When it comes to events planning, the new normal is made up of a blend of physical, virtual and hybrid events.
With safety regulations in place, companies are embracing virtual events and livestream services that allow them to accommodate a greater number of participants without a compromise on safety. Challenging as physical events may be, the additional technical knowledge required to pull off stellar virtual/hybrid events is capable of sending even the most experienced event planners running for the door.
Therefore, if you have been tasked to plan for the next company event, fret not.
Use this simple checklist to identify key information that would help both you and your Audio Visual partner in making your event a success!
Things to know before engaging an A/V company
1. Type of event
The production setup and equipment required for every event is largely dependent upon the objectives and venue. Though both are often held in hotel ballrooms, the audio and visual setup for a simple training workshop would look vastly different from an annual Dinner & Dance night. If your event includes breakout sessions, be sure to inform your A/V provider as breakout sessions can have a great impact on the overall set up and labor allocation.
2. Live streaming services
Does your physical event require live streaming and broadcasting services?
With tight regulations in place, it is common for companies to request for live streaming services so as to accommodate off-site participants. Be sure to have your A/V partner in the loop so that they may factor that into the total budget.
3. Use of visual content
Will there be simple slides/videos? Do you wish to incorporate camera video of presenters on the screen? A simple crunch box is perfect for simple presentations but a video mixer is needed for more sophisticated tasks.
4. Set-up and Breakdown
Check with the venue for the timings that your vendors are allowed to set-up and tear-down. Knowing where the loading zones and elevators are beforehand would be extremely helpful when things get hectic.
Note that the setup and breakdown times can sometimes affect labor cost, hence remember to factor that into the discussion with your A/V partner to avoid any surprises.
Things your A/V provider needs to know
Discussion about budget is the first step in helping your A/V providers decide on the best setup and equipment suited for your event. The last thing both parties want is to have everything planned out only to realise the hour-long conversation has gone to waste as the recommended setup exceeds your budget.
2. A/V production team or equipment only
Are you looking to rent additional Audio Visual equipment, or a production crew along with it to run the event?
Depending on where the event is held, most venues would already have some basic equipment available for use. If the event calls for equipment that requires a higher level of technical skills, having an experienced team operating the machines not only ensures a more seamless experience, but shorter downtime (quicker recovery) in the face of unforeseen technical difficulties. A production crew typically ranges anywhere from $250 for 4 hours to upwards $1000 a day per pax, depending on the hours and expertise required.
How many microphones do you need? Will the presenter be expected to move around or will she be staying in one spot? If your event includes a Q&A segment, will the panel be having a conversation or will they be answering questions one at a time? Each panelist might require a microphone if they are to engage in less structured conversations.
While it’s commonly assumed that the number of speakers required depends on the size of the crowd, it’s often the shape and size of the venue that truly determine your audio requirements. Venues with a wider stage often need speakers stacked on both far ends of the stage and some low-profile speakers in the middle to ensure full coverage.
For uncommonly deep rooms, “Delay speakers” are often required to match the minuscule delay it takes for the sound of the primary audio to reach the back of the room. This is to ensure that the overall quality of the sound does not turn “muddy” and remains clear for all the participants in the room.
Therefore, discussion with your AV partner on the number of attendees and the seating plan is extremely important.
Having an estimated number of microphones and speakers in mind helps your A/V company in deciding on the soundboard to use. For large scale events in particular, having a decent size soundboard capable of handling multiple microphone and computer inputs is paramount.
If the venue already has a soundboard, check with the A/V company if the soundboard is adequate or have them recommend a more suitable model.
A well-lit stage distinguishes a great event from a forgettable one. Good lighting gives context to the event and directs the audience’s attention to where you want it to be. While Ellipsoidal and Laser Lights can often add drama and mood to any event, depending on the nature of the event, a simple stage lighting can be all you need.
Though in some instances, stage lighting can make your presenters look flat and hard to see on screen. If you are looking to spruce up the space, speak with your A/V partner and have them introduce you to the trending ideas in the industry.
Is having multiple monitor screens preferable to using a projector? Do you prefer rear projection so as to make room for more seats in the front? Depending on the size of the venue and the choice of visual content, keep your A/V company informed so that they may recommend the right equipment for the job.
9. A copy of your agenda
Provide your A/V company with a detailed schedule of everything that’s happening at the event. Having information such as the duration of the event, number of presenters and so forth will allow them to accurately quote labor and other specifics.
Things to ask your Audio Visual Company
1. Where are the cables going to be run?
While innovation has gifted us with wireless technology, A/V production companies are sticking with wired technology for the most part due to reliability sake. It’s important to check with your A/V company where the cables would be run for reasons related to safety, aesthetics and overall layout of the event.
2. Walkthrough of the space
Having your vendor walk the space with you can mitigate many issues you might have missed. For instance, many venues often list the ceiling height instead of usable height as their highest point. Having your A/V company with you would allow them to better understand and decide on the best setup.
3. Cue sheet
Before every show, production companies often create a cue sheet consisting of the sequence of technical cues that would take place throughout the event. The cue sheet allows the production and presenters to know what to expect and the changes that will take place if a segment runs too long etc.
4. The final layout
A picture paints a thousand words; a visual layout prevents a potential disaster. While you may be extremely satisfied with the list of equipment and detailed explanation provided by your A/V partner, one can never be too cautious.
To avoid situations where the screens are smaller than expected, or that the spectacular stage set isn’t what you imagined it to be, request for a 3D diagram from your A/V company to ensure you get exactly what was discussed.
Picking the right A/V production company
Having the right setup is only half the battle won. Being supported by an experienced team capable of providing quick recovery while keeping technical issues to a minimum can make all the difference.
Be sure to research each company’s portfolio when deciding the best fit for you.
At Diverse Media Pte Ltd, we are committed to turning each event into an extraordinary experience with state-of-the-art equipment operated by a team of professionals. Since 2012, we have partnered with many event planners in putting up a wide variety of events across various industries.
While no two events are the same, every successful event begins with a conversation.
Let’s get ours started today!