6 AV Company Questions to Ask Before Your Next Event

Ask these 6 AV company questions before choosing a production partner for your trade show, conference, or nightclub live event.

6 AV Company Questions to Ask Before Your Next Show

Meeting planners and teams involved in trade shows juggle lots of responsibilities — from contract negotiations to venue selection to event and booth design to handling all of the complex challenges that have evolved over the past year and a half.

Event production experience and AV technician professionalism and accountability are more important now than ever before. To make sure your next trade show, conference, or nightclub live event goes off like clockwork, ask these 5 AV company questions to prospective AV event production partners at the start of the planning process.

1. How can I optimize my budget?

Not all AV companies are created equal. Talk only with established and highly trusted AV companies and share your budget — and budgetary concerns — with them.

First, you’ll save time by right-sizing your event. Sharing budgetary information enables your AV provider to make good choices right off the bat.

Second, you’ll gain valuable guidance from a collaborative partner. The right AV partner can help you make smart decisions based on where and when the event is held and help you decide where to focus your budget most efficiently and effectively. If AV production budgets seem to dictate what the team can achieve in the room, your partner may be able to find creative workarounds.

2. Do you have experience working in this city and at this venue?

Whether your show is in Las Vegas or another U.S. city, make sure your AV event production company has worked in similar venues or, preferably, in the exact venue where your event will be held.

The more they know about that venue and about additional local resources that can support your needs, the better. They should be skilled at site inspections, know exactly what gear will work best within the space, and even be able to provide guidance on venue and contract negotiations.

3. What video, audio, lighting, control systems and laptops, network connectivity solutions, and staffing do you recommend for my event?

Choose a partner whose support for corporations, associations, nightclub live events, and trade shows exhibitors includes conventional audio visual services, along with lighting, laptops and other gear, money-saving network connectivity solutions, and staffing. Just as importantly, make sure they’re willing to share their educated opinion so you get the exact solution you need without underproducing or overproducing your show.

Make sure your AV partner can deliver full-service event production for everything from a single trade show booth or small shows at intimate venues to large general sessions attended by thousands of people with dozens of simultaneous breakouts.

4. What new ideas do you have to help us really engage with attendees?

Choose a partner that understands the value of Intelligent AV Design. Intelligent AV Design involves collaborative discussions followed by smart planning to determine the most practical and effective event production decisions for your trade show, conference, or nightclub live event.

It’s not about filling a room with bleeding-edge technology or following the latest trend. Instead, it’s about challenging the “this is the way we do it” mentality that some organizations get caught up in and optimizing client dollars by focusing on goals and maximizing what’s in the room.

Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, your AV production partner should make Intelligent AV Design core to the way they do business. That means they should always look at each show individually, listen well, reevaluate your goals from the ground up, and guide your team in making strategic decisions from start to finish.

5. What will you do to ensure my team has a direct line of communication with your staff?

Many people who are hosting a conference, exhibiting at a trade show, or running a nightclub live event have had problematic AV production communication, guidance, and support in the past. The AV technicians lack the expertise required to make shows flow smoothly. The account manager and team members don’t communicate in an open, timely fashion. Event production involves rote response to client requests instead of analysis of budgets and needs and discussion of what’s really possible.

The amount of AV event production support you needs depends on what’s happening, how fast it’s happening, and the goals you’re hoping to achieve. Understaffing can be dangerous; overstaffing can be costly. Forethought, effort, integrity, and industry experience are required to make sure your shows aren’t under-built or overbuilt.

Make sure your AV event production partner — particularly your dedicated account manager — listens to what you’re saying – and weighs in. Ultimately, they should represent your interests and free up team so they can focus on other important tasks.

6. Can I review a list of references?

Last but certainly not least, put all claims and promises to the test. Ask your AV company for a list of references, look over images showing their work, and review their blogs and other evidence of thought leadership. Always choose a company whose long-term clients sing their praises.

Reach Out!

TST is the total show production solution for anyone who hosts, plans, manages, or produces trade shows, conferences, and nightclub live events. Our total show production capabilities include audiovisual design, installation, and live staffing and operation. Our services include video, audio, lighting, rigging, staging, computer services, labor sourcing, and equipment rentals.

In the rapidly changing event industry, what you know and who you know are everything. We know Las Vegas and the Pacific Southwest. We know all the venues inside and out. We have the loyal network that opens the right doors when it matters most. In an industry where almost anything can go wrong, we make sure everything goes right.

Reach out for a free consult or to simply say “hello.” As always, we appreciate the opportunity to serve you!

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Rich Cornish

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