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Where we wax poetic on what’s going on with Avista, discuss our favorite San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California meeting/event venues, and talk about audio visual rentals and live event production in a way that’s informative, useful and entertaining to our corporate, nonprofit and consumer customers.

New AV technology You’re Going to Like – Catch Boxes & Crowd Mics

AV technology is constantly expanding with new ways to make your events run smoother.  For large events where you want to have the audience asking questions, event planners often run into the problem of having the Q&A flowing as smooth as possible.  Interruptions can often include time to run mics to members of the audience, audience members not being able to hear fellow members ask questions, and long pauses that can lead to the audience getting distracted.  Two solutions for these problems include using a Catch Box or a Crowd Mic.

Catch Box - Mobile Interactive Audio Cube

The Conference is winding down and it is time for audience interaction and comments.  Typically this is a time where most people will become restless or leave because of either audio issues or the time it took for people to speak.  Catch Box fixes this in the most innovative, interactive way possible: throwing around a speaker!  That’s right, with the Catch Box you are able to toss around a small cube speaker that the audience is able to speak into that is connected to additional speakers on the stage.  This gets the audience involved and paying attention because in smaller environments it can ease tension and relax boardrooms, oppositely in larger crowd environments it catches the attention of everyone because you never know when the Catch Box might be coming your way!

A Catch Box is a dome covered cube that you will place a receiver element in.  This allows for an easy object to throw around the room for quick access to an audio device, plus it can ease up the mood of meetings when you have to play catch to speak!  The technology behind the Catch Box is connected to RF receivers that are directed at the stage of your event.  Events will often need to have assistants to move mics around and by renting the Catch Box you eliminate the need and time needed to change speakers.  Avista has Catch Boxes ready to rent now, from $150/day – contact us today with any questions on how to integrate these into your audio setup or for a quote. See more at:


 Large group sit in circle and toss green Catch Box.

Crowd Mics - New Phone Application Implemented Through Sound Systems

Today nearly everyone you see has a cellphone of some sort, most of these being smartphones of some type.  Since this technology is so abundant, it has lead to the innovation of Crowd Mics.  This is an app that is available to download and will turn any smartphone device into a state of the art microphone that can be used at conferences of all sizes.  The app allows for anyone to download it and event directors would pay the small fee to allow the attendees of their conference to utilize the app during their session.  Avista can offer rentals and allow the fee to be waived for events under 20 people, and will be approximately $200 for a 200 person event with scaling costs.

This application is most easily implemented with a tech savvy crowd who is eager to learn about the newest technology, and are able to navigate new apps.  Once you have your application installed for a small fee, you are able to connect your phone to the given soundsystem at the event allowing your phone’s microphone to be amplified through the event.  Other features that the Crowd Mic offers for presenters is interactive polling and Q&A sessions that allow for presenters to gain complete audience attention.  Another requirement for assuring success is by making sure the wifi used has enough bandwidth to support the number of attendees at your even.  For large events it may be difficult to get all attendees to download and work the apps which could be viewed as a downside.  By telling the audience beforehand about this application you can allow individuals who may be interested in asking questions to briefly learn before it is go time at the meeting.  

White iPhone displays Crowd Mics app.

Catch Boxes and Crowd Mics are two of the most innovative solutions for solving audience interaction hiccups and smooth out large meeting environments.  Catch Boxes fit the mold of smaller, more personalized meetings where members are within catching distance of the Catch Box.  The Catch Box may struggle is larger meetings with multiple hundred people due to the distance and this is where the Crowd Mic app becomes superior and allows for audience interactions with anyone who has a smartphone and downloads the app.  The potential downsides of the Crowd Mic is that there can be a steep learning curve which can be hard to bypass with large events. Get in touch with Avista today to see which product solution will work best for your company and make your events ones for the record books!

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the avista rentals teamAbout Avista Audio Visual Rentals

Thank you for visiting our website! Our team at Avista has worked long and hard to understand what's important to you, our customer, which is distilled into our 4 Value Principles: 1) Being transparent with our pricing, 2) Being prompt and friendly in all our communications with you, 3) Delivering the right AV solution for your event at the best price, and 4) Exceeding your expectations with the high caliber of our crew and gear. We're very proud that these principals have driven strong growth since our founding in 2005, to where we are now one of the premier providers of AV rentals and AV production services on the West Coast. Customers have the choice of picking up and returning AV gear to any of our offices, or having our team of highly skilled audio and video technicians deliver and run the AV aspects of your meeting or event.

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