If you’ve come to this blog looking how to increase your AV budget you are in the right place! There are many reasons you might feel you need to increase your AV budget. Maybe it’s to improve the quality of your staging, lighting or sound. Or perhaps you want to add new exciting technology to your event. Finally, you might be tired of settling on your current provider and want a more professional AV Company. All these reasons seem logical to you, but your boss isn’t open to the idea of increasing the AV Budget.

While this can make you want to sound the alarm or give up don’t!  Maybe they don’t understand why you need to increase your AV budget, or maybe they don’t think it’s important at all. Regardless of their reasoning it can put you in a tough position and lead to a lot of frustration. As an AV Company, we have seen this situation occur and we know how to help! This article will help you navigate these sometimes difficult conversations! Without further delay, we’ve addressed the most common reasons for increasing your AV budget and the best strategies to successfully get the budget increase you need! Let’s get started! 

 

Common Reasons You Need to Increase Your AV Budget

There are a few common reasons we as an AV company see over and over again when it comes to increasing your event AV budget. Usually the need comes when you are looking to improve the over all experience of your event, or have a existing issue you need to solve. While there are many reasons and variables we find the three reasons below the most common.

Looking to Bring in a better AV company but they are more expensive

This is a very common reason for needing an increase in your budget. You might feel like your AV is a bit lackluster and you are missing a true wow-factor at your event. Despite your best efforts to explain your vision your current AV provider always seems to just miss the mark. Or, maybe their designs are great but the service is slow and the customer experience is lacking. Either way, they just aren’t what you need and you know you need to elevate to a better AV company for the success of your event. You also know when you hire an AV Company that is more professional it will lead to an increase in budget, an increase you simply don’t have approval for. 

To tackle this there are a few major factors to remember. First, your new AV company should be your partner and willing to help you sell them. Ask your new AV company to provide actionable advice for why they are a better fit for your event. For example, perhaps the new AV company is charging more for labor, it would be easy for a decision-maker to only see the price increase.

But if you had your AV company at the meeting and they explained the reasoning decision-makers might not only be open to it but excited. Maybe labor increased because instead of hiring general stagehands they hire professionally trained engineers for lighting and audio. By using the best people available for the event you will have a much more seamless experience and better AV. Or maybe the labor is higher because the previous company has understaffed your event and having more hands on deck will allow for a better experience. Allow your new AV company to come in and explain why the price is higher and help sell the increase to decision-makers. If the reasoning makes sense it will be much easier to get approval. 

You want New Technology, therefore, need to increase your AV Budget

Event professionals are highly aware of event trends and advancements in technology. We all love to have the latest and greatest at our event. New tech often leads to a buzz and memorable event experiences. Before we go on, it’s easy to get carried away with new tech so we suggest always going back to the purpose of your event. Why are you wanting to use the tech? Is it to expand the brand? To Enhance audience engagement? For the “wow” factor? Knowing why you would like to implement new technology will help further your case to increase your event AV budget. Now that you have your reason it’s time to build your case. Find data that will support your cause. Ask your AV company for existing case studies on how the technology you would like to use has been successfully implemented at similar events.

Now it’s time to present the case studies and examples of events that reflect what you want to do to your decision-makers. Take this idea a step further and ask the AV company to join the meeting with your decision-makers to help answer questions and persuade them. They have all the knowledge needed to sell the tech. This can help tremendously in increasing your AV budget and helping your boss see why it is important.  Allowing decision-makers to see real-life success stories of the technology you want in use will help persuade them to increase the budget and see your vision. AV is complicated and when reading a quote it’s easy to just look at the bottom line. Helping decision-makers visualize why the tech is important and providing concrete evidence will help you get the “yes” and increase your event AV budget!

You want to add an annual margin so you aren’t always asking for an increase

This might seem like a self-serving reason on the list but hear us out! Year after year the expectations for your event will rise. Normally the cost of business does as well. Perhaps because of a change in location, cost increase at a venue, or union labor. You prep for budget increased in hotel costs, why don’t you prepare for AV to go up as well? As an AV company we don’t care if your budget increases year-after-year, we can accommodate the budget you have but we hate to see a client fail to increase their budget for the rising cost of business and not get exactly what they wanted for their event. 

You may not even need to tap into your budget increase, and if that is the case great! Save it! You can allocate that money to something else or add it to the reserves. Then down the road, when something feels stale you will have money available for a revamp. Adding an annual margin is a smart move. Furthermore, because it is a standard business practice to add an annual margin and buffer it should be an easy approval and simple way increase in your AV budget 

Tips to Increase Your AV Budget 

If your reason you need an increase in your av budget doesn’t fall into the common categories above fear not! Here are three additional ways you can negotiate and get approval on a bigger budget. 

Play with Ego 

It’s no secret people like to look good in their job. Playing into your bosses or decision-makers’ ego can be a good tactic to increase your AV Budget. Make sure to explain how the event will make them and the company look good. How people will be talking about it long after the event. Afterall exceptional AV and production at their events will make them look good for their bosses, stakeholders, and audience. 

Show decision-makers why you need to increase your av budget the way they learn 

When you look at a AV quote it can be very hard to imagine what that quote will look like when it’s all put together at your event. Leverage the way they learn and show them how and why this increase in budget will add value to the event in the way they best take in information.

Visual Learner

Visual learners prefer to observe and see things. It allows them to understand the topic better if they can see it. If your decision-maker is a visual learner adding visual aids to your case is a great way to help them understand why you are seeking an increase in your av budget. Try adding in pictures and vision boards to completely eliminate mystery. This is especially true if ask your AV Company to put together a CAD design for your event, this visual rendering will show exactly how your event will look and add excitement.

Auditory Learner

Auditory learners absorb information better when they hear it. Listening and speaking are how they learn. They would rather listen than read. If your decision-maker is more of an auditory learning, ask your AV company to hop on a call with them. Your AV company can explain what they are putting into the event and why you need to increase your AV budget. By having a call an auditory learner can better understand your need to increase your event AV budget. A call gives them the opportunity to hear the value and ask questions. 

Reading and Writing Learners

Wait isn’t this what a visual learner is? Not exactly. When explaining the four learning types, Rasmussen College explains, “there is some overlap with visual learning, these types of learners are drawn to expression through writing, reading articles on the internet, writing in diaries, looking up words in the dictionary and searching the internet for just about everything.” If your decision-maker is a reading/writing learner the best way to argue your case is to present educational articles about what you need an increase for. 

For example, if you are looking to increase your budget and add projection mapping but your boss has no idea what that is and why you need the money, you could send over a guide with everything they need to know about projection mapping at events. A guide will allow this type of learner the opportunity to research and learn about what you need which will help them understand why you are asking to increase your AV budget. Always ask your AV company if they have resources such as blogs and e-books on the area you are looking to improve whether it’s lighting, staging or beyond to support your budget increase! 

Use the resources you already have to your advantage 

This seems obvious, but we see planners fail to do this all the time. You will have a lot harder time getting your budget increased doing it solely by yourself. When you take a quote that you may not even understand as well as you hope and pitch it yourself it can fall flat. We’ve said it before, we will say it again your AV Company should be your team member. Lean on them, have them help you pitch the ideas. Invite them to a meeting with your decision-maker and allow them to showcase their expertise and explain why the cost is what it is. Ask your av company if they have any articles or videos that could help explain your need better. If you try to sell it yourself you are missing an opportunity to have experts advocate your ideas. That’s a big opportunity missed! 

Cut out the Back and Forth 

Putting the AV company in front of the decision-makers saves time and increases your chances of a successful increase. Having the AV company and decision-maker speak directly can eliminate telephone tag and answer their questions right away. Not only does this help your case, it SAVES you time.  

Explain the Need for a budget increase

Don’t assume that everyone knows of your event needs. Rather than assume make it clear. Let decision-makers know why it is you need to increase your AV budget and what it will be allocated towards. Better yet if you can, use data to back it up. Perhaps you polled attendees from that last event and 78% felt the entertainment portion was lack-luster. Let the decision-makers know you will be using the increase in budget to bring in better talent and a more exciting lighting show. Or maybe 90% of attendees had a hard time seeing the small projection screen in the back. Let them know your new budget increase will allow for a triple-widescreen with a better projector that can be easily seen by everyone. This would improve the attendee experience solving the issue attendees had with your event. 

Conclusion – How to increase your AV budget

Now you have our best tips for negotiating an increase in AV budget. Whether you are looking to add new technology to your event or switch to a better company, you will be well prepared when asking for increases with decision-makers. Always remember your AV company is part of your team. They should be more than willing to help you make your case! Furthermore, you can take what you have learned above and apply it to all aspects of events. Have you ever needed to make the case to increase your AV budget? We want to hear share your tips with us below! 

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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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