If you’ve made the decision to bring in a dedicated AV company in support of your event, you’ve taken the first step towards making it a success. But in order to make this choice a valuable one, clear lines of communication need to be established at the start of the relationship between you and your supplier.
Whilst each event will have its own unique set of considerations, there are some that are relevant to almost all. We’ve laid out the key details your AV company need to know pre event to help you make the most of their services. Some are specific to the event planning stage and some specific to your chosen venue.
Event Specific Considerations:
Who is the key decision maker?
Every successful event needs an appointed decision maker and all parties involved need to be aware of this individual’s authority.
In cases where your AV company are required to work alongside other logistic or creative agencies, establishing a chain of command early on is key to ensuring your planning process stays on track, on budget and on schedule.
What elements of your event require technical support?
In order for them to provide a realistic budget, your AV company need to know from the outset what level of support is required. Are they involved in the main session only? Or are there breakout sessions and workshops that require support? Are you planning evening activities, either on or off site, which they need to be aware of?
What is your expected delegate count?
The AV solutions you require will be heavily influenced by the number of delegates you expect to attend your event. Inform your supplier of numbers early on in the process and keep them updated as these figures rise or fall.
How will the event run on the day?
To ensure your event runs smoothly, you’ll no doubt create a running order in advance. Not just a broad overview of timings, but a detailed agenda, inclusive of session titles and specific requirements, number of presenters per session, speaker names etc.
Your AV company needs access to exactly the same information to ensure they support your event to maximum affect. They also need to be updated as soon as possible as and when any agenda points are subject to change.
What are your presenter requirements?
This is particularly important if you have sourced professional speakers. Do they have a rider that details their specific audio visual needs? If so, these will need to be factored into the budget at an early stage to allow you and your supplier to keep track of costs.
Do you require rehearsal time?
It is highly advisable for anyone involved in hosting or presenting at your event to book rehearsal time with your AV providers, particularly if there is a visual presentation involved. Your team need to be aware of any rehearsal requirements as early as possible for them to be factored into the production schedule.
Venue Specific Considerations:
What is the layout of your chosen event space?
Dimensions, ceiling height, windows and doors, obstructive features such as pillars or steps; every element of your chosen event space will affect your AV set-up. Get hold of venue floorplans as soon as possible to allow your supplier maximum time to draw up their own.
In an ideal situation, your AV company would only finalise these floorplans after carrying out their own technical site inspection.
When is the space available and what are the load-in options?
A complex arrangement may require a number of days prior to the event to allow for rigging, technical set-up and testing. Equally, you may need to allow substantial time for the post event de-rig. Your team need to know when the space is available and any restrictions on access times.
They also need to know their options for moving in, out and around the space. Does the venue have a dedicated load-in entrance? If not, are there parking restrictions that may impact the load-in process? Do they have allocated lifts for the transportation of equipment?
Does the venue have sufficient power supply for the AV equipment?
Of course, this will depend entirely on the specifics of the kit, but it needs to be established well in advance that your chosen venue has the sufficient power supply to ensure your event runs both smoothly and safely. If not, alternative power sources need to be supplied.
Your AV company will be able to advise you on the requirements relevant to your kit and, again, a good supplier should carry out a full technical site visit to establish what power the venue can provide.
Where are the hang points and how much can they hold?
If rigging is involved in your AV set-up, your supplier needs to know the location of the hang points within the space.
They also need to know the relevant load ratings; i.e. the maximum amount of weight that can be hung from an individual point, or the distributed weight that can be supported across a span of points.
Is there storage available for empties?
Each piece of kit involved in your AV set-up will have its own storage and transportation container. Once emptied, these need to be stored somewhere convenient to your event space.
Are there any in-house restrictions?
Does your chosen venue have any specific rules or restrictions that may impact proceedings? For example, do they require one of their own technicians to be on-site for the event? Are there sound level limitations or time restrictions?
You should establish a key point of contact at your venue to ensure all of the above, and any other questions, are fully addressed.
It is highly advisable that you involve your AV company in the venue selection process. That way, you can ensure that all your requirements are met to your expected standard and that your event achieves its objectives with success.
The Presentation Group carries out full technical site inspections and establishes clear communication with all venues we work with. For more advice on technical considerations for your next event, contact one of our experienced Producers today.
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