Many of us have organised or attended an event where the Audio Visual element left something to be desired. At its best, an effective AV set-up should remarkable and unremarkable at once. Creating the perfect atmosphere through light and sound is easier said than done and in this blog post we’ll take a look at the top AV mistakes to avoid at your next event.
- Misunderstanding the Detail of Your Quote
Let’s face it. Many AV terms are confusing and when you first receive a quote you’d be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed. What is rigging? How do I know how much power I need? Do I really need 6 microphones? Building a good relationship with your AV provider will help you understand all the necessary elements and how the quote is formed.
We recommend asking your AV company to walk you through your quote line by line. They should be able to explain everything in layman’s terms and with clear examples. Ask them to explain exactly what you are getting and why you need it for your event. If they cannot make your quote crystal clear this might be a red flag to walk away, any great AV company will walk you through the entire process and be on your team.
- Not Communicating the Full Scope of the Event
Put simply, make sure that you have everything you need in the brief first time. This is the best way to avoid additional surprise charges being added once the AV team are on-site. If you’re unsure of how to scope out your requirements, it’s best to work with an experienced AV provider who have experience working in venues of all sizes and with budgets of all sizes.
Often times it could be as simple an oversight as underestimating how many mics are needed for a panel. Or it could be a massive cost such as additional rigging needed to hang objects such as speakers and lighting from the venue ceiling. Collaborating with a professional company from the outset will keep you on the right track.
- Booking Your AV Company Too Late
Any experienced Event Planners would recommend your AV company being one of the first suppliers you should book. Having your AV team involved earlier in the planning process allows them to help you implement your goals, your vision and, importantly, to do this within your budget. The biggest reason to book early is your AV company can help you work with your venue to remove in-house restrictions saving you money in your budget.
- Incorrectly Formatted Presentations
Perhaps the most common AV disaster! You work hard to find the best speakers and your delegates are expecting some memorable appearances — only to see a disaster unfold when they go to present. Maybe their presentation is the incorrect aspect ratio for your screen, or perhaps they didn’t use the right file format. Whatever the reason the amazing presentation you had been expecting is now a flop.
To avoid this happening, talk to your AV team well ahead of the event. Find out what aspect ratios the presentations need to be in for your screens. Having a standard format presentation on a wide screen not only looks bad but wastes a lot of valuable space. Ask what format the presentations need to be delivered in and request your presenters use it.
Also, check and see what connector cords presenters need to have. Not all leads work with all systems. Ask what file formats for videos and presentations are and forward the information to any presenters well ahead of the event date. On top of this make sure all presentations are tested prior to the live show to avoid any presentation disasters.
- Not Properly Communicating
As with every element of event planning, communication is key. There are so many moving parts and, if everyone isn’t on the same page, disaster could strike. Keep all your suppliers and your AV team in the know and if there are changes to be made, notify your team immediately. It’s usually too late to bring up changes once the event has started.
- Not Having Back Ups
When you’re dealing with any technology, you never know when it may decide to crash. For this reason, every crucial element of your event should have a backup in place. If you only have one computer to run the presentations or live streaming on, what happens if it goes down? To avoid an AV disaster, be sure to have backups of all presentations, and crucial gear such as projectors, computers, microphones and cables. If you never have to use them, great. If on the other hand you do, you will be glad you had them!
- Forgetting That Your AV Company Is Your Partner
While your AV team is often behind the scenes, remember that they are working hard to ensure that event is a success too. Employing the services of an experienced AV provider means you’ll have a partner that knows how to react and act when events don’t pan out as planned. Ask lots of questions, keep them informed of any changes and remember that you’re all in it together!
There you have it the top 9 AV disasters to avoid at your next event. We all know in the events industry hiccups are bound to happen. However, if you hire a great AV company and refer back to these tips often you should have a smooth sailing AV experience and event.
To have a chat about your next event and learn how we can help, feel free to get in touch.