Event Planners - 10 tips to save money on AV hire


1.    Do your research - Take some time to choose an AV supplier who has experience in delivering the type and level of event you’re arranging. If you’re holding a glitzy awards ceremony for 1000 people it’s unlikely the local 1 man AV business will have the resources to deliver at that level, equally though there are many smaller AV production companies who excel when delivering small to mid-sized conferences and events.

2.    Web & Social - Study supplier websites and don’t forget their social media channels. Websites are usually the polished, high-end overview of what a supplier does, whereas social media, Facebook and Twitter etc. often give a better insight in to the real day-to-day activities of an AV production company.

3.    Don’t pay for a production company if you don’t need one! There is a fine and slightly blurred line between an AV Hire company and an AV Production company. Be clear from the outset what level of support you need and subsequently are willing to pay for. If you need every element of your event taking care of, from booking the venue to delegate registration, you will undoubtedly be able to justify the additional expense of an Events Organiser and a Production company. However some AV hire companies will project manage all the technical aspects of an event for you as part of their AV package, this can lead to substantial savings if you are happy to do some of the other event organising yourself.

4.    Share your budget – There’s often a reluctance on the part of event organisers to disclose budgets during the quoting process, however assuming you’re being realistic, this is the main indicator to an AV supplier of where to pitch their quote with regards to equipment specification. For instance, our hire projectors start at £30 per day for a basic desktop model, rising to over £1,000 for a high brightness, laser model suitable for very large screens or high brightness environments. There’s often a middle ground with AV kit hire i.e ‘budget vs spec’. Establishing a client’s proposed budget early on in the quote process will enable a good AV hire supplier to submit a tailored quote that will deliver on performance, but hopefully within your budget.

5.    Don’t try to ‘cherry-pick’ a quote – Unless you have good technical knowledge don’t go through an AV suppliers quote looking for the higher priced items to remove in an attempt to reduce the overall price. You wouldn’t remove key ingredients from a cake recipe simply to make it cheaper! If you do need to reduce the quote, ask the AV supplier what, if anything can be amended. In some circumstances there maybe things that can be altered or tweaked slightly to bring it in on budget.

6.    Look out for ‘Approved Suppliers’ – Many hotels and venues have relationships with approved AV suppliers. Whilst on the face of it this can appear to be the easy option, you will often pay a premium for this service. If you have an established relationship with an AV company ask them to quote too! Even if they have to travel to your venue there can still often be substantial savings to be made. We regularly travel worldwide and still offer savings over the local AV supplier!

7.    Make sure it’s ‘like-for-like’ – If you are comparing quotes ensure the specification is the same or at least very similar. One screen, projector, stage, sound system and lighting quote for instance could be £1,000’s per day more than another. That doesn’t necessarily mean one is wrong, it just means you need to establish which is most suitable for your conference or event. So if you do receive quotes that seem miles apart in price, ask questions and take the time to try and understand why.

8.    Get support – All successful conferences and events have a team of people working hard behind the scenes ensuring the technical side of things go to plan. It’s tempting to look at an AV quote and think ‘Do I really need AV Technicians?’. Inevitably the answer is yes, you probably do! And one Technician running everything is probably not a great idea either. On the day, remember everything that happens on stage will be in their capable hands; good sound, lighting and seamless on-screen content are key elements in an event’s overall success, it really does pay not to leave them to chance.

9.    De-brief on the technical – Having a wash-up or de-brief with your AV team after the event is a great way to gather opinion on how they think things went and any improvements that could be made for your next event. AV crews see events day in, day out and they tend to know what works well and usually have valuable opinions on what doesn’t!

10.    Work with great people – Maybe this should be No.1 in this list! Great people produce great events. Even with the best audio visual kit in the world you’ll never excel without the people to match. Find an AV supplier you enjoy working with and who shares your event vision; good teamwork is key. Follow 1-10 on this list and you’re more likely to hold an event which is on budget and memorable for your delegates for all the right reasons.

NAV are an AV supplier based centrally in the East Midlands who offer  AV kit hire and full technical production support for conferences & events nationwide. Our prices are realistic and always great value. Our AV technical team all have a ‘can-do’ attitude and we enjoy helping our clients deliver memorable events. We work with many well known organisations both directly and for events agencies, we offer an 'unbranded service' working seamlessly as part of your team.

Whether your conference production requirements are large or small, simple or challenging, we can supply all the AV kit and technical support ensuring your next event is delivered to the highest standards, on time and importantly within your budget.

For more details on AV hire and AV production for conferences & events get in touch via www.nav.co.uk or call 0800 122 3139 to speak directly to one of our team.