Once you have selected your AV team, you need to work through the details together to make sure that your AV Partner has everything they need to make your event (and you!) look good.
It’s all about working together.
Rock Your Event Content with Attention to the Details
As mentioned, your AV Partner will need to know your overall event objective, concept, and design. However, nothing is as important as knowing the details of your content – presentations, displays, video, entertainment and anything else that may be going on. Do you have an MC that will be roaming the room? Does your presenter have a video in his PowerPoint presentation that has sound? Do you have a trio playing music in the foyer during a reception? A five-piece rock band or a symphony? These are all important aspects that your AV partner will need to take into consideration when creating your equipment list and booking the crew. When in doubt, mention it!
And if things change (and sometimes even if they haven’t), review the content requirements with your team. You may want to create and share a very detailed document that shows everything that is going to happen in your event (often called a Run of Show) and include a separate column for everything that has AV associated with it.
When It Comes to Presentations, Preparation is Everything
You have no doubt spent a great deal of time and effort choosing the best presenters for your event. You have made sure they know your audience and are thoroughly briefed on the objectives for their talk. Don’t forget to brief them on the more logistical aspects of their presentation too and find out key information. What program is their presentation created in?
What aspect ratio? This refers to whether their slides are created in a standard square shape (aspect ratio 4:3) or in the more current and common, widescreen shape (aspect ratio 16:9). Are they using any unusual fonts that need to be installed on the relevant machines? Are they using videos and if so, are they embedded right into the file? That’s preferable to having them as a link to a video on the internet. The internet is infamously unstable or slow in many venues and this could cause your video to lag or run slowly.
Be sure to get a draft of the presentations to your AV partner in advance. This will allow them to test everything on their playback machines before getting to show site. Last minute edits to the presentation content can certainly be made after that – and many presenters will make edits almost right up to show time! This is a great reason to set up a Speaker Ready Room that duplicates the technology featured in the rooms (laptop, projector, screen and even sometimes a small PA) so that the speaker can rehearse and fine-tune their presentation on-site. When you push to a meeting room, it’s called Presentation Management. You can even connect this room with your other event rooms using a network system so that presentations can easily be placed in folders for each space and your technicians can access them immediately.
If the presentation has audio associated with it – either there is a video with audio in the content or there is a separate video that the presenter would like to play – be sure to get these to your AV partner in advance for testing.
Talk to your presenters about their style as well. Do they speak from behind a podium? Or do they pace the stage or even walk out into the audience? This will make a difference to the way that the speakers are set up and what sort of microphones are used.