Once you’ve inked a contract to rent a venue for your event, your next thought is probably choosing the vendors that will provide services at your event. Sometimes the venue has requirements, such as, they must handle the catering.
Many times, the venue will also offer to provide your audio-visual and lighting services. Unlike the catering staff, who are likely employees of the venue, the AV provider is most commonly a contractor of the venue who they recommend to their clients. (Sometimes this is not the case, and the venue does have employees who handle AV needs)
Pros and Cons of using in-house AV
Is it a problem that your venue provides AV services for your event? Not necessarily, but consider all the aspects. Here are the details:
Hotels and even some wedding venues say that it is more convenient for you to use their in-house AV team. After all, they work at the venue regularly and they (might) keep their equipment there. In case of last-minute changes to your event, the house can just grab more gear from their closet. You have one contract for the space, food/beverage, and audio-visual. Maybe there is a required penalty you have to pay if you don’t use their AV provider.
Many times, the in-house AV provider has a commission agreement with the venue. This means they pay a percentage of your AV contract total back to the venue. If you don’t mind spending extra money then this is not a concern. But if you want to reduce your AV budget, a local lighting company can usually provide better service at a better price.
These venues might neglect to tell you that the in-house AV vendor is almost certainly paying a large commission back to the venue, charged directly to you. The venue will likely forget to mention that the “on-site equipment” has indeed been onsite for 25 years and is outdated and unreliable. And there will be no mention that the “dedicated technician” for support during your event will have to service all of the rooms at the venue. Just when you need help connecting your laptop at the start of your presentation, the technician might be fixing the sound in another room, and will come over to you when available.
Quality AV Services are Key
The lighting and AV play a key role in having a perfect event or wedding. If nobody can hear the bridal party speeches because the sound was bad, all your guests will remember. Imagine if the projector breaks and nobody can see the presentation. Your audience’s key takeaway will be that your event was poorly planned. You can see that the selection of an AV company dedicated to ensuring your event runs smoothly is critical.
At The Lighting & Sound Co, we believe that service before and during your event is the most important aspect of our relationship with you. We work with you to determine a lighting and AV scope that fits your specific needs. We don’t provide cookie-cutter equipment that is barely related to your event vision. Our skilled technicians are dedicated only to your event when onsite. If you call your account manager for help, the response will be “someone is coming to fix that issue.”