So, you decided to organize an event. You’ve gone through the event planning checklist and you’ve taken care of everything from marketing and promotions to reservations. That’s the easy part! Many planners are overwhelmed by the AV aspect of their events, though, as it can seem nearly impossible to navigate the audiovisual jungle, let alone manage an AV team. As daunting as it may seem, there is no way around hiring audio professionals if you’re aiming for success.
If you’ve been wondering whether you need an audio professional at your event, the answer is yes. After all, the quality of the event often relies heavily on the quality of the sound. They have the power to take your event to the next level. What’s even more important, they constantly monitor everything to make sure your event doesn’t turn into an earsplitting disaster.
Now that we can agree that audio engineers are an essential piece in the final puzzle that is your event, it’s time to look into three major reasons for hiring them and their role at in-person, virtual, and hybrid events.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated on April 13th, 2021 for clarity purposes.
The size of your event heavily impacts the ease with which your on-stage acts react with your audience. The larger the event, the larger the delay from the public address system (PA, in short) back to the onstage act’s ears. If you have a large event and your speakers are far away from the stage, then by the time sound gets to the performer’s ears, they will hear the audio delayed from when it was produced in the microphone. For this reason, you will always see a PA wedge in the front of the stage to give the performer a shorter distance to monitor what is coming from the stage.
In addition, most large events include “in-ear monitors”. These devices are inside the ears of the onstage performers to give them specialized mixes. For example, drummers will typically want a heavy mix of bass guitar and metronome in their ear to stay with the tempo. With all of these different playback speakers, you need professionals who understand the science and physics of the way music travels and the way the human ear reacts to that stimulus. You won’t even notice that this is going on when professionals are at the helm. Sound engineers might be nearly invisible to the attendees, but they are arguably just as important as the performers.
The Recording Of The Event As A Marketing Tool
It’s no secret that one of the biggest event marketing weapon is video. You can promote your company with a recording of your event and reproduce those recordings. But what good is that video without amazing audio? Many experienced audio professionals will tell you that while the audience might excuse simple mishaps in video, they will never forgive the slightest inconsistencies in audio.
Just think about the last event video you watched on YouTube or the last live broadcast you watched on your favorite TV station. It is immediately disturbing to the viewing audience when they can’t hear the performer properly. If you are going to record your live event for future reproduction, it’s essential to employ a dedicated audio feed, and take that recorded audio and have it optimized in post-production. Many times there are in timing inconsistencies and noise, so edits need to be made. A dedicated professional in audio editing techniques is essential to make your production of the highest professional quality.
The last thing you want is to have your event cancelled. You lose time and money, both of which we never have enough of to begin with. Be it a concert, theatrical show, or sports event – at large in-person events, you will need to purchase a permit. That permit is going to cover certain guidelines and at its most basic level, will afford use of the venue for a given time frame. You will be required to abide by certain rules and regulations. Your professional audio team will help monitor noise levels throughout the event to ensure you are staying within those guidelines, and to make sure you don’t exceed your time allotment for those levels. In most cases, noise levels vary by area and time of the day. By consulting your audio team, you will be able to better schedule your event so that your audience gets the best experience possible.
What About Virtual & Hybrid Events?
It’s easy to grasp why every event needs audio professionals at major in-person events, such as concerts. But what about virtual and hybrid events? It all depends on what scale of an event we are talking about. If you’re organizing a smaller scale webinar, you don’t necessarily need a mastermind behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly. But you do need to educate yourself on the best speaker kits!
Throwing the perfect virtual or hybrid event of a larger scale is a whole other thing. It’s nothing short of an art form! An in-room AV production team is one of the most important elements of livestreaming. They set up audio feeds and test the equipment before the event begins.
In Conclusion: Audio Professionals Are Key To A Successful Event!
Whether you’re organizing an in-person event or you’re planning a hybrid event, you will need audio professionals at your event to ensure everything runs seamlessly. We can all agree that nothing ruins the energy of an event faster than poor sound!
If finding out that audio professionals at events are a must is bad news for you, don’t despair. There are several ways you can save money on the AV team. The last thing you want to do is settle on your AV company just because you don’t want to put yourself through the process of finding the best AV production company out there. Luckily, Endless Events is here to help. We can help you compare AV quotes, explain what goes into the price, and tell you just how far your money can go.
About the Author: Ivan Walker is a classically trained bassist and Audio Mix Engineer.