AV Plan B – What’s Yours?

We all know in life to expect the unexpected, but when it comes to events you really only have one opportunity for flawless execution. If you are or have ever spoken to an event planner, they likely have many stories of all the unexpected things that can come up at an event, and instances of when things didn’t go as planned.

Planners have learned from experience to always have a plan B, to prepare for those unplanned scenarios and to expect the unexpected. If the event is outdoors, they have a plan B if it rains; if the event has alcohol, they arrange for safe transportation at the end of the evening.

But what about AV? Audio and visual solutions can make or break your event. If your audience cannot hear your speaker, your event will not be a success. If your presenter cannot connect their PowerPoint deck to the screen, they lose that time and content, sacrifice attendee experience and learning value. Ensuring your audience can see and hear without any hiccups is a component that calls for having a backup plan, just in case.

Do you have a backup plan should your sound system not work? Maybe that’s something you’ve experienced? If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of an AV issue at your event, you understand the impact it has on your stakeholder, your attendees and their success. If you have not experienced an AV issue, that’s great! Here are some tips to make sure you never do:

 

Work with an expert

When you are selecting an AV company, ask them how they test and manage inventory in-case of an issue.

It is best to work with a partner that ensures they test all equipment before your event begins and has enough resources to exchange equipment in time for your event, should something go wrong.

You also want to ensure backup equipment is on hand if something were to happen.

 

Test and test and test

No matter what level of technical equipment and requirements you have, you should always ensure to do a run through or rehearsal well in advance. This will help with scheduling and timelines to ensure all transitions are accounted for. A good audio visual partner is fully setup before any attendee arrives and has already tested every piece of equipment for quality and accuracy, long before your doors open.

Imagine your CEO takes the stage to present a keynote, and his or her microphone doesn’t work. You are running to the technician on site to see what the problem is. In a few minutes, you are able to get sound back up, but the damage is done, your CEO and your attendees experience has been impacted.

This is also where working with an experienced AV company is key. The technicians should be knowledgeable to catch that issue before the presenter takes the stage, or in the scenario where it’s a bug – they can fix it in seconds where the CEO and attendees don’t even notice.

 

Account for Surprise Scenarios

For some conferences, presentation decks are sent to the organizers in advance to preload into the system. Sometimes, the screen size may not match the PowerPoint size, so the format has to be adjusted for the improved viewing experience. If the presenter decides to use a new deck minutes before their presentation, and only communicates this shortly before they take the stage, it becomes a scramble to make that adjustment, and can sometimes leave your attendees waiting.
In this scenario, it is best to create that awareness ahead of time and make sure the presenter is aware of a standard format and when you need the final deck. Confirming with them a few hours before they take the stage can also help you make sure everything is in line.

If you are organizing an event with several vendors and suppliers, miscommunications can occur where one vendor assumes another vendor is providing something, when in fact they are not – only to discover that gap moments before the event begins. For example, FMAV worked with a client on an outdoor event in the evening and the catering company did not bring any lighting for the food service. FMAV was able to pull some last minute inventory together for the catering team to execute the dinner, and all was successful.

It is a good practice to have a full team meeting early in the process as well as before the event to ensure all vendors, suppliers and stakeholders are on the same page, after all, they will be working together to support the success of your event.

 

Early collaboration with your AV partner is the key, work with someone who makes you feel comfortable and confident your event will be seamless, and if something does arise – they have it covered.

If you want to learn more about working with FMAV connect with us now!