Reduce mid-project questions & changes, hidden fee surprises, and assumptions from the start! Take control of the planning process by bringing in an AV company that will deliver on time, on budget, and fits your event expectations.
While all AV companies offer audio, visual, and lighting solutions, not all can bring you the creativity, organization, and support you need.
#1: You don’t have to use the in-house AV company at the venue for your next event.
If you are renting or borrowing a venue space, most venues allow you to bring in your own AV company to manage your lighting, video and audio needs. If it’s automatically included, you can usually negotiate a lower cost by removing the in-house AV use.
When booking your venue ask about any restrictions or guidelines that they may have for equipment delivery or mobile device installations, for example. This will help your personal AV company prepare for any necessary changes or extra time for accommodations.
Shopping around can save you money and gets you a better value.
Just like with any project, request quotes from several AV companies. Because quote formats and included details can vary, do your due diligence by reviewing the quote with each company. Check to see if general fees like equipment, labor, overtime fees, and expandable costs are noted.
The latest equipment & technology in lighting, audio, and video
Every company has its own inventory of audio visual equipment. The age, maintenance, and quantity of equipment varies.
Ensure you know how your event is being supported by asking:
- If the equipment is available in-house or if it will need to be brought in by other vendors.
- About quality options like different lenses or brand name microphone selections.
- The maintenance routine after the equipment is used for an event.
- Guarantee of equipment for the day of your event.
Hiring an outside AV consultant gets you better customer service.
Venue in-house AV companies are often responsible for multiple events, making timely support sometimes a challenge. By bringing in an outside provider of your choice, you pay for dedicated support for your event and guaranteed quality equipment.
#2: You should ask for references specific to your type of event.
AV companies often specialize in particular types of events. For example large-scale conferences or musical performances versus more intimate dinner fundraisers or house of worship functions. Each type of event and venue comes with its own challenges. Large arenas present different challenges than a business setting such as a conference room.
By selecting a company that is most familiar with the type of venue and event you are organizing, the more efficient and better support you’ll generally receive.
#3: You should ask about a project manager or event manager.
Save yourself time and headaches by asking your AV company about bringing on a project or event manager that is familiar with the type of event that you are hosting.
From the start, make sure to set objectives and expectations with your AV company. This may include:
- The level of involvement by the project manager.
- Your budget constraints.
- Your expectations of a well-managed project.
Together agree to the terms before the planning gets underway. This will help establish checkpoints and milestones prior to the event.
Who is your on-site contact?
Whether your event requires an event manager or not, AV companies will have a primary on-site contact. This is your go-to person for any questions about timeline, installation, equipment or support needs. Be aware of who they are and how to reach them.
#4: When comparing vendors, be sure to check the included items and hidden fees list.
Don’t get surprised by the final bill. Before you sign an agreement, be familiar with overtime rates and how or if they may apply to your event, miscellaneous costs, and rate differences for any custom design builds.
Powerpoint slides, graphics, videos.
If you are working with designers for event slides or graphics, check to see if there are extra charges for purchasing stock video versus custom designs. Know when you need to provide information like logos or brand style. Also, clarify who is providing video footage and graphical elements. If you’d like for the AV company to provide images or footage versus organizing content provided by you.
Load in and load out…
Some AV companies itemize bringing equipment to and from the site. Before the event, identify who is moving the equipment and if there are additional fees that may be added to your initial quote price.
Clean-up after an event, outside of equipment breakdown, may also require an additional cost. Discuss the parameters and definition of “post-event clean-up.”
Any other hidden fees?
There is no standard quote or contract format, therefore, you’ll want to be familiar with potential fees and additional services. For example, one-time use products like tape or zip ties may be included in your quote as “expendables” but that may not be the same for other companies.
#5: If your events are recurring, ask for an event debrief.
There’s always room for improvement! The very best AV companies perform team debriefs to identify areas where processes can be more efficient or improved. They may also find the need for upgrading equipment or support services.
If you are working with an AV company like Titan multiple times per year, we’ll perform debriefs at the end of every event. You can expect to see improvements at each upcoming event managed by Titan experts.
#6: Creativity impacts budget… yes really.
Don’t feel limited by your budget! When reviewing AV companies seek companies that are willing and excited to take on new challenges and think creatively. At Titan, our creative-solutions approach means that our systems designers will find ways to deliver your vision within your budget.
That may mean looking at lighting and audio solutions outside of our turnkey event packages or using different levels of equipment or technology systems. Either way, we’ll ensure we can achieve the look and sound you want.
So, how do you make sure your AV company has the right skills and experience to get the job done right?
Talk details before you enter a contract with an audio visual company. The very best AV companies will be happy to discuss their history as a company, as well as their staff’s individual expertise. You may also want to discuss how teams are organized for each event. Some may even be familiar with the venue that you are working with.
A well-discussed plan and budget agreement will help put you in control and at ease that your event will take place as envisioned. And, your AV company will have a clear scope to work with.
At Titan, we want to get to know you and your goals before diving in. Backed by more than a decade of experience and a large inventory of high-quality equipment, our experts have the creativity and resources to make your dreams come true.