Tech Talk: Why Some AV Companies Are More Expensive Than Others
Why some AV companies are more expensive than othersby Warren K. Kong | Published in July 2009 audio visual | tech talk | technology | Departments
Why are some A/V companies more expensive than others? Don’t they all have the same equipment?
This is a very good question, because in today’s economy many companies are solely focused on the bottom line and may be ignoring other aspects that affect it in less obvious ways. What these companies don’t realize is that there is a difference, sometimes significant, in the quality of product and service that they are paying for. While many production companies may have the same, or similar, equipment, the difference is in the upkeep and maintenance of the equipment. And the appearance of the equipment and the quality of the equipment are directly linked to the overall image of your event.
Look beyond the quote. This is a great way to gauge a good production company. Compare the cost difference between any company and your lowest quote. Now, consider the services that may not be outlined on the quote. For instance, property awareness: How well has this production company researched the event location? Pop-ups: Is this company prepared to handle any last-minute changes? Preparation: How much time is this company dedicating to your event, doing lighting plots and audio designs and making sure your event runs perfectly? These are just a few examples of very important services that most production companies cannot directly charge for. So, many times these costs are rolled into the rental cost of the equipment. Is the cost difference worth the price of these services?
Labor is key. The last line of defense for your event is the labor crew. Are you producing a rock concert or a meeting for a Fortune 500 company? Tattoos, long hair and dingy appearances are acceptable in only a handful of occasions, but the grooming and professionalism of the crew is directly related to the experience you or your client has. You can try to enforce a no-talking rule, but it won’t work. Your crew members will interact with your clients — there’s no way around it — so having a professionally acting and looking crew is critical. Also consider whether your prospective production company dedicates a lighting designer, audio designer and video lead to your event. Relaying information to your production leads prior to the event is key in the setup and design of it. The longer your front-line crewmembers are able to work on your event, the better your event will be.
Quality of equipment will vary from company to company. It is always a good idea to take a look at the quality and type of equipment that you are getting. Remember that while your guests are there to have fun, your client is trying to deliver a message. If the delivery and presentation of that message is inadequate, it will be reflected in the overall event. Choosing a production company is like buying a car. If all you looked for was four wheels, an engine and a steering wheel, we would all be driving around in Yugos. But we don’t. We look beyond these basics, and so should you.
Have audio, video, lighting or scenic questions for our Tech Talker? E-mail them to