Why your AV supplier should be on board before you lock in the venue

When planning your next event – be it an awards night, corporate breakfast, community festival, conference or gala function – your first invite should be addressed to your AV supplier. 
Yes, you heard me right. While at first glance they may not appear to be the most important invite on your supplier guest list, they really are the first ones you should engage with when planning an important event – even before locking in the venue.
An AV supplier is your rock-solid professional who will ensure that not only do you look good, but that all your other event suppliers perform at their best too. 
Don’t believe me? Then check out these 10 reasons why your AV supplier should be invited on board before anyone else.

1. Is there enough room?

Too often a client will choose an amazing venue with just enough capacity for their guest list only to find that once they add the stage, the tech desk, the additional lighting stands, screens and the dance floor, that all of a sudden, the venue is too small. 
Having your AV supplier attend a venue site visit before locking in the contract will allow you to discuss your floor plan in detail and effectively see if the venue can accommodate everything you need – including the guests! 

2. Is there enough power?

It’s easy to assume that power just exists and that you purely need a plug and a large power board to cope with whatever requirements you might have. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. 

To avoid a blackout mid event - when the caterers and band start pulling from the same power source - get your AV guys to do an assessment prior to the event. They can easily advise if there is enough power for everyone and if needed, arrange for additional generators before it’s an issue.

3. Can the crew access the venue?

If you’re looking to bump-in a lot of equipment it’s a good idea to check access to the venue early on. Some CBD venues or unique venues may have restricted access times, small lifts, no lifts or unusual venue designs, which mean getting the necessary equipment in the venue just isn’t possible. 
Your AV supplier will be able to advise what’s needed early on and suggest possible solutions or discuss ruling out that venue if no logistical solution is possible.  

4. Designing staging & sets to accommodate

You’ve got your heart stuck on a particular venue, but the standard stage the venue offers just isn’t going to work… Or your main guest speaker is a rover and won’t sit still…. Or the ceiling is low and the guests at the back won’t be able to see the main screen… it’s time to bring in your professional AV supplier. With years of experience and creative flair to match… voila! A solution to ensure all your guests can see the content, hear the speaker and still enjoy the experience can be found. 

5. Lighting & sound that can make your event

Getting the lighting and sound right at an event can make or break the atmosphere and determine the overall success of communicating your message. Can your guests see and hear what’s going on? 

Having your AV supplier on board from the get-go will allow you to factor in all additional costs and set-up requirements. Is rigging required and what is possible within your chosen venue? 

AV suppliers are experts in sound and lighting and will be able to advise on what equipment you need to ensure maximum quality at your event. 

6. Troubleshooting and planning ahead 

The earlier your AV supplier is brought on board, the more comprehensive they can be when planning for your event and planning for possible issues/ changes. An experienced AV company will plan for all likely changes ahead of time and this means a stress-free experience for you even if something does change on the day.

7. Creating content suitable for your event, during and after

By being on board early and aware of your key event objectives, an AV supplier can advise and assist with post-event production ahead of time. That is, they can assist with designing content that can be used after the event as well as during.
They can also help with filming an event by ensuring lighting and sound are conducive to recording. Creating content that can be used for post-event marketing initiatives is also an added bonus.

8. Live streaming & social media need great Internet

If you’re planning on live streaming or using live interactions with social media at your event, you are going to need to be assured that the Internet available is capable enough to cope. An AV supplier can test the speed and stability of the connection at your chosen venue ahead of time to ensure it’s going to work for what you need to achieve. 

9. Is there too much light?

Projection in a room with abundant natural light is simply not going to work. So, having your AV supplier on board to advise on all the options available is a must when planning daytime events. There are loads of different options available, but working out which works best for your budget, your venue and your message, is a job left to the experts. 

10. AV suppliers can be creative too!

Looking to create something a little different to really WOW your guests? Then let your AV supplier be the first to suggest some unique ways of styling your event – including interesting ways to light an entrance, projection mapping on the dinner tables, LED backdrops, video walls and large-scale projection on the side of a building. 

The key thing to remember is that your AV supplier is a great resource - offering both technical and creative skills - and when applied at the beginning stages of planning your event, can ensure you save money, time and get fantastic results. 

Guest post by Rowel Sardea | General Manager, Creative Vision & Audio

As an Engineering graduate from RMIIT in Audiovisual Technology, Rowel has spent the past 20 odd years learning every facet of the industry in a variety of roles. Rowel has gained extensive experience with some of the best-known names in the business, always putting the client requirements as the first and foremost goal, and his drive to exceed expectations has seen him progress through from Audio Visual Technician to currently General Manager of Creative, Vision & Audio.