If you’re looking to organise a business event in Ireland, the process can be both exciting and complex. Your business will need to make considerations regarding the venue, planning, content, installation, transportation, and perhaps most importantly - what AV equipment your event will require.

This could include anything from lighting, large-scale projections or screens, sound systems, microphones, and even virtual reality.

To make the process just that little bit easier for you, we’ve compiled fifteen useful AV tips to consider before you begin the event planning process.

Start the event planning process as early as possible

Starting the event planning process as early as possible is crucial. While it is hoped that the end-to-end process will go as smoothly as possible, there is always the possibility that you’ll experience certain roadblocks along the way. This is especially true if you’re looking to create a business event of significant size.

For example, you don’t want to go through the process of organising a business event for 2,000 attendees, only to realise that the venue has a maximum capacity of just 1,500! If you do experience any hiccups, you’ll want to allow yourself enough time to rectify the issue.

Don’t be afraid to think BIG

Before you get to the point of picking up the telephone to start making arrangements for your business event, you need to dedicate some time to the creative phase. This is your chance to think about just how big you want the event to be.

More importantly, don’t think that your creative visions are necessarily beyond the realms of possibility, as a professional and experienced technology hire supplier will ultimately make it happen. Consider bringing some team members on board to share your ideas and discuss your vision.

Budget at the very start of the event planning process

It is highly advisable that you create a stringent budget for your business event well before you start to make arrangements. While it is appreciated that you want to create the most memorable event possible, you’ll need to ensure that your expectations are realistic.

Once you’ve set a financial budget, it's then wise to speak with your chosen AV hire supplier. Once they know how much you’re looking to spend, they can then make some suggestions to ensure that you are able to realise your creative vision fully in-line with your budget.

Explore what AV technology can do for your event

V technology is about much more than just a single sound system, video wall or HD projector. On the contrary, it’s about creating a timeless experience by utilising the technical capabilities of sound and vision. Modern-day AV equipment now allows you to synchronise items with one another, and you can even utilise a virtual reality and augmented reality experience within your business event, as well as digital signage and holograms.

To get the best out of your business event, it’s worth spending some time exploring what AV technology is and what it can do.

Do you possess any experience in setting up AV equipment?

Setting up AV equipment is no easy feat, especially if you are yet to execute a business event of your own. For example, do you know what power cycling is, and why it's important? Or do you know how to set up a PA system?

A reputable AV hire supplier will take care of all of these issues for you. Not only will they ensure that your AV equipment is installed effectively, but they’ll also provide you with guidance on what to do if certain technical issues occur.

Find the perfect venue

The importance of finding the perfect venue for your business event should not be understated. Do you need a venue that permits a large audience, or do you need something close to public transport links, hotels and parking?

You also need to consider whether your chosen venue is going to have the relevant logistical capacity for AV equipment that you want to hire. Ongoing communication with both your AV hire supplier and venue host is highly recommended.

Does your chosen venue have any notable restrictions?

Before signing on the dotted line with your chosen venue host, be sure that you assess whether or not any restrictions or regulations are in place that could have an impact on the event itself.

The most important things that you need to look out for are restrictions pertaining to capacity and noise levels. Moreover, it's also worth checking whether the venue has any restrictions on time. For example, if the venue is situated in a residential area, then it’s likely that you will need to consider the volume of your event (and leaving attendees) during the evening.

Consider overbooking event staffing levels

Although overbooking staff members will have a direct impact on your event budget, you need to consider that some members of staff might not show up. This is especially true if you are hiring temporary employees solely for the event.

It's worth speaking with your recruitment agency to inquire whether or not they have staff on standby in the event that there are multiple no-shows. To be extra safe, it’s worth overbooking in key areas.

Make some pre-arrangements for cleaning

If you're looking to host your business event at an external venue, then make sure that you discuss cleaning arrangements with the host. If the host does not offer post-event cleaning, then you'll need to make some arrangements yourself.

Ultimately, you want to ensure that you leave the venue the same way that you found it, otherwise, you might be liable for additional charges!

Have you anticipated how much power your business event is going to need?

Depending on the size of your business event and how big you want to go, you need to make some considerations regarding power capacity. Don’t forget, AV equipment - especially the likes of lighting and audio systems, can consume substantial amounts of power. As such, you’ll want to ensure that your chosen venue has the required power capacity.

This is something that can be challenging to predict, so you’re best off discussing this with your AV hire supplier.

Is your event going to be hosted during the day?

If you are looking to host your business event during the day, then there might be some issues regarding lighting. For example, if you’re looking to hire screens or projectors, then too much sunlight might affect visibility.

If this is the case, then you’ll need to ensure that you hire projectors/screens with suitable power, ensuring that your audience is able to see the content whatever the ambient light.

How much space will you need for projectors?

Although projectors come in a range of sizes, you still need to ensure that there will be sufficient space in your chosen venue. For example, if you’re hosting a business conference, is the room big enough for the projector you want to install?

You should also assess potential connectivity issues. This is especially true for projectors that need to be connected to a roof mount. Failure to plan accordingly could result in restricted viewing for your attendees.

Sufficient WIFI at your event is crucial

A strong and stable WIFI connection is not only needed for your business event attendees, but some of the AV equipment that you hire will require an internet connection, too. This includes equipment used to stream videos, and some camera units require ongoing bandwidth. Outside of the AV equipment itself, if your event requires debit/credit card processing machines or a system to register attendees, this will also require WIFI.

Even if your chosen event has WIFI available, you need to test how reliable this is well before the event start date.

Consider potential issues regarding the delivery of your AV equipment

Depending on the size or quantity of the AV equipment you hire, you might need to explore whether or not the delivery driver is likely to face any issues. Inform your event host of the expected delivery time, so that they can advise where the driver should park and unload.

If you’re instead hosting the event on your own premises, make sure that you are aware of the parking/unloading restrictions and make sure your receptionist is aware of the delivery time. You should also check relevant size and weight dimensions relevant to the building, how much weight your lift is able to carry and what the door width is etc.

Give yourself time to set up

You also need to ensure that your AV hire equipment is delivered well before the event starts. Make sure that you arrange for delivery to be made in good time, relevant to the size of the event. That might mean hours for an intimate meeting/presentation, or days for larger events.

Plan the layout of your AV equipment to perfection

Once you have ascertained what AV equipment you are going to need for your business event, as well as the event venue itself, you’ll then need to spend some time exploring the event layout. This point is often overlooked, however, its importance is paramount.

For example, by working with a reputable AV hire supplier, they’ll ensure that cables are taped down efficiently and that audio systems are installed to minimise potential feedback.

Realising that the layout of your AV equipment needs to be altered on the day of the event could jeopardise the event start-time.

If the event venue is large, consider the effects of long cable routes

If you’ve decided to use a large venue for your business event, you need to make some considerations regarding cable routes. Not only do they need to be installed away from walking routes, but long cables can also have an adverse impact on vision and sound feeds.

Regarding the latter, your AV supplier will likely make use of distribution amplifiers or HDMI-convertors. This is something that you are your supplier will need to discuss during the planning phase.

Does your AV equipment need to be labeled?

If you’re hosting your business event within your office premises, then you likely won’t need to worry about labeling the equipment you have delivered. However, if you’re hosting your business event at a conference, then we would suggest getting your AV hire supplier to label the equipment.

You don’t want to be in a position where somebody else's AV supplier collects your sound system by mistake! If you do require labeling, just make sure that you give your supplier ample notice well before the event start date.

Don’t underestimate the importance of pre-event testing

Although testing of your AV equipment should be performed well before the day of the event, you also need to reserve ample time to test the final set-up on the day of the event.

You don’t want to be in a position where you realise that your audio system hasn’t been set-up correctly during the event itself. On the contrary, getting your AV equipment delivered, installed and tested on-site before the event starts is crucial.

Will your business event require several screens?

If you are thinking about hiring several screens as part of your business event set-up, then you need to remember that each device will require a proprietary source.

In layman terms, this means that each screen will need its own source in the form of a media player or laptop. In terms of the actual layout of the screens, will your media inputs be able to connect to the device without hindrance?

You’ll also need to consider whether or not you will need to change the screen’s input mid-event, as this will require further planning.

Do a final check on the AV equipment you’ve ordered

The AV equipment ordering process can be complex. While major items such as sound systems, desktop workstations, microphones and lighting will be at the forefront of your requirements, people often overlook the smaller things such as connectors or cables.

Failing to order a specific piece of AV equipment could be costly. It's always a good idea to create an initial checklist of items before ordering, and then discussing them with your AV hire supplier. If anything gets left off the list, a good AV supplier will make you aware.

Advertise your business event to the right people

You’ll want to give yourself ample time to get the word out about your business event. More importantly, you need to market the event to the relevant stakeholders. Think about advertising the event in an Irish trade magazine, or even via social media. It’s also worth getting your sales team to make relevant suppliers and/or clients aware of the event.

A mentioned above, don’t forget that your chosen venue is likely to have a maximum capacity limit. Keep this in mind if you’re looking to market your business event to the masses and it isn't an invitation only affair.

Communicate with your AV hire supplier from start to finish

Due to the complexities of organising a business event - especially those of significant size, a good AV hire supplier will guide you through the process every step of the way.

In fact, working alongside your AV supplier is crucial to planning and executing a memorable business event. If you ever need guidance, or have a question or query about the event, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask away.

By following the tips above…

...you’ll be on your way to ensuring that your AV hire business event is a successful one - free of hiccups or hindrances. If you’ve found these tips useful, how would you like to receive an additional seven?

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