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Stressed About AV Planning? Don’t Be – Follow This AV Checklist!

Stressed About AV Planning? Don’t Be – Follow This AV Checklist!

Meeting professionals are great planners. They like to focus on the attendees, speakers and event logistics but when it comes to the AV equipment…not so much.

However, understanding your step-by-step audio visual plan can make your stress level go down while your understanding goes up. Since audio visual rentals are integral to the successful of any event, here is a checklist to help guide you.

The Ultimate Planners’ AV Planning List

  • Put together an AV Budget.
    Before you get started looking at technology or quotes from area vendors, have an overall idea of how much you are going to spend for audio visual on your event. You don’t need to have it broken down between iPad rentals, projector rentals and such — just an overall technology budget will do.
  • Determine how much Wi-Fi you need.
    Even though each venue can offer some level of Wi-Fi, the truth of the matter is if your attendees are bringing their smartphones and you have Apple Mac rental that will be utilizing mobile apps; the amount of Wi-Fi the venue provides is probably not enough. Check online for a Bandwidth Estimator for Events; these tools can give you an idea of how much Wi-Fi you will need. Make sure you poll your attendees’ months beforehand to see what they are bringing to your conference – you don’t want to be caught off guard with too little WiFi service.
  • Get Everything in Writing.
    From the speakers’ requirements to the audio visual RFP, make certain to get everything in writing. This will prevent any confusion and allow you to see everything in black and white. If things change, make certain to obtain a written record of the change from the vendor and how that change will affect your budget and/or contract.
  • Understand the Contract Before Signing.
    Take a look at the equipment, labor and any other charges. Ask questions and “red line” the contract until you feel it is a win-win for all parties.
  • Take your partner on the site visit with you.
    Since AV is such a big part of your event, take your vendor onsite to make certain you have the right equipment set up in the right room. The last thing you want is a sound system that doesn’t work appropriately, a screen that is too large or small, or a room that has too many obstacles. Your partner can advise you on options to solve room configuration challenges.
  • Have Regular Conference Calls with a Set Agenda.
    I recommend that you start out with monthly calls, move to weekly when you are three months out and then move to daily calls the last two weeks before your conference. This should include all your suppliers, not just AV. These don’t have to be long; 30 minutes or less should be enough time unless you are tackling a major issue.
  • Obtain Speaker Presentations 7-10 days in advance of Your Conference.
    Having the presentations early allows your AV technician a chance to load the PowerPoints onto the computer rental, test them for sound and visual components and identify any problems. In addition, if you have several presenters, your tech can load them in the order of the presentations and save a lot of time the day of the event.
  • Make sure the AV tech remains onsite during the conference and has backup equipment and supplies with them.
  • › Have a Contingency Plan.
    Things happen – the electricity can go out, the presentation equipment can freeze or your speaker may cancel at the last minute – whatever the problem, have a plan to meet it. Your AV partner can help you write this plan.

In summary, it is important to communicate and have contingencies. But all in all, proper planning in this arena will help your conference run smoothly and allow you to relax more when the event date arrives.

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