12 Questions to Ask Your AV Vendor

Audio visual equipment is a minefield to anyone not in the know. If it’s your first time using an AV vendor, you may have a list of questions or concerns. We get it. Here at Red Occasions, we are more than happy to answer any queries you may have with your audio visual equipment hire. We want you to be as comfortable and informed as possible when you work with us.

The AV kit will form a big part of your event, so it’s important you fully understand what it is you’re hiring. As well as AV hire, Red Occasions also provide event production in Milton Keynes and beyond. Get in touch with us if you’re looking for event production or audio visual hire.

In this blog, we will tell you the top questions that you should ask your AV vendor to ensure you are choosing a reliable and reputable partner.

1. What are your costs and do you offer a quote?

When speaking with an AV vendor, make sure you ask for a quote. There will likely be items that you don’t quite understand. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask them to walk you through your quote. After all, you should be fully informed before committing. A sound AV company will be able to justify every piece of equipment on the quote and explain it all in layman’s terms. You need to be able to understand why each piece of kit is necessary for the overall look and feel of your event. There may be an item that seems overpriced. The AV vendor can explain its importance and why it’s costly. If they’re not willing to explain the quote, maybe they’re not the right AV partner for you.

2. How long have you been in business?

You don’t want to hire an AV company with minimal experience. Make sure you ask how many years of experience they have. This will put your mind at rest that your event is in good hands.

3. Can you work within my budget and are there any ways to save money?

Be clear with your AV vendor on what your budget is from the outset. They can formulate an AV kit list that doesn’t exceed your spending limit. Some equipment may be essential, but some can be substituted for lower spec kit that costs less. Just make sure you understand the difference and how it will affect the experience of the event. There may also be ways to cut labour costs or they may be able to offer you a payment plan.

 4. Are there any new exciting technologies?

AV experts have plenty of tricks up their sleeves! They’re always investing in new and better technology. The AV vendor will be excited and eager to use their newest technology so it’s always worth asking this question and whether the latest kit will work well at your event.

5. What can I do to make a bigger impact with my budget?

You don’t want to break the bank but you want to make the most of your budget. Ask the AV vendors what they can do to elevate your vision. They know what works well in different venues and they might surprise you with what they can do to impress your attendees.

6. What makes you better than your competitors?

If you’re comparing quotes from a few vendors, you want to get a better feel for each company. Ask them what differentiates them from their competitors and see if they are a good fit for your event. Do they offer the best price, have the best reputation or provide the latest technology? See if your goals align with there’s before choosing. You should also take time to read their reviews to see what past clients say about them.

7. What other companies have you worked with?

By asking what other companies they’ve partnered with, you can gauge a little more about their experience and find out how reliable they are. You could always ask if they can provide references and feedback for you.

8. Will I have an assigned project manager/dedicated AV technician?

Sometimes known as the technical director, ask the AV vendor if they will assign you a go-to project manager for the event. This person will make sure everything runs smoothly. Ask about the team that will be working so you can get to know them beforehand.

9. Have you worked at my venue before?

An established AV vendor is likely to have worked at all the local venues. They will then know all the potential challenges and opportunities that the venue presents. They’ll be familiar with the ins and outs of the venue, everything from the layout to the lighting requirements, the venue policies, load restrictions, obstacles and the room size. They’ll know exactly how to utilise the space in the best way. Don’t discount them if they haven’t worked at your venue, as an experienced AV company will have the expertise to navigate any space.

10. Can you do a walkthrough of the space?

A walkthrough of the venue is helpful to better understand how the AV vendor will tackle any challenges. They can get a feel for things like ceiling heights, doorways sizes, the acoustics of the room, power locations and storage space.

11. What other services do you offer?

Many AV vendors provide more than just audio-visual equipment so it’s always worth asking. It could be event decoration, 3D visualisations, staging design, entertainers, technical support or video production. You may then wish to use them for more than one service to save going elsewhere. It will also make for a more well-managed production compared to using different vendors.

12. How can you make my event look really special?

AV vendors love a challenge and want to impress their clients. Ask them if there are any fancy lighting tricks that would work well at your venue. Discover what else they have on offer, everything from LED furniture, event decoration and LED walls can really transform a space into something special.

Selecting the right AV company is an important part of organising an event. You want someone qualified, professional and supportive. Once you’ve had all your questions answered, you should feel confident in what to expect from the AV for your event. Should you need audio visual equipment hire or event production in Milton Keynes, Bedford, Northampton, Cambridge or beyond, Red Occasions would love to partner up with you.