Using 3rd Party AV Companies – Where Does Your Money Go?
You have a big event coming up and you are ready to start planning your AV needs. From monitors and microphones to projectors and speakers, you have a plan in mind, but now it’s time to execute.
The contract you signed with your event location allows for a 3rd party AV service to come in and do the setup and equipment rental, but you haven’t decided if you will use a 3rd party or the location coordinators yet. The biggest part of your decisions comes down to cost. A 3rd party service can be a bit more expensive, but you’ve heard nothing but horror stories from those who use the event host as their AV provider. Then there are situations in which you can actually save money using a third party instead of an in-house provider. How do you decide?
Deciding who to use for your AV needs for an event is a big decision. Having a quality and consistent setup is key to ensuring a successful event, whether it’s a wedding or a conference, and making the wrong choice could put a damper on the entire event. While choosing a 3rd party AV service may seem like a more expensive choice, you get what you pay for in many respects. Let’s look at where your money goes when you choose a 3rd party vendor – it may not be what you think.
3rd Party AV Service Cost Breakdown
Much of the cost you will incur for using a 3rd party service is for the equipment rental. Each piece of equipment will have its own fee and will likely be a daily or weekly fee, depending on how long you need each piece. How much you pay will not only depend on how long you need the equipment, but also how high-quality you want to go. The AV provider will be able to give you guidance on what you need for the event and don’t be afraid to shop around the quote you get.
Staff and Support
The next largest cost will be for the manpower needed to get the equipment setup properly and ensure that everything is running smoothly for the event. While it may be a large cost, the peace of mind you will have knowing that someone else has everything under control is worth it, especially when you have so many other event details to think about. These fees will go to paying each person on staff to get all of the equipment you rented set up to your specs. This will include day laborers as well as a project manager who ensures everything is where it should be.
If you need help running all of the equipment, then you will also see a charge go toward the event services. Maybe you have a soundboard and have no idea how to run it. Rather than try to find someone last minute, the AV service provider will have someone on their staff who knows exactly what they are doing and can even help you prepare for the event better by letting you know what they need ahead of time. No need to rush around last minute to try to get the right presentation file.
Overall, while the cost might be higher for hiring a 3rd party service to your audio visual work for an event, the benefits far outweigh any financial cost. Your reputation is on the line every time you do an event, and you don’t want to put that responsibility into the hands of an inexperienced hotel staff or someone on your team with no experience at all. Trusting your AV needs to a 3rd party provider ensures that your event will go smoothly.
While hiring a 3rd party AV company can be a great choice, it’s also important to vet that service beforehand. Read reviews online, compare their quote to others, and call their former clients. All of these steps can help ensure that you make a smart choice when it comes to you AV provider. They are not all created equally, so be sure to do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking the right questions can be the difference between hiring a great company and hiring one that falls short of your expectations.
Putting on an event can be a rewarding experience, so protect your reputation and investment by finding a quality 3rd party AV service provider that you can entrust with making sure your event goes off without a hitch!