We know that choosing an AV partner for your event is a big decision. You only get one shot at getting the AV right during the event. After years of producing events across a range of sectors, we have put together our top tips and questions to consider when approaching any potential AV partner for your event.
The Team & Experience - Is this prospective AV company the right fit?
Does the Audio Visual company you are looking at have relevant experience? Find out who the AV company has worked with. Do you recognise any of the names? If a large organisation thinks they are a safe pair of hands, then that’s a vote of confidence. Ask for testimonials, have a look through portfolios and examples of events similar to the one you are looking to organise. When speaking with the new company do they seem excited by your event, do they offer up suggestions as to what has worked well on previous events they have worked on like yours? All of the above shows and demonstrates if the AV company has experience to help you produce your event.
Are the core team you will be working with based in house?
You will get a much better result with an in house team that can respond quickly, knows the technology and company inside out.
We’ve found, the more work that is sub-contracted out, the more information gaps are made. It’s almost like Chinese whispers. Having in-house staff resources is key to ensure a smooth production process. Almost every AV company will have a list of their most valued freelancers, but it’s important that they are mixed with in-house staff who know your event inside out.
Will there be an experienced project manager there to guide you every step of the way?
Check if you get an experienced project manager from the outset, working with the same person throughout the whole process will help to ensure the best results. Share your expectations and objectives from the beginning, open, honest, two way communication with your chosen AV partner will make for a more successful partnership and in turn a fabulous event.
Trust your instincts – from early conversations do you feel you can work well with this AV company? You need to find an AV team that will integrate seamlessly with your own events team.
- Will this company select the right tools for the job?
Does the AV company own core AV equipment?
Be sure to ask about the equipment that’s available and if its owned in house. A good AV company will hold a good stock of the most commonly used items allowing them to be competitive when quoting for events. In addition to this you can be confident in the knowledge that the in house technicians will know this equipment inside out – helping to speed up the event set up process.
Is the company willing to offer products and solutions outside of their equipment inventory to meet the needs of your event? (Also known as sub hiring)
This is always a good questions to ask, is your dedicated project manager using only the tools available to them to create and build your event or are they looking for additional items to supplement in house equipment to really make your event bespoke and stand out? The best solution is a mix of in house and sourced external equipment.
Does the company have a robust equipment maintenance and replacement programme?
Having a vast range of up-to date, reliable and well maintained equipment can make or break an event. Can the AV company easily supply you with PAT (portable appliance testing) records? How often to they service their equipment? All these simple questions will show you how seriously the company takes the repair, maintenance and testing of their equipment.
Another area to discuss is how often the company invests in replacing or buying new equipment. AV companies who have yearly investment programmes will remain at the forefront of AV and more importantly will have reliable equipment.
If location allows, ask the prospective AV partner for a look around their premises and to meet the team. This will allow you, very quickly, to get a feel for how the company operates and the size of the operation.
Detail & Trust - Will this company work in great detail and earn your trust fast?
Does your prospective AV partner work in a detailed organised manor?
Attention to detail is key to a first class event. Can the company produce visuals, itemised quotes for different options, keeping pricing flexible. Do they offer site visits as part of the creative process before the event to help design the best outcome for you? Can the company show examples of detailed plans and schedules from previous events?
Is early communication detailed and timely?
This is a KEY sign as to what your prospective AV company will be like to work with throughout an event process. The more questions a project manager asks about your event the better. A good project manager will take the time to understand as much as possible about your event. Were agreed actions followed up in a timely manor? Do quotes or proposals include everything you discussed?
All of these early interactions should be considered as they are a reflection of the overall support and service you will receive.
Do you feel you can trust the company you are looking to work with?
Do you trust the potential AV partner with your event? An important part of your event will be left in the hands of the AV company, so you’ll need to have trust in them. Have they showed initiative, do they care, have they given you valuable feedback? Have they gone above and beyond for you?
Finally, don’t be scared of sharing your budget at the initial meeting. A trustworthy AV event partner will build a quote based on what’s needed within your budget, not just break the bank. A good project manager will find the most creative and cost effective use of your budget.
Revisit the companies portfolio - look in detail at the set ups, you are now looking to analysis the level of and attention to detail this company goes through when creating the final product.
Here at Avensys Hire & Events, years of delivering a wide range of events has taught us to always put our clients and event guests at the centre of everything we do. Producing an event can be a stressful process for some clients and we enjoy and thrive on removing that stress and creating simply stunning events!
Contact a member of the Hire & Events team with any questions about why we make a fantastic event partner.
01293 551 585