Why In-House A/V Should Be a No-No for Your Next Corporate Event

This post is 775 words —a 3 minute read.

event production a-v successOne of the first steps most meeting and event planners undertake when preparing for their next corporate event is to select and book the venue. Selecting the right venue is essential to the style and essence of your event’s overall experience. Unfortunately, those same meeting and event planners often skip the next step: partnering with the right event production company.

When you’ve selected your venue and you’re in final negotiations with their meeting sales team, it’s so easy to just check a few boxes to get the “total package” including audio-visual services. Unfortunately, it’s about as smart a strategy as buying that “extended warranty” at the big-box store, and potentially far more damaging. Here’s why:

1. Your business suffers due to the nature of their business.

It’s almost guaranteed that your venue has a subcontracted partner responsible for A/V delivery. It’s also equally as certain that the subcontractor is paying high commissions to gain the deals coming from a sales team they don’t pay for. The result is thin margins, which means thin budgets for execution. Not a good starting point.

2. You don’t know what equipment you’ll need…and neither do they.

You’d think that the venue’s selected A/V partner must have the best handle on the venue’s A/V requirements…and you’d be wrong. First off, the great majority of hotels, resorts and conference centers have totally inadequate lighting, not to mention mediocre “contractor-grade” hard-wired audio systems.

That means the only way to achieve A/V success is to bring in completely separate equipment…which is the last thing the in-house vendor is going to do. Why go through the effort of setting up a line array sound system for clear speech throughout the room, when you can just hook everyone up to the pre-installed speakers, hope for the best, and say “job done”?

3. You’re a small fish to their large whales.

Increasingly, A/V companies have been subject to mergers, acquisitions and consolidation into national networks and regional roll-ups fueled by private equity and other investors. The result is a bottom-line focus that emphasizes deal volume over event quality, and venue lock-ins over customer outcomes.

4. Your goals and their obligations are not the same.

When you sign for A/V services as a contractual add-on, you’re setting the bar of “success” incredibly low for the A/V vendor, whose only responsibility now becomes delivering the specified equipment, plugging it in, and having “a guy” on-site to make sure it works. This is far different from being responsible for (or engaged in) planning and producing a successful event.

5. You need an independent, third-party perspective.

Since venues often have sub-standard A/V infrastructure, lousy acoustics and poor lighting, it’s essential that you consult with a third-party team who has worked with that venue and many others over the years, and who knows what it takes to not only deliver high-quality A/V results, but actually produce a top-quality event.

Their venue is their venue – and your event is your event. Make sure your venue contract doesn’t force you into any exclusivity regarding your selection of vendors and solutions. And if it does – just take those provisions out. In the vast majority of cases, the venue will gladly eliminate “forced sale” strictures to secure your business.

Once that’s accomplished, contact a qualified full-service event production company with deep credentials in the market you’re selecting, so that you can ensure the right outcome – an event that truly resonates with your audience in every way.

Apply Strategic Creative for Event Success

Begin your journey to high-quality corporate event success by using a clearly defined methodology for event execution. One proven model is Strategic Creative, which was developed by the team at TalkingTree Creative, an award-winning Washington DC event production company.

To learn more, please enjoy this three-article series about Strategic Creative:

How Strategic Creative Leads to Successful Corporate Events [Article 1]
The Layers of the Experience for Successful Corporate Events [Article 2]
Showcasing the Power of Strategic Creative in Corporate Events [Article 3]

Learn more about corporate event production in Washington DC by contacting TalkingTree Creative today. Call us at 202-684-2225 or email Craig Weisbaum, President & CEO at craig@talkingtreecreative.com.

About TalkingTree Creative

Talking Tree Creative is an event production company that creates memorable experiences and lasting impressions on screen, on stage, and online. Headquartered in Washington D.C., TalkingTree Creative serves clients in the corporate, non-profit, association and government sectors as a leader in the event production field, infusing its work with elements of creativity, entertainment and engagement.

For more information, please visit talkingtreecreative.com. Follow TalkingTree Creative on Facebook, TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn to stay up to date with our latest projects. Get a dose of visual inspiration by checking us out on YouTube and Pinterest as well.

Image Credit: meetingspodcast (Flickr @ Creative Commons)

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