7 Tips to Manage Event Budgets through Wiser AV Use

The AV line of event budgets are high, so in this post, we offer 7 Tips to help you manage those budgets through wiser AV use.

Your company is on a tight budget for your upcoming event, and you know that, as important as AV is to the success of your event, it will take a bite out of that budget. 

Without a comprehensive AV package, including the right equipment and highly-qualified AV pros, the event may be memorable for all the wrong reasons. So what’s a meetings professional to do to control audio visual costs?

First, it’s important to recognize that, although the AV line of the budget is sizeable, the wise use of AV and adherence to a process that includes bringing the AV Team in early can make a big difference and can help save money elsewhere.

Below, we offer suggestions to assist you in managing the AV line of your budget.

1. The Planning Process. A reputable and professional AV company wants to partner with you, not sell you equipment and services you do not need. By selecting the company early on and including the team as soon as possible in discussions of the entire program–including goals, branding, sessions, speakers, prospective venues and your wish list for the event–they can give you a streamlined and accurate proposal.

This also provides an opportunity to brainstorm challenges and identify workable solutions. These discussions will give you insights on such things as capping the number of people or adding an overflow room to allow for staging, performance space, AV equipment and other elements. It also helps with setting expectations of your company’s management team in advance.

2. Rely on the creativity of your AV team. These days, 75% of events are organized by employees whose primary function is not event planning, and who come from all different areas of employment, with diverse levels of expertise in the event management arena. By partnering with your AV consultants, you have “experts on call.” Your AV team has experienced your challenges dozens, and maybe hundreds of times, and can contribute an informed and creative perspective. When meeting with them, identify your “must haves,” your “nice to haves,” and the pipe dreams. Share your vision on the outcome you’d like, then let them go to work. When they come up with a final plan, collaborate to make adjustments so the final proposal fits within your budget.

3. Lighting. While you may find tips advising you to avoid lighting and equipment that requires rigging from the ceiling, it can be cost effective if used the right way.

Account Manager Chuck Aeckerle explained, “When you think about your event, identify which pieces of the triangle–which consists of audio, video/presentation, and lighting–are most important to help you present the impression you want, and the message you’re trying to convey. It’s always a balancing act. Sometimes, a certain type of lighting is very important. We can help you find the right balance that delivers the impact you’re looking for.”

4. Digital signage. Let AV help reduce costs by eliminating some printed materials that end up being discarded. By using digital signage to replace signage for sponsors, directional signs, information on session start times and rooms, etc., not only is it better for the environment, it provides flexibility for on-the-spot changes without additional cost. Moreover, because digital signage can be moved and adapted, one digital sign can serve a multitude of uses and replace a lot of printed matter.

5. 24-hour hold. A huge budget saver is to reserve the room(s) 24 hours in advance. When the AV team can get into the room the day prior to handle set up, you eliminate having to pay overtime for your AV professionals, and possibly union members, depending on what city you’re in.

6. Venue selection. When you’re considering multiple venues, always bring your AV company into the discussion early, because they will undoubtedly be familiar with each facility, and will be able to alert you about up charges, hidden costs, or venue-related challenges you may encounter that could negatively impact the budget.

7. Content creation – If you’re having content such as video created, or a booth designed externally, ask your AV team for recommendations. They will know which companies align with your budget and would be best handle the messaging and branding of your content creation.

Throughout the entire process, you should feel that your AV providers are an extension of your own team and that they have your back. That only happens when there is a strong trust factor, which is why we developed our Five-point Cheshire Advantage to which everyone in our company adheres.

  • We embrace every project with pride and integrity, regardless of size or budget.
  • We build personal, confident, enduring relationships with clients through unmatched service.
  • We work openly with clients throughout the process so each client’s every need and option are clear.
  • We eliminate client stress by anticipating the unexpected with our proactive approach.
  • We unleash a full range of state-of-the-art tools and creative mastery to build unforgettable events.

With over 30 years of experience, Cheshire prides itself on being able to balance needs against budget, and we’d love to assist you! If you would like to discuss how we can become an extension of your team on your next function, so you can be assured of a flawless, worry-free event from start to finish, get in touch with Justin Cheshire at Justine@CheshireAV.com or call (585) 325-4250 for a free consultation.

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Josh Burke

Josh Burke Senior. Audio Visual Technician What inspired you to get into your current career?  Long Story short… I started my AV career in 6th

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