We love to record audio and podcasts in interesting spaces, and luckily get to meet and work with some exceptionally interesting and talented people along the way. In recent years one such area we have become familiar with from a recording point of view is the industry expo. Picture a large multi-use venue, packed with a who's who of a particular industry, showcasing all that is new, sharing ideas and discussing the future with leading thinkers from around the world; perfect for capturing expert voices from far and wide in one location. In this blog, I will explore how we approach capturing the best from industry expo events, including thoughts on location, equipment, planning and working in such a 'live' setting.
An International Industry expo is like a super focussed temporary town dropped into a huge building for only a few days, so unsurprisingly there can be a lot of space to navigate. As such, on arrival we like to have a walk around the venue to become accustomed to where everything is. Stages, exhibition booths and dedicated meeting points are all possible places to record, whether for conversations with possible key podcast guests or for 'official' booked in interviews. So it pays to study the floor plan early on and make a note of all likely recording spots.
Recording places and spaces
As well as availing of the many potential ad-hoc recording opportunities, it can be useful to arrange for a dedicated podcast 'studio' space for the team to be based from for the duration; somewhere for seated recording, clearly marked and easy to find for guests. During planning, it is well worth considering the likely level of background ambient noise at the location of your temporary 'studio', as these events can be very noisy and you may not want to record too much ambience along with your interviews. For a calmer, more intimate interview sound, somewhere further away from the main exhibition spaces, and thus quieter, may be more suitable. But don't completely discount the high energy buzz of recording right in the thick of it to bring a real live flavour of the event, as this can be great for random meetings and the chance of additional promotion! Finally, an additional option for recording more great audio content is through live stage sound capture. If agreed by the event organiser, this can be an excellent way of capitalising on the main stage/arena programming and big name guests speaking at the event.
With each recording space comes a different approach needed by host and in choice and preparation of equipment to be used for recording, which i will explore further in the next section.
Choice of equipment
Typically throughout an event we can be running out into the fray with an interview host or broadcaster to grab some vox-pops, delving deep into a cutting edge multi-mic panel discussion, or capturing a live stage presentation. It can get very busy! Of course equipment preparation is key for capturing great results, so in advance we will research the likely spaces being used and spec what kit is needed to effectively cover all recording angles while meeting the host client brief. One example of this preparation is choice of microphone; from tie clip to shotgun, headset to table mount. Each has its benefits, so we will always speak to the client in advance and ask the right questions to help us select the right tool for the job. For example, if a location has lots of ambient noise then Broadcast Headsets can work well, allowing panel members to hear each other and most importantly be recorded clearly.
After dialling in the best equipment to use on site, there will always be a series of other considerations to keep in mind when production planning, including: the team we will be working with; specific technical host or guest needs; the possibility of on-site post production, and all important scheduling and timescales.
The team - Vast spaces need feet on the ground. A typical podcast production team can consist of producer, host, runners and even an assistant engineer, to ensure the quality and scope of audio content is covered. We like to work very closely with a production team, so need to make sure we all get along and understand the wider aims of the production.
Guests and hosts - There will be lots of guests being interviewed, so we know to expect a wide range of characters and energy levels throughout a typical day. There may also be multiple hosts depending on the production, so it is essential we all keep our energy levels up while recording, to meet each and every new face with positivity and a smile :)
Post Production - Typically, raw audio interview files are shared with the client at the end of the day, but there can be a need for post production to happen on-site for quick episode turnarounds, so if required we will spec equipment to enable remote episode mixing *Cue quick change of engineer hats!*
Timescales - Large events can be frantic and exciting and yet there are only so many hours available for productive work, so it's essential to think about scheduling of recording slots and especially not forgetting rest breaks for the production team for re-fuelling and re-setting between interviews - gotta be FRESH! .
What's not to LOVE!
Large industry events present many potential opportunities to capture engaging audio content to help place your podcast at the cutting edge of a particular industry. And it's true, we genuinely buzz from supporting these events with our audio recording services. So each and every time it is new spaces, new faces and great new voices - What's not to love!
Q: Should we offer podcast recording at our expo?
Recording podcasts live at an industry conference or expo can be perfect for brands who like nothing more than to discuss and discover new trends in their industry. We can support your brand or podcast team with all technical recording needs to ensure all bases are covered sound wise, resulting in incredible creative and thought-leader driven audio content. Sounds interesting? Get in touch for a chat.