The Biggest AV Mistakes You Can Make When Organising an Event and How to Avoid Them

The unsung hero of events, AV is one of the most critical elements of event planning. It often goes unnoticed by attendees, unless something goes wrong! And (not to worry you but) there’s a lot that can go wrong! That’s why having professional AV experts is so important. They will ensure the correct audio-visual equipment has been chosen for the event and that it is all working properly.

When everything runs smoothly with the audio-visual equipment, attendees leave events feeling content. When something goes wrong, it can tarnish the entire event.

If you’re planning an event and you’re completely perplexed by all things audio-visual, you need to hire an AV expert. Red Occasions can provide everything from wedding to conference production in Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Bedford and beyond. Whatever your event, get in touch to discuss your event production or audio visual equipment hire needs.

In this blog, we will discuss the most common AV mistakes made during event organisation and, more importantly, how to prevent them!

1. Poor lighting and sound quality

Coming in at number one is inadequate lighting and sound. Sound is not an area you want to be blasé about. If your guests cannot hear or understand what is being said, the event will be a failure. Imagine putting in all that effort planning a conference for the attendees to not be able to hear your message? Similarly, if the lighting is not right, it can negatively impact the mood of the event and the engagement of the audience.

How to avoid this: You need to test all the equipment thoroughly and have a backup plan. Lighting an event properly is tricky and best left to experts. Professionals can resolve any technical issues and prevent audio-visual failures. AV experts will also ensure your venue space is kitted out with all the correct audio and lighting kit so that everyone, even those at the back of the room, can see and hear clearly.

2. Lack of visuals

If you’re planning a product launch or conference, you need to keep your guests engaged throughout. If they lose interest, you’ll never get your key message across. One of the ways to keep attendees engrossed in your event is through visuals. They’re powerful, persuasive and help people to learn and remember content more easily. After all, nobody wants to be talked at for hours on end!

How to avoid this: Use compelling visual aids such as photos, charts and videos to hold the audience’s attention. To get the best out of your visuals, AV experts can help to ensure your presentations are picture-perfect, vibrantly displayed and formatted correctly.

3. Relying on the venue’s AV team instead of hiring external AV experts

If you’ve already decided where to hold your event, the venue space may offer their in-house AV provider. It may seem convenient and a quick win when you have so many other tasks to tick off. However, the in-house equipment is going to be limited and may not be right for what you need. An external AV specialist can provide a bespoke service tailored for you. This is their bread and butter, so they’ll strive to offer only the very best service, whilst an in-house team will just go through the motions.

If you want your event to stand out (and who doesn’t!) then you’ll require a unique AV set-up, not the same old service that the in-house team provides for every client. If the technology isn’t impressive enough then the attendees may tune out. An AV expert can offer plenty of tips and tricks to inspire and interest the audience. What’s more, you’ll get top-of-the-line equipment from an AV expert as they’re always upgrading their kit. The venue will not invest heavily into AV in the same way. Who knows how long they’ve been using the same equipment!

How to avoid this: The first thing you should do is compare costs before agreeing to use the in-house service. It may seem like it will be the cheaper option but actually, it can be quite costly. Compare the equipment and consider all the advantages of using an expert AV team.

4. Hiring your AV company too late

We get it, organising an event is a huge undertaking. You’ve got a lot to plan and it’s hard to know where to start. However, the AV expert should be one of the first vendors that you hire. An expert AV team can then also help you find the venue space. They have a vast knowledge of venues country-wide and can offer impartial reviews. They’ll know which venue will work well with your vision for the event. Lining them up early is also beneficial because the AV team can offer a lot of insight and advice on how to achieve your event goals.

How to avoid this: Put hiring AV company at the top of your to-do list! AV suppliers are likely working on more than one event at a time, so you need to get in there early to secure them and the right kit before someone else does!

 5. Trying to cut costs with AV

You have a budget, we understand that. But ultimately poor AV reflects badly on your event. Audio-visual kit is not the area you want to skimp on. It’s a huge wasted opportunity if you’ve arranged to have all these attendees listen to your message and they cannot hear properly because the audio is iffy or cannot see your amazing visuals because of poor lighting.

How to avoid this: Allocate a sufficient amount of your budget to AV. Shop around for quotes but keep in mind just how important audio-visual equipment is to the success of your event. Nobody notices perfect audio but they will when it’s bad!

6. Poor communication with your AV team

Not communicating with your AV team can spell disaster for your event. If you don’t clearly outline your vision, provide the right timings or communicate any changes, you could end up with a mismatch between content and AV kit.

How to avoid this: Build a good relationship with your AV company. You need to ensure you communicate with them right from the get-go. Clearly explain your goals and notify them of any changes so this can be reflected in the AV equipment.


Putting on an event can be challenging, there’s no doubt. Don’t try to do it all yourself. With the help of a professional AV company, you can pull off a great event and avoid those common AV pitfalls. If you’re looking for event production; everything from concert to conference production in Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Bedford or further afield, Red Occasions can help. We provide both event production and audio visual equipment hire. We’d love to assist you with your next event!