Planning a big event can be daunting – there are so many details to take care of, including the food and catering, the venue, the guest list, and the entertainment, amongst others. But one thing that is very often neglected by inexperienced event managers is the proper AV equipment.
Whilst most venues have AV equipment you can hire, it’s usually of pretty mediocre quality. If you are holding an event with anything more than the most basic AV requirements then you will need to include decent AV equipment in your event plan and budget. Holding events with live acts or performers with inadequate AV systems will undermine the experience for your audience. It’s one area where you should definitely not compromise on quality.
If you need to bring in a AV specialist to provide the level of quality your event deserves, here are the top things you should consider before taking them on.
Why not in-house?
Yes, you can always choose the in-house audio-visual provider – but most people choose not to. Here’s why – first of all, they may not have the right equipment. Most in-house providers will only have the basics, which may not be enough for your needs. Secondly, you could potentially save more money. When you get quotes from several AV hire specialists, you can compare them and see if fees such as equipment, overtime pay, labour, and other expenditures are included – and you can choose the best one.
However, you have to make sure that all your AV needs are met – ask your AV hire company if their equipment is in-house or will be brought by other vendors, and ask them about different options when it comes to the quality of the brand. Make it a point to ask them what their routine on maintenance is after an event and ensure they can provide you with a guarantee of the equipment you need on the day itself.
One other reason why you should consider an outside provider is that they come with dedicated support – which an in-house provider may not be able to give you.
Request for AV references suitable to your event
You should also remember that different AV companies have different specialities. For example, some specialise in large conferences, whilst some are adept at concerts, and so on. So you need to ask the AV provider what sort of event they specialise in and what experience they have with your kind of event. Needless to say, every event has its unique set of challenges, so it’s important to know that they will meet yours head-on. After all, a conference room will have a different set of AV needs from a large auditorium.
Ask if you will have a dedicated manager
Another crucial point to consider is whether or not you will have a dedicated project manager or contact person, at least. They must be familiar with the event you are having and preferably come with the necessary experience. It is essential from the beginning to meet with them and lay out your objectives and goals and any expectations you may have. Ask them if they will be there on the day of your event and let them know what you need but also tell them your budget. Agree to the specific terms and conditions before planning your event, as this will serve as your milestones and checklist to make the event a success.