October 27, 2014
Think back to the last event you attended, Auction? Conference? Concert? Fundraiser?? Did you have to watch a blue “No Signal” screen for 5 minutes while people ran around trying to fix it? What about a simple powerpoint presentation where the clicker wouldn’t advance the slides? Speaker feedback.. that terrible loud screeching noise? I’m sure you have encountered at least one, if not all of these issues and can now recall those times.
These type of moments often tend to cheapen an event, causing guests to become annoyed, frustrated or even distract them completely from the topic at hand. You may lose valuable audience attention, followers or even money. Learn how to spend a little extra money to earn a lot more!
Here are a few suggestions to help make your next event a success:
- Set Up Your Equipment Well Before Your Event
Set up any equipment at least a few hours before your event is scheduled to start, or even the night before if possible! If you wait until the last minute, what are you going to do when you realize you have a MAC and not a PC and now need an entirely different cable to make everything work? If you’re doing it all on your own and haven’t given yourself time to prepare, it will be very obvious to your audience.
- Test All Equipment Beforehand
When I say test your equipment I don’t just mean to make sure that all of the cables are plugged in properly, I mean make sure the video runs. What if you have the projector and screen set up and have only played the first 2 minutes of the video, and two minutes into your big presentation or screening the video cuts out? If possible, run through the entire production before the event actually starts. This includes letting the equipment rest and then testing a second time. Maybe you didn’t realize that the projector is going to fall asleep and need 5 minutes to wake up. Be Prepared!
- Have Extra Batteries/Cables/Power Strips etc.
So you have completed steps one and two, everything works, you have spent an hour testing it all and feel completely prepared. How silly are you going to feel when you’re in the middle of your presentation slide show and the clicker starts to run out of power. The hundreds of dollars you spent on the projector, screen, cables and computer.. The countless hours putting together the slides.. and now you look less prepared because of a couple AA batteries. Have a simple emergency kit!
- Know Your Event Venue/Space
Did you know that you will need an entirely different set up for your sound system if you are in a gymnasium than you will if you’re in a carpeted auditorium? Sound reacts differently based on the size of the venue, as well as the type of ground and walls that you are working with. This will determine what type of speakers you need, how many and where you place them. Also, what if your ideal location for your staging is on the North side of the venue and you don’t realize until day of that there are no power outlets there. If you only got 50 feet of cable, you probably are going to have to change your entire set up at the last minute.
Although I completely understand the “I can do it myself” mentality, sometimes it is worth hiring professionals. I can absolutely paint my own house, it will be less expensive, it might not even look terrible, but it will still be obvious it wasn’t done by a professional. The same can be said for renting and setting up the audiovisual equipment for your next event. On the short end, it will save you the headache and time spent trying to make sure all of the details are correct. On the long end, you could save valuable money and resources. If you can’t screen the movie or show the auction items to bid on at your event, you could lose money. At a conference, you could lost the attention of your entire audience if your microphone is continually emitting feedback or you can’t advance your slides.
You may read all of this and still think you are 100% capable of handling all of your event needs, which is great! But it still never hurts to give the professionals a call. We at LCS will always provide free advice, suggestions and a quote with all of the materials we think you need based on your venue. At lease that will give you a little peace of mind and won’t cost you a penny.