av provider...vs. Event Producer!!
So, you have an event to plan. Let’s say it’s a fundraiser, and the first item on the list? Save MONEY!! So you go out and get an affordable venue, perhaps the venue has screens, projection & even a PA included in the cost of the room. GREAT!! You think to yourself. Or perhaps it doesn’t so you call an audio-visual company. And whoever happens to answer the phone will put you down for “the usual” or if there’s benefit in it for them will surely try and up sell you.
Let’s break both of these scenarios down and learn how an event producer is different from an audio visual supplier.
In the first scenario you have a space that includes the audio-visual in the room. On the surface this sounds great. No outside vendors, no figuring out how to best set the room, etc. But what seems so blithe could be what hurts attendance, the message, donations & more. Allow me to explain…
Can the room’s screens be moved for better accommodation? Can the look or the feel of the room be changed? If there are technicians on site are they qualified, are they personally vested in the success of your event, or are they trying to get through the end of the week for their paycheck? There are a number of things that I could continue on here but the main point is this.
If several organizations have already used the same space, with the same layout, the same look & feel, with AV that may or may not have ran the way attendees would have expected. How is this going to affect your attendance, will an overwhelming amount of folks want to reserve & donate or will they feel like they were just there last week for another benefit that was just like the one last month?
In the second scenario many of the same things apply. Did you get someone on the phone who just needs to take your order so they can get home on time? Or if they are personally interested is it for the wrong reason, maybe so they can get a bonus? Who is going to set up the equipment and/or run it? Will it be an experienced individual or someone who just got hired last week?
If it’s a large event, that AV supplier might do everything that is “needed” for the event, but the service may start & stop there.
So how does an event producer differ from these scenario’s and take your event from, yes…everything was OK (or not) to a WOW!! That event was really special!
First off a true event producer, as alluded to earlier has a personal vested interest in making your event special. Their reputation and monetary recuperation rely on it. An event producer while making sure that all the audio-visual-lighting pieces are in place. Is going to find ways to incorporate the AVL into scenic elements of the space. They will work with in the challenges of a venue and help you determine the best ways for a stage layout, or ways to enhance an entrance, etc. Event producers are going to help you (or should if they claim to be producers) with pre-production for the event. Music cues, video edits, power-point enhancements, etc. If they aren’t producing it themselves, they will make sure that playback files are playing back correctly. That all cues are in order & even suggest a playback sequence that perhaps make more sense that the client might have overlooked. Event producers are on the lookout for the next piece of technology, meeting trend, and other elements such as props to help add to the wow factor.
This ultimately will help your organization or company retain interest, get the message across and/or increase donations. Which will far outweigh the money you might save having an event in a space that can’t be changed, with standard AV equipment, with staff that just might be having a bad day. Or having an audio-visual supplier send out technicians that will take the easiest route possible, whatever can get them home sooner.
At Shaffer Multimedia I’ve seen this scenario play out again & again, when people in leadership positions take that step to increase the budget slightly from a standard AV set-up. Or hire us as an auxiliary to enhance a space, and assist as the directors of an event the rewards are often ten-fold.