One of the reasons why you should include AV in your early event planning is to be sure your audiovisual planner is present for the event venue site visit. In addition to learning about your vision for the space, your AV planner will also note and evaluate aspects of the venue that have specific implications for audiovisual set-up and management. If you are planning a hybrid event, including your AV planner in the site visit is especially important.
A site visit provides the opportunity to solve issues before they become problems. It is also a time to think creatively about the atmosphere of the event. What are the unique architectural details that lighting can enhance? What colors are already present in the venue that can be brought into the theme of the event? Including your AV planner in the site visit gives them a chance to address concerns and brainstorm creative ideas with your event team. If the venue is new to you and your AV company has worked in there before, your AV planner will be able to offer great advice based on their experience in that space.
Width by Height and More
The dimensions of your event space have a direct impact on audiovisual production. Your AV planner will check the size of the room(s) and compare those measurements to the floorplans.
- The size of the space and planned locations for tables and seating impact the number and placement of audio speakers.
- The ceiling height and the depth of the room determine the size of screens, as well as lighting and projection choices.
- The location of doorways and other access points affect the location of the tech table and where cables are run.
- The locations of electrical outlets will also be noted. While there aren’t specific adjustments to be made because of power placement, knowing the locations in advance improves set-up efficiency.
- Internet connectivity is critical if you will live stream your event. Your AV planner will evaluate availability, access, and speed of the internet at the event site.
A site visit is a great opportunity to discuss who will be involved in the program and how they will access the stage. Will your emcee remain on the stage or will they walk to guests’ tables during the event?
Use the site visit to review all of the rooms you will use for the event. Where will the registration area be located? Will you use a foyer for a reception? In which areas do you need lighting and sound?
Technical event production requires the skilled use of carefully selected, professional audiovisual equipment — which is why you’re hiring an AV production company. Your AV planner will want to evaluate any in-house AV equipment such as built-in screens, rigging points, and access to house lighting.
Load-In and Parking
Ideally, venues have easy-to-access loading docks and direct pathways to event rooms. That’s not always the case. Being able to assess load-in restrictions during the event venue site visit is a valuable time-saver during set up. The availability and size of parking spaces by the loading dock affects load-in plans and coordination. It’s helpful to know how large a truck can access the loading dock and if it can be parked nearby until load out. Your AV planner will also review the size of the elevator and note special areas of the venue where care needs to be taken when moving cases and equipment in and out.
Most Importantly, Communication
Inviting your AV planner to join your event team on the venue site visit increases collaboration and communication among everyone involved. Your AV planner will be able to connect directly with the venue manager and ask audiovisual-specific questions without you having to be the go-between. You have more than enough other event details to plan.
Originally published March 2020. Updated September 2022. Updated January 14, 2023; Updated November 24, 2023.