Chatbots and Security

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoPAAAAJDQ3YjgzNmE3LTZhNmQtNDIwZi05MDcxLWIwMmQ1NzY1MWNjZQ.png

We have been looking at AI in the meeting space and a recent article got me thinking.

Although it is very exciting, I wondered about our defense and high security customers. Over the years we have gotten used to their strict security at off-site meetings. Encrypted mics, highly secure networks, special encrypted computers for content playback, crew NDA’s and more have been standard operating procedures. Of course, any new idea that needed a special app to be downloaded to an employee’s device needed to be analyzed, reviewed and approved by the IT group. 

Remarkably though, we don’t get asked to supply the same precautions with other clients. With all the news going on today about hacking, should we be looking at how safe our off-site meetings are? Should we be taking a closer look at our mobile devices that use Bluetooth security?

AAEAAQAAAAAAAA1iAAAAJGFmZTgyMWRhLTRlMzItNGI1YS04YmU4LTdhM2Y2OTdiOWY3NA.jpg

Stop and think…

Your meeting content usually includes the CEO or president talking about big picture strategies and competitive analysis, the CFO showing very sensitive financials, other executives presenting marketing plans, sales projections and of course, new products.   

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAw7AAAAJDFlZDRjNmUxLWFjOTktNDFiMS1hNDk0LTYyYjI3ZTEzZmM3ZA.jpg

All your most sensitive company information gathered and presented in one place...

with cameras...

with wireless...

with memory sticks...

And yet, eyes glaze over when we discuss security with some clients, meeting planners and venue personnel. Ask yourself, how easy is it to walk into your meetings?

 

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAx3AAAAJDAyNzRjMzU3LTcyMmItNDQxYy1iODI2LTllOTQwZmY2NmU1ZA.jpg

Over the next few months we are going to be analyzing new ideas for safer meetings and events. Review some of the tools we have learned from our experience of working with high security companies so that can be more easily implemented.

One that seems very important to us is your presentation content. We have added our own protocols like an on-site secure server and dedicated scrubbed show computers, but I am curious what others are doing. Hopefully, we can get a discussion going about concerns and solutions.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAsFAAAAJDkxODQ5YjZkLTk2NTktNDIzNy1iY2EzLWNkMTNlYjUzN2VhMg.jpg

 

With all the news about spying, hacking and ransomware, we need to more mindful than ever. Especially with first time 3rd party suppliers and brand new apps.

What are you doing?

Track and Document Your Meetings!

STYLE GUIDE POWERPOINT

We always do a creative treatment at the beginning of every project or proposal. We usually present it to our clients in a PPT format and it includes creative drawings, CAD drawings, budget breakdown and a production schedule. 

Last year we found that it could also be a dynamic document that we could use to track all the elements of an event. From venue specs and pictures to banners, furniture and food, each working group can add their elements to the document. 

Using the PowerPoint format means you can add most formats to the document including videos, graphics and links to other documents and websites. 

Finally, the document is great for a “lessons learned” wrap-up with the team members and executives. It is also an invaluable archival document for other teams and future projects.

Lock Your Estimate

Our budget form includes an Estimate column and an Actual column.

We always do an estimate at the beginning of a project, but no matter how many times I say to a project manager, “Don’t change the Estimate numbers, enter your cost into the Actual column,” they want to change the estimate numbers as real cost come in. 

 

I think I understand why. There is a natural urge in all of us as experienced professionals to show we can do accurate estimates.

The problem is, it defeats the purpose. Prices change for various reasons, items are forgotten and memory is not the best tool in budgeting, especially if the project was the previous year.

And, Analyzing Estimate vs. Actual as a final step to any project is the only way to manage cost and insure growth going forward.

 

We also use budget analysis for:

- Clients to show project cost, realized cost reductions or justified over-runs

- Vendors to look for ways to reduce cost and increase quality

- Our internal team to improve future budget estimates

For our clients, this is becoming more and more important as they are working with us as partners to find ways to reduce cost.

HOTEL AND FACILITY DATA SPEEDS

Are you getting the speeds you pay for?

We recently did a webcast at a 5-Star hotel in Colorado. As you would expect, the cost to the client for a “hard line” Ethernet drop for us was quite expensive. In this facility it was priced at a per Mbps (Mega bytes per second) rate.

The reason for the hard line drop is that it is supposed to guarantee the speeds you pay for, which is very important when doing a webcast. An example being, when you talk to your internet provider at home, they never guarantee wireless speeds only hard line router feeds.

It is also supposed to guarantee that at 5pm when everyone is checking their emails and your graphic person is downloading video files that your speed doesn’t drop to snail mail speeds.

How do you know?

A key tool in your tool belt should be http://beta.speedtest.net/

SPEEDTEST is a free site that allows you to test the speed of whatever data provider you are linked to. There are also apps for your phone.

Just click GO!

It shows you your download speed...

and your upload speeds.

How much speed do I need?

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAsjAAAAJGMwZmE4MDI1LTVkNTQtNDIwZC04NGJlLTFjNTE2NTRmZjQ4Nw.png

 

For webcasting at full HD, we needed 15Mbps. At that speed, we got a beautiful quality streaming video. We were outputting at about 7 Mbps, and they recommend you have double the speed to be safe. 

Do you get what you pay for?

We did notice that as we got closer to 5pm, the speeds started to drop. In fact, they dropped enough that the steam started to jitter and freeze. Our back-up plan was to use our Verizon jet pack which uses our phone data service. It was running at an amazing 20MBS and we have unlimited data. 

The results, no charge to the client and a discussion with the hotel after the event.

Just think traffic school when you get on a site and “check your speed.” You pay a lot you should get what you pay for. 

MPI (We) Con Promo

We just finished the promotional video for the MPI yearly (We) Con Conference. We produced the video as a "work in kind" project to help them promote the conference in the future.

Working closely with project producer Joe Martin of BDI Events, we shot all the footage and stills over a three day schedule.

The interviews were shot using the Panasonic AF100 with Zeiss prime lenses. The Panasonic 4/3 chip allows for a nice, out of focus background look.

Stills were shot on the Panasonic GH-4 which is the same 4/3 format and can also use the Zeiss lenses.

We also augmented some b-roll footage using the Sony AX-1 4K Camera.

pic 3 (1).jpg

We were able to complete the editing in just seven working days on Adobe Premiere software.

Thanks to all the people who helped and gave us their time. Take a look...

L.E.D. Fly-over

What do you add to a great rock and roll venue when it already comes with great sound and tons of lighting instruments? How about a ceiling over the audience of LED panels?

500 people, who will be attending a corporate awards dinner, will experience an overhead floating art exhibit. The LED panels will all be synched with video modules, light show, lasers and a live opening musical performance. It will also fill the environment with animated "fractals in nature" during dinner.

Designed by Matthew Goalen, the one hundred and forty LED tiles are light weight but with an 8.9mm pitch for a fairly, high resolution image. 

Hung from five, seventy foot lengths of truss, the entire rig will be ten feet off the floor when the audience arrives for cocktails around the outside areas of the dinner tables.

To signal the start of dinner, the truss will dramatically rise to a height of twenty-four feet and reveal our stage which will begin our opening laser violin musical performance.

For the awards portion of evening, the ceiling will provide video enhancement to the Winner Modules and ALL envelopes will be checked before the start of the evening.

  •  

Supporting MPISCC with Video

The Goalen Group was on hand last week for the MPI Weekend Education Conference at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach to videotape interviews and all the elements of the three day event.

The conference is a yearly chapter gathering that focuses heavily on industry education as well as the important aspect of one-on-one networking.

The conference included motivational guest speakers that spoke to a variety of helpful topics...

Smaller Breakout sessions...

And great mixers for networking with Planners and Suppliers!

The final product will be a promotional video for MPISCC to promote the conference in the future. We will post the final video in future blogs.

Video E-Blast

The Goalen Group is once again supporting Working Wardrobes with a new series of short video e-blast to accompany their monthly newsletter. It will be a new addition to their current newsletter approach. Their newsletter is a way to update donors on the great work they are doing.

CEO and Founder Jerri Rosen was looking for a way to add a more personal touch to their monthly message. The idea of a short video seemed like a perfect approach.

Each video will be about 90 seconds in length and will feature a volunteer, an employee or a donor commenting on why they support the program. In all, ten people were interviewed to tell their story.

To shoot the interviews, we set up in the conference room at Working Wardrobes and scheduled each interview 30 minutes apart. Khinsey Vong was our WW Project Producer who did all the scheduling and organizing. She also filled in as our make-up person. Great job Khinsey!

We are going to closely follow the response to the program as we may co-opt the idea for our newsletter. Take a look at the first one...

L.E.D. Game Changer

So, we are always asked by the equipment companies “Why don’t we use LED instead of projection.” We always answer the same way…. LED is at least 50% more expensive… hard to hang… to heavy… lots of labor… to much time to install…

Our bread and butter is 300 to 1000 attendees in hotel ballrooms and video projection just works, its proven technology, its cost effective. So until they can overcome my issues, for my clients, no deal. 

Well our equipment partner Creative Technology went to their supplier with just those issues. And their response, well, all I can say is OH MY.

The answer is the new ROE 4mm Lightweight LED display. High resolution performance without the weight penalty. The CB4 weighs 50% less than a conventional 3.9mm display enabling it to be flown in venues with limited weight loading and it can be assembled quickly.

Here are the specs

  • Each Panel is 2ft high by 4ft wide.
  • A native High Definition image of 1920x1080 would be 15’9” high by 31’6” wide - perfect for a hotel ballroom with 18ft ceilings.
  • A screen 15’9” high by 31’6” size would only weigh approximately 1,400 lbs.

or 1400 lbs of bricks on a pallet

With the savings in labor, time and rigging the cost is only about 15% more than video projection. Now we're talking!

  • The panels can create a flat, concave or convex shape as well.

You can be sure we will be introducing the new technology to our clients in 2017

 

  •  

Virtual Reality in the Corporate Arena

We have been actively researching the exploding area of virtual reality and how we might use the technology in live meetings, internal corporate communications, training applications and trade shows.

The corporate environment has always been a great way to explore new technologies. Among other things, we are not bound by consumer hardware restrictions, we can control the presentation environment and glitches are not the end of the world like a consumer product launch.

From computerized slide shows in the sixties to the latest LED technology, corporations have always pushed the envelope in new ways to present their product and show off ideas to their audiences, whether internal or external.

Today we met with one of the pioneers in the history of American industrial design - Teague.

Teague is a global design consultancy headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Established in 1926 by Walter Dorwin Teague. Teague is known for its design contributions through the disciplines of product design, interaction design, environmental design, and mechanical design. 

 

The company is particularly recognized for its work in aviation and consumer goods, with clients such as The Boeing Company, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung andPanasonic.

Teague's early role in consumer culture is most popularly associated with designs such as the first Polaroid camera, the UPS truck, Texaco service stations, and the Pringles Chips canister. More recently Xbox and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner headline Teague's post-2000 design work.

 

In the 1930s and 1940s, Teague parlayed the new concept of corporate identity into designing corporate industrial exhibits for companies such as Con Edison, Du Pont, Kodak, US Steel, and the National Cash Register Company. In 1933, Teague designed numerous displays for the Ford Motor Company at the Chicago Century of Progress Exposition, and expanded its showcase of architectural savvy through the design of the Texaco exhibition hall at the 1935 Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas, Texas, as well as the Ford pavilion for the California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego, California (now housing the San Diego Aerospace Museum and a venue we recently staged an event at). 

Having designed multiple exhibitions at the New York World's Fair, including the Kodak Hall of Lights and the National Cash Register Building, Walter Dorwin Teague was invited to serve on its Board of Design, as well as design the Ford Exposition Building at New York's World Fair of 1939. Teague would also later design the U.S. Science Center for the World's Fair in Seattle, as well as the "House of the Future" for the Festival of Gas at the 1964 World's Fair.

 

Essentially, they were one of the pioneers of corporate live events.

 

 

Now, Teague is actively pursuing virtual reality to more effectively work with their customers. Of course, VR is an excellent application for a company that is designing environments for customers who want to know “what is it going to look like.”

We met with Patty Roberts, Senior Program Manager, who works directly with their customers and Eric Klein who is Design Visualization Manager and heads up their VR effort to see what they are doing with VR and AR. Eric is working with all the different “off the shelf formats” – Samsung, Microsoft, Oculus and Vive as well as some variations from smaller studios. His extensive research gives him incredible knowledge about what the advantages and the disadvantages are of each.

 

We also saw some amazing demos that allow their customers to walk through an airplane interior and see how different designs look and how they may effect the overall space. Pushing a button on the controller changes the seat configuration right in front of your eyes. You can open the door of the restroom, walk inside and again, pushing a button, see how different configurations look. Quite amazing!

Finally, we discussed what we see the future of VR is for our clients and they were terrific about sharing with us the challenges of the technology as it currently exists and additionally suppliers who are making great strides in developing solutions. We hope to visit some of those folks in the coming months.

We really appreciate the time Patty and Eric spent with us and our hope is to partner on projects in the future. As they have for the past 90 years, they are still pushing the envelope of industrial design.

 

Working Wardrobe Holiday Thank You Video

We mentioned in a previous post that we had met the wonderful folks at Working Wardrobe and that they had invited us down to visit their facilities in Irvine and meet their CEO and Founder Jerri Rosen.

Working Wardrobes is a nonprofit organization that empowers men, women, veterans and young adults overcoming difficult challenges to confidently enter the workforce and achieve success. Each year, Working Wardrobes serves over 5,000 clients from a diverse spectrum of backgrounds such as struggling veterans, victims of alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence, transitional homelessness and human trafficking.                          

Last week we took them up on their offer to visit and also asked them if we could use the opportunity to do a quick holiday video card for them. We thought it would be good for them and a way for us to give back as well. They thought it was a great idea so we planned a time that worked best for them at this busy time of year.

The Process

Working with Jerri and their PR person, Jennifer Lange of Get Splash Media, we roughed out an idea and a working script in four emails.

The staff put together the signs and the people for the video taping. All were briefed and prepared when we arrived.

 

Using a simple package; Panasonic Lumix camera, wireless mics and an LED lighting unit, we were able to do the video taping in 92 minutes. Two minutes longer than scheduled because Matt says I socialize to much. (it’s the holidays for goodness sakes.)

Jack McCartney and his colleagues took us around the facilities and set up the locations and the on-camera talent. Excellent job by them.

Jerri did her on camera like she does her scripts, efficiently and professionally. I made her do a second take but we didn’t need it. She was great!

On the drive back to Santa Monica, we started editing and by 7pm that evening we were able to post a first cut on Vimeo. The next morning, after we made some “tweaks” it was ready for posting.

What a great group of folks. We had so much fun. I think you will see it in the video – take a look and happy holidays…

Why Charity work is good for business (cont.)...

 

...a continuing series of thoughts on why giving back is good for your business.

On Thursday we attended a Christmas event for Meeting Planners International of Orange County. As a new member, it was our first event and we met a lot of really nice people. One in particular was the charity organization Working Wardrobes. A great organization that is helping people get back into the workforce with a very unique model for how they are doing it. (no spoiler alert for how they are going about it, you have to discover for yourself.)

We got a chance to speak in-depth with Jack McCartney, an excellent person who is Manager of Training and Staff Development. We discussed ways we could help with some videos for their website as we thought the organization was a great concept for helping people get jobs.

 

Currently their site includes quotes from some of their clients. As you can see they are very well done.

 

We got into a discussion about producing videos and we both expressed some thoughts about the length of time it takes to get one done. Writing a script, getting approval; get the interviews and then approvals; editing the interviews and getting approvals; you know the routine. When you finally get finished, the subject doesn't seem relevant anymore or the information is old.

I told him about what we are doing with the organization PATH, which also helps people get their life back on track.

Essentially, instead of doing a 5-8 minute video with all sorts of topics to include and messages to cover, we do a series of short 1-2 minute videos posted weekly...

  • We take one issue that is most important and focus on that.
  • We then put together 3 or 4 questions on the subject and a tag line
  • Set up some interviews to video tape in one day
  • Edit the video in a couple of days
  • Show it to the boss and post it the same week
  • Don't obsess that it is perfect

Also, the simple approach means that eventually the in-house staff can learn the process as well.

We both agreed that this approach is better for both the organization and the production company. Take it from the younger generation... be short, be succinct, post often.

We look forward to the opportunity of helping Working Wardrobe and will keep you posted on our progress.