Like Ben and J.Lo, designers and AV teams are better together. One expert we get pumped to share a roster with is Proshow Audiovisual, an industry leader across Canada in the audio and visual realm. We hopped on a call with Karl Erickson, Director of Design and Creative at Proshow, to chat about what makes our events a smash every time.

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
We’re talking much broader than matching your linens to your invites. The events that stick out in our memories have consistency across design, AV, and content creation. So take that brand message and clever theme and use your decor to tell the story. Let AV perfect the ambience and stay in cahoots with your content team to drive it all home. The payoff? Your guests will feel like the whole experience sends one clear, memorable message.

We’re happy to report that the past couple of years has seen a shift toward brands eager to push the envelope with their events and bring on the experts necessary to make things cohesive. Yes, we’re talking about AV, content and design all incorporated into the event budget and timeline (cue the collective “hooray!” from event profs everywhere). This shift gives us all the freedom to do more than ever in creating cohesive plans that take our events to the next level. Hooray!

Keep Designs in Balance
Like Jen’s brilliant smile and Ben’s glum demeanour, it’s all about balance. In chatting about how to nail down balancing design with AV, we realized the most important step is also super simple. Get your AV and design teams in the same room on day one. By working together from the get-go, we can establish the priorities for your event and plan for it to all work together.

Sometimes the priority is letting your design team run wild with the decor (like this epic three-nighter), and sometimes it’s mind-blowing visual tech, like our Stars and Spurs Gala. Fit for the largest fundraiser in Alberta, the Stars and Spurs Gala centrepiece was a larger-than-life screen that was nothing short of a magic show to watch Karl’s team set up. Proshow coordinated the logistics of making the screen work perfectly in the space, and the fantastic content they created became the starting point for the rest of the room. We balanced out the super-sized focal point by bringing in design elements that complemented the screen without overpowering it. It’s an ebb and flow each time, and we’d be lying if we said it ever gets boring.

Design and AV. Better Together.

Get the Scale Just Right
Before we get ahead of ourselves in the design phase, we jump into a meeting with Karl’s team to chat about scale. We plan for the size of elements each team hopes to incorporate so it can all exist in harmony. That gigantic screen we used for the Stars and Spurs Gala? We made sure to increase the dimensions of all signage so it wouldn’t feel awkward beside the oversized centrepiece. We also ensured we avoided the ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ effect when our presenters took the stage by sourcing extra-large seats to help the people look… people-sized.

We asked Karl how he gets the perspectives just right when there is so much to consider. His trick? He puts himself in the viewpoint of the audience. First, he takes in how the room appears when guests are looking up at the stage, then takes in the sightlines as they narrow their attention to their neighbours and what is directly in front of them. Designing to unite those big and small scales throughout the room keeps the guest experience captivating, from speeches to dinner and dancing.

Design and AV. Better Together.

Plan for Innovation
There are endless ways to incorporate AV into the design to capture guests’ imagination and keep your event unforgettable. To pull those big moments off, let your partners know right off the bat, “I will be doing a really cool thing. Please have my back”.

In our chat, Karl lit up remembering a collab with Fifth Element Group for ATB Financial, where the mind-blowing tech plans were not making things easy. But where there is a will, Proshow will find a way. His team planned to set up pillars of a ground-supported LED rig, a feat that demanded meticulous planning and agility to pull off. When it finally came together perfectly, the hits of colour playing off the decor were the ultimate payoff. From the lookbook to the live event, the jaw-dropping backdrop brought the evening to life in a way we are still talking about.


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It’s All About Teamwork
If we could shout one thing from the rooftops, it would be, “Include AV in the planning process right from the start”! Our best collabs kick off in tandem with Proshow from day one. Every event prof knows nothing happens in a silo when we bring an event to life; it tends to look more like a bustling war room. Sort of like Game of Thrones if it had fewer swords and a way better ending. As everyone reveals their big ideas for exciting tech and jaw-dropping design, our teams take turns moving over to make space for bringing those grand ambitions to life.

Once we get going, the collab doesn’t end until the show is over. On the big day, you’ll find us making tweaks and balances on-site together to get everything just right.

Design and AV. Better Together.

We’ve been going on and on about Karl and should really let you get to know him for yourselves. Karl is the creative genius at Proshow, or more technically, the Director of Design and Creative. Working with him is having someone on your team who geeks out about the latest tech and knows how to incorporate it with your design goals to polish off the whole event. He is allergic to bad lighting, and we can attest to the immaculate standards his team pulls off every time. Want to bring your AV quality to the next level?

Get in touch with Karl here!

Photo credits:
Leblond Studio
Brad Saville – Picture This Digital