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June 15, 2016

Sub-Saharan Africa: Audio Visuals: What Not To Do

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Every event has its hiccups, and planners need to be mindful of this, but there’s one area of planning that can be a pretty darn visible when you get it wrong. Enter audio visuals. Managing the many facets of an event can be stressful and sometimes certain aspects of audio visuals are forgotten in the race to get everything done. Here are some of the major mistakes event organisers make, and how to avoid them. 

Photo by Freeimages.com/Esteban Lifich

AV Mistake #1: Everyone’s ready, obviously

Assuming every individual is ready for an event is one of the first mistakes planners make, and this can be avoided through simple communication. Have a briefing meeting two weeks prior to the event date to discuss what is required before, on and after the show. This will ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities. Create a document with each person’s role and send it to the team, as well as a reminder two days before the event to ensure each person is on point. 

AV Mistake #2: In-House AV covers everything

Before signing up with an in-house service provider, compare your costs, features and services with an out-of-house provider – or more than one. In-house audio visuals can be convenient bit more costly, and might be less capable of providing custom services specific to your event. 

AV Mistake #3: Assuming power is included

Electricity is part of the AV bill, right? Wrong. When first reviewing your contractual agreement, always ask if power is included. Almost every contract will have a power clause with details of what amount is provided, if any at all. Make sure you have enough electricity for the equipment required at your event. 

AV Mistake #4: Set up and pack down will be quick

No it won’t. It never is! Although times will differ according to event types, you will know with practice and communication how much time is needed for setting up and tearing down a trade show. If you have the luxury, take a day to set up the event to fully understand how long it will take. Alternatively, connect with vendors who have specific requirements and be sure to incorporate additional travel time, parking, unloading, organisation, plug in and set-up for each vendor. Similarly, practice tear-down. It’s quite normal needing more than a day to prep and pack down an event. 

AV Mistake #5: Visual projections and displays

Not considering the number of projection displays needed is easily avoidable. Understanding your audience is vital, since the number of delegates, as well as the audience demographic, will influence your decisions. Schedule a day to test all projectors, presentations and screens prior to the event to avoid issues like visuals not fitting the screen. Also keep in mind that you will need to factor in rigging points you might need for hanging items, and count the number of  visual and audio inputs your event requires at least two weeks before the date. 

AV Mistake #6: Trying to cut costs

AV is typically one of the most expensive components of an event. Instead of cutting costs with AV, which often results in poor event execution, cut costs elsewhere like décor, props or furniture if possible. Dig into project mapping as an alternative solution – technology to project objects onto a surface. 


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