Image of tech expert BJ Mazmanian during Rocket Mortgage Classic interview.

Mastering Your At-Home Audio/Visual Systems Like The Pros: An Interview With Bluewater Technologies Group's BJ Mazmanian

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BJ Mazmanian, Director of Sales, Live Events for Bluewater Technologies Group (Rocket Mortgage Classic’s audio visual partner), argues that there’s no point in hosting a major golf tournament if no one can properly see or hear it. That’s why Mazmanian and his team work diligently to ensure the surround sound, lighting and LED/display screens are ready in time for the July tournament.

As the official build sponsor for the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic, Rocket Loans met behind the scenes with Mazmanian to learn more about his tournament role and how homeowners can apply his audio/visual (A/V) expertise both inside and outside their home.

Image of tech expert BJ Mazmanian during interview.

Preparing A/V For The 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic

Mazmanian is no stranger to supporting large-scale sporting events like the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Previously working on professional motorsports events, Mazmanian’s experience involves managing all the TVs and LED boards that spectators see – and hear – throughout an event.

Here are his tips for pulling off large-scale A/V projects:

1. Plan For The Unexpected

Planning for unexpected hurdles is key when providing A/V for any large-scale event.

For Mazmanian, A/V team members must always respond and adjust in the moment. And if everything is installed, adjusted and tested ahead of time, it’s easier to spontaneously accommodate impromptu requests – like a late breaking press conference, or an athlete interview.

"The goal is to control as much as you can before you show up on-site," says Mazmanian. "It doesn’t matter what type of event you’re working. There’s always going to be something that could happen, especially when it involves multiple press days and over 125 event monitors."

2. Prioritize Your Guest Experience

As with most events big or small, your guests’ experiences should be at the forefront of your prioritization. That’s why Mazmanian’s team works hard to provide A/V support (like specific placement of large speakers and TVs) in ways that optimize the attendee experience. “We try to gear our A/V layout around the fan action as much as we can, so that we can truly showcase what they came for,” says Mazmanian. 

First, Mazmanian’s team walks around the event space to get a sense of traffic flow and gathering areas, while considering how far sound travels to those areas. Then, they install equipment with optimal viewing and hearing angles.

"Something unique about this golf tournament is that we have back-to-back LED boards," says Mazmanian. "That way, attendees will be able to view what’s going on as they walk up and around the event. It’s breathtaking and lets fans immediately see all the action at once."

"Not everyone can gather around the 18th green," he continues. "So, if we’re able to place a TV or speaker where other people can still see it ... that’s a win. We want to make sure that no one is missing out of the big experience while they’re here."

3. Pay Attention To Audio And  Visual

As you consider proper placement of your viewing screens, don’t forget about the speakers, too!

Making sure that you’re paying attention to the audio components as much as the visuals is extremely important. "It’s cool to see the experience, but really hearing the sounds of the stands and fans is also what makes attending an event like the Rocket Mortgage Classic worthwhile to begin with," says Mazmanian.

Image of Rocket Mortgage Classic tech and seating space.

What Are Common Setbacks Handling Large-Scale Outdoor A/V?

"One of the biggest challenges you can come up against is weather," says Mazmanian. Pre-event weather conditions can impact your set-up schedule and flow, so it’s important to pay attention to conditions leading up to and during your event. "While our tech is weatherproof, it’s tough directing heavy equipment around the turf. If it rains, we need to lay down plywood to make sure we’re not scuffing any green."

When it comes to budgeting, it’s also important to keep in mind that your gear and equipment may experience technical difficulties. That’s why planning ahead and bringing (and budgeting for) extra gear is important.

"We’re always going to have back up for our back up," laughs Mazmanian. "Just to make sure we don’t miss anything. The show doesn’t stop just because we’re having tech difficulties or missing something. So we always need to plan for having the right gear on-site."

Test, Test and Test Again

Whether it’s sunny, cloudy or humid weather, Mazmanian’s team prepares and tests their equipment to ensure picture and sound qualities are up to their high standards.

"The LED boards are all outdoor rated," says Mazmanian. "So, from a weather perspective, it’s great. We just need to make sure the resolution is adapting to our environment. And that means leading up to the event we continuously test our equipment to make sure everything works well and is clearly visible regardless of the amount of sunlight."

Before your guests arrive, make sure you test all of your equipment more than once … and have a backup plan if those tests do not yield the results you want.

How Do You Integrate A/V Learnings Into Your Home?

1. Don’t Limit Yourself

Each home has its own challenges, but there are ways to enjoy an outdoor space regardless of your location or limitations. Waterproof and water-resistant tech exists, and portable Bluetooth speakers can help accommodate different gathering points throughout your yard.

"Personally, I have a projection screen in my backyard that we use for large sporting events and I absolutely love it," says Mazmanian.

2. Consolidate Your Electric Sources

It’s always important to approach your energy usage smarter, not harder. Mazmanian recommends knowing where your outlets are and limiting the number of outputs in each.

"Daisy chaining is not something you want to do with your power and HDMI cables," says Mazmanian. "Your video quality will decrease substantially. It’s always best to have a 'point A' to 'point B' direct source to keep resolution as high as you can, versus having 4-5 different energy set ups."

And if you’re wondering how to pay for your large-scale entertainment upgrade, a home improvement loan works well for getting you the money you need to upgrade your A/V set up and tackle other home projects.  

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Final Thoughts

For Mazmanian’s team, being as prepared as possible allows for A/V resources and flexibility in real time. He finds the most success when thinking about the event attendees and how they will need to navigate A/V on their own to optimize the experience.

Now, you can gather home renovation ideas on how to master your own home projects with Rocket Loans here. 

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