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Six Basics of Using A/V in Special Events -- As Published in “Special Events Galore!”

Special Events and Audio/Visual (AV) Needs

We were asked by Stevenson, Inc., the publishers of the “Special Events Galore!” newsletter for some basic tips on using audio/visual (AV) aids in nonprofit special events, and here's how we replied:

Rule #1 -- don't trust the A/V details to others if yours is the reputation on the line! Spend the money to get good quality, dependable A/V equipment and hire good people who know what they're doing when setting it up and operating it.

Rule #2 -- have a tech or techs on hand during the event to handle last-minute emergencies. A blown fuse, a dim bulb, or a dead battery can wreak havoc. A quick fix saves the day.

Rule #3 -- rehearse! Try out all the equipment in all the ways in which it will be used BEFORE people show up for the event. Full rehearsals are better than tests. Rehearsals test the people as well as the equipment, eliminating a far greater range of surprises!

Rule #4 -- have spares available! An extra laptop, CD/cassette player, batteries, microphone, etc., can make all the difference. That tech should have tools and equipment. Spare parts and backup equipment are part of the toolbox.

Rule #5 -- avoid last-minute changes to event A/V needs or uses.

Rule #6 -- don't let the A/V take over the event. Attendees should say “ooh,” “aah,” and “hooray” for your message -- not for the technology. The best A/V flows seamlessly into and through the event -- it's not the star.

We were pleased to see the results published on the front page of the August, 2004 issue of their newsletter. View PDF of this article.