Have you ever tried to balance standing on a ball while holding an umbrella in one hand and rubbing your stomach with the other? Metaphorically speaking, I’m sure many of you event planners can agree and at least say you have felt like you have! Event planning is a formal name in the event world for Professional Juggler.

Managing the many moving parts in an event can often be stressful if certain components have been neglected or forgotten. Specifically, the alignment of the audio-visual setup is one of the most crucial factors on the day of an event. Fortunately, I am here to help you. Below I have compiled a list of how to avoid the top AV mistakes in event planning in chronological order.

#1 AV Mistake: Assuming everyone is ready for the event

How to avoid: Communicate with every person or vendor involved. Two weeks before the event, have a touch point meeting with everyone involved and discuss what is required the day before, of, and after the event. This way everyone will be aware of their own responsibilities in addition to each other’s roles. One week before the event, reach out to each individual and ensure they are fully prepared. It might be helpful to create a document that states each person’s role and send it out to the team as well. Two days before the event, remind each individual of their responsibilities and when they are required. This may seem redundant, but is extremely crucial for a successful event.

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#2 AV Mistake: Assuming in-house AV covers all your needs

How to avoid: Before you sign your life away with an in-house provider, compare costs, features and services with an out-of-house provider. And compare more than one company! Many in-house providers are convenient but can be more costly. Out-of-house providers may be more affordable. They also might be capable of providing custom services specific for your event. For a free quote on an out-of-house provider, contact Endless Entertainment.

#3 AV Mistake: Assuming power is included in your contract

How to avoid: When you are first reviewing the contractual agreement, DO NOT FORGET to ask if power is included. Nearly every contract will include a power clause entailing the details of what amount of power is provided, if any at all. Make sure you have enough power for the equipment required for you event. For more contractual tips, see the Contract Negotiations section in The best process for hiring an AV Company.

#4 AV Mistake: Set-up and tear-down time will be brief

How to avoid: Practice! Take a day to set up the event to fully understand how long it will take. If you do not have the convenience of setting the event up ahead of time, connect with the vendors who have set up your specific requirements in the past. Be sure to incorporate travel time, parking, unloading, organization, plug in and set-up for each vendor. Similarly, practice tearing down. It is not uncommon to need more than one day to set-up and tear-down an event.

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#5 AV Mistake: Not factoring the “rigging points”

How to avoid: A rigging point is a place within the venue that is approved to hang equipment from. First, establish what parts of your event will need to be hung. Determine how many points will be required for each hanging item. Pay extra attention to heavier hanging items and ensure they have enough support. Second, locate where the rigging points are within the event. Pre-plan where each item will be hung to avoid additional costs.

#6 AV Mistake: Not considering the number of projection displays

How to avoid: Understand your audience and the set-up of your event. If your event is smaller-scale, one screen may be sufficient. If your event includes over 500 people, several screens may be necessary for each guest to receive the same experience. Additionally, understand the demographic of your audience. If your guests are older or have impaired vision, you may need more projection displays around the room.

#7 AV Mistake: Not considering the number of audio inputs

How to avoid: Count every audio input that your event will require two weeks before your event. I often add a couple extra’s for additional security. Once you know how many audio inputs you will have, make sure your sound mixer board is compatible. You may need to supply an additional sound mixer board if you have too many inputs.

#8 AV Mistake: Not considering the number of visual inputs

How to avoid: Similar to audio inputs, count every visual input that your event will require. You may need multiple video switchers depending on the amount of inputs you have. Again, it won’t hurt to account for a few extra last minute inputs.

#9 AV Mistake: The visual projections do not fit the screen

How to avoid: Schedule a day to test all projectors, presentations and screens prior to the event. The type of projector, format of the presentation, and screen size all contribute to the outcome of the projection. This will also require advanced communication with the actual presenters. To learn more about quality dimensions refer to the TechSmith Article.

#10 AV Mistake: Trying to cut costs with AV

How to avoid: AV is typically one of the most expensive components of an event. Instead of cutting costs with AV, which may result in a poor event execution, cut costs elsewhere. Consider the costs of decor, props, and furniture. To decrease the costs of these items, you may consider projection mapping. Projection mapping ultimately replaces permanent objects with images. Learn more about projection mapping at projection mapping in events.

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Ultimately, The key to avoiding AV mistakes comes down to organization and clear communication. If you follow the list of how to avoid the top AV mistakes in event planning, your event will be one step closer to perfection. For more information on AV Tips and Tricks, download our AV Planning Checklist.

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Katie Christianson

Author Katie Christianson

Katie has been involved in the events industry for years! When she is not working, she enjoys working out, riding motorcycles and walking her wiener dog, Holly. She is passionate about traveling and learning about new cultures and hopes to experience living in many different countries. Katie values a hard work ethic, a light-hearted personality and a good pun.

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