AV Terminology: An Event Planners Guide

AV Terminology: An Event Planners Guide

Last month we brought you the first of our series of posts on AV Terminology – our guide to help you navigate your way around the language of event AV. Having defined some of the most commonly used terms and offering an overview of why they’re important, this month’s post takes a closer look at some of the key techniques implemented today and how they can be used to enhance your next event.


An abbreviation of ‘Goes Between Optics’, a gobo is a lighting technique often likened to the Batman signal. Stencilled discs are placed in front of a specially designed light source in order to project images, logos or patterns onto a chosen surface. The discs can be made from steel, glass or plastic and can be produced in black and white or colour, dependent on the material used. When placed within a static light fixture, projected images will remain stationary. For a more impactful effect, non-static fixtures can be used to move the projected image around the surfaces of a given space.

How can it enhance your event?

Gobos are commonly used to provide impactful visuals and branding support for high profile events such as awards ceremonies and product launches. We are however seeing an increase in their use at internal corporate meetings.

Offering a visually stimulating alternative to traditional signage, gobos can be used to support event branding, to reinforce key messages and to create immersive displays that enhance the all-important event theme. With endless options available for imagery, effective use of gobos is limited only by the imagination.

Projection Mapping

Another impactful visual technique and a gigantic leap from traditional projection, projection mapping refers to the art of using multiple projectors to create large scale, immersive displays that can transform any surface imaginable into something awe inspiring.

Available in 2D, 3D and 4D, unbroken imagery can be displayed on anything from a flat wall to a complex structure, such as a building exterior or bridge.

For a more in-depth look at projection mapping in its various forms, check out our post Projection Mapping for Events.

How can it enhance your event?

3D projection mapping has the ability to transform any space into any environment imaginable, allowing you to transport attendees to any destination or moment in time. Entire rooms can be turned into pre-historic settings or outer space experiences, guests can be welcomed into seemingly exotic locations, sets can be turned into stunning backdrops that support the messages being presented from the stage.

The technology can also make a huge impact on a lower budget, with 2D projection mapping able to turn an otherwise uninspiring flat surface into an immersive backdrop for guest speakers and presenters.

Super Widescreen

As the name suggests, super widescreens are widescreens on their grandest scale. These impressive displays can be flat or curved, stand alone or built into a bespoke stage design. Super widescreens allow ample room for multiple content to be displayed simultaneously and with the use of the blending techniques adopted in projection mapping, can be turned into stunning backdrops or blended into the surrounding set design.

How can it enhance your event?

Super widescreens offer the ultimate blank canvas and provide your event attendees with a cinematic experience. Super wide, high definition content can be presented at its best, creating a truly immersive display, multiple feeds can be viewed without visual compromise and, through projection mapping, attendees can be transported beyond the confines of your event venue. In short, super widescreens bring the all-important wow factor.


Standing for Picture in Picture, the PiP technique allows for multiple images to be displayed on the same screen at any one time. Commonly used in webcasting and video conferencing for a number of years, PiPs are now a regular appearance at many live events. With the use of super wide or large projection screens, live video feeds and presentation slides can be viewed simultaneously against a branded or themed background.

How can it enhance your event?

The benefits of Picture in Picture speak for themselves. On a small scale, it allows the audience visual access to multiple content streams at any one time. On a larger scale, when used in conjunction with super widescreen and projection mapping, PiPs offer an extremely effective method of content delivery, with presentation slides, recorded content and live feeds appearing alongside each other and against a backdrop that enhances the key messages they are designed to convey.

The Presentation Group offer a fully comprehensive event production service inclusive of the latest AV technologies. For more information visit our Live Events page or contact one of our experienced Producers today.

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