD screen and SD Projector with a SD Projector screen. This will give you the best native resolution possible for your guests.

We’ve noticed that a lot of events don’t really have anyone who is in charge of the content. It would be really easy to put someone in this position and let the presenter know what size the screens are. It’s very easy to create an email template that you can send to all of your presenters to make sure that they format their content according to the screens that have been rented for your event.

In 2017 and beyond, it’s fairly safe to assume that everything is now 16:9. Tell all of your presenters to do their presentations in 16:9, and then tell your AV company (hopefully it’s Kettner Creative) what you want to as well.

Typically, 4:3 and standard definition is cheaper than high definition 16:9, but, as everyone knows, high-definition looks better and it is closer to the aspect ratio of human vision.

If you have any questions about this blog post or if you’re looking to rent a projection screen and projector for your upcoming event, please email and one of our production coordinators would be more than happy to find the A/V rental equipment that best suits your goals.

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