Hiring an A/V company is an important but often overlooked aspect of event planning. All of us have at one time or another been at an event where the speaker struggled to get some piece of equipment working. What usually happens is that the attendees begin to lose interest and then their focus until it’s long gone. Fortunately, there are ways this situation can be prevented at your event. This post will cover the 4 steps to hiring the best A/V company for your particular event. Think of this post as an A/V company checklist that will help ensure success when picking the best company to help with your event.
Step 1 – Determine Your Needs & Search For an A/V Company That Would Be The Best Fit
Events come in all shapes and sizes, and A/V companies can accommodate different sized events. Hiring an A/V company is not technically the most important decision to make; the most important decision is determining what YOU need for your event. Event planning and party planning is difficult enough by itself, so leave the A/V to the professionals. You may have a general idea in your head about what you want the event to feel like as far as A/V goes, but are likely not sure how to implement it. That’s OK, and is to be expected. Be sure to jot those thoughts down so you can discuss them with the company later. General ideas are great at this point, and there is no need to get too detailed with your thoughts. The reason for this is because the companies that provide A/V rental in areas especially like Los Angeles, will likely think of aspects of your event that you have not thought about, or even had the knowledge to think about. Think of your ideal vision for your event, and make sure you write it down to share with the A/V company. If you are looking to rent A/V equipment in Los Angeles, you can certainly find a company that can fulfill that vision with professionalism and at a fair price. Whenever possible, choose the A/V company before you choose your venue. The reason for this is that A/V companies often have greater insight into what type of venue will work best for your A/V needs. Choosing an A/V company before choosing your venue is not an absolute necessity but can lend itself to making sure your event or party is wildly successful since your venue choice will play a large role in how everything can be set up.
Step 2 – Share Your Vision With The A/V Company To Ensure They Understand Your Goals
Sometimes people can be shy about their needs because they don’t want to feel like they may inconveniencing others or asking for too much. When it comes to party planning and event planning it’s best to share everything on your mind. Be upfront about your vision. What type of venue will the event take place at? What do you want the mood to be at your event? If you clearly articulate your vision, the A/V company will be able to better handle and fulfill your needs. If you are going to rent equipment, you want to make sure everything is set up right. A good A/V company will listen to your needs and address them accordingly. Be wary if you feel that a company is not paying attention to your needs for your event planning. Also, make sure that the A/V company’s culture and values align with yours. Your event is special, so take the time to decide on a company that best matches your vision. Another important consideration is that AV costs can rise quickly. Depending on your budget, you may have to sacrifice some aspects regarding your A/V set up that might be unnecessary. Having a clear vision of the event will allow the A/V company to help decide on what are the absolutely necessary items and what items you can do without. A good company will be able to make compromises in order to meet your needs and budget.
Step 3 – Hammer Out The Details With The A/V Company You Choose To Move Forward With
By this point, you have articulated the mood and feel of your event with your target A/V companies and have narrowed down your search to one company. With that groundwork laid, you can now address the details of how that vision is going to actually be implemented. Make sure you obtain a clearly outlined A/V company checklist with line items in order for you to understand exactly all the costs involved. Your goal during this stage is to obtain the details and an initial quote. If your event is large, you can also request a CAD (Computer Aided Design) of the event set up to ensure everything goes smoothly. This is useful so you can avoid any logistical nightmares such as big tables getting in the way of where speakers need to be, or a decorative piece blocking a screen. This is a common request for bigger events and can be very helpful in finalizing your event setting up a blueprint and making sure everything runs smoothly when it’s time for everything to be implemented.
Step 4 – Get Your Final Quote and Complete The Deal
Sit down with the company you’ve chosen and carefully review all of the line items. If you have not yet chosen a company, but are acquiring different quotes from several companies, this is the time to ask all the questions you may have so that you are not surprised later on with any costs that you didn’t anticipate. Be sure to ask the company about any hidden clauses or cost differences that could arise based on unforeseen circumstances. For example, what happens if it starts raining and you have an outside venue? Compare the costs involved as well as the CADs. Know that you have done your due diligence in making your event a success with the right company. The A/V company will be invested in the success of your event because they often work on referrals and naturally want to ensure they have the best reputation. Once you have made your decision on which company to work with, you can finally relax a bit. Trust the company will do a professional job. If you give the company room to work and don’t micromanage them, they will do an excellent job for your event. Follow these steps and you are bound to pick the best A/V company for your event.