Tips to help you get the most from Audio Visual Companies

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When organising an event, it is important to select the right suppliers.

Audio visual & IT equipment can be a very confusing to understand and it can be hard to know where to start. There is lots of jargon to understand such as HDMI, aspect ratio, condenser or dynamic mics, lumens etc. Putting it all together can be another thing all together...

This is why we often decide to hire an AV company to do it all for us. This article outlines a few tips to help get the most for your money...

1. Audio Visual Production companies often provide more than just technical equipment and wires

It’s important to make the most of your suppliers and Av companies in particular often offer a range of services related to events. For example, you could ask your AV Supplier for advice on your venue selection, event theming ideas, drapes, red carpets, CAD designs / room layouts, signage printing and customised stage backdrops. If they don't offer a particular service outside of just sound hire, staging, lighting and LED video screens, there is a good chance they will be able to recommend someone else in the business who can help you.

Your AV production company of choice should also be willing to offer content creation services such as creating PowerPoint's and Keynote's, videos, graphics and cutting music for awards dinners. You may also find they offer event filming and live streaming if that is of interest to you.

" We often like the phrase, "If you had to buy a car, would you go out and buy the cheapest one?"
All cars will have wheels and some kind of engine, but that doesn't mean the cheapest one is the same as the latest Aston Martin. Like cars, AV companies vary a lot in quality, experience, knowledge, equipment, size and structure. "

2. Get your AV supplier involved as early as possible

Audio Visual, Staging and Lighting shouldn't be a last minute addition, in fact, by seeking our expert advice as early as possible you can make sure you get several quotes and conduct meetings to select the right supplier, overcome hurdles early and ensure a professional finish to your event. Booking early will also be one more thing off your shoulders.

3. Know your venue’s potential (your AV company can help!)

Getting to know the venue or space you will be using is crucial when it comes to getting your event right. It’s a good idea to also speak with your suppliers about the venue as early as possible, before you commit to booking. Talk is cheap and your suppliers should be more than happy to help advise you on what can or can't be achieved in your desired space.

Your chosen AV Company will have more than likely worked in many different kinds of venues of all types and sizes, from conferences to festivals, and there is a good chance they might already know venue straight away, especially if its based near by their offices (always worth asking).

4. Create the right format content

Whether it be a conference or awards dinner, good content can really be the difference...

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Before your make any content, first decide the format required. There are lots different ways of showing content such as PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi or videos & graphics played form a media server. There are also lots of different sizes from ultra wide-screen to square. Obviously you don't want to create square content when you have asked for an ultra-wide LED video wall hire.

5. Communicate with your AV supplier

Once venue is confirmed and requirements have been agreed, there will still be lots to do.

Start off by making a draft event schedule (even if its not perfect) to include setup times, rehearsals, show times and of course time to dismantle. Show these with your audio visual hire company as its good to make sure the times set out are achievable. Show these to the venue as well.

If you ever have any worries or concerns, pick-up the phone to your supplier. Any good AV company will always be happy to talk and will normally assign at least 1 project manager who will be your first point of call. More than often they will provide you a direct phone or email, so you can discuss anything that comes up.

A week before the event it is always good practice to arrange a final pre-event call or meeting to run through the final schedule and discuss all requirements so that they can ensure everything you want will be delivered.

6. Technicians are there to help you

With an onsite team you can ensure your display will be set up and monitored without glitch free, and you can trust that the equipment is being managed in the right way.

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Depending on the nature of your event, you may have dedicated onsite technicians and AV experts as part of your AV hire package. While onsite support and service can entail an additional cost, the result is often well worth the additional expense.

A good AV company will always make you feel as though you can depend on them, that you can entrust them to provide everything required and leave you to go about your business with complete peace of mind knowing that everything is in good hands.

If you ever get the feeling that may not be the case from the first phone call or meeting, then trust your gut. Events only happen once and they need to go perfectly as there is no turning back time to change things.

7. Cheapest is not always best...

A good AV supplier will carry key backup Av equipment onsite (not necessarily stated on the quote), dedicated event project managers, very high quality equipment form leading manufacturers and of course, well trained and experienced staff that are friendly and very presentable.

We often like the phrase, "If you had to buy a car, would you go out and buy the cheapest one?"
All cars will have wheels and some kind of engine, but that doesn't mean the cheapest one is the same as the latest Aston Martin. Like cars, AV companies vary a lot in quality, experience, knowledge, equipment, size and structure.

You want to make sure that you select a company with a proven track record, comes recommended, understands your requirements and can work to provide the best for your budget.

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