Today's meeting budgets often contain audio visual equipment as one of the top expense items. Yet, as I talk to most meeting planners about AV, it is still the least understood budget item. And the truth of the matter is, now more than ever, it is important to forge a long-term relationship with an AV partner as interactive technology tool rentals change and become more integral to a meeting's success.
Here are the four questions to focus on when choosing an AV partner. It isn't just about low price and delivery any longer. It needs to be much more than that to pull off a very successful event.
Does your AV provider stake their success on your meeting's success?
Recently, I had the opportunity to obtain quotes for equipment from two different AV companies. My client really wanted me to work with the first company, but the Account Executive did not readily return my calls and when he finally did return them, he did not answer any of my questions. Then when I asked him for a quote, it took him two weeks to deliver one! The second company delivered a quote within four hours. They returned my calls within two. They took detailed notes when I took them through the site visit. Needless to say, company number two got our business, because they showed they wanted to be as successful as we did.
Do they provide creative solutions?
Sometimes you don't know what you don't know. It is virtually impossible for most meeting planners to keep on top of the latest technology offerings. By explaining your vision through words and drawings (yes, they can be hand drawn), you start to paint a picture as to what you want. If you let the AV provider run with it, you may be surprised with what they can provide within your budget criteria.
Do they have long-term relationships with their clients?
Working with an AV provider that has been providing equipment to an association or corporation for many years, speaks well for that organization. That means they are in the relationship business. The company that I chose to work with came highly recommended and one of the things the person who recommended them said to me was, " I have worked with them for over 15 years." Wow! To me, that shouts stability and consummate care of the client.
Is this organization Internet savvy?
Providing iPads, laptops, touch screens and computer kiosks is one thing, but making sure they all work well together on the Internet is quite another. An AV provider that understands bandwidth and can boost your event's Wi-Fi network through fast, secure and robust Internet connections is even better. Someone who can speak the language of IT and provide the tech support should quell any concerns you have before and during the conference.
Margaret H Williams, CMP the Owner of Pizzazz Meeting & Event Planning Group stated the following when talking about venue choice, "High-speed wireless bandwidth made me realize that technology has become a great leveler of the playing field in the industry."
AV Event Solutions, now part of SmartSource Rentals, is your Total Technology solution provider and has state-of-the-art equipment, including Wi-Fi network arrays. Give them a call at 888-249-4903 to start a long term relationship with this tried and true AV provider!