Planning and executing an event can be an arduous process. A large part of this centers on having an in-depth understanding of Audio Visual (AV) gear, and how best to make use of it. Whether its lighting, sound mixing, or projection mapping, the quality of your event will ultimately depend on how well-versed your business is with contemporary AV technology. Regardless of the size of the event, be it a boardroom meeting or a large product launch, AV technology knowhow matters greatly.
In order to help you along the way, we’ve listed 23 crucial tips to ensure your event is a successful one. For a further 7 tips, to make sure you’ve really covered all the bases, enter your email below and we’ll send all 30 tips directly to your inbox.
Start the event planning stage as early as possible
Whether your looking to plan a small or large-scale event, it is crucial that you begin the event planning process at the earliest possible convenience. The end-to-end process is likely to consist of finding a venue, staffing, organizing catering, transportation, and of course, assessing what AV and other technology equipment you will be required to hire.
Ultimately, you want to give yourself as much breathing space as possible.
Don’t be afraid to get creative
Before you even think about contacting potential AV hire suppliers, spend ample time thinking about how YOU want the event to go. It might be a good idea to create a storyboard-like brainstorm and discuss your ideas with relevant staff members.
Even if you think your ideas are beyond the realm of possibility, you should aim to maximize the end-user experience to the best of your ability. Ranging from video walls and projectors, to VR experiences, gaming stations, a top-notch technology hire company will have a myriad of tips that will enable you to realise your vision and it may well be easier and cheaper than you think.
How much is it all going to cost?
It is crucial that you spend the time understanding how much your business event is going to cost. This isn’t just centered on the cost of the AV equipment itself, but everything from entertainment, staffing, catering, cleaning, and photography.
Nevertheless, in terms of the underlying cost of hiring AV equipment, this will ultimately depend on what your event requires. There will be a significant disparity in costing between a small conference room set-up to that of an entire hotel ballroom, so make sure that you have a stringent budget forecast in place.
Understand what the industry means by “AV Technology”
In a somewhat tech-heavy industry, it is important that you understand what AV technology actually is. Audio Visual technology, or simply AV, is equipment directly linked to the audio-visual field. This could be anything from lighting, HD-speakers, virtual reality (VR), or projectors.
The capabilities of AV technology are utilized by those looking to produce an event. This could be anything from a wedding, corporate or business event, educational examinations, or international conference call.
Think about the perfect venue
The location of your AV business event should obviously be one of the first things you consider when it comes to realising your desired event, not least because you need a suitable space if everything else is going to fall (and fit!) into place.
If you’re expecting attendees that aren’t based in the area of the event, try to pick somewhere that is close to transport links and hotels. This is especially important if the event is not based in a populous Australian city.
Capacity is also crucial, as you’ll need to ensure that you have a large enough venue to house the necessary stages/stands/amenities, but not so large that the attendee experience feels remote or the venue feels empty.
Many venues have an in-house AV supplier, but you are not obligated to utilise their services, so make sure you at least get a quote from an external provider to compare.
Check whether the venue has any restrictions
You should never assume that just because you’ve paid for the privilege of hiring a venue, that you won’t be subject to certain restrictions. Make sure that you discuss this with the venue host before proceeding.
This could be a restriction on noise volume, or the time at which the event needs to be over. You don’t want to be in a position where you’re about to give a key speech, and the venue host switches the power off!
Have you thought about how you can market your business at the event?
If the motivating factor behind the event is to increase the exposure of you and your brand, then make sure you spend some time thinking about how you plan to get the word out. It might be worth promoting your event via social media/forum platforms, especially to those based in the Australian city or state where the event will take place. Branded photo booths with instagram feeds are a great example.
Evaluate what AV equipment you actually need
If this is your first event, then attempting to assess what AV equipment you actually need is no easy feat. Start off by making a checklist with all of the equipment that you think you’ll need. This should cover key AV equipment linked to lighting, audio and display.
Once you’re at the point where you think you’ve covered all the bases, speak with an experienced event planning consultant to ensure you haven’t left anything out (like that one all-important cable!).
Does the event location have enough power?
One of the most important factors to consider when hiring AV equipment for a business event is power. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your chosen event location will have sufficient power capacity to deal with your requirements.
Always check this with the event host, and cross-check the figures with your AV hire supplier. It’s also worth exploring whether or not the event host will charge you for power usage. If this is the case, try to negotiate a more favorable deal.
Ensure that WIFI is readily available at the event
WIFI is absolutely crucial at your business event, regardless of its size. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is just to facilitate an internet connection for your attendees, and don’t forget the impact of this on your budget. If you can’t afford venue supplied WiFi, you can look at 4G (and soon 5G) alternatives.
Ensure you hire the required number of staff members
Depending on the size of your business event, it might be necessary to hire a number of temporary employees to help run the event. This could be anything from catering staff, security, sound technicians, cleaners, and team leaders.
It’s a good idea to overbook staff levels, as you’d rather have too many staff members than not enough. It’s also useful to equip all of your staff members with 2 way radio devices to ensure that communication remains constant throughout the event.
Don’t forget to arrange post-event cleaning
Although this point might sound somewhat obvious, you would be surprised have often it is overlooked. If you are using an off-site venue for your business event, then it likely that post-cleaning duties will form part of the package.
However, if you plan to host the event on-site, then you’ll need to ensure that you have sufficient staff members to help.
Be ultra-specific with your delivery/collection address
Imagine assessing all of the AV equipment that you need to hire, placing the order, and specifying the delivery address and time – only to realize that you made a slight error.
Not only do you need to ensure that the delivery/collection address is accurate, but you’ll need to specify other key metrics, such as your event stand location and number.
Ensure you have parking/loading dock approval at the event delivery address
Often overlooked, you need to make sure that you have acquired the necessary approval for the AV hire equipment delivery. This is especially true if you are holding the event at a large office building that makes use of underground parking or a loading bay space.
If the AV hire delivery vehicle is unable to park, it could jeopardize the event start time and add to your costs when the parking charges are added post event!. This tip is also pertinent for the collection of the hired AV equipment.
Ensure you give the supplier sufficient time for set-up
The amount of time it takes to set-up your AV equipment will ultimately depend on the type and quantity of the equipment being hired. However, you should still ensure that you give yourself ample time to have everything set-up and tested, well before the event kicks off.
Do you need to label the equipment?
It might be necessary for you to label the AV equipment that you have delivered to the event. This is often the case when the event is being held alongside other organizations, such as at a conference.
If you do require the equipment to be labeled, make sure that you make this clear in advance.
Assess the layout of the room before ordering a projector
If you’re looking to hire a projector, then make sure that you first evaluate the layout of the room. Specific projectors are required depending on the room set-up. This includes short and long throw, and whether it connects to a roof mount.
You should also assess how much space you are likely to be left with once the projector has been installed. You don’t want to restrict visibility to those in the crowd.
Dealing with power issues – have you tried power cycling?
Depending on the size of your event, there is always the chance that you might have issues with power. If you are holding your event at a hotel, convention centre or conference room, it is likely that these establishments will turn their power off during the evening.
If you’re running a multi-day event, you might need to manually power your AV equipment back on each morning. If this doesn’t do the job, try power cycling the devices (such as computers, LCD screens, and printers).
The importance of pre-event testing
Never make the mistake of thinking that just because you’ve had all the necessary AV equipment delivered and set up, that everything is sure to run smoothly.
It is of the utmost important that you set aside sufficient time to test all of the equipment out. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the excruciating situation where your main speaker bounds onto the stage and no one can hear a word they are saying.
Speakers must be powered on first and powered down last
If you are looking to hire an audio system, it is imperative that you take care when powering the speakers on/down. In order to avoid causing damage to other connected devices, be sure to power the speakers on first, and then subsequently power the speakers down last.
The easiest way to achieve this is to make sure you have the speaker volume turned all the way down before you power it on. Then gradually increase the volume until you begin to hear sound. Avoid turning the volume up in a rash manner.
Avoid feedback from microphones
One of the most frustrating things that can happen during an event is ongoing microphone feedback. Not only does it distract from the underlying message, but it can be a big nuisance for the audience. A useful tip in this respect is to ensure microphones are kept behind the speakers.
If this isn’t feasible, then at least ensure that the microphone isn’t directly in front of the speaker. You should also try to keep the microphone devices 2m (handheld) to 3m (lapel) away from the speakers.
Have you taken connection ports into consideration?
If you are looking to hire a TV, but you plan to use your own laptop, make sure that you’ve thought about the relevant connection ports.
It might also be the case that the event will have multiple presenters side-by-side. If this is the case, have you considered that laptops might differ in operating systems (such as Windows/Mac)? You should discuss these points with the AV hire sales team, as they’ll be able to suggest what you do and don’t need.
Ask, ask, and ask again
Asking questions is absolutely crucial when it comes to hiring AV equipment. Whether its “How to connect a laptop to a PA system?” or “How to setup dual monitors?”, your AV hire specialist will be able to point you in the right direction or in many cases, assist you on site.
It is best that you ask as many questions as you feel necessary well before the event start date.This will avoid any unnecessary hiccups along the way.
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