We may not realize it, but AV equipment is often what ends up making the difference between a successful event hosting and an unsuccessful one. Why is that, though? Well, one of the biggest principles of hosting one or having a presenter is ensuring that your audience can see and hear what is happening.
I know it sounds obvious, but even the obvious can slip through the crack sometimes. If you’re in the Charlotte area here in North Carolina, you might be wondering about your options. In that case, continue reading for more details about this and why it’s important to remember anyway!
Hosting an Event
If you find yourself in need of audio-visual equipment, you’re probably doing some sort of event planning. When this is the case, we often find ourselves a bit lost on where to start. It can feel overwhelming to try to find a venue, even, let alone to figure everything else out.
First, you want to make sure that there is a purpose behind what you are scheduling. This doesn’t have to be something huge or noble – it can be for fun, too! As long as you have a reasoning behind it, you should be all set here. Having an end goal makes everything else simpler in the long run.
Next, ideally you will prepare at least a month ahead of time, preferably several months. I would say three is overall a good place to be. You see, if you put yourself in a big rush to get everything settled, things often slip through the cracks. Sometimes, we don’t even realize that we are veering off the track of our goal!
Now that you’re planning in advance and know why you’re hosting the event, you can begin to look for a venue. Consider the environment and vibe that you are looking for, and that will best speak to your guests or audience. If you’re having a wedding, as one example, it might be at a church – but the reception will likely be somewhere else.
As you select the venue, you should probably ask what sort of equipment they have available. I’ll be providing a checklist for AV items you should have a bit later in this article, but I wanted to mention it now just as a reminder. It’s important to ask the managers what you are allowed to bring, as well.
The next step comes scheduling of activities. This is critical because you don’t want people to get bored or uninterested. Getting speakers is one way to make a corporate get together fun, for example. You should also provide attendees with ample time to make connections, if applicable.
I mention this because of how critical networking is for most people. You often have higher chances of success in most industries just from meeting people! Even as the planner, make sure to take advantage of this!
As you do this step, think about a theme. It should match with your overall goal. You can read more about that here: https://medium.com/@TheVenuePro/how-to-host-your-event-like-a-pro-cf20c5b3a177. Figuring out decorations you want is just one part of this – and again, remember what is and is not allowed at the venue of your choice.
A theme will probably influence the activities you schedule, as well. Try to pick one that can tie any loose threads together and make the overall event make more sense. The final step is to inform people and send out invitations – make them interesting and eye catching!
Okay – now, you’re an event-planning pro. Let’s return to audio-visual equipment, because it plays a surprisingly critical role in ensuring the success of your event. The first thing you’ll want to find is a mixer or sound board like the one pictured above. Not sure why? Let me tell you.
If there is more than one microphone present, for example, you’ll want one to ensure proper balancing. It can also help prevent microphone peaking if you are worried about that. What they do is serve as an electric console. They can combine audio or manipulate it in some way before sending it to the speakers in the room.
This is just one part of your Charlotte audio visual, however there are more pieces you should find. Next, you should determine what screens are available at the venue. This could be a whiteboard, or another form. Get the measurements from the hosts or check yourself.
You need these measurements to determine the aspect ratio you can display. Otherwise, there might be grainy images or blurry words. Neither of those would be good for a presentation or event, especially if the audience needs to be able to read.
After this, locate a projector. As you probably surmised from the phrase “audio-visual,” this equipment should be designed to engage all the human senses. This is often the best method for people to learn, after all.
The projector ensures that whatever images or slideshow you want to be displayed will be there. Some things to consider here are the brightness levels that you want versus the lighting in the room. This includes any natural light coming from windows. You may want to test different options before settling on one choice.
Of course, microphones are another necessity. Think about what you’ll be using it for. If it will be in one place and the person using it doesn’t need to move, a wired option is probably best, since there is less risk involved as far as losing signal goes. However, if the speaker is walking and talking, wireless is the way to go.
Finally, ensure that the bandwidth at the event will be enough to support multiple devices, if necessary. This is just the amount of strain that an internet signal can handle. So, if you know that people will be using smart phones and tablets and computers – it’s a good idea to double check the bandwidth.
With the proper AV equipment, the event will go smoothly – good luck with your planning!