We all know that audiovisual (AV) is a critical part of any event. But what happens when you’re the one in charge of hiring the AV equipment? Do you know enough to make sure you get the best equipment for your needs and budget? Here are some tips to help you out.
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Make a list of your requirements
What do you need the equipment to do? For example: do you want one projector or several projectors with different screens in different areas to show video clips and presentations? Do you want the sound system for multiple purposes including music playing? Once you know your requirements, it’s a lot easier to shop around and compare prices.
In general, larger screens are more expensive than small screens because they require more powerful projectors. So if you want a big screen, you’ll have to pay for it!
Ask your AV company about the maximum weight, dimensions, and bulb power of each projector so you know if they’ll meet your requirements. At least this way, you can see how many screens you can have before buying new equipment would be necessary.
Don't make assumptions about equipment specifications
Some event planners unknowingly choose the wrong items assuming that they have the same quality. For example, you might end up picking a particular projector thinking that all projectors work the same way. In most cases, they do not – and there are several factors that affect a projector’s performance.
First of all, what’s the right amount of brightness you need? If your event is in a bright venue with lots of windows or sunlight exposure, then you don’t want a projector that has a high lumens rating because your images would be washed out by the light coming from outside. Instead, choose one with fewer lumens so the light from the windows won’t detract from the images displayed.
However, if you have a darker venue with no windows or sunlight, then choose a projector that has a high lumens rating since it’ll be able to give you bright images even in this kind of lighting condition.
Secondly, what do you need the video projections for? If you’re going to use them throughout the day and night, then choosing one that’s 3LCD or DLP is highly recommended because they can last longer than other types of projectors.
Also, check if the projector has a warranty and whether it covers bulbs and labor – contact an AV company representative for more information about these types of warranties!
Projector rental rates tend to decrease as the days pass by
This is because AV companies usually offer discounted rates or even free rentals if the equipment isn’t rented for an entire weekend period. Check out what days in your event week will be cheaper – just keep in mind that Saturday may be a more expensive rental day.
Also, if you only need the equipment for one day, it’s definitely cheaper to rent from an AV company!
Do a site survey before you rent AV equipment
When it comes to renting sound systems, going up to the venue and doing a quick walk-through of the space where the system will be set up is recommended.
You should inspect it carefully – do you have enough cables? Will there be enough outlets available where the components can be plugged in? Is there a power generator nearby if electricity sources fail? Remember: you don’t want last-minute surprises on your big day!
Also, try to hire a sound engineer that knows how to set up speakers and other equipment correctly, especially if this isn’t their area of expertise. Do they know how to configure the mixer? Will they remember to turn on the power amplifiers before the event starts? Professional sound engineers know what they’re doing and can give you peace of mind.
Consider your budget and the cost of equipment
The cost of AV equipment you need will depend on the event, so it’s best to have a budget in mind before you start shopping. You’ve got to think about rental rates for projectors, screens, sound systems, and other necessary equipment. Here are some general guidelines:
• A small conference room with a projector and wireless PowerPoint connection might cost about $100 per day.
• Renting a large screen for an outdoor event can cost around $400 to $600.
• If you’re using an LED or plasma screen, the rental rate may be higher than that of projectors because these screens are larger and more expensive to maintain.
The cost of the equipment should also take into consideration who will use it and how often you expect them to use it so that you can get equipment which is suitable for your needs.
For example, if you run seminars regularly, getting lower-end projectors allows better value-for-money while still giving good results. But if your presentations require very high-resolution images, you may need to spend more for projectors with higher resolutions.
Research the company's services and equipment
You should also check if the AV company offers additional services such as installation and technical support. The rates for these services depend on your venue, the nature of your event, and even other people who may be present.
For example, having an extra technician to help with live video streaming during a conference may cost around $125 per hour while requesting pre-event training can cost about $50 an hour.
Hiring someone to stand by in case any issues arise (such as power outages) can be very helpful – this service usually costs between $75 and $100 per technician depending on the circumstances.
However, note that some companies don’t provide technicians or don’t allow clients to bring their technicians; make sure you ask about this if you think you might need an extra hand.
Ask for a quote
When you’re getting a quote, make sure that your rental company or supplier is including all of the equipment and parts you need. Some suppliers may offer different packages, such as catering equipment rentals with AV equipment available at an extra cost. You might be able to save money if you bundle services together in one package.
Not every rental company will offer the same price for their AV equipment rentals, so it’s best to get quotes from several companies before you decide on one. It’s good if these quotes specify how long the rates are valid for and whether there are any additional fees or operating costs involved. Also, try asking about discounts for long-term bookings.
Inspect the AV equipment upon arrival
After renting from an AV company, you’ll need to inspect all items that were sent. Look for damaged or missing parts – this is very common simply because venues may be big and sometimes trucks carrying equipment get lost! If any part is broken, speak up about it immediately so your AV company has time to replace it before your event begins.
Also, ask if everything needed for your system was properly sent and whether technicians will be available to install and assemble all equipment accordingly. You don’t want delays for your event!
Knowing how to hire AV equipment is important, but the cost may not be your main concern. You need to make sure that you are getting quality equipment that meets your requirements. Also, make sure that it’s easy for technicians to come in and set up before your event starts. If you’re having an outdoor event, then check whether the company offers screens that won’t break in strong winds or if they can attach them securely to buildings or trees above ground level at no additional charge.