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...
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. "
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First off let me start by saying Happy New Year to you! 2018 is going to be a exciting and prosperous year for all industries.
1. The Venue
Your venue choice is paramount to pulling off a great conference. Consider the size of your audience. You don’t want visitors to feel cramped in a venue that’s too small but, on the flip side, you don’t want your venue looking empty because your audience isn’t big enough to fill it.
Think outside the box, your only option isn't just a specialised conference centre and there are lots of venues that could be used for a conference right on your doorstep.
- Marquee's are commonly used to create excellent temporary spaces in car parks, fields and alike
- Community halls can offer big spaces for a low buck
- Golf and country clubs, nearly all will have an event space
- Rugby and football stadiums
- Sports hall, they can fit big numbers and often have lots of parking
- Your office or warehouse, it could be an easy event space to convert, but it might be nice to get out of the office for a change...
Often we find that any space can be easily transformed with drape hire, lighting and audio visual equipment. Tables, chairs, projector screens and stages can all easily be hired in to create the perfect space.
2. Considering budget
Do you just want a functional space with chairs & projector screen? If you're just doing an internal staff training event, you probably don't need to go all out. Keep it simple and just hire the space and simple AV equipment.
Do you want to impress your clients? Does the event need to have wow factor and go without a hitch? Why not consider an event company to help you arrange everything? We have extensive experience in the events industry and are always happy to help.
3. The Stage
Will there be a stage or impressive branded backdrop with your branding? Stage backdrops are a very effective way to create a professional focal point and will help your audience really engage in the message you want to portray. All stage backdrops can be expertly lit and provided with the highest quality sound systems, if necessary. Professional AV hire is the key to (quite literally) showing your brand in the best light, and in a way that your audience can appreciate.
4. The Entertainment
Including an element of entertainment can make your event. Just like your choice of venue, your choice of entertainment should be relevant to the product and it’ll help steer the focus of the day, whilst adding a refreshing element of participation. It can also be a great way to spread brand awareness, whilst engaging your audience with the product. A contest with some activity or game, a ‘chance-to-win’ Tweet challenge, or even hiring a comedian to lighten the mood - these can all work well. Keep your entertainment task-focused to make the most of the marketing opportunity.
If you are organising an event in 2018 and just want to get started with some free advise, we are always happy to take your call.
5. AV Hire
Whichever venue you choose and however you decide to arrange your conference and stages, we as AV professionals can bring the day to life by providing high-quality sound for any speeches, music or video presentations. You’ll want your conference event to be brightly lit, possibly in colours that promote your brand, and you might even choose to project logos or slogans onto the walls of your venue. Going with a professional AV company will be the best decision you make if you want to impress your attendees and make the most out of the marketing and sales opportunities that stem from an unforgettable event.
Thanks for your support and taking our events to a new level.
Have a great Christmas and look forward to working with you in the New Year.
Group Marketing Director - Churchill Retirement Living
We deliver Audio Visual & Staging across the UK for Churchill Retirement Living, including customised stage backdrop, all AV Equipment and event technical support.
Contact us today to see how we can help you with your event.
Venues often have their own bits and pieces of technical equipment and so in-house audio-visual can be considered as a way to save on a few pennies, however there are several reasons for choosing to use the services of a professional hire company. Of all the conference elements to skimp on, AV is one where making the wrong choice leads to the most trouble, and poor presentation can easily leave a bad impression on your delegates. Business have the options to use a full production service by having all the equipment and a technician on-site or just hire the basic equipment themselves. Either way, you will be getting high quality equipment that is often not available through standard venues.
The real meat of any conference or meeting day is in the presenters’ content. The message really needs to be seen and heard, and the clearer that this message is presented, the more likely it is that the audience will take it in. Professional speakers come to learn very quickly that the presence of a trustworthy AV technician in the back corner of the room is absolutely essential in terms of supporting their own performance. Someone with sole responsibility for installing, driving and supervising the sound and lighting for the day gives presenters a solid foundation to speak from, without having to worry about any technical issues; this safety net can even lift less confident speakers who know they are in safe hands.
Hotels excel at delivering event spaces, and can be perfect for smaller functions, but for larger and more complex conferences bespoke AV services should be seriously considered. Most hotels, or even meeting facility venues, offer simple AV services and usually do not have the ability to provide a specialist technician. AV services provide everything you could possibly need including: projectors, presentation clickers, PA systems, lecterns and staging. By using a professional hire company, you get the full support and advice to endure your event runs precisely as you require and also means that the venue staff can focus on delivering what they are great at too!
When you take on a professional AV hire company you can plan in confidence, knowing that all of the equipment will be well-maintained and any staff will be familiar with it; after all, it is their bread and butter. There has been several occasions where we have seen ‘conference packages’ set up using equipment that is infrequently used and not looked after, and often out of date. What if you want to take visuals from your tablet? You need to ensure that you have the opportunity to maximise the impact of presentations. Poor presentation can stop audiences from experiencing the space at its best; bringing in external professionals can help secure repeat bookings and great recommendations which is why we have great relationships with venues throughout the UK.
It’s all in the details. A great AV supplier can help you out with stage-set ideas and lighting concepts, which represent a fantastic way to add to any presentation. Even subtle effects need to be thought through with professional guidance, and someone who knows how to direct an audience’s attention can be invaluable. Sound mustn’t be neglected either. While it seems so simple, a good sound engineer can make the difference between an arousing speech and an inaudible muddle. Particularly if your event has any additional sound needs, like video playback for example, the services of a seasoned professional will make a vast difference.
Lastly, if you have any intention of recording your conference then professional consultation is a must. A good recording is a great advertising tool, but poor recordings look amateurish; getting it right is not as easy as may be assumed, but your AV supplier will make sure your conference looks as good on screen as it does in the room.
Whatever route you go down, you should make sure that you will be confident that your event will be set up right and will reflect your corporate image and brand in the best possible light.
Exeter Head Office
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Exeter Head Office:
Stage Engage, Old Wheatley Farm,
Exeter, Devon, EX4 2HA
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