Ideal Room Series–Part II

•September 12, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Last time in our Ideal Room Series: Part I we talked about the importance of the actual dimensions of the room, not just the square footage.  Another very important piece of information that is often overlooked when finding the perfect room for your meeting is the ceiling height.  This is often overlooked because we are so focused on fitting a certain number of people in the room that we forget about it.  Many people might think it doesn’t have a direct impact on your meeting but it does!  The ceiling height has direct correlation to the screen size we are able to use.  The larger the ceiling height, the larger the screen size, and the better chance everyone has of seeing those slides with the tiny graphs.  Below is a quick guide that you can use when planning your meeting to ensure that you have the optimal ceiling height (keep in mind, these are the suggested minimum—the higher the better!):

9’ ceiling—6’ tripod screen for 10-15 people

10’ ceiling—6’x8’ single screen for 25-30 people

12’ ceiling—7.5’x10’ single screen for 50-75 people or dual screen for 100-175 people

15’ ceiling—9’x12’ single screen for 100-175 people or dual screen for 200-275 people

18’ ceiling—10.5’x14’ single screen for 200+ people or dual screen for 275+ people

As you can see the higher the ceiling, the bigger the screen, the more people that we feel comfortable saying that will be able to see.  You can also see that if there is room for dual screen, this allows viewing for more people.  A good thing to also watch out for is that the ceiling height should be measured by the lowest point in the room to take into account any soffits, beams, or unusual obstructions.  Like always, if you have any questions about what ceiling height you should be looking for for your meeting, don’t hesitate to ask!

Ideal Room Series–Part I

•August 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Anyone in our industry knows how important it is to have the ideal room, regardless of the size of the meeting.  Many aspects go into this perfect room so first let’s talk about the actual room size. You have twenty people attending?  I’m going to guess you need the space to hold twenty people U-Shape.  One hundred people or more?  Typically classroom 2 per 6’x18” with plenty of room for rear-screen projection and room to add additional people if necessary.  The best piece of advice we can give on finding a room—do not go solely on the square footage of the room!  Why you might ask?  It’s simple.  Picture this—the hotel tries to contract your company a room that is 16,875 square feet.  Initially one would think that this is awesome; there will be plenty of room.  You then sign the contract and come to find out you have a bowling alley with dimensions of 45’x375’x20’ for 300 people with dual screens and need a custom stage set, things that don’t ideally fit within 45 feet.  How could you avoid this problem?  Let us help from the beginning stages of your event!  If you have a couple choices of hotels for your meeting, send them on over and we will be more than happy to provide you with some diagrams similar to the ones below for these hotels.  Don’t be shy, we would love to help!

We’re Back

•May 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Welcome! Some of you might have known that we have a blog while some of you might be newcomers to The AV Empire.  Either way I just want to say that we are back with more blogging energy than ever before! Yes, it has been a while since we have updated you on travel stories, production knowledge, or simply what has been going on around the office but there are many valid excuses for that.  With 2012 well underway the CMI team has been staying extremely busy. Since last posting we have expanded both our office and our Centrifuge family, adding a few new faces to the team.  If you haven’t met any of our new members, don’t worry because you soon will and you will love them as much as we do.  Besides new people and new space, we have gotten some new equipment, a new Mediasite box, a new MeetingMatrix computer, freshly painted walls, new teams, a new Facebook page, new twitter account, done new team building exercises, and even gotten some new furniture and new toaster!   When it comes to traveling we have been to tons of exciting places. In the past four months alone we’ve seen Orlando, Boston, National Harbor, Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, Raleigh, New York City,  South Africa, London, Geneva, and Vienna to name a few.  With these already under our belt for the year, and plenty of more exciting places on the way, I’m sure some entertaining stories from the road are in your future.  With all this being said, I hope you forgive us for our blogging absence.  We hope to see you soon!  Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to see our daily shenanigans.

Driving vs. Flying Part II

•August 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Study, I did. I was not going to let Herb pass by me on the Interstate while I was
riding my bike to work. Instead, I pictured Thelma and Louise drive-by with
hair flowing in the wind. I was already practicing my Miss America wave as I
passed him on my right. That being said, it was a good thing I found some “help”
on-line. I actually couldn’t believe I had lowered my integrity so much as to
go searching for it. However, I could not let another driving student get their
license before I did… again. So, “study,” I did, returning the next day to
stand in line – again – with the rest of society at 7:30 a.m. Arriving a half
hour before the doors opened, I was quite proud of myself for waking up on time
and getting to the DMV early. There were a lot of smarter people that morning, though. Standing in line with what had to be half of America, I decided I would try to make some friends, knowing I would be spending the next several hours with these people.  In case you are ever looking to make some new friends yourself, I have some advice. Share. Passing out copies of the driving test blog I discovered the night before to my new best friends, I quickly became their hero. I felt scandalous and popular, all at the same time. I was passing out the answers, and suddenly my CooI-ometer was eons high.

Finally, the cool breeze of the air-conditioned DMV welcomed us, and much to my chagrin, I never spotted Herb. Unbelievable. After passing the test (getting every
answer right, thank you), I couldn’t even have the satisfaction of walking by
Herb with my temporary driver’s license. I guess the real victory, however, was
that I was able to get my passport and start traveling with the rest of the
gang. I would be joining the exclusive “air” club and knew it would only be
that much easier up in the clouds.

* * *

CM made it look so easy. No lines, no waiting, just walking on water with their luggage
in tow behind them. And then there was me. Shuffling quickly through the
airport terminal (no frequent flyer miles yet to upgrade me), I made the
mistake of having my hands bogged down with my suitcase, carry-on, ticket stub
and a piping hot cup of coffee (really?).

Waiting in the bin line, I noticed the woman behind me trying to become friends. Still reeling from the popularity contest I had won back at the DMV, I figured it was just another fan trying to make small talk. It turned out I was quite wrong. Apparently, my bag was falling over into her bin. Which would have been fine, had I remembered to
remove the water bottle I had accidentally left in my bag, causing the buzzer
to go off and put me back in line. Then, I had to remove the large bottle of
perfume I carried, another unsuccessful attempt to make it through the scanner.
We would continue this charade a little further until I would finally make it
through the golden gates and onto my destination… New York City!

The meeting itself went off without a hitch. My return flight was uneventful. Somewhere
between the meeting strike and return flight? An epic novel. Not only were my
hands merely cutoff by the angry gentlemen in front of me who forgot to remove his belt, but shortly after I would be detained to a glass cage. Knocking on the glass box, I yelled to my boss. “What did I do? I’m being taken away. Please send my family my love. And oh yes, I might not make it to work on Monday.”

Thankfully, a few minutes later, after being cotton-swabbed on my palms (the same palm that had touched the Naked Cowboy’s derriere – how convenient), I was released to fly home and try to remember where I parked.

Fantasy Football is Coming. Prepare.

•August 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

National Fantasy Football League for Centrifuge Media

Draft is in a couple weeks. Stay tuned for the play by play.

Airport Terminals vs. the DMV… Part I

•July 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Ahhh… airport terminals. When you think about it, they’re not that different from the DMV… which I can attest to, since I’ve experienced hiccups on both air and land. And both incidents were quite memorable to say the least. On a recent flight, I was isolated in a glass box on a trip back from The Empire State. Did I magically turn into a mime or zoo animal for them to lock me up? Forget about the guy who just threw his bin with his laptop and cologne at me after being asked to go through the full body scanner for the second time… forget about questioning the nature of his trip. Of course angry man is not a threat to society. Of course angry man did not almost tear my hands off with his rage. No… Instead, let’s go after the innocent… even after she so sweetly removed her belt and shoes, following the TSA’s regulations. It’s enough to have to practically undress in front of strangers, but then to continuously be humiliated, and stuck in a cage… well, it got me to thinking about another fairly new experience. Allow me to raise the question: How different is an airport terminal from the trials and tribulations at the DMV?

Having recently moved to the area in the past year, I was in need of a new driver’s license. Acquainting myself with the DMV’S guidelines for obtaining a new license, I arrived a little before noon, hoping to beat the lunch crowd. Nice thought. Unfortunately, the line formed to see my man Herb was at least 20 people deep… not to mention the already filled seats in the waiting area. After waiting the 30 minutes or so to be seen, I was told that my former driver’s license wasn’t going to cut it. I would need my social security card, also. Well, crap. While I did read the requirements on-line the night before, in my hurry to get to my date with Herb on time, I realized in a simultaneous flashback that I had left my social security card on the kitchen table. I could practically see my card sitting there… waiting there with its hand on its hip… wondering why I had forgotten it. Stepping out of line, I promised to return shortly.

Arriving back at the DMV 30 minutes later, the line must have quadrupled in the short amount of time I left to retrieve my card. In line for a good 45 minutes, I was finally an arm length away from my friend Herb. Close enough to smell his cheap aftershave. Sweating slightly, I displayed the last of my paperwork. I couldn’t help but stand there proud, success forming itself into a smile across my face. “I’ll just need to see your proof of address change.” Darn it. He never told me that I needed to bring that with me. “Sir, you never said I needed to bring that with me.” Pause. “Ma’am, yes, I did. When you were here, I told you that you would need to bring with you three things: Your driver’s license, social security card and change of address.”

“No, you didn’t,” I responded. “If you did, I clearly would have brought all three things with me.”

“Ma’am, there is no need for you to get angry here,” Herb said, pumping out his chest with a wheeze of breath and attempting to increase his 5 foot 4 frame above mine. He continued, “I specifically stated that you will need to bring with you three things: your driver’s license…” Pause. “Social security card…” Another dramatic pause. “And confirmation of your address change. Now, if you can come back with some proof that you reside in the state of North Carolina, I will be happy to let you move forward,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest. Nonverbal translation: Get your stuff and get out of here.

“Once again, it would have been really great if you had told me those three things in the first place,” I repeated. I stood there hoping to display the same condescending air in my tone, same intimidation in my stature. Nonverbal translation: I will not put up with your attitude.

A minute later, and with my head down, I was back out at my car. Staring at the wheel, I contemplated where I could find proof of an address change, hoping that it would miraculously appear in my car so I wouldn’t have to make the drive home, again. A gossip magazine subscription floating somewhere in the backseat? A recent birthday card addressed to me? But alas! My insurance card, of course! What was I thinking? Certainly, Herb will accept this evidence.

Throwing open the glove box and withdrawing my golden ticket, I sprinted back to the line of 50 people. Surely, my buddy won’t make me get back in line since I only stepped out two seconds ago… surely, he can see my sweat, blood and tears. Literally, seeing how I stubbed my toe on my way back.

“You have to wait in line,” Herb jeered. Simple and right to the point. Much like his nose.

Cheers were heard throughout the room by my fellow linemen… clearly no longer my comrades. I guess understandable at this time of night. One less person meant one step closer to dinnertime.

An hour later, feeling defeated and no energy left in me to smile, I produced the last of the paperwork and was told I could sit in the waiting room. That’s funny. Hadn’t I already done enough waiting?

Another hour and a half later, and I was on my way to getting my new driver’s license. Except there would be no license today. Perhaps if I was given some advance notice from my pal Herb about the written test that was to take place, I could have saved myself a lot of anguish. I guess it did make sense after seeing all those people in the waiting room with a packet produced by Herb. Where was my book? Real interesting, Herbie. But not to worry, I took my first driver’s license test over 12 years ago, I would pass with flying colors. The big red X popped up on my screen at the same moment the 16-year-old kid to my right got a swooping hug from his mother. Glad one of us aced it. I could practically see the crowd lifting him up on their shoulders… fists pumping… their king crowned. The roles of the pauper and jester played by myself and Herb. Walking out of the DMV with my head down, I glanced up to see the green venom seeping out of the corners of Herb’s mouth. Obviously, my freshly applied makeup was not going to be in a photo shoot today. “Don’t forget to study next time,” final words following me into the star-filled night.

To Be Continued…

12th Street and Vine, Kansas City here I come!

•July 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Well, I tried to make it to the intersection made famous by the song, but the walk got dark and late!  Was surprised to see such a beautiful downtown area so… ghosttownlike! Not a lot of honking cabs or oblivious pedestrians, everyone was nice! And the BBQ… fabulous! What got me the most was the obvious effort this city is putting into becoming something more. Their convention center and ampitheater are beautiful and the surrounding downtown is full of great old and new architecture. The downtown Marriott takes center stage at night with an LED lightshow… that utilizes one whole side of the their 22 story facade! The whole experience kinda  reminds me of an AV production company I know! In a time where our country is struggling to keep its head above water, Centrifuge Media  is doing bigger and better things and growing! Oh, and if your meeting needs a full building LED show, we can do that!


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