Presentation-FailAudio-visual (A/V) technology is a big deal for your meeting. When everything goes right, it’s the invisible measure of success. When everything goes wrong — the mic cuts in and out, the projector freezes and the lighting isn’t right — it’s all your attendees can talk about. If the situation swells into problems that can’t be solved on the fly, you can bet attendees will tune out or leave the room altogether.

Avoid these mistakes and chances are you will have a seamless event where no one remembers the A/V, but they will recall how funny or informative the presenter was and how engaged he or she was with the audience.

Five Common A/V Mistakes to Avoid

Your Budget Isn’t Defined

Believe it or not, A/V equipment and labor can take up 25 percent of your total budget. With that in mind, it’s important to have a range when talking to your conference center and understand the options that will realistically fit into your budget.

Oftentimes, the unexpected costs, such as last-minute change orders or asking conference staff to set up your equipment over the weekend or late at night, can double your labor costs and wreak havoc on your budget.

Ensure you set your budget early, communicate it to your stakeholders and add expenses along the way.

You Ordered the Wrong Equipment

Has this ever happened to you?

The speaker insisted on bringing his own computer only to find out it didn’t attach to the LCD projector because he didn’t convey it was an Apple, not a PC. Or he brought no computer at all because he thought you had it handled. Or the HD displays you ordered were 16:9 aspect ratio instead of a 4:3 ratio, thus distorting your picture quality around the room.

We recommend you get everything in writing well before your conference. Give your speakers a form that specifies exactly what equipment they are bringing with them (right down to the model number), what videos they will be showing and other needs they have. Obtain your A/V quote from the conference center before your site visit and go over it with the A/V technician, meeting room by meeting room, while you are there.

There’s a Rush to Set Up the Equipment

When A/V staff is rushed, there are bound to be mistakes. Shortcuts are taken, the staff doesn’t have enough time to test the equipment properly and everyone stresses out.

Ask the hotel technician how much time the staff needs to set up the equipment. Give them adequate time and put the start time in your contract so there’s no miscommunication.

The Speaker Doesn’t Come Early Enough

Remember who hired the speaker — you did! Having her catch a last-minute flight (only to be delayed) or come into the room 20 minutes before the presentation only to learn her computer won’t start and she wore the wrong outfit for a lavaliere microphone can make a stressful situation even more so.

Put in the contract that you must have the presentation seven to 10 days before your event and the speaker needs to be in the meeting room one to two hours before the talk to test the equipment and rehearse his or her presentation. When you receive the slides, load them on a jump drive and put the presentation on the cloud for double backup.

There’s No On-Site Support and the 1-800 Number Doesn’t Work

One way to trim your A/V budget is to eliminate staff support or use a technical support line to troubleshoot problems when they occur. However, by the time you reach someone, your audience has disengaged or left the session.

A major benefit of having an in-house A/V provider is the peace of mind of knowing the A/V staff is in the room or right down the hall should a problem arise. Be sure to get his or her cellphone number so you can text what the problem is and what meeting room you are in, so he or she can come armed to troubleshoot your problem quickly and efficiently.

Kalahari Resorts and Conventions Is an A/V Solution Provider

At Kalahari, we have state-of-the-art equipment to fully support your next conference, event or trade show. Rely on the experts at Kalahari to make A/V the invisible component to your success. Call us today at 855.411.4605 to learn more about our offerings!