In-house AV vs. Outsourced AV – Which Should You Choose?

You’ve secured a venue for your event. Fantastic! That’s a big tick off the to-do list. They ask if you want to use the in-house AV services. Now, do you take them up on the offer and cross that off the list too? Or do you find a specialist outsourced AV vendor? This blog will take a look at the reasons why you shouldn’t be so quick to accept the in-house AV service and why an outsourced AV company can not only make your event more unique and successful but also surprisingly enough, save you money.


If you’re looking for a professional AV company, Red Occasions offer AV hire and event production for weddings, festivals, corporate and conference production in Milton Keynes and nearby areas. We can provide top-of-the-range audio visual equipment for your next event.


Audio visual equipment is a crucial part of your event. The sound, the lighting, the images… it can all make a big difference in whether it’s a hit or not. The main benefit of using an in-house AV team is predominately convenience. It saves you the job and time of finding a vendor. This is ideal when you’re busy trying to organise other aspects of the event. The in-house team are also familiar with the venue and all its intricacies. However, don’t underestimate an outside AV team. If they’re local, they’ve likely worked at the venue many times before too. The time saved may also not outweigh the benefits of using an outsourced team. We will talk you through what those are now.


The in-house team will not offer a unique experience

If you choose the in-house team, you’ll get the same AV that is used for every other event they host. There will be nothing special – just a cookie-cutter event. If you want your event to wow, you need an expert AV company. They can create a bespoke event with AV kit that is perfect for you and your needs. They will be more creative in what they offer, providing you with suggestions on how to take your event from mediocre to magnificent.


The in-house team will be less flexible

A professional AV company will have a warehouse stacked with equipment. The in-house team will have a limited amount of kit. If any of it fails, they may not have any spare equipment, which would spell disaster for your event! An outsourced AV team will come fully equipped with additional equipment. Should something go wrong, they will have contingency plans in place for any type of emergency, ensuring your event goes ahead without a hiccup.


The in-house team will be less flexible on price too

It isn’t just AV kit that the in-house team will be less flexible with, it is prices too. They tend to have a fixed price with no room for negotiation. In comparison, you can shop around on price when you’re using an outsourced team. You’ll be able to compare quotes and find something to suit your budget and needs.


The in-house team will likely have outdated kit

It may seem like an easy option to just agree to use the in-house AV team at your selected venue space. You assume they have all the equipment you need. But actually, it may not meet your requirements or standards. The last thing you want is a subpar vendor. Your event success is too important for that. An in-house team simply do not upgrade their equipment as often a professional company does. It’s likely to just be the basic kit and potentially something they’ve had for a while. A professional AV team are always investing in new equipment to keep up to date with technology and to have an edge over their competitors. A venue will likely just reuse the same equipment over and over again. Technology is constantly updating. If you want to impress your guests with the latest tech, you need an expert AV company that will come equipped with cutting-edge kit and heaps of creative ideas.


An outsourced AV company are experts

AV companies are connoisseurs of audio visual equipment. This is what they do, day in day out. They have extensive knowledge and experience in all things audio visual, so you’ll get more technical assistance. They also have specific expertise in maintaining and setting up the equipment. With a professional company, you’ll get allocated a project manager who will be with you every step of the way, offering advice and answering your queries. A professional AV company provide high-quality and reliable work. How experienced are the onsite AV staff? Will the in-house team really have the know-how and skills to ensure nothing goes wrong with the AV kit? It could be a risky choice. If you want your event to run smoothly, you really do need specialists.


An in-house team may not be fully dedicated

Are the in-house team going to be committed solely to your event as an outsourced team would be? The venue space that you choose may be putting on more than one event that day. They cannot fully dedicate their time to your event like an outsourced business can. A professional outsourced team will step up their service, devoting their time to ensure your event is just as you had envisioned it.


Other specialist services

If you hire an outsourced AV team it can be worth seeing what other services they offer. They may be able to put on a hybrid event for you or you may be able to utilise their other services such as staging hire or event decoration, rather than finding additional vendors. If you’re looking for staging hire in Cambridge, Milton Keynes and the surrounding area, Red Occasions can help.


The issue with contracts

When you sign up to a venue, you need to look at the contract to ensure that you’re not restricted from using an outside AV provider. It may not actually be an in-house team that the venue space offers. Instead, it may be that the hotel or conference centre have a contract with one or more AV vendors. These vendors pay a percentage to the venue owner as a commission for the business. This means that you’re not always getting the best price. The AV company will have to inflate the price in order to afford the commission. An outsourced company are not locked into any such contract and so can offer better value and a lower cost. Always get quotes from outsourced companies so you can compare prices before you sign anything.


If you’re looking to find a professional AV company, Red Occasions can help. We offer everything from AV hire to event production including award shows, roadshows, private parties and conference production in Milton Keynes and beyond. We also offer AV equipment including staging hire in Cambridge, Northampton, Bedford and the surrounding regions. Get in touch with us to discuss your AV requirements.