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Are you settling on your audio visual company for your event? It’s easy to fall into doing the same thing over and over again when planning events. You’re so busy if it’s not broke why fix it? Soon enough you find yourself complacent not really thinking about why you’re hiring vendors and choosing the same ones over and over. We know when you find a great vendor you want to stick with them!

In fact, many of our clients sign multiple-year contracts and use us for their AV needs year after year. But! You want to make sure you are still happy with the vendor’s services and getting what you deserve. You want to use your AV company again because you love working with them not because it seems easier to stick with them.  So are you settling on your audiovisual company? Maybe, maybe not. You might have never thought about it, we listed some signs you might be settling below. If these ring true it might be time for a fresh start.

You don’t have time to find someone else.

We get it event planners are some of the busiest people out there! You might already know you don’t have the best audio visual company but you don’t have the time to find anyone better. You’re constantly juggling a million things, and jetting off to the next event. It’s no wonder that event planners have one of the most stressful jobs. But, did you ever stop and think that your AV company might be causing you stress? 

Working with the right audio visual company can save you a lot of time and headaches. If you have ever gone back and forth with your AV company about your event, never really on the same page only to get your quote weeks later you know this can be a real pain. By the time they email you back you have made changes to your event and need to start the process all over again. That is a HUGE waste of time. If that story sounds familiar to you, then it’s time to find a new AV company! 

At Endless we save our clients time by eliminating the majority of emails, instead of emailing back and forth, we have a one-hour meeting upfront. We ask all the critical questions about your event right then, you also get to ask us questions on the call getting your much-needed answers immediately. We have a full conversation and leave no detail unturned. 

Because we get all the information upfront we are able to knock out the rest of the quoting process accurately without checking in over and over for more information. Surprisingly, you will find yourself spending less time with repetitive emails, and not having to redo anything because communications weren’t clear. You will find you often get your AV quotes faster and have an accurate quote from the start because all the details were covered from the get-go. 

You have a great relationship with your current audio visual company.

Wait… isn’t this a good thing? Don’t you want to have a great relationship with your AV provider? Yes, you do! This isn’t necessarily a sign of settling but it’s always good to check and make sure the relationship and service you are getting are as good as you think. 

It’s important to trust your audio visual company but you should also do your own independent research to verify what they are saying. Even in the best relationships sometimes we fall complacent and settle for less than ideal situations. It’s good to shop around and see what’s out there. Even if you still stick with your company, you will get new ideas and perspectives on your event.

You also want to find a backup option should your go-to company be booked or you have an event too small or too big for their capabilities. This way you’re not left scrambling at the last minute to find someone great. If nothing else you have a newfound appreciation for your audio visual company and will be sure not to take them for granted! 

Your audio visual company knows your event better than you.

You’ve used your AV company forever, they do your event every year. You never have to talk about your event, they know all the nuances and inner workings. Maybe they even know it better than you. For this reason, you don’t want to go through the difficulty of switching companies. You’re comfortable. This makes sense but your AV company knowing your event better than you is a problem. 

When you rely too heavily on your audio visual company, you put your event at risk of the AV team and falling stagnant on design and more. Without even knowing you might be settling for less than your event deserves. To avoid this pitfall by always staying fresh on AV trends, event trends, and communicate your vision and goals clearly. You are the captain of your ship and the AV company should support your vision not take the drivers wheel. If you feel like your AV company isn’t empowering you to do so, or suggesting you don’t know what is best for your event then it might be time to switch. 

You don’t know enough about AV to find someone better. 

AV can be overwhelming. It can be puzzling. Even if you aren’t over the moon for your current supplier, you might feel inclined to stay with your audio visual company because AV is confusing. This is a dangerous mistake!

Instead, empower yourself and learn about event AV. Endless Events started out as an event planning company when we transitioned to AV and Production we took everything we learned from producing events and hiring AV & production companies and applied it to building an AV company that doesn’t suck. Because we know from experience AV can be hard to understand we created several guides to help empower planners to make the best choices for their event AV. If you are interested in learning more about AV we suggest you start with the basics, learn the lingo with our guide to AV Terms, from there you can go on to learn about the biggest AV mistakes and beyond! 

You were told by your venue you had to use their in-house provider. 

This is a common misconception about audio visual companies. You find a venue, and they tell you that you need to use the in-house AV, and you believe them. However, as long as you have not signed a contract yet you most likely don’t have to! Everything is negotiable UNTIL you sign a contract. This is why we recommend hiring your audio visual company early before you pick a venue. They will be able to help you negotiate with the venue so that you can use any AV company you want and avoid unnecessary fees. In fact, we think this is very important to negotiate and we created a tool to help you navigate through this process. Check out our guide on how to remove AV restrictions and be well on your way! 

You only chose them because they were the #1 result on Google for “audio visual company”.

It’s not a bad thing to pick the number one result on google. But it shouldn’t be your only reason. There is a lot to go into ranking on google. However, not much of it has to do with actual AV skills. More likely the audio visual company has a killer marketing team or is paying for ads that will help them stay on the top. It’s a good indicator when you see a company in the top results but make sure to vet them before hiring. 

There are some best practices to follow when hiring an AV company. Ask to see similar events to the one you are producing, about their company culture, for references and more. Do your homework, google search results are a good sign but are not the end all be all. 

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You waited too long to book your audio visual company and you had no other options. 

We mentioned this early, but it’s worth repeating. If you want the best for your event, your AV company should be one of the first vendors you hire. Good AV companies book up quickly. We recommend hiring your AV company before you even sign your venue contract. A good AV company will help you determine if prospective venues fit your needs and vision. They will look at the venue in ways you might not be considering like power, ceiling heights, rigging points and beyond. Your audio visual company will also help negotiate out any unnecessary venue fees. This can save you and your budget in the long run. If you wait too long though you might be forced to only use whatever company is not booked for your date, not the company that best fits your needs. 

You’ve had issues trying any new AV companies in the past.

Trying new things can be scary. Especially new things that can make or break your event, and potentially put your reputation at risk. And if you’ve tried a new company in the past only for you to end up disappointed this can be a really hard obstacle to overcome. You might feel safer to settle on what is ok versus risking finding a team that would be great. Push through your fear. Don’t let the past limit your future! 

When trying new audiovisual companies be sure to research the company thoroughly. If you do and ask the right questions you will be able to get a great idea of if an AV company will be a good fit for you and your event. 

You tell them your budget without sharing your vision and goals… and they don’t ask for more.

If you give an AV company your event budget and they magically throw together a quote that perfectly matches without asking about your vision and goals you might have a problem. An AV company that is always matching your budget but not asking for a lot of details may just be making your quote match the budget to get the job, not having your best interest in mind.

If your quote always comes back on budget without asking for details this is cause for alarm. You could have more expensive equipment you really don’t need for your event. Or the quote could be missing crucial pieces. To save they may have skipped equipment backups or chose a dimmer projector than you really need. The lower lumen projector would save you money but make it hard for anyone to see presentations because it wasn’t bright enough resulting in a less than engaging experience. An AV company only asking you what the bottom line is might just be assuming whatever they put on is good enough as long as it matches your budget. 

Your AV company provides you quotes without explaining any of the details.

Does your current AV supplier send you quotes without explaining any of the details? Or do they get mad when you ask? If so, it is time to WALK AWAY. One more time for the people in the back, walk away! Your audiovisual company should walk you through your quote line-by-line. It’s in your best interest to always do a quote walk-through. This is the best way to know exactly what you are getting.

During your quote walkthrough ask questions when you don’t understand why an item is on the quote or anything doesn’t make sense. Every single item in AV can be described simply in layman’s terms. If something is confusing and they won’t explain what it means that is your sign to walk away. 

You just stick with the same old same old every year. 

If it’s not broke don’t fix it right? Well, not so much when it comes to event AV. Technology advances quickly and the same rings true for AV. You wouldn’t want to have a razr phone now, would you? No, because the technology is outdated and it wouldn’t be helpful to you in today’s world. Instead, you would want a phone that is the most advanced and helpful to you like the latest iPhone 11 Pro or the Samsung Fold. This same idea applies to AV. 

Your audio visual company should be helping you! They should be aiming to make sure your event is current with the best technology for your needs. If not you could be missing opportunities to make your event memorable and engaging event by sticking with the same old boring pipe and drape up and planting down a podium (PS. just don’t even use a podium). 

Should I Stay or Should I Go? 

If you are staying with your audio visual company because you truly love the partnership you have, great! Stay with them, together you can keep up on the latest trends and work to create your next best event. But! If any of these signs rang true to you today, it’s time to shop around. Go out and get some quotes from new AV companies! See what is out there and make sure you aren’t missing out. Maybe the best is yet to come! Do you see a lot of people settling on their AV company? Or any particular vendors in general? Do you like to change up your vendors or stay with the tried and true? Reach out and let us know! 

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Kaitlin Colston

Author Kaitlin Colston

Kaitlin Colston is the Content Alchemist at Endless Events — one of the leading publications in the events industry. With a passion for helping others and learning, she focuses on empowering eventprofs through content by sharing her knowledge gained from over 10 years in the events and marketing space.

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