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AV Production

5 secrets to hiring an AV company for events

By: Claire Heger
October 17, 2022

Whether you’re planning an industry conference, virtual webinar, continuing education event, hybrid event, or anything in between, hiring the right audio-visual provider is vital to the success of your show. You must do your homework and research a company that facilitates all of your event needs while delivering successful results.

Finding the right provider can be difficult or overwhelming, but when you do, you’ll end up with a lifelong partner, advisor, and support team. You’ll want to stick with your AV team because dependability is everything.

For example, you don’t always have to use the in-house hotel provider. And rather than take chances, be sure to look at these 5 secrets to help you hire the best A/V company.

1. Always Hire an Expert

Technology is always changing and typically, for the better. Is your onsite AV team a group of skilled technicians who are versed in the latest technology? Do they have customer service skills to pin-point your needs and the best solutions without breaking the bank? An experienced team is equipped to predict, prevent, and swiftly address potential roadblocks and technical issues that you can’t predict.

An expert AV team is obsessed with details and knows the ins and out’s of the tech requirements for your event (while being able to work with curveballs thrown late in the game). That means you don’t have to worry and you have one less item on your long to-do list.

Once the equipment is in place, an expert AV team checks it each morning to ensure:

  • Microphones are tested and staged
  • Sound quality is perfected
  • TVs or projectors are on and functioning
  • The stage area looks clean and presentable
  • Every presentation is executed flawlessly

Everything is done efficiently so meetings and sessions start on time and your event schedule can carry on as planned. When you hire an expert, they do their job so you can focus on yours.

2. Know Their Reputation

It’s essential to know the details of the company’s reputation:

  • How many years have they been in the industry?
  • How many clients do they have?
  • How many projects have they done in the last 12 months?
  • There is enough power supply for the equipment being used
  • Have they worked with your type of event? Or is this their first time streaming a webcast?
  • Are they local or national
  • Do they have any referrals?

These are all important questions to ask when evaluating their reputation. Read reviews online or ask for references from previous clients who hosted events that look like yours.

(Hint: if they are hesitant to provide this, it may be a major red flag that there have been significant issues with former customers).

3. Know the Costs (and be aware of the hidden fees)

You don’t want to cut corners on an important event, but you also don’t want to go over budget. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to sacrifice quality, or get blind-sided by last-minute, unexpected costs if you thoroughly discuss your needs with your AV provider.

Expand on your vision and goals along with your budget with your AV company. Discuss what has or hasn't worked in the past. They should explain a cost-effective solution based on your needs.

Before signing a contract, know what’s included and ask about additional fees. Don’t get caught off guard because you overlooked the details and didn’t realize you signed off with the same AV company for 5 years. Here are some common AV fees to know: <

  • Cables - the more cables you use, the more it will cost.
  • Power - you need to ensure the venue has adequate power for the equipment being used. Do you need additional power? That comes at an additional cost.
  • Venue - many venues tack on fees for pretty much anything. Ask for reasons for different fees, and negotiate to eliminate unnecessary fees.
  • Labor - there will be costs to load in and load out, for staffed engineers and technicians.
  • Union Properties - there MAY be Unionized labor obligations when using a third-party A/V company. Be sure to provide your A/V company with an agenda and track/presentation room count so they can work with the Union accordingly and keep costs down

Believe it or not, most of the longest-living A/V partnerships start with clients reaching out to another provider and sharing quotes that they initially thought were too expensive or missing critical equipment.

4. Second-to-None Customer Service

Customer service is key. Pay attention to how you’re treated, starting with the first phone call or email interaction and eventually, when reviewing their initial quote. The right team is:

  • proactive and hands-on from start to finish.
  • able to answer your questions thoughtfully and respectfully
  • ensures you are satisfied with the budget and production plan

5. Consultation and Facility Walkthrough

Does your AV team work hand-in-hand with the venue coordinator, or other outside vendors, to ensure all of your requests have been fulfilled?

They should meet with you at the event location to shed light on their equipment, table layout, staging, decor, and much more. Yes, this includes knowing where the electrical outlets are located, too. They will also locate the loading dock, confirm if the venue is Union or non-Union, and map out registration.

The AV team should be detail-oriented from the start of planning through execution, and they should conduct an event follow-up to ensure you received extraordinary results.

Has your current AV team requested feedback on their past performance to enhance future events? Are there any small things that stood out which should be improved? Do you feel 100% comfortable with your and your attendee's experience?

Are you in good hands?

If any of these suggestions hit a nerve, it may be time to shop around. PlanetAV is the one-stop-shop show production company for any sized event. Located in East Rutherford, NJ, PlanetAV has been nationally servicing events for the last ten years and continues to expand its reach into Canada and beyond.

A well-discussed plan and budget will put you at ease and you’ll know that your event will take place as envisioned. PlanetAV offers top-tier equipment and production services in a variety of packages. Or you can receive customized options for the most cost-effective solution specific to your event (without compromising quality in equipment and service), that a typical A/V company can not provide.

Whether you’re planning a virtual conference, hybrid webinar, or an onsite event, deliver the highest quality technology experience while eliminating any possibility of last-minute errors. Our team breathes life back into your event and ensures it's the most modern and relaxed experience possible.

Contact us

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