Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Four Tips for Saving Money on Event A/V

As event and wedding planners, you typically must consider audio visual components to give your event that extra wow factor. But what should you look for and what should you be aware of when choosing an A/V company? I contacted A/V professional and social media superstar Jenise Fryatt, who provided the guest blog below.
This is a guest post by Jenise Fryatt at Icon Presentations. The original article can be found here.

Understanding Objectives of In-House vs. Outside Audio Visual Companies

Going with the in-house audio visual service provider at your venue may be easy, but it won't always save you money, let alone provide you with the best bang for your buck.

In-house AV companies have to pay a significant percentage (40-50% is not uncommon) of every sale to the venue. This makes it very hard for them to give you a good deal.

Also, hotel audio visual is usually where new techs cut their teeth. So while these guys may adequately handle breakout sessions, more involved productions can be a bit of a stretch for them.

Beware of Hidden Fees

Hotels and convention centers are very motivated to get your business, so they will take measures to counteract the attractiveness of outside AV companies.

Beware of contractual fees they often slip in to make up for the loss in sales to outside AV companies. Fees for power or "required supervision" by in-house techs can be waived if you catch them BEFORE signing these agreements.

Maybe the venue is offering you a great deal on meeting rooms if you use their AV services and your breakout meetings don't require highly technical audio visual. This could certainly save you money in the long haul. However you still may wish to consider hiring an outside AV company for your general session or gala.

Remember, you are in the driver's seat at least until you sign that contract.

Think Ahead and Build Relationships

To get the best deal and help ensure the equipment and service you hire is top notch, aim to build a long-term relationship with your AV provider.

If you use the same company for all or most of your event audio visual needs throughout the year, you can sit down with them at the beginning and negotiate a screaming deal.

Knowing about your needs in advance will also allow them to plan and give you priority attention - the kind you are likely to get as a returning customer.

Consider Hiring Local Labor

Calling a local union or labor company can save you up to 20% on your audio visual labor costs. Again, make sure that you scratch out any hidden fees for bringing outside labor in before you sign that contract with your venue.

For more good advice from Jenise, check out her blog.

About the Author:
Jenise Fryatt has been involved in the event industry for more than 20 years as Co-Owner/ Marketing Director of Icon Presentations AV for events. She writes for three blogs, manages three Twitter accounts and three Facebook pages. She serves as Social Media Manager for The Conference Publishers and moderates a weekly Twitter Chat for event professionals called #eventtable. She also gives presentations on social media strategy and uses improv concepts to teach leadership and team building skills.
Jenise Fryatt Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

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