For any event that involves audio-visual elements, there are a few things you should consider when selecting your venue. Choosing a space that doesn’t meet your AV requirements can cause a logistical nightmare and can lead to surprise costs. Take this comprehensive guide with you on your next site visit to ensure a smooth process and optimize your AV budget.
- Dock Height: Can a semi-truck access the loading dock easily? If the load-in door is ground level, there may be an additional cost to rent a fork lift or your AV company may need to deliver in multiple smaller trucks.
- Delivery Schedule: Is the dock shared with other events? Sharing the dock can lead to delays in your setup. Ask your venue contact if you need to schedule your delivery and pick up times.
- Location: Is the loading dock on the same level as the event space? This will minimize the distance for transporting equipment and save time.
- Back-of-House Traffic: Does the loading dock lead through a busy area of the venue, like a kitchen or service area? This can create logistical challenges and safety hazards.
- Setup Time: Does the venue allow enough time for your AV team to set up before the event? Often it’s more cost effective to rent the room the day prior to the event to avoid overtime charges from the crew. It’s also good for peace of mind.
- Storage: Is there ample and accessible storage space for AV equipment during setup and breakdown? The storage area will be used for empty cases that transported the equipment. They will likely be large, heavy, and on wheels.
- Overnight Security: Can the room be securely locked overnight if necessary? Will the service doors be locked to assure no one has access to the equipment?
- Union Property: Is the venue a union property? This can affect labor costs and requirements.
- Exclusive AV: Does the venue have an exclusive AV provider? Generally you can negotiate the contract to allow you to bring your chosen AV partner.
- Rigging: Does the room allow for hanging lights, speakers, and other equipment?
- Power and Internet: Is there adequate power and internet connectivity in the room? Does the venue manage these resources, or do you need to bring in your own?
- On-Site Support: Is there someone on-site during the event to assist with power, internet, and other technical issues?
- Electrical Outlets: Are there enough outlets to power all your equipment? Is there a fee to use the outlets? Are they conveniently located?
- Equipment Restrictions: Are there any restrictions on the equipment you can bring into the venue?
- Crew Supervision: Does the venue require your AV team to have a supervisor present?
Meals and Breaks:
- Food Options: Are there plenty of nearby food options for your AV crew during breaks? Are they close and convenient enough for the crew to get their meal and return within the scheduled break time?
- Crew Meals: Does the venue offer meal options for your AV crew? Can the crew get their meals from your guest buffets?
- Break Room: If crew members can’t leave for lunch, is there a designated space for them to break and eat?
By carefully considering these factors and asking the right questions, you can choose a venue that perfectly meets your AV requirements and ensures a stress-free production. Remember, communication is key. Be clear about your needs from the beginning and don’t hesitate to ask for clarification on any points.