How to NOT Screw Up Your Next Presentation


We’ve all been at that meeting or event.  When the speaker cues up their Presentation in either Power Point or Key Note and things just don’t look…good.  There are black bars across the screen and the presentation doesn’t fill screen.  There is a collective internal groan among the audience and folks are starting to get fidgety.  “Oh! I don’t know what happened!  It looked great in the office.”  Maybe it’s your boss saying this as she’s sending you scathing looks and you want to slide under the table. Maybe you’re the Event Planner who was supposed to have coordinated all this.  Or maybe the person sweating bullets onstage is you.  In any case, BEYOND is ready to help you avoid such uncomfortableness and be a Presentation Superhero.

Four Business Superheroes

The main reason for this “presentation problem” is not that it was put together wrong, but it was formatted incorrectly to meet current technology.  There is a shift from 4:3 aspect ratio of screens and TVs to a 16:9 aspect ratio.  16:9 (1.77:1) (16:9 =4²:3) is an aspect ratio with a width of 16 units and a height of 9.  Since 2009, it has become the most common aspect ratio sold for televisions and computer monitors and is also the international standard format of HDTV, Full HD, non-HD digital television and analog widescreen television.  Um…okay. What??

Let’s break it down for you.  Remember the television sets of yore?   (Well, maybe some of you do.) They were big and bulky and if you were crazy enough to help a friend move to a new apartment, the two of you might have been able to carry it without having a hernia.  And we’re talking about a 20inch screen here.  Even Flat Screens from 6 years ago are heavier than the newer generation of TVs.   The point is PowerPoint and Keynote have not kept up with screen technology and they are like those old TVs.  They work just fine, but they don’t have all the great new technology built in. 

Vintage television - old TV isolate on white ,retro technology


When preparing your PowerPoint or Keynote slides, you have to start at 16:9 ratio when you create your template.  It cannot be changed after your presentation is finished or it will mess up your fonts and pictures.  A few other tips: 

Use a font of 24 or larger or your audience will not appreciate all your hard work and intelligence (never mind you can kiss your year-end bonus goodbye.)

A dark color background is better than a light one.

Not every computer has the same fonts and with some folks using PC’s and others MACs, it can get a little bungled.  To fix this, you can either run the slides off the computer they originated on or export to slide PDF so the fonts will be saved.

If you’re coordinating multiple speakers, notify your production company how many of the presentations are MAC vs. PC.

Most video and films are already being produced and deliver in 16:9 so no worries there!

Technology is changing so rapidly that it is nearly impossible for all technology – or even you – to remain current.  Thankfully, Power Point 2016 has changed the new slide option to default to 16:9 and Keynote 2016 now gives you an option, but until everyone upgrades to the latest software you will have to adjust your slides accordingly.  Now you are a Presentation Superhero (or at least you have a chance at that bonus!)




Event Lighting 101: All You Need to Know Part 2


Last we met, our Lighting 101 focused on the basic guidelines for event lighting and emphasized the importance of doing your homework on your venue before creating a design plan.  Part 2 is a more in-depth look to help you zero in on the details of your lighting design in order to achieve the look you want for your event.  This is the difference between a hosting a “just fine” event or one with style and pizazz. 


The All Important Do’s

Do wash your florals in light – includes centerpieces, floral halo over dance floor, floral on chuppah or alter and floral arches over doorways.  It will make them pop and add depth to the room.

Do use dimmers for white light washes to control overall design and ambiance. 

Do uplight the perimeter of the room in an elegant color.  You can use candlelight in the beginning of the night, then as the party gets going, change it to something more festive and fun, say in a blue or purple.

Do select your venue before contacting your lighting vendor.  The design process will be much smoother and efficient with a preliminary floor plan to use as a starting point.  

Do wash the seating cards/escort cards and guest book table with light.  It’ll help your guests find their cards easier and they’ll be able to see what they’re signing!

Do light bar and food buffets in tents.  They can get lost in this type of setting.  

Do help your guests see where they’re going! Light valets stands and walkways to assist your guests at an outdoor event.


The Even More Important Don’ts

Don’t uplight your room in green or red.  These colors are terrible for the complexion.  They also do not photograph well and can affect your event’s overall mood.

Don’t uplight in a color then not put light on your floral.  The room will look flat and lack dimension.  

Don’t project a monogram or pattern on a black or black and white dance floor.  No one will see it!  

Don’t uplight the room in white light.  It will be way too bright (police interrogation, anyone?) and your guests will not want to dance to your amazing band or DJ. 

Don’t alternate your uplight color.  It will look stripy and cartoonish, not edgy or cool.  

Don’t always believe what you see on Pinterest!  You can’t tell what has been edited or photo shopped.

Planning an important event takes time (and patience!)  You don’t want to overlook the details that will help you achieve your desired look and feel for the event, but don’t overthink them either. Lighting is an important element for your event.  At its most basic, it helps your guests see at your event; but more importantly, proper lighting shows your guests how to see your event.  Whether it’s romantic, over-the-top dramatic, club-like or rustic elegance, lighting sets the tone.  Consider BEYOND’s Lighting 101 the foundation you can now confidently build upon to create an unforgettable celebration.  You are on your way to hosting a fantastic event!

Event Lighting 101: All You Need to Know Part 1


Blog Feb 2016 pic

Well, it happened.  You finally got engaged to the love of your life and you’re ready to plan your dream wedding.  Or you’re planning the most incredible 40th birthday blowout or your company’s next big do.  Congratulations!  Lighting is an important design element for any event.  Whether you choose subtle uplighting for a candlelit glow or you go big and dramatic with a color rich theme complete with an LED HD Video Dance Floor, lighting will elevate the look and ambiance of your event.  It can also be  used to distract your guests from your least favorite feature(s) of your venue (we’re talking to you dated chintz carpet!)  Before you get started, we thought a two part lesson in lighting would save you some headaches: what works and more importantly, what doesn’t.  Let’s get started!

Dance Floors:  Black glossy and black and white dance floors will not take gobo projections.  Translation: your monogram or brand logo will not be seen!

Drape:  Black and navy are classic colors, but black and navy drape do not light well.  If you decide to go ahead and uplight one of these drape colors, we advise that you double the number of lights to get it to light properly.  The same goes for projecting patterns or gobos on these color drapes.  White light will not show properly on dark drapes, nor will it work well on white drapes.  It becomes too stark.  A neutral color, like gray, is a much better choice.

Floor Plans:  When designing your floor plan, including décor pieces in the room and lighting elements that need power, you need a place to run the cords.  Cords can either be taped down to the floor or if the room has rigging, the power can be run up the wall and across the ceiling.  Some wireless options are available, but they don’t always work.

Rig Points:  If you’d like to incorporate chandeliers or similar hanging elements, your venue must have rig points in the ceiling in order to hang them.  Double check with your venue since some don’t have rig points!  A custom structure can be built, but it is very costly.  Figure out where your venue’s rig points are before you design your floor plan.  The rig points might not always match up with your floor plan and you’ll discover (too late!) you can’t suspend that amazing chandelier because there’s no hang point.    

That was easy enough, wasn’t it?  The takeaway here is to know the particulars of your venue before you spend precious hours designing the event of year just to find out it may not work.   Next time, we’ll go through the Do’s and Don’ts.  Don’t stress, BEYOND is here for you.



2016 and Everything’s Coming Up Rosy…and Blue?


pic 3 pantone blog

If the style experts are correct, the New Year is all about mindfulness and well-being. Pantone, the international authority on color trends, announced Rose Quartz and Serenity as its 2016 Color of the Year, the first time two colors have earned this honor. 

Rose Quartz is a light pink and Serenity is a periwinkle blue. Unlike the bright colors of the past few years, which displayed our post-recession optimism and energetic lifestyle, this year’s softer palette represents a balance between warm and cool, reflecting wellness and a soothing sense of peace.

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What does all this mean to you? Pantone’s Color of the Year is a reflection of what is taking place in our culture and expresses the current mood and attitude. It filters down into all aspects of daily life: fashion, beauty products, interior design and, of course, event schemes and design. You’ll see greater use of Rose Quartz and Serenity color combinations in linens, floral, and décor, which could really pop with a neutral candlelight glow to add, dimension to the room. And while many trendsetting brides have been utilizing overall pink lighting for its flattering ambiance, Rose Quartz up lighting is a more literal use of the color and will add dramatic flair to any room.  

©2008 Thisbe Grace Photography Shared Copyright

So whether it’s a sea of blue bridesmaids’ dresses paired with delicate pink flowers or a ballroom awash in shades of soft pink light or cool blue tones for a more modern effect, this color palette is a fresh departure from the bold statement colors of years past, but guaranteed to make a stunning impact at your event.

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2015 Event Highlights


Enjoy five of our favorite events from 2015.   


An amazing evening under the stars at Arlington Hall on January 24, 2015, celebrating a blessed union. The wedding and reception were designed by Mathes and Co, tent provided by Sandone Productions, floral by Branching Out Events, linens from La Tavola and of course lighting provided by yours truly, BEYOND!  – Photography by F8.

Hefland Wedding



The bride loved butterflies and they acted as the perfect detail in during her wedding reception – notice the butterflies hanging off the elegant café lights suspend in the foyer of Dallas Country Club. The wedding was planned by DFW Events, floral by the Garden Gate, wedding video produced by BEYOND Films and of course lighting, BEYOND! – Photography by Edmonson Weddings

Flemming Wedding


Flemming Wedding




Ooo lala, the Adolphus Hotel, elegance at its finest. The Grand Ballroom was the stage for a perfectly lit ceremony and the Century Ballroom provided an opportunity for chandeliers to highlight the overall design of the room.  The wedding and reception were designed by Significant Events of Texas, floral provided by Stems, ceremony décor, Prashe, and Lighting including chandeliers by BEYOND. – Photography by Shaun Menary 

Cook-Green Wedding


Cook-Green Wedding




A Night at the Museum, a must attend charity event in Dallas, benefiting the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.  The entire museum was full of fun lighting and décor to really emphasize the Illuminate theme.  Designed by Stageworks, floral by the Garden Gate and BEYOND provided lighting and the HD Video Dance Floor.  – Photography VIM

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science



Cowboy Up: Take Cancer Down, was the 2015 Cattle Baron’s Ball 2015 theme. And taking Cancer down is just what they did by raising the over $4M.  BEYOND had the privilege of teaming up with Gilley’s and Fauxcades to create a night to remember.