MVS had the pleasure of providing video production and live streaming for the Psicobloc Masters series deep water soloing competition at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City.
Event Planners have one of the top 10 most stressful jobs. They often see the process of ordering audio-visual equipment as cumbersome and stressful, not nearly as enjoyable as picking out the décor or the event’s signature cocktails!
To ease the burden of including AV in your budget, consider these 10 suggestions on captivating a modern audience at your next event.
- Know your budget for AV and be upfront about it- Allowing your AV vendor to make suggestions based on their extensive experience will help you meet your goals while staying on budget. Having this open communication eliminates wasting precious time going back and forth subtracting and adding items.
- Set your goals for your attendee experience and communicate them directly to the AV vendor- Your event is targeted towards getting your message across to your audience and AV equipment and design is the conduit for that message. Providing the AV vendor with a clear depiction of your goals will better enable them to help you be successful.
- Think about content first- Many event planners order the screen before they think about what will go on it. It is best to review your proposed event content as early as possible with your AV vendor including file type, display medium(s), aspect ratios, etc. They will work with you to ensure optimal presentation to your audience.
- Experience matters- Partner with a knowledgeable and proven AV vendor, who understands the full scope you are working with, venue details, logistics and local labor. At first it may seem that working with an established company will cost you more, however, by utilizing their knowledge, recommendations and including them in the planning process ensures staying on budget and delivering a top-notch event.
- Do a site survey in advance with your AV vendor- Most critical details can be addressed and managed by doing this, eliminating costly and time-consuming issues later. Your AV vendor may see a potential problem during the site visit that can be solved and budgeted for ahead of time. Some problems discovered onsite require adding equipment over the planned budget and oftentimes added labor at overtime rates.
- Think about your surroundings- If your venue has a lot of large windows or is cramped for space then be proactive by choosing bright LED panels rather than projection screens. LED can be viewed beautifully in full daylight and will eliminate the cost of paying extra to black out and cover all the windows for the intent of using projection to “save money.” LED has advanced a long way in recent years and now rivals projection quality. LED walls also aid in the design of your event by taking up less space in a crowded room versus projection screens, stands and rigging.
- Consider alternative venues- Don’t be afraid to walk away from a bad contract or experience with a hotel or convention center and go look for a better offer. Or even better, to find a unique venue that doesn’t fit the norms of a typical hotel style conference space. You want your attendees to have a memorable experience and you want your sponsors and executives to be impressed. Oftentimes, events fall into the same footprint year after year. Your AV vendor can recommend venues based on past experience and the style of event design you are looking for. By working in the industry on a daily basis, your AV vendor is likely to know about renovations, expansions and new venues in the area you want to have your event in.
- Negotiate the removal of venue fees and penalties before signing your contract- You have more leverage than you think to remove contractual items that seem unavoidable at first. All it takes is a red pen to cross out the sections you disagree with, this applies to hotel and independent venue contacts. Venues are able to work with you on certain aspects of your contract, including allowing an outside AV vendor at no additional cost, and lowering or eliminating the cost of required in house labor and equipment.
- Clarify your venue access in advance- It is imperative to the timeline of your event’s schedule to confirm the access availability, pre- and post-event, for your AV vendor’s load-in, setup, and strike times. This includes adequate time, access to loading bays, and to avoid costly penalties for “after hours” venue charges and can be negotiated in advance if necessary. A common mistake is to try to save money by not booking the venue with adequate time before the event for setup which often leads to increased labor and overtime charges that may be more than the extra day of venue rental. Your AV vendor will provide you with the necessary requirements and support you in the communication with the venue.
- Going Green can save you money- Many new AV products on the market can save you money and reduce the overall power consumption of your event. LED lights are smaller, lighter and use far less power than conventional lighting reducing the overall power infrastructure needs without reducing the results. Also Laser LED projectors use less power and bulbs while providing vivid color on screen.