I am a self-confessed event nerd. Just like Elle Woods loves pink, I love events. I get SO excited talking about events that I can literally feel the cells in my body radiating joy and bursting with excitement. So imagine my delight when this baby landed on my doorstep.
This is the Epson EB-U32. To you, this may just be humble projector. To me, this is a magical creature of delight. You see, as a solo business owner who runs not just my own events, but other people's too, AV tends to be something that can cause three main issues:
1. Blown out budgets
Don't expect to always have a projector and screen included in your room hire cost. Although this is true of some venues, most event based venues and hotels add on a separate fee for the use of their projector plus the screen. Sometimes to the tune of almost $1,000+! (No I'm not kidding. Yes a client had to pay that. Yes it was recently). Usually in a meeting room for around 30 - 50 people you are looking at paying around $500 for both each time. This can really sting the hip pocket when you are in the early years of your business and you are trying to generate a profit from your events.
2. Technology nightmares
Projectors aren't rocket science but when you use equipment that isn't your own there is room for error. And if there is noone at the venue to help you when you need it, you don't want to be freaking out about getting your presentation ready and on screen 5 minutes before people are due to walk into the room. You also aren't guaranteed that the equipment is good quality or working in perfect order.
3. Availability when you need it
Some venues (like function rooms in cafes or restaurants, yoga studios, art galleries, photography studios or warehouses - all places my clients have booked events in) don't have AV equipment available and if you need to hire it yourself it can add extra cost and stress. Going through suppliers, comparing prices, making enquiries - it can be a total time suck so having the equipment ready to go in your office is a much neater solution.
My super savvy clients who run their own events regularly have all purchased their own projectors and it has saved them SO much money and fuss along the way. This is literally how simple it is to set up:
Step 1: Plug the projector in
Step 2: Turn it on and get the angle and size correct
Step 3: Connect it to your laptop or connect wirelessly to your laptop, phone or tablet
Step 4: Get your presentation up
Yep. It's as easy as that! And it even comes in its very own cute carry bag. Even on someone as short as me it's comfortable to carry around.
This particular model, priced at $999, makes me go weak at the knees purely because it's got great features including resolution up to 1920 x 1200 [translation: awesomely clear images and text - like HDTV/Blu Ray/full Hi-Definition is no challenge for this baby]; it's wireless and can be connected to your computer, smartphone or tablet or you can use QR codes or the iProjection App to display and control content [seriously, you can just pull something up on your phone and display it in seconds] and the lamp life can be up to 10,000 hours [that's a lotta events!]. I had the projector going in a white room, on a white wall, in the middle of the day with bright daylight streaming in and the picture was still amazing! You can darken the room and close the blinds if you really want impact, but it does work happily in light rooms as well.
And just a note on the iProjection App, I really dug this app. I downloaded it onto my phone in less than a minute, connected it to the projector by scanning the QR Code and then was able to pull up pictures, documents and websites easily and without fuss. And you can even use the pen option and write/draw all over the screen - you can see my love heart on my Instagram account above! This is a technological dream for someone like me. No need for laptops and cables (sa-weet!), you just plug in your projector, open the app on your phone, connect and you are ready to go!
If you are looking for a projector of your own, do consider all of those key areas and look at what is going to provide you with the most value over the long term. Enjoy my dears and happy planning!
Article by Jade McKenzie, Owner of EVENT HEAD Event Management and Editor of EHM