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When meeting planners are in the initial stages of planning a large meeting or event, you need to construct a big picture view of your client’s total costs and the overall complexity of the arrangements.

Whether you’re using in-house AV or bringing in an external company, your audio-visual (AV) equipment requirements must be considered from the very beginning. This is a crucial detail, since it must be integrated into your physical space planning and contract negotiations with the venue, and may also need coordination with speakers, exhibitors and vendors.

What needs to be seen?

Review the overall goals of the event and all predicted activities. Consider all materials that will need to be displayed, viewed, transmitted or played, including things like:

-PowerPoint presentations
-Stages (and the people on them)
-Pre-recorded videos
-Streamed videos
-Web videos
-Captioning videos for attendees with special needs
-Posters and signs
-Displays
-Slideshows
-Audience members making comments or questions
-Whiteboard or flipchart for impromptu note-taking

Who needs to be heard?

Now hone in on everything that will need amplifying, such as:

-Speakers, facilitators, hosts and MCs
-Audience members making comments or questions
-Background music
-Audio that’s part of presentations
-Off-site personnel (do you need a dedicated phone line from the meeting room(s)?)

What needs to be recorded?

Will you make any of the activities available via live streaming, or after the event? You must plan for how you will capture:

-Audio
-Video
-Video with captioning
-Live streaming in real time
What needs space?

When choosing the size and configuration of your meeting room(s), it’s not just the people who need to fit. You must also keep these things in mind:

-AV equipment
-Tech tables
-Access to power source(s)
-Cords and cables

Meeting planners know meetings, AV specialists know AV

The good news is that aside from this broad overview of the AV needs of your event, you don’t need to be too concerned with the technical workings of the specific pieces of equipment that will make all of this happen.

Ultimately, you can rely on an AV company that specializes in your type of meetings and events to fill in anything you may have forgotten.

At LBI Audio, Video & Scenic Solutions, for example, we provide detailed renderings of the room, laid out for the optimum audio/visual experience, along with a specific equipment list and competitive and transparent pricing. You don’t need to worry about predicting everything you’ll need, because we’ve done this hundreds of times and have you covered.

By doing this preliminary audit of your AV needs, you’ll be able to make more informed choices and be in the best position to communicate with the AV professionals who are helping you.

As you firm up the details, be sure to brush up on your own understanding of the AV equipment booked for your event. The clearer you are about the particular systems and which team members are responsible for which tasks, the quicker you can handle any issues and ensure a smooth event.