5 POINTS TO CONSIDER WITH AV
Be clear on what you need
Before speaking to an AV company be sure you are clear on what you need the end result to be. You don’t need to know the specific products or even the technical terminology but knowing how many microphones might be needed, the size of the audience or style of presentations will give your supplier a far better understanding of the event itself and will prevent over pricing. I have listed a few points below that which are good to understand before asking for quotes –
- Will there be presentations? If so, will you need the AV supplierto run them?
- Will you need a lectern?
- Would you like your speakers to use Lapel / tie clip microphones? If so, what is the maximum number of speakers in each session?
- Will you use a top table? If so, how many speakers will it need to seat?
- Will you need a timing device for speakers?
- Will there be a Q&A opportunity for the delegates?
- Are you looking for a stage set? If you do it can be useful to have a look on google images for the sort of style you would like to guide the final design.
- How many delegates do you expect?
- What is available within the venue and can your AV company use this equipment?
- Are you looking for any of the event to be recorded?
Does your venue have in house equipment and is it suitable?
In house equipment can save you money as it often comes as part the delegate rate, however there are a few things to watch out for and I will write up another article soon to detail this, but in brief be sure to ask the venue for details of what is included and ask them to demonstrate any in house projection and sound systems. You may not need to do this in some of the larger convention centres however in any hotel I would strongly recommend it.
It is also a good idea to check what support the venue have onsite should there be any problems on the day. An AV team working with you should be quite happy to fit around and integrate with the in-house systems and could save you money by doing so.
Make sure your AV Supplier is working for, or better still, with you
Technical ability and quality of service are things you will get a feel for when you speak to suppliers. The industry is however full of ‘kit junkies’ -technicians who simply want to use the biggest and best which may not be the right equipment for your event and may result in some unnecessary cost. Don’t be afraid to ask what equipment and staff are for if it is not immediately clear and if it is definitely required. A company that truly wants to work with you and be part of your team will be happy to discuss this as well as providing options and advice.
Consider Access Times
It takes time to setup the equipment and as a rule the larger the venue the more equipment will be needed and hence the time needed to set it all up extends. When booking your venue ensure time is available before the event and after for set up and breaking down and when speaking to the AV supplier ensure they know what time is available as this may effect their pricing. Again a company working with you will find ways to make the timing work and will be happy to advise on the times needed.
This is particularly important when looking at outdoor events. All AV needs power and by ensuring that your company knows what power is available onsite and were it is coming from they can ensure the equipment and distribution they use is suitable or they can advise you on generators should more power be needed.
It is also a good idea to discuss other elements of the event that may require power, catering, organisers office or emergency lighting for example. A company that is working with you should be able to help with this and give advice on the best way to ensure all the needs are covered.