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As an A/V specialist, you know that planning is key to ensuring a successful event. But what do you need to plan for? Below is a handy checklist of the top 8 items you’ll need to consider before your next big event. Happy planning!
Table of Contents
Choosing a Venue
Think about what kind of event you are planning and decide which area would be most suitable.
✓ Do you want something extravagant, stylish, or simple? Make sure your venue matches the tone of your event!
✓ Explore the possibility of renting an outdoor location such as a park or garden-just make sure there’s ample room for your guests to move around in case other events are going on simultaneously. The last thing you want is for them to trip over someone else’s equipment!
✓ Consider all other factors that may affect where you should host your event. Some of the things to think about include seating availability, wheelchair accessibility, price range, what other events will be happening simultaneously, parking availability/cost, etc.
Be mindful of how much space you need for your guests and your AV equipment! It’s annoying and rude to show up with a projector and no place to set it up, so consider this when figuring out where your guests will be standing or sitting.
✓ If you want people to move around, provide them with space – either by having wings/overflow areas or giving specific times when various rooms can be used.
✓ Make sure no one has to stand in front of a TV or projector screen while it’s being used – this may not seem important until you have to ask someone to move for the fifth time.
✓ Make sure your AV specialist knows exactly where they can set up at any given time. This may require switching out certain pieces of equipment if the space isn’t big enough for the projector or if the music’s too loud for someone to give a presentation.
Choosing a Date and Time
You’ve picked out a date for your event, but when is the best time to host it?
✓ Make sure you choose dates and times that meet with everyone’s schedule. If you know certain people will only be available on Fridays and Saturdays, don’t plan your Saturday event for a Thursday!
✓ Be aware of any events or holidays that may conflict with your desired date/time. Try to plan around these if you can!
✓ If there’s another event taking place simultaneously (such as an in-house conference), be sure to check with facility management on whether or not they allow multiple events during one set time slot.
Your guest list is an integral part of the beginning stages of event planning. Ensure all of your guests are invited well before the event takes place, so there’s enough time for planning purposes.
✓ Make sure to consider all factors when creating your guest list – don’t just focus on who you think would be most likely to attend!
✓ Only invite people who are genuinely interested in attending. This will not only save time for both you and them, but it will also reduce stress if they end up declining your invitation.
✓ If someone RSVPs that they can’t come, ask if there’s anyone else they might recommend that could fill their spot at the last minute to make up for their absence.
Budgeting & Pricing
Your budget is perhaps one of the most important factors when planning any event – even more so when considering AV equipment rental. The amount you have available will determine everything from the date/time of your event to what kind of equipment you can rent.
✓ If you have a limited budget, start small. You don’t want to blow all of your funds on one extravagant piece of equipment only to realize there’s no money left for speakers or music.
✓ A projector rental is often considerably cheaper than purchasing one outright. It will also save you time and energy in installation/setup, offering an efficient solution that still packs a powerful punch!
✓ Try to tailor your AV rental options around the exact needs of your event – if it’s just audio & video that is needed (such as for meetings) try looking into radio microphones instead. This may not sound like much difference, but they are often more affordable, reliable, and efficient at covering large areas.
✓ If you’re going to ask your guests to arrive in specific attire, give them the option. Many people will only dress up if it’s not required, so this is a great way to ensure everyone ends up feeling comfortable and having fun.
Have a schedule set up for each member of your AV planning team that outlines every aspect of equipment setup/takedown/returning, along with any necessary tools or supplies needed. This way, there will be no confusion about who needs to bring what and when allowing for an exactly smooth process!
✓ Ensure each team member has all the necessary contact information and itineraries for their assigned tasks.
✓ If you hired outside help (such as a rental company), write down precisely what was decided and how everything will work in the final contract. This ensures no miscommunication occurs and that everyone involved knows exactly what to do and when it needs to be done.
Making sure every team member understands their role
The best AV specialists are those who can work quickly, efficiently, and with minimal input from anyone else. With this in mind, make sure your team feels completely comfortable with both the equipment and the venue before they start setting up!
✓ Ask them to arrive at least an hour before the event starts. This way, they have enough time to check that everything is working properly and that all the equipment has been returned.
✓ Make sure your AV planning team knows what to do in the event of an equipment malfunction – don’t leave it up to chance!
Make sure someone is monitoring the AV equipment during your event! It sucks if technical difficulties arise and no one knows how to fix them or even where to begin looking. It’s nice to have a “tech person” on staff, but sometimes they may not be able to make it for whatever reason.
Designate someone who can take charge in this situation – they don’t need to know everything about every single aspect of the system, just enough so that they know where to start looking when something doesn’t work properly.
✓ If possible, let your AV specialist know what kind of problems are most likely to come up during an event – then they’ll be fully prepared when those moments come up.
✓ If problems do arise, take detailed notes on what happened and what steps will be taken to fix them. Even the best AV technicians experience equipment failure once in a while!
✓ Make sure someone’s monitoring sound levels throughout your event too – either by ear or by utilizing one of those cool, old-school volume meters that go right into the mixer board itself. Sound should never bleed out past the room you’re in; definitely not reach outside areas!
Knowing what to do and where to go is essential for any event. Make sure your entire team understands the role they’ll play, has all necessary contact information, and most importantly: that everyone’s comfortable with their assigned tasks and equipment! This way, nothing slips through the cracks, and your guests will enjoy a fantastic event thanks to proper planning beforehand.