5 tips for a smooth AV set up

The last hour before doors is often super stressful for event organisers. But it doesn’t have to be. 

With some important steps in place prior to event day, you can expect a smooth set up and successful event every time.

Here are five things you should prioritise in your planning process to ensure everything runs smoothly right up until the moment your first guest walks in.

Pre-schedule a rehearsal with your AV team

One of the most overlooked aspects of corporate presentations is running a full dress rehearsal onsite at the venue. 

It goes without saying that each event should have time allocated during set up for an AV run through. 

Allow enough time for this because you never know what might surface last-minute. We’ve seen it all! 

If your event is of a larger scale, you should aim for set up and rehearsal the day prior.

For a smooth AV set up, check all content

Check. All. Content.

Content looks different on the screen it’s created on to the screen it’s displayed on at the event. You’re adding lights, scale, decor… it all has an impact. 

Run through your various content pieces during set up (or before if possible) and check it looks as expected. 

Do your presenters tend to leave it to the last minute to submit their content? It’s all too common. But it can lead to a frantic last-minute rush to download custom fonts, pre-load videos or links, find the latest version of a file, change file formats… the list goes on. 

Set strict (and we mean really strict!) deadlines for presenter content and make sure it’s early enough to allow time to sift through the content for potential issues. 

Hold a pre-con at the venue (and make sure your AV team is there)

Pre-cons are crucial to ensuring your event runs smoothly. Get all organisers, suppliers and key stakeholders involved. And obviously don’t forget to invite your AV team!

You’d be surprised how often just being in the same room can help unveil logistical problems. Did two vendors plan on using the same bay? Does the loading dock have space for multiple trucks to arrive at the same time to unload?

Talking through every last detail in advance and in person will help you rest easy.

For a smooth AV set up, conduct a risk assessment

Conduct a risk assessment, even if your event is small or a repeat

Risk assessments are an essential component of each and every event. Whether this is the first event of its kind or one you’ve done over and over again – it’s so important to dedicate time to a risk assessment. 

Collaborate with your suppliers, because consultation and collaboration are key to minimising hazards on event day.

Along with your suppliers, identify and consider all possible risks in advance so that you can be sure you’re operating in the safest possible environment for everyone involved. 

Hold a debrief 

Technically this takes place post-event, but it’s crucial to the success of your next one. 

Too often you’re so relieved an event is over or you’re already onto running the next to make time for a debrief. But there are usually things that happen during the event that need addressing, that you’re too busy sorting out a solution to do so. 

That’s where a debrief really helps. Hold it in person or over the phone with your key suppliers and point out what was great, what could have been better, and note down the takeaways to refer to next time.

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