The Next Great Idea May Come From an Outsider
As A/V professionals we correspond and work alongside event planners on a daily basis. In addition we work alongside the end user/client. There are times, during an event when a client will suggest a better way to do our job. In all honesty, during some of those times I have picked up a tip or two on a better way. Having so said, this article is not to discount the planner or client but to remind everyone to stay open to new ideas and suggestions. Many times a new and efficient discovery is made from a non-audio-visual pro. This is true for all .
Now that that is out of the way lets discuss 5 situations and how to handle them. Below are examples from me and my colleagues’ experiences; questions or concerns, posed during the execution and preparation of an event.
1. No Thanks, I do not need a microphone.
I have heard this line from presenters in front of audiences as large as 100 people. I always recommend a microphone and sound system for audiences as small as 20-25 people. In small groups the microphone and speakers are required only to amplify the presenter’s voice and should not be used to blow out an audience’s eardrums.
Response: The microphone is necessary for attendees seated closer to the rear. Even though your voice is powerful, often there is someone trapped between or near other people who may be holding private conversations at a low volume but loud enough to prevent them from hearing your presentation.
2. I forgot to mention I have videos in my PowerPoint, can we play them?
Hear ye, hear ye…Presenters far and wide, do not keep vital information such as playing videos in the PowerPoint or videos at all, from your event planner. In addition to the planner, ensure this information trickles down to the audio visual provider, prior to event day. When this information flows efficiently it also means we can prepare for the now known video resolutions and match appropriate projectors for the best video quality, on screen.
Response: Of course we can but it is always helpful to have this information ahead of time so we can have all the equipment prepared and up and running, before you arrive.
3. It was not on the floor plan but can the laptop live on the podium?
Floor plans are an efficient way to filter information to every one involved. Detailed floor plans supply every trade involved (banquets, catering, audio-visual, lighting, staging and even the talent) with information necessary to at least start setting up the room without having to ask, or bother anyone with questions.
Response: Yes we can handle the change but be advised it entails re-running video cables and possibly audio cables from the old location to the new location and we will do everything we can, not to delay the event start time.
4. My laptop always works, let me do it.
This may be asked when the presenter provides his or her own laptop and is having trouble getting the laptop image through the projector and on the projection screen. Unless you have a truly one of a kind laptop and if your A/V provider is worth their weight in salt then your audio-visual technician will be more familiar with the quickest way to get the laptop signal to the projector. It is issues such as these where we earn our keep. Planners and clients, we encounter these same issues on a daily basis. This is one of the opportunities we have to impress you and show off; please do not take that away from us. Besides there are probably other, more important things you could be handling, as this usually occurs, probably less than 30 minutes to show time. When responding, you will need to read the client to be sure they are not getting irritated or like a few medical professionals, might not allow anyone to touch their laptop. If that is not the case…
Response: (If you are sure you correct the issue) Sir or ma’am, I have worked with laptops just like this. If you have something else you need to do, feel free…I will get the laptop on screen before you know it.
5. The last issue is a question for event planners, presenters and all other AV clients.
Scenario: Your program is starting in 10 minutes, the AV technician has checked the microphone batteries, powered on and placed the lapel microphones on all of the presenters and have them muted at the audio mixer. However, the first presenter demanded we leave his microphone off and he will power it on when he begins. Lo and behold, he begins his presentation and forgets to turn his microphone on.
How would you like your AV technician to handle this situation?
A. Let the event continue until the first break.
B. Have the technician go onstage and power up the microphone or hand him a new mic.
C. Same as ‘B’ but this intro is too important; stop the presenter first.
Timing Tip: Arrive Time, Set Time, Start Time
Always let your AV provider know 2 event times. Most, if not all audio-visual providers work on 3 event times; arrive time, set time (up-n-running) and start time. Most planners will provide a start time but the other two are crucial to a flawless event. The AV provider can determine an appropriate ‘arrive’ time; given the planner provides the ‘set’ and ‘start’ time. Next time you are giving details remember to provide a set time and start time.
If you enjoyed the post, please click the thumbs up icon above and let me know!