3 Considerations for Choosing an AV Partner

3 Considerations for Choosing an AV Partner

Posted January 10, 2017 by Heather Hutson

I was working on a show last fall and the planner came to me all worried. She had a major problem. The ONE breakout that was to be recorded had terrible audio issues, the mic’s weren’t working, the presenters were getting frustrated and turning them off, and the videographer wasn’t able to capture the audio.  It was a mess.  She came to me to help her fix it, but I really couldn’t fix it for her. I was working with the AV company in the general session. She had hired the in house AV company to execute the breakouts.   She was a contracted planner, and this decision cost her the contract. The planner isn’t on the team anymore.

stressed-out-plannerHow did she come to the decision to go with in house over the outside AV company?  I’m pretty sure that used it as a bargaining chip to negotiate other concessions within the hotel’s contract.  It makes sense. However, this time, it didn’t make sense.  How can you gage?

Complexity of AV requirements

Think about the program.  Who are the attendees? Who is the meeting host and what is his/ her expectation of production quality? A meeting for a 100 internal employees  versus 100 customers has a different expectation, and probably a different budget. The meeting host may be depending on capturing the content to share with another audience, perhaps a paying audience.  This type of information lets you know what’s most important to the host and consequently helps you allocate your overarching budget.

Meeting Locationsa-tier-three-city

When you’re working in a tier two or tier three city, it may be the right choice to partner with the in house provider. Again, it depends on the meeting’s complexity, but it’s a “meeting” and not a “show” then it may make sense to go with the provider who has the most local knowledge.


making sense of your budgetLet’s say that you received budgets from both the in house provider and your favorite AV partner and you look at the bottom line and there is a wide spread in the investment.  Why is that? They aren’t quoting the same thing. Take a look at the brightness of the projector. Look at the kind of switching system, ask if it’s robust enough to do what you need it to do.  What kind of audio system is being offered? Is it just for voice amplification or do you have entertainment?  All of this factors into the spec of your AV package.  Don’t just award to the lowest bidder. Make sure you have what you need in order to be successful.

Read more about “Comparing Apples to Apples”

Choosing the right AV partner can make or break your event.  People won’t remember if they had eggs for breakfast but they will remember if the screens went out during the general session or they couldn’t hear the presenter in a breakout.  Your client is counting on you to deliver the best experience possible. Don’t let them down.

Have a good show everyone.



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