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How to ensure your event AV is AOK

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Businessman at conference presentation

From small business meetings to large scale conferences, getting the right AV facilities in place can make all the difference between your event being a good one, a bad one or downright ugly. But unless you’re a qualified sound technician or have plenty of IT expertise yourself, you may not know exactly what your event requires. And while most venues will provide some IT/AV support, will this suffice or do you need to find an external supplier?

At Function Fixers, we come across these and many other event planning issues on a regular basis. Take our advice and don’t panic but don’t ever put your blind faith into the venue with fingers crossed. There’s no need to be intimidated by tech jargon you don’t understand – just make sure you ask the right questions to ensure the best IT/AV facilities are in place on event day.

Here are 4 key questions you need to get satisfactory answers to:

1 – Does the room hire include AV/IT facilities?

First off, find out what’s included in the price of the venue hire. Maybe the basic set-up is actually all you need, so there’s no need to pay for upgrades. Many venues will give you a choice of AV options such as huge plasma screens, full surround sound or sophisticated stage lighting. Find out what is available, what costs extra, and what you need. If you’re not sure what additional equipment is needed to make your event go with a swing, take a technical adviser with you.

2 – Is there reliable broadband connectivity?

In our modern digital age, all business meetings depend on the availability of fast, reliable WiFi connectivity, both in the meeting room itself and throughout the rest of the venue. Slow internet speeds and outages can be fatal to any presentation, video content, live streaming or mobile sharing, so make sure this basic utility requirement doesn’t trip you up. Check the available bandwidth and ensure there’s a Plan B, just in case the network goes down.

3 – What about compatible hardware?

There’s nothing worse than confidently arriving at your event armed with nothing but a PowerPoint presentation on a memory stick, only to find that there’s no laptop you can use, or your file formats aren’t supported. Ask the venue’s technical manager for advice, then check and double check beforehand to minimise the risk of any nasty surprises. You may also wish to consider a dry run the day before to make sure everything is set up just so.

4 – Is a dedicated AV/IT support technician available during the event?

Embarrassing technical mishaps on the day are the stuff of nightmares – it just can’t happen. Find out if the venue has a technician to provide setup as well as live support for your event so it runs like clockwork. This also includes any requirement for recordings and/or live streaming and videoconferencing facilities – all great tools that will make your event more accessible to a wider audience. If the venue has no-one suitable to take charge, you may need to partner with another company to provide the necessary IT/AV support.

At Function Fixers, we have over 30 years’ experience of finding the perfect venue for our clients and helping with everything to do with event organisation. Thanks to our deep industry expertise and wide network of contacts, we will move heaven and earth to ensure that your event goes with a bang. Contact us on 020 7186 8686 and let’s chat.

Posted within: Blog, conference venues

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