Audiovisual (AV) Guidelines for Meetings, Events, Social Functions

If you’re asked to handle AV on your own

Even the most basic meeting will require a flipchart or easels with display boards, but many will also require a laptop, screen and projector for some type of slide or video presentation.  If the equipment can be self-contained (your own laptop and LCD projector, for example) and there is a built-in screen in the meeting room, you may be comfortable setting it up and monitoring the presentation by yourself.  But even such basic equipment can be problematic if the interface between a laptop and projector is incompatible or if the software used when creating a presentation is different than the software installed on the computer used when displaying it.  It may be difficult to receive presentations from your speakers a day in advance of your event for a trial run, but TRY.  You will need time to resolve any glitches before it is time for the program to begin.

When to work with an audiovisual professional?

If you are coordinating a meeting or event with functions in several rooms, if multiple microphones are being used in one room, if the AV requirements include streaming video or is complex, it is highly recommended that you consult with audio visual specialists BEFORE you book your venue or location. It is actually the most cost effective way to go! An AV professional will analyze your needs and your budget then help you choose the best solutions for getting the desired results. You may otherwise order things you don’t need and overspend. Professionals can verify that the necessary bandwidth capability for high speed Internet or satellite transmissions is available at the venue or facility you are considering before you book. 

Equipment and technology in the audio visual and communications fields change rapidly, and the value of a professional’s expertise in foreseeing and avoiding problems when choosing the equipment and technology most suitable to meet your needs is priceless. Consulting with your preferred AV service provider early in the planning stages will also help you avoid expensive, last-minute changes that can occur due to poor AV planning.  Most important-keep technical support engaged throughout the program even if your needs are pretty basic.  If technical difficulties arise once you are on-site, you don’t want to be without them!

Audiovisual space requirements   

Another reason to consult with an audio visual specialist early in the planning process – before finalizing a booking with a venue or facility for your meeting or event – is to have them verify that the space you are considering for the event is suitable for AV equipment setup and the lighting requirements for the presentations that are to occur.  Natural lighting from big windows, reflections from mirrors, built-in counters, attachments to walls, pillars in the room, or low ceilings can play havoc with the placement and setup of audio visual equipment, and your program can suffer significantly because of it.

Lighting, projection, screens, sound

Defined for you here are the most common types of AV enhancements used to make presentations for meetings and events more interesting and compelling.  Less may be required for small meetings, but if attendance is expected to reach 50 for an event, or if it is to be held in an area where acoustics are questionable, a microphone and sound system will be required.  Even the risers used to elevate the speaker higher than the audience for better visibility is considered audiovisual equipment.

NOTICE –The checklist samples provided by Planning Helper are incomplete and meant for use as guidelines to help you create checklists of your own that will apply to the unique needs of your meeting, event or function. 

About the Author

Susan has managed high-profile events for IBM, GE, and other Fortune 500 companies. She has organized fundraisers, large festivals, and promotional events. Now, she is a blogger and speaks about event planning topics

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