Last month, we shared how venue sourcing has been compared to The Hunger Games. Today, we’re sharing how audio visual for events has been totally transformed by the pandemic and this new world of events we’re navigating. Prices have increased, terms have gotten more difficult to navigate, and labor shortages are real.
We need just to throw this out there, though… we’re not being negative here. Our number one priority is always transparency. We want our clients and prospective clients to fully understand the landscape of the events world at any given time. And right now, these are the trends we’re seeing!
Despite price hikes and limited availability, the event industry is still growing rapidly, expected to exceed $1,552.9 billion by 2028. So, unfortunately, higher rates may be here to stay. But the good news is that we’re the experts in tackling these industry shifts! And today, we’re going to help you learn more about what’s going on in the AV world right now and how to navigate it on your own.
Why Audio Visual for Events (& Events in General) is Kind of Crazy Right Now
Now, the reason things are going wild in the events world right now is due to the sheer pent-up demand from the pandemic, along with the aftermath of it with situations like labor shortages.
The pandemic took an enormous toll on the audio-visual business, obviously, as most companies’ main revenue generators were live events, conferences, meetings, etc. Because of that, many didn’t last or were purchased by larger audio-visual corporations. Today, you’re seeing many more companies like Encore, Freeman, and PSAVs at venues rather than the little guys.
Now, with this changing landscape, you have two situations:
- Those who are maybe more amenable to discounts and deals to increase their market share.
- And those who are eager to make up for lost revenue and are going after non-negotiable premium rates.
When you’re contracting audio visual for events, you never know which type of business you’re going to get at the venue you want for your live and hybrid events. And in many cases, companies are still struggling with labor shortages and labor cost surges, which of course, become the client’s burden to bear. That’s, unfortunately, part of the business.
All that said, we do have some tips to help you save and reduce your audio-visual investment for your events.
And What to Do About It…
While chatting with our resident technology and audio-visual expert at EBA, he shared how an age-old adage could be the solution to an audio-visual budget that will break the bank. And he has been working in this space daily for decades… so he knows a thing or two about this wild world of audio-visual!
Enter: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
The first way to save on your audio visual spend is to reduce all around.
Here are a few things you can reduce to save on your AV bill:
- Breakout rooms: The fewer rooms you have to fill, the less equipment you need.
- Days of the Event: If you’re hosting for one less day, that’s one day of savings. Instead, tighten up your agenda and pack it with quality content your attendees are craving.
- Equipment: Do you really need the extra color of uplighting or a unique lapel mic for each speaker? Bring sanitizer to clean the mics between sessions, go with one logo color for uplighting, offer speakers one confidence monitor rather than one on each corner of the stage. There are a ton of options!
Next up: Reuse!
This starts with your agenda and speakers. You’re going to want to group the speakers that have specific technology needs into the same breakout room. Do the same for your hybrid breakouts so you are not resetting your AV equipment multiple times during the conference.
This will save you tons on labor costs!
Whatever you can repurpose, do it. For example, if you create a custom set piece for one client, consider using the same or similar for another, especially if they are participating in different tracks of the event. You can easily utilize LED lighting to rebrand via utilizing different brand colors. This one is all about leveraging that innate creativity we know is inside your team!
Consider These When Contracting for Your Next Event
When you go to contract audio visual for events for your business, remember the above. But, we have a few more things you want to look out for as well in your contract. These items have the highest likelihood of blowing your AV budget out of the water.
While shadow fees weren’t unheard of before, they could typically be negotiated in some way, shape, or form. But we see that changing. If you prefer to bring in an AV company that you are more comfortable with or have a good relationship with, see what you can do to negotiate the shadow fee clauses that require one or more of the venue’s in-house AV members to be on the event site at all times.
If you do use in-house audio-visual labor, labor minimums are the norm. Just be sure to check that the hourly rates aren’t exorbitant (i.e., over $120 an hour) and see if you can negotiate for total hours over the span of the event versus a daily minimum.
Finally, look out for event fees. This could simply be labeled as an event fee, or it could be in the form of additional fees for setup/breakdown/ being on-call during sessions. There are new fees left and right, so just be cognizant of this when reviewing your contracts.
Want Help Implementing This Strategy to Save on Audio Visual for Events in Your Business? Let’s Chat.
It can be daunting to negotiate or consider all the factors of audio-visual for events these days. That’s why on our EBA team, we have expert AV technicians that know the industry, know the ins and outs, and know the workarounds that save our clients money worldwide without reducing the quality or impacting your attendee experience.
Let’s chat about your next event and how EBA can help you save, streamline, and profit.