Ok, Jake, let’s get to know each other. Tell us…  

  • What’s your most used emoji?  🤠 – Yeehaw
  • Pineapple on pizza? Not for me, but if that’s your thing, go for it. 
  • Sunrise or sunset? It’s got to be Sunrise. 
  • Favourite band? The Angels

You’ve got an interesting nickname. What is it, and where did it come from?

So the nickname Fish came from when I was younger, and I struggled to say my last name, “Fitzgibbon.” I would pronounce it as “Fishgibbon,” of course, it wasn’t long before I donned the name Fish, and it’s since stuck. I kind of like it; I never really saw myself as a “Fitzy” kinda guy anyway, haha.

We heard you’ve got an ear for music and a skill for singing. Tell us about your musical career. 

I’ve been in bands all through high school until now, from playing guitar and bass and even jumping on vocals a couple of times. Being in bands and playing shows is definitely one of the main reasons I got into working in events, I found myself part of a community that was hard-working creative and would never shy away from having a good time! As for my music career now? I definitely attend more gigs than I play, but the odd one does come up here and there, and I still love it! I think it’s important that everyone has some sort of creative outlet in their life. 

Jake Fitzgibbon rocking out on bass at a gig

Now, some techy stuff. What’s your favourite piece of AV gear and why?

Now, at the risk of sounding boring or lame. A personal favourite bit of tech for me is a Presentation Clicker. 

Ok, hear me out. I know it’s not the most flashy or even the most intelligent piece of tech, but it’s a superstar in my eyes and has been around forever and evolved along with all other event technology. Clickers provide a simple and familiar interface, not too dissimilar to a TV remote that anyone can understand at a glance and will require little to no training to use. 

A presentation clicker is a simple solution to let your presenter set their own pace and feel like they are “driving” the presentation. I find having that tactile *click* is so much more satisfying to a person presenting as opposed to waiting for someone else to go to the next slide on a laptop side of stage or back at ops. It gives you more confidence in your presentation because you’re in control. 

Now, of course, our AV operators will always have a backup control (and a holding slide on standby) at the op desk if anything were to go astray, but with a clicker, you can wave goodbye to that awkward pause between slides looking over to your operator to indicate to go to the next slide. Yes, an operator can learn your presentation and all your cues in rehearsals and is good for backup, but I still think there is something to be said about your presenter owning it and controlling their own slides. 

Clickers have been wireless either via Bluetooth or USB dongle for some time, but the range on them is only getting better and better. Other functionality you can find in a clicker are built-in laser pointers and timers, which are great for those events when you’re running on a strict schedule.

DSAN Perfect Cue Presentation Clicker range, with a laser pointer or without. You can use these Clickers to control both your main and backup presentations in sequence so they are always in sync.

AV1’s clients love new ideas. Throw one our way.

I’m a massive fan of the LED wall and reflective stage combo. I feel you get so much more out of your LED when paired with a reflective surface. Not only does your LED appear bigger and make a cool mirroring visual against a reflective surface, but it also creates an almost 3-Dimensional effect that can add depth to your set or make your stage feel immersive. We did this recently at the MCA for a Lancome event.

LED screen with reflective stage at MCA’s Foundation hall for the Lancôme Paris Rénergie H.P.N 300 Peptide Cream Launch.

Love that. Got any others?!

I recently attended an event with this QR code at the entrance and on the tables we were sitting at. The QR would bring you to a mobile app called POV. 

Basically, it turns your phone into a disposable film camera where everyone who scans the QR code gets 10 Photos over the course of the event. POV saves all the photos taken and adds them to a shared album accessible post-event to everyone who attended. 

I think it’s a great op for anyone looking to capture the event from an attendee’s perspective while adding a kind of retro vibe or nostalgia to those who remember what it’s like to only have a limited amount of shots on a roll of film and you have to wait for it to develop. 

To replicate this with actual disposable cameras would be a) expensive and b) potentially generate waste.

What’s your favourite venue in Sydney right now and why? 

Carriageworks, for sure! – Located at the former Eveleigh Railway Workshops in Redfern, the space is HUGE and truly a blank canvas for anyone looking for somewhere to host an event or put on a show. 

I really enjoy working in or attending big open spaces such as Carriageworks, it’s exciting and inspiring to see a new take on the venue each time. 

Venues like Carriageworks encourage creativity from the first initial site visit all the way through to the bump in and event days, and I think that’s special as it allows event organisers and suppliers to keep thinking outside of the box and push creative boundaries. I have visited there many times for various events such as music concerts, theatre productions, a farmers market and, of course, Purpose Conference. No two setups have been the same!

Day 1 Purpose 2022 Conference at Carriageworks

What’s exciting about working in an AV operations team? 

Our operations team try to make an effort to get at least one of us on site a week. I think it’s a great idea, and I believe anyone in an office-based role within the events industry should try to get on-site when they can. 

It’s really exciting to get out there and break up your day. You get the opportunity to see crew members in their element, doing what they do best and all the equipment we’d normally see in road cases getting wheeled in and out of our vehicles. An advantage of this is that I can help when it comes to crewing, learning how many people are required for certain tasks or even how long these take.

AV1’s Operations team at AV1’s Long Summer Lunch 2023

What’s your top tip for our clients to help with productivity? 

Create and share a runsheet prior to your event. A runsheet is a great visual tool that aids in understanding the flow of your event. It should include the arrival time of your different suppliers, speakers and guests and the start and finish times of different sessions or breakouts. 

Sharing this with your AV operator will ensure everything is set before the speaker’s arrival, all content is tested, and the sound check is completed before guests arrive. If everyone isn’t across the correct times, things can quickly run over time, pushing everything back and creating a flow-on effect.

What’s essential in your role to make operations stay smooth?

My role in operations is ensuring all relevant info from the initial planning stages of the event is communicated to all crew who will be onsite for the set, operate and pack. This is essential for a smooth event as the crew will have the opportunity to look at the equipment used, positioning of said equipment, safety considerations, other suppliers’ arrival times and important contacts from the venue’s security and/or events team. 

When the crew are across this information, not only does it empower them with confidence that they are across what’s going on, but it will increase efficiency and allow that ‘headroom’ when something may not go to plan. 

And last but not least, why do you love events? 

There are truly too many to list, but to put it broadly, I love the social element of events. It’s the idea of a community coming together to celebrate, educate and enjoy whatever the event’s focus. It’s an opportunity to network with people with whom you share common interests and passions and to be a part of something bigger than yourself. 

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