Welcome to the second edition of the AV Audi today we are back at it and breaking down AV quotest! As you know, analyzing AV quotes can be a pretty stressful job. So here at Endless, we want to help you make this task as seamless as possible. We are breaking down AV quotes live and walking you through each step, so you can be better educated on how everything works.
We’re very much aware of how confusing everything may seem at first. It’s completely normal if you don’t understand every single term you come across, or what certain things mean. But worry no more! Will Curran and Andrew Latimer of Endless Events are breaking down AV quotes so you can know more about how to get the best value for your money, what you should look for, and how you can better dissect an AV quote. Jump right in – it’s show time!
AV Audit: Core Information
First things first, the core information about your event needs to be clearly stated. Many aspects of your quotes will be based on the location and date of your event. So, before anything else, make sure the whens and the wheres are there, and be as specific as possible! The city, the venue, the rooms, everything should be clear as water.
Loss Damage Waiver
This might be one of the terms you aren’t familiar with. Basically, loss damage waiver is kind of an insurance policy they’re giving you. This might be hidden in the Terms and Conditions section. So, make sure you clarify this, so you don’t end up sitting on a huge bill from material that’s been damaged. Especially if you’re the end client, you’re bound to have insurance that should cover this. Different companies will call it different things, but make sure it’s there.
Breaking Down AV Quotes: The Meat & The Bones
It’s a regular policy that nowadays you won’t be charged for WiFi. This, of course, is amazing. But as we’ve covered in the last AV audit, pay very close attention to this. First things first, clarify if it’s 100% legit you won’t be charged the 30K or more for the Internet. Secondly, take a better look at the WiFi description. Is the bandwidth enough for what you’re planning to do in your event?
Run some tests, do your homework. How many devices will be involved? Do you need more? The last thing you want is to have an event where the connection is terrible. Nobody wins in this scenario! Sometimes what is cheap might turn out to be quite expensive in the end, even the unit of measurement is the success of your event.
Laying Out The Nitty Gritty
This particular quote does a very good job of specifying. Looking at the first room, for example, we get to see the duration, and not only the quantity of each piece of equipment, but also why it’s there. X microphones will be here and Y over there, and Z has these specific characteristics.
Make sure you count on things that might pop up that aren’t laid out in the quote. For example, you might need to switch from an analog mixer to a digital mixer for better sound quality. At the end of the day, digital has better quality for a lower price, so beware of this!
On another note, if you’re setting up a teleconference, people will have a dial-in number. This means that you need a phone line. if you want to stay away from this old-school kind of thing, you can consider something different. Zoom or Skype are great options, but then again, pay attention to the WiFi capacity of the venue.
You might be a little surprised when you see how much your paying technicians. If it’s a three-hour event, why are you being charged for ten hours? Well, remember that operating equipment involves more than just being there when the event starts. They usually have to be at the venue at 5 AM to set up everything and then load out. So, they will be using those ten hours!
It’s quite tempting to cut on labor. Is it possible to have only one technician to operate everything? Sure, but they can also get themselves into a lot of trouble. When it comes to labor, less isn’t more. If anything happens and there’s only one person who can deal with it, but has a thousand other things to deal with, it might take a sour turn.
Consider having a manager – the center point of contact who knows where the problems are, where they are, and assigns the right people to solve it. Someone who will make everyone’s lives easier is really beneficial. Additionally, consider having a dedicated team for each room if the size is considerable. With wireless mics, video-switching, multiple sources of laptops, it’s recommendable that you have a specific team.
Breaking Down AV Quotes: Down To The Nerdy
In The Main Room – Audio
It’s probably a given that you’ll have a main room in your event. This is where the most important stuff will go down! If you’re considering doing a Q&A, check out Catchbox’s throwable microphone. We recommend it over the usual hand-held one because it makes things a lot more dynamic. Also, if there are no microphone stands, beware: you will be charged for labor since you need people to hand the microphones around.
In addition to this, unless your panel consists only of podium speakers, consider a lavalier microphone. Will always recommends that you have an extra microphone, so you don’t have to rush. Imagine having to run to the speaker who just finished, rip out his mic, and immediately tape it to the next speaker. Too much stress, and paves the way for unnecessary mistakes. Make transitions seamless!
In The Main Room – Video
Something you will want to invest a little more money in is a good switcher. This will make the presentations a lot more natural, and keep you from having those awkward pauses in-between. Again, it’s a smaller extra cost that ensure your event is successful and free of small, preventable flaws.
Ask for the company’s input on the projector. For this quote in particular, we see it’s very low quality, non-HD equipment. This can clash easily with whatever it is you’re planning on plugging in during your event, so be careful and make sure to ask. Also, take the light into consideration. This quote presents us with a 5500 Lumen, which is not enough. Especially considering the quality of the projectors! In this case, best thing to do is bring it up to 7000, so everyone can clearly see what’s being presented.
This quote lacks a clicker (or slide advancer, if you want to get nerdy). You can get them for extremely cheap and, again, it makes things so much easier! Instead of having someone passing the slides on the computer, you can just go ahead and click. You even have some with timers, and control more than one computer at once!
Other Things To Keep In Mind
This quote doesn’t lay down power charges. This can mean there’s a separate vendor that we don’t have access to, but it’s still an expense. Just because it isn’t there, doesn’t mean it won’t exist!
Always keep in mind when comparing your quotes, ask about the days. Some people will just have the same set up twice, and say the number of days. This quote, however, breaks by day, by day, by day. If you have a quote with missing items, check with your vendor, and make sure they have a logistical plan to move equipment from one room to the other.
Other things that can be missing: in this particular quote, there is no lighting accounted for. It’s recommendable to have a few lights to point towards the stage – 2 to 4 leko lights or standard theatrical lights, some pipes in the back of the room, uplights look really great as well (just make sure you add drapes!).
Breaking Down AV Quotes: Conclusion
All in all, the most important thing is communication. Over-communicate your vision, not just your needs to all your vendors and partners. Do your homework, ask all the questions you want, bring someone along who understands more about the tech part than you do. They can help you break down AV quotes. It’s all about making sure your event goes as smoothly as possible.
We hope you enjoyed another edition of the AV audit! Remember, here at Endless we want to help, so if you have any questions or doubts, drop them on the comment section below!