How to Stop Overspending on Audiovisual for Events

By Will Curran, January 8, 2019

When it comes to audiovisual, it’s easy to make mistakes and overspend. If you feel like you have difficulty with AV budgeting you aren’t alone: 67 percent of people in Connect’s recent webinar said they found pricing most challenging when working with or hiring AV companies. All too often, event planners receive quotes but are unsure what the quotes mean or what they truly need. They aren’t sure what to do or ask to make sure they are getting the best price. Follow these tips and you will be able to empower yourself and know what to ask and be aware of in order to stop overspending on AV.

Understand Your Quote

AV quotes are confusing and can seem like a different language. This often leads to overspending. If you don’t understand what you’re paying for, how can you negotiate? The first step to overcoming this obstacle is to familiarize yourself with basic AV terms and concepts prior to meeting with your AV company. Ask your AV company to walk you through your quote line by line. Every single AV item can be explained in layman’s terms. If the AV company you are speaking with won’t explain each item or gives you the runaround, they are trying to rip you off.

Negotiate In-House Venue AV Restrictions

In-house venue AV restrictions can break your budget fast. There are so many fees you need to be aware of—from power fees to Wi-Fi fees and more. The venue may even try to require you to use in-house labor, which can be more expensive than an outside AV company. However, you can almost always remove in-house AV restrictions. Some restrictions, like rigging, are non-negotiable and that is for safety, so be sure to ask why a fee is placed on your bid. Always negotiate fees and restrictions when you are doing your RFP process and during contract talks.

Leverage Your AV Teams’ Knowledge

Great AV companies will listen to you about your budget, event vision and concerns. They will take all those factors and come up with a plan to work with you to help you achieve your goals. They may be able to show you ways to achieve dramatic staging for less or save money using more energy efficient lighting. If you are upfront with your AV company about goals and your budget, they should be able to help you find options to achieve those goals within your budget or the differences that come with cheaper alternatives.

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