If you have an event looming on the horizon, chances are you’ve spent the best part of the last few months meticulously planning everything down to the finest detail; sourcing the perfect venue, appointing suppliers, battling through the logistics and engaging attendees with a solid communication plan. Most importantly, you’ll have carefully crafted your event messages and developed the appropriate methods through which to convey them. Now it’s all down to the delivery.
Don’t let all that hard work go to waste by falling victim to some of the most common event AV mistakes. Here are our top things to keep in mind:
1. Don’t assume that everyone is on the same page
No matter the scale or nature of your event, it is likely you will have multiple parties involved in its execution – your venue, your creative and/or communications agency, your production team and AV suppliers, your speakers and presenters. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that every party has the same understanding.
For example, it’s a common occurrence for presenters to arrive with a 4:3 slide deck to be shown on a screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio or for a supplier to assume that a venue has a simple projection setup available for use in the breakout rooms.
Avoid any last minute panic or confusion by ensuring clear and regular communication takes place throughout the planning stages and escalate this is the immediate run-up.
2. Don’t presume your venue can support your setup
AV requires power and regardless of the particulars of your setup, you should never assume that this power is available. Carry out a full technical site inspection of your space sufficiently prior to the event, not only to establish the power capabilities but also the placement, as this will impact on the layout of the room. The same applies for hang points should your setup require rigging – how many are available? What weight can they hold?
Another increasingly common mistake is to assume that all venues have sufficient internet capacity to support any need required. If you’re relying on Wi-Fi capability for any part of your event, check the supply – if it’s shared across the whole venue, you run the risk of it dropping out at a crucial moment.
And it’s not just Wi-Fi. We’re seeing a large uptake in virtual meetings, with two way communication taking place across multiple locations. Many of the technologies required for this interaction require dedicated, fixed internet lines, as well as analogue phone lines for backup. More often than not, these need to be booked and paid for at an additional cost so, if this is a requirement for your event, be sure it’s on your list of questions for your venue.
3. Ensure you have sufficient time and access
Setup and tear down times for events vary greatly but it’s not uncommon for a team to require a full day or more for setup so make sure you’ve booked your space for sufficient time either side of the event day itself.
It’s also important to establish access times for the rooms you are using for any last minute checks. We highly recommend conducting technical rehearsals with your presenters - not only does this help them to deliver effectively on the day, but also offers your AV team the chance to familiarise themselves with the presenter, their content and their approach – a team in the know are more likely to foresee and respond quickly to any potential pitfalls.
4. Don’t choose your supplier based on price alone
When selecting your AV supplier, don’t simply opt for the one that comes in with the cheapest quote. If the cost seems too good to be true, it probably is and you may well find yourself with a substandard product or a supplier that’s cut corners in order to win the work.
Conduct a thorough tender process and judge each supplier on the same set of criteria – not just cost but communication, their understanding of your requirements, their flexibility and their approach. A good supplier will come in with a realistic quote and be willing to discuss money saving options and alternative ideas with you if your budget doesn’t stretch that far. They will also offer more than simply equipment and setup – they’ll be there at every step of the way to ensure your event message are delivered, and received, without disruption.
By their very nature, live events are unpredictable. But by following the simple guidelines above, you should be able to navigate your way around any potential AV blunders and steer your event to optimum success.
The Presentation Group provide Audio Visual Solutions for events of any shape and size. With our own in-house equipment and expert technical team, we offer value without compromise. Contact us today with your next event enquiry.
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