Words by CMS Australasia.
One of the most consistent demands for event managers and planners is to do more, with less.
Perhaps the largest line item on your event budget will be the cost of audio visual and staging, but there are ways to lower costs without compromising the quality.
Here are three tips to help you save on your AV spend and make you look like a budget boss.
Start planning early
Sure, you’ve heard this before and your likely response is, ‘but so much is going to change, I’m not thinking about AV at this point in time’. Our experience shows us that even in the early stages, having a plan is much better than not having a plan at all.
To start, take a look at last year’s agenda or a similar event. So much can be determined from this information and your AV quote will be more accurate from the outset, giving you a better idea of how much your AV is going to cost in the long run.
Engage your AV supplier as early as possible in the planning phase to help you with creative design, site selection, venue contract negotiation and managing any in-venue technical requirements.
As you approach day zero, using more accurate quotes will help you to reduce last minute changes and eleventh-hour additions which can cause a huge budget blow out.
A little knowledge
Don’t just cross your fingers and hope for the best, take some time to learn the basics of AV set ups and terminology.
You’ll become more comfortable with not only asking better questions, but being able to compare your quotes more easily, ultimately giving you more AV bang for your buck.
You don’t have to speak AV, you just have to know enough so that you’re able to have an informed conversation with your AV supplier.
A little education and basic knowledge can go a long way to making sure that you only get the gear and set up you need, for a fair and reasonable price. Why not find a glossary of AV terms online and use it?
Venue AV, or not?
“The venue contract states we have to use theirs,” you say. But this isn’t always the case.
Even if the venue is discouraging the use of external AV suppliers by applying technician on duty (TOD) fees, penalties and other disincentives, it might still be more affordable to use your own AV company.
External AV suppliers often quote lower, which mean even once you include those unavoidable TOD fees, you might still come out in front.
So, make sure you do your due diligence.
To ensure success, you should look out for certain qualities in your event production partners. Ensure they have demonstrable experience in managing a range of event types, they offer a range of quality audio visual equipment and that you can trust in their ability to add value to your event.