Events professionals need to consider many details when planning their events – programme, venue, event design, catering etc. One aspect that might get pushed to the bottom of the list is the audio visual part, yet it is one thing that can make or break a good event. Here are six key AV elements for events that, if you get right, will help make your event a success.
In-house vs external supplier
Sometimes a venue may use their own in-house AV expert but if not, then think about what you may need from an external supplier and set an appropriate budget. Get a few quotes so that you can judge where you are getting the best service and the best price combined. Don’t use a particular firm just because it costs less than others – you really do get what you pay for. Make sure that your AV provider shares your vision of the event and that you can work with him.
Provide a clear brief
It is up to the technical team to ensure that your vision of the event becomes a reality. Any AV supplier will need as much information as possible when organising the day. They will need to know details such as duration, number of attendees, seating style, room dimensions, format of the event, equipment required in terms of microphones, power leads, projectors, all devices to be supported, types of ports and content to be displayed.
A site visit with your AV provider will help them recce what is already on site that may fit your requirements. They will need to be able to see where power sockets are located, what internet access is available, what projection facilities are like, the room access and parking to unload equipment etc.
Don’t underestimate the importance of lighting
Make sure that you clearly plan the lighting design with your AV supplier well in advance. Think about your venue space, your stage and your speakers. Have a clear vision of what needs a creative lighting and what impact you want to create. Any good AV company should then be able to translate your ideas into practical suggestions. Lighting can transform a space so if you have a drink event following your daytime conference, talk to your AV supplier about changing from a daytime to an evening lighting.
Plan your sound requirements effectively
It is vital that your delegates can hear what is being said on stage and that you have the right speakers and microphones available at your chosen venue. Plan carefully all that details with your AV provider in advance.
If your AV supplier is creative, then digital projections of a product or a destination can be used for a greater effect and to really wow the audience. Make sure you ask them what is possible and they should be able to come up with some really exciting ideas.
On the day of the event
The technical team is there to make sure that everything runs smoothly on the day of the event. If they are experienced professionals, they will make your job easier and the speaker’s role less stressful. AV technicians will have soundchecked everything in advance to ensure that speakers are positioned and working correctly, they will check hand held and lapel mikes and ensure that the slide show or Powerpoint can be clearly seen and is lit appropriately. They will also be on hand should there be any technical glitches. They are a vital support on the day of the event and their expertise should not be underestimated.
Getting the Audio Visual technology right is a crucial part of your event planning. So plan your event budget accordingly in order to have true experts in the field on hand who will help you conduct a stress-free and smooth-running event.
Neil Walker is Production Director at the event management and party planning company- MGN events. He is experienced in providing strategic technical support to clients for a wide range of events.