December 11, 2023

Top Tips for Clients from AV Pros

A nonprofit gala in a large ballroom features to large screens on either side of the stage. Blue and gold lighting illuminate the black drape behind the stage and screens

This year in each edition of our newsletter, a member of our team shared their pro AV advice. From practical equipment guidance to the art of collaborative planning, their insights touched on a range of audiovisual topics. We’ve gathered their advice to help you better understand aspects of live event AV production.

Andy Dowsett, Lead Technician

“My best advice for clients hosting live events sounds simple, but it’s very important. Arrive at the event site at the same time as your AV company. By seeing the room come together during set-up, you have time to ask questions and allow your AV pros to address any concerns while there is still opportunity to make adjustments. Also, schedule your emcee, auctioneer, and other guest speakers to arrive on time for rehearsal. During sound check, your speakers can bring up any questions they have and get comfortable on stage.”

Shay Northrip, Technician

“My best advice for clients is for them to send in their PowerPoint files and videos ahead of time. That way the video tech has time to test the content before the show to make sure everything plays nicely with our equipment. If we receive the content right before the show or even just as the presenter takes the stage, there is no time to make sure the fonts are correct or that the videos play correctly.”

Andy Everson, Lighting Director

“On your venue walk through, ask questions about house lighting. You’ll want to find out where the switches and dimmers are located. Ideally, a remote controller will be available. If it is, be sure to include it in your venue rental agreement to use during the event. When your script calls for changing the house lights — such as up for the live auction or off to play a video — you don’t want a delay as someone hurries across the room to turn off the lights. Having immediate control to adjust house lights has a direct impact on smooth transitions during the program.”

Nathan Bouquet, Videographer and Web Developer

“When creating your event floor plan, consider camera positions. A clear line of sight between the stage and the camera is important for projecting your camera feed onto the screens (IMAG or image magnification), for live streaming, and for recording the event. Leaving space around each camera will allow your guests to comfortably walk by without your cameras shaking or being bumped. Multiple cameras will mean more than one view of the action. Your AV production team can advise you where cameras will be placed and how much room to allow for each.”

Adam Breeden, Technician

“Proper microphone technique is important if you’re a presenter using a handheld microphone. As you’re speaking, you may naturally want to look around the room at the audience. While doing that, make sure you move the mic along with your head so that it stays directly in front of your mouth. While this seems obvious, it’s very easy to forget if you’re not used to public speaking. Also remember to keep the mic close while speaking. Think of holding it like you’re just about to take a bite of an ice cream cone. The closer it is to your mouth, the happier everyone else in the room is going to be.”

Devin Z. Eaton (he/they), Technical Events Planner

“From a planning perspective, collaboration between you and your vendors is key. These partnerships will ensure your event is something special and unique. My tip is to create a space where everyone feels secure and can share talents and ideas. Whether we meet in-person or online, talking openly and regularly is essential in shaping the vision of your event. Be open to new ideas and unexpected twists. Trust that your vendors know their stuff and can improvise when they need to. Don’t hesitate to discuss your budget and to focus on what matters most during your event. Together, that’s how we create an amazing and memorable event.”

Heidi Christiansen, Technician

“My top tip is to consider pre-recording your event announcements. It guarantees consistent speech and allows for multiple takes. Recording at a professional studio will result in a high-quality product. Another aspect to think about when recording speech is to make sure your speaker is well rested and well hydrated. Having them avoid dairy before they record will also guarantee the best performance and will lessen the amount of time the audio engineer will need to edit the recording.”

Looking for an AV partner who can help answer your questions? Contact us to discuss your event plans and goals.