Venue Tech Trends: San Francisco's Ultimate High Tech Venue

You’re looking for a high tech venue that can cover it all. From the space itself, to the management, to the technology package available – there are a lot of variables that can raise an event to a legendary level, or cause it to epically crash and burn. And when you’re mixing tech into the equation, stakes get even higher.

We love finding great high tech venues and spaces to host events, so in a series we call “Venue Tech Trends” we’d like to introduce you to some plugged-in high tech venues that we think are getting it right.

A defining high tech venue

Think of your ideal high tech venue. It would probably have the standards – wifi, a reliable connection, good download and upload speeds, top-notch equipment. But now really dream big. Think game systems for an element of interactivity, the ability to live stream your whole event, a unique style with hidden nooks and gathering spaces. Add those elements together and you get Venue 550 in San Francisco.

Venue 550 is unique in its design and purpose. Built as a fully functioning television studio, this two story party-palace will knock the socks off even the most hard-to-impress Silicon Valley socialites.

A balancing act at Venue 550

Venue 550 is the brainchild of experienced entrepreneur Rick Haynes and was conceived to be the go-to venue for San Francisco tech events. Rick has 20 years of nightclub design, concepts, parties, and management under his belt – including a stint throwing concerts for the likes of Incubus, Tommy Lee and George Clinton. He made headlines recently when he opened Lolita’s Cantina and Tequila bar in Las Vegas – the first nightclub in the U.S. with holographic entertainment.

Among Venue 550’s impressive list of gear is a massive EAW sound system, an assortment of amps and mixers, a customizable computerized lighting system, spotlights and lasers, 10 PCs with 55” monitors and HD webcams, 6 game consoles, 3 large wall projectors controlled by an array of video mixers, switchers, and DVD players – and a custom built 14-foot holographic display to top it all off.

Venue 550 has been operating as a high tech venue since November 2013 and has hosted everything from corporate events to dance parties to weddings. Among its private events, Venue 550 also hosts a free weekly video game meetup called DoubleKO! and is the site of a sprawling interactive online reality show called The Human Video Game. Illuminated, a weekly dance party, takes advantage of 3D projection mapping technology to create a dazzling atmosphere of animation and art while attendees dance the night away.

#robotdanceparty at Venue 550

Venue 550 is utilizing some of the hottest trends in high tech venues. Events can take on an interactive feel if clients choose to take advantage of streaming and broadcasting technology like the kind at Venue 550. The 10 PCs and webcams available can be arranged as streaming stations so that attendees are being connected no matter where they are in the venue.

Andrew Roquemore, Venue 550’s Technical manager, loves the creativity that clients show when taking advantage of the space’s unique features. “We want to give our guests an interesting and memorable experience like no other.” To him, one thing has governed the decisions made for Venue 550, “The ability to live stream events, whether just in-house or out to the world, has been a core focus of our tech choices.”

Projection mapping at Venue 550

Mustafa Khan, a San Francisco party-throwing ace, recently chose Venue 550 for his dance and live art event. “I wanted my event, San FranDisco, to be a dance party with lots of artistic and quirky elements — aerial performances, beautiful projection mapping, and live painters.” Mustafa took advantage of the high tech venue’s comprehensive lighting package and gaming consoles, and brought along his own aerialist, Michael Jackson tribute artist, balancing act and dancing party robot.

Venue 550 has done a great job of thinking outside the box. If you’re able to locate the right high tech venue, the sky’s the limit when it comes to your event. When working with a high tech venue, be sure to ask about previous events and how past clients have taken advantage of what’s available. It’s likely that they’ll have some ideas on maximizing the offerings and can even introduce you to vendors that are familiar with the space.

In Mustafa’s case, Venue 550 had already worked with Light Science AV Event Production to digitally map the walls for some impressively precise video projections. Mustafa was able to take advantage of the work that Light Science had completed to integrate amazing projections into his event, elevating it substantially. Light Science had a working relationship with the venue and the mapping was finalized, saving time and money. As a result, Mustafa was able to incorporate an eye-popping, event-changing element that had attendees talking long after the event.

The DJ booth at Venue 550

Get to know high tech venues in your area and ask them to help you stretch the limits of what’s possible. Make lasting impressions by fully utilizing a venue’s features and leveraging their existing relationships with contractors. If you can match your imagination with an arsenal of tech gadgets like the ones at Venue 550, you have the chance to host one unforgettable event. Venue 550 is a true inspiration for what’s achievable when a high tech venue invests the time to create a playground for its clients.