Screens are a critical part of almost every event—galas, auctions, fundraisers, workshops, parties—you’ll almost always need some kind of way to give visual information to your audience. That’s where the commonalities end, though. If you’re planning a half-marathon with a party in the parking lot afterwards, your needs are going to be vastly different from someone planning a corporate conference in the ballroom at the Marriott. So how do you know exactly what kind of screen (and how many) you’ll need?
In this article, we’re going to go over the three kinds of screens offered by most professional AV companies, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Projectors are the most popular display option for most larger, indoor events. They’re a mainstay of the event space for good reason. They’re:
- Easy to see. Projectors can create fairly large-scale visuals that can be easily seen by a larger audience, making them ideal for presentations, slideshows, or videos.
- Flexible. Projectors can be set up almost anywhere, from small rooms to large auditoriums, and can be easily mounted or moved as needed.
- Cost-effective. Projectors can be a more cost-effective alternative to large, permanent display screens or monitors.
However, projectors are also:
- Dependent on lighting. Projectors require a relatively dark room to work well, and aren’t suitable for outdoor events (or events that require bright lighting).
- Not usually the highest-resolution option. While it depends on the quality of the projector, the resolution of most projectors isn’t usually as high as that of some other options.
- Prone to technical difficulties. Projectors can be sensitive to positioning and alignment issues, and hard-to-predict problems like bulb burnout and a lack of compatibility with user devices can make your event day more stressful than it needs to be.
- Easily affected by environmental factors. Dust, heat, and humidity can also all impact the performance of a projector.
So while projectors can be a great option for events in a controlled environment, always ask your AV providers about potential problems. If your event is outdoors (or in a space with bright lighting) you won’t want to use projectors.
LED walls are a popular alternative to projectors, and come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. LED walls are:
- Visually impactful. LED walls are usually the most impressive-looking option, and come with a certain wow-factor that other options lack.
- High-resolution. LED walls are high-resolution and bright, making them ideal for events where visual detail is important.
- Durable. LED walls are sturdy and resistant to environmental factors such as dust and humidity. They can also display high-quality images in both bright and dark conditions, which means they can be used in a variety of environments (including outdoor spaces).
However, LED walls are also:
- More expensive. LED walls are more expensive than projectors, making them a less feasible option for smaller organizations with tighter budgets.
- Less flexible. Unlike projectors, LED walls are not easily movable. They may require more planning beforehand to make sure they’re suitable for your event space.
- Complex to set up. Setting up an LED wall is more demanding than setting up projectors, and your AV team will probably need more time to do so (which may mean getting earlier access to your venue).
LED walls offer higher-quality visuals and a greater durability than projectors, but come with higher costs and a more complicated setup process. If your event is outdoors (or you’re looking for wow-factor), LED walls are a great option. If you’re working with a tighter budget, they’re probably not.
TVs are another great display option, and work well for smaller events. They’re:
- Inexpensive. TVs are almost always the cheapest option. If you’re doing something simple, especially something where the screens are just being used decoratively (like displaying a logo or looping a slideshow), TVs are perfect.
- Incredibly versatile. Like LED walls, TVs are durable. Unlike LED walls, TVs can fit almost anywhere. They can be mounted on walls or stands and put wherever you need them.
- Easy to set up. TVs are easier to set up than projectors or LED walls, and their settings can be adjusted quickly and easily.
However, TVs are also:
- Smaller. TVs are limited in size, so they may not be suitable for events that require larger displays.
- Harder to see. The viewing angle of a TV is limited, so attendees seated off to the side may have difficulty seeing the screen.
TVs offer fairly high-quality visuals and are easy to set up, but their limited size and viewing angle means that they won’t meet the display needs of most events. However, because they’re relatively inexpensive, TVs can easily be used in conjunction with other options like projectors or LED walls.
Picking the right kind of screen is crucial for the success of any event; the right display will enhance your presentation and provide a better experience for your guests and donors. Projectors, LED walls, and TVs each come with their own unique advantages and disadvantages, and considering the size and layout of your event space, the type of content you want to display, and your budget will help you pick the option that makes the most sense for your event.
And if you want help figuring all of that out, schedule a discovery call with our business development team! We’re dedicated to helping our partners produce incredible experiences, and we’d love to work with you.