What Makes A Good Corporate AV Company?

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Published: 29th October 2012
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A Corporate AV Company is typically one which provides Audio and Visual services to companies or corporations who are involved in meetings, conventions, training seminars, trade shows, and more.

There are many factors which would lead someone to describe an AV provider as a “good” Corporate AV Company. Several points to consider when searching for a Corporate AV Company is locating one that:

a) ANSWERS THE PHONE rather than lets it go to voice mail. This might seem like a no-brainer but it is surprising how many AV companies are under-staffed and therefore aren’t able to answer or return your call promptly.
b) SPEAKS IN COMMON / LAYMAN’S TERMS. A good AV provider will walk you through the process of deciding what equipment best fits your particular scenario without making you feel uneducated about AV equipment in general. Be careful of the guy who starts quoting speaker or microphone model names and numbers.
c) HAS A TRACK RECORD OF PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD. A Corporate AV Company has a very different focus when providing audio for a round-table discussion with table top microphones, for example, than a Live Sound Company providing sound for a touring rock band. The Corporate AV Company places a higher value and emphasis on clean and un-cluttered presentations, while assuring their staff is dressed for a corporate setting.
d) IS FLEXIBLE WHEN CHANGES OCCUR. Every corporate event with which I’ve been associated, had its own special circumstances requiring last minute adjustments to equipment or schedules. This should not be viewed as difficult or unreasonable by your AV provider. A good Corporate AV Company should be ready to meet new challenges without hesitation.

The next factor when considering an AV company is cost. I’ve found some venues to be “outside vendor friendly” and know of others who insist upon, and in fact make it virtually impossible to bring in your own outside AV providers. So let’s take a quick look at in-house AV staff versus independent AV companies.

The in-house AV staff often view their corporate client as an income stream rather than a group of people who need help producing their event. Every item they are asked to provide is charged for. Every extra minute spent on-site will be billed. And it is common for in-house AV companies to upgrade even the smallest requested item to its most expensive counterpart, deeming it a necessity.

Conversely, an outside Corporate AV Company will commonly go the extra mile to provide manpower and extra equipment to their clients, normally at a fraction of the cost, just to assure the event runs smoothly. Why? Because every event they produce is their calling card for future work. Repeat clients and referrals are absolutely KEY to the success and growth of their business. So it is important for them to leave you with the feeling that you got the best deal possible, both with respect to cost and customer service.

To hinder your efforts to bring in an outside AV provider many venues introduce extra FEES and CHARGES for using an outside service. These fees may include a “load-in and load-out” Supervisor charge, an “electrical hook-up” fee, a “Riggers” fee, and/or many other costs that appear only when an outside vendor brings in AV equipment.

When faced with the option of using in-house AV, or an outside company, look carefully for hidden costs before making your final decision. A good Corporate AV Company will clearly list all products, rentals and services requested and approved.

Finally, before making your decision be certain you have explained exactly what is expected of the AV company, then choose the one that makes you feel confident they can deliver all equipment and services requested, honestly, reasonably priced and with professionalism.

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