At The Lighting & Sound Company, we have been involved with thousands of events. While most events result in positive experiences for all, there is often opportunity to make the event even better. We see some missed opportunities for improvement frequently enough. Here are six of the most common Event AV Mistakes we see. Take note and use these tips to improve your next event!
Effective sound reinforcement can make or break your event. Nothing will leave your attendees with a bad feeling about the event more than not being able to hear a presenter speak or performer sing. There are many aspects that contribute to good event sound. Microphone choice, speaker placement, venue construction, weather, and distance can all have impacts on the ability of attendees to hear. Perhaps some part of the event layout prevents your av supplier from placing a speaker or mic in an ideal location. Or, the proper speakers to provide good sound comes with a price that is problematic for your budget. A quality AV company will know the right sound system to use in a venue. Sometimes the cost may seem expensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. Cheap sound systems will frequently fail to cover the venue adequately or blare feedback while your presenter has to shout to be heard in the front row.
Coordinate the Powerpoint layouts
If your event will involve video screens displaying powerpoint presentations, ask your AV company about the screen size. Modern screens and projectors will have an aspect ratio of 16:10, while older screens are 4:3. (If your av company only has 4:3 screens, this is an indicator of outdated equipment!) When creating your presentation, configure the powerpoint layout to match the screen at your event. This avoids any lost space or black bars on the sides of the screen.
Waiting to hire your AV company
Bringing in your audio-visual vendor as early as possible always has a positive impact on your event. An experienced production company will be able to point out venue challenges, suggest efficient event layout, observe power availability, verify equipment access, and related items. It is much easier to plan for any of these items or make changes long before the event, instead of the week of the event when custom items cannot be ordered or layouts cannot be adjusted. The AV vendor is one of the first to arrive for an event and is onsite for the full duration, so they have a wealth of knowledge to make recommendations that improve the event experience.
You might think that since your AV company has brought the best equipment and talented technicians, nothing can go wrong during your event. While this will likely be the case, you do not want to be using a wireless mic or seeing your presentation on stage under the lights for the first time in front of your audience. Having a rehearsal allows you to get familiar with all the event technology. You can know exactly what to expect during the real event.
Using your own laptop
Using equipment you already own often seems like a great way to save some money when planning an event. Indeed, using your own laptop can be acceptable for small breakout room presentations that can be informal. However, for a full general session with many attendees and VIPs, it can be very risky to try to run the presentation from your own computer. You don’t want to be advancing the slides when suddenly your iMessage pops up a chat you’d rather keep private or the computer slows to a crawl because Windows started running updates. A professional av company will have specific presentation laptops ready to go, with all updates completed, all notifications minimized, and no unnecessary programs that could slow down the computer
Plan the load in and load out time
If you have several vendors providing services at your event, they will most likely all need to deliver materials to the jobsite. Some locations have physical limits on simultaneous access. Perhaps there is a narrow driveway, single loading dock, or small freight elevator. Or maybe the venue is doing renovations that restrict loading zones. This could present a problem if all of your vendors arrive at the same time. Frequently your AV company will need to do aerial lift work. This can be challenging if tables or drape have already been setup. Plan for separate load in/out times for all of your vendors so they don’t conflict. Also ensure that one vendor’s equipment setup will not prevent a later setup from occurring.
All in all, you will want to partner with an experienced event audio-visual production company to handle the technical aspects of your event. Let your av company’s offer tips to improve the flow of your event. Looking for a good team to work with? Give a call to The Lighting & Sound Company at 804-893-5066 and ensure a perfect event!