Following my first article about what your AV supplier needs to know about your event, I looked more closely into the variety of AV suppliers out there: what they offer, where they work and what they do. In particular, I have researched the pros and cons of using an in-house or external supplier. Again, I used the Complete Guide to Audio Visual for Event Planners from Blitz to find my answers.
Naturally, organising an event is full of decisions: which venue to choose, the time and date, who to invite. When it comes to choosing an AV supplier, you may have to choose between an in-house or external supplier.
In-house AV suppliers are likely to have all their equipment already on site. This will save you time and cost transporting all the gear to and from the event and help keep your checklist organised. Need a spare part in a hurry? The in-house supplier will most likely have on in the room next door, not half-way across town.
Though the external supplier may incur more costs due to the travel, you may be able to negotiate an end price. This will help cover any potential “AV concierge” fees that venues such as hotels charge, or levies on extra electrical plug-ins.
Additionally, in-house suppliers may be restricted on travelling. An external company may offer the freedom to travel where you wish, proving particularly useful if your event covers multiple venues.
It’s important to gather your options when choosing an AV supplier. Though price and transportation are contributing factors to your decision, fundamentally, you need a supplier that will provide you with the right technology and know-how for your event. Some suppliers are veterans in conferences, others in rock festivals: to create the type of event you want, you need to utilise all the expertise and experience at your disposal.