If you are new to the meeting and event industry and need to rent audio visual equipment for the first time, it can be a little scary — especially if you are being told what to do by everyone from the speaker to the hotel sales staff. Now is the time to take a deep breath and take control of your event, especially since you are paying the bill!

Whether your meeting is 10 or 10,000 attendees, it is important that everyone in your audience see, hear and use their tactical senses to digest the material being presented. This will encompass taking some time to come up with the right equipment but in the end, you will provide the best solution for your meeting participants.

First, you need to ask your stakeholders the following questions:

  • What is the purpose and budget for the meeting? 
  • Who will attend the meeting? How many attendees, presenters, sponsors and exhibitors will be there?
  • Where will you hold the event? Will it be on-site or off-site? Inside or outdoors?
  • When is a good time for the meeting? Think about the time of year, day of the week and whether or not it will start in the morning, afternoon or evening.
  • How will you deliver the message of the meeting? 
  • Why do you need to meet face-to-face? 

Now that you will have a much clearer picture of the meeting objectives, conference equipment rental choices will become much easier. Below is a list to help you determine what equipment you will need:

  1. You know the purpose and overall budget for the meeting, now you can understand what AV equipment is going to make the most sense. For example, if you are coordinating a training session with a bare-bones budget, you may only be able to afford PowerPoint presentation equipment, a microphone for the speaker, and Audience Response rental units. However, if your organization is putting on a product launching event, the budget may be large with an AV configuration meant to blow away the audience.
  2. The number of people that will be attending your event will dictate the location and equipment needed. If you are holding a meeting for 10 people, most likely you will only need presentation services equipment and a room. However, if you are holding a meeting for 10,000 individuals, a convention center will be your logical choice. You will need a sophisticated sound and lighting system so everyone in the room can see and hear the presenter. In addition, you may want to implement a tactical component to the meeting through touch screens, iPads or c kiosks.
  3. The time of year and day will also play a part in your technology choices. The lumens needed on a LCD projector are going to be very different depending on amount of light in the meeting space. Do a run through of the equipment in the setting you are meeting in just to make certain everything is right.
  4. When delivering the message to your audience, remember the more sensory components you involve allow for better reception and retention from the audience. Make sure all attendees can see and hear the presenter. Rent iPads with all the presentations loaded onto them so attendees can take notes within the presentation and email the notes and presentation to themselves or individuals back at the office.