Like event planners, full-service production companies have specialties. Most companies have similar equipment – some companies may even have newer and more powerful technology - but it’s the strength and experience of their personnel that differentiates them from the competition. Do they primarily deal with rock and roll festivals? Or corporate galas? Check out their portfolio or ask them about past projects. Work with an AV partner that specializes in the type of event that you are producing to ensure the best outcome.
Is your event being held in a venue that has an in-house AV partner? Do you have a choice of using the in-house team or working with an external AV supplier? If so, you will have an important decision to make.
There are some definite benefits to using an in-house supplier. They will most likely have all the equipment you need on-site already so that you can avoid additional shipping or trucking charges. And if your needs change at the last minute, there's a better chance they'll have the missing piece standing by in a room down the hall – as opposed to in a warehouse on the other side of town.
The external supplier may be able to travel with you, should your event be held in a series of locations. This will help with consistency. Be sure to ask the venue about all the options open to you and the associated costs so that you can make an informed decision as to which option will be the best for your event.
It is important to know your options when choosing to go in-house or external. There may be costs associated with using an external supplier. Hotels will often levy a hotel “AV Concierge” fee or charge extra for electrical plug-ins. However, the external supplier may have more flexibility to negotiate their prices to cover these fees and make sure you are getting a good deal.
The best approach is to first determine your needs, then which AV partner is the best fit for your specific needs. Your event deserves the right partner to assist you in creating a successful experience.