Audiovisual Essentials for Events

How to keep your AV running smoothly

Audiovisual can make, or break, an event. All event planners have felt their heart stop when technology is not cooperating. Paul O'Donnell from OnSite, The Classic Center's in-house audiovisual service, provides these tips for keeping your presentations and special AV requirements running smoothly:

  1. Paul O'Donnell OnsiteDiscuss the AV team’s need for bandwidth, adequate power, and room access. Make sure you know how much time they will need for set up and teardown. How many presenters/speakers will you have? What kind of content will they be disseminating to your audience & via what mediums? What are the preferences of the speakers in terms of software, hardware etc. What kinds of microphones, and in what quantities will you need? Your AV specialist needs to know all of this information in order to set you up with the proper audiovisual technology to make your event run seamlessly.
  2. There is nothing wrong with having an honest conversation about budget at the outset of planning your event. Clearly express what your budget is and what you expect from your event (do you need it to be sustainable? Will there be live streaming? etc.). Be sure to also go over what equipment you will need (how many mics and in what quantities, soundboards, switchers, projectors etc.). Also, if you plan to do a run through – how much and how far in advance you will need to rehearse certainly affects AV and thus, price. Being honest about your budget will help your AV specialist create that WOW factor while staying within the confines of your budget.
  3. Hire a quality technician to take care of your AV needs when your budget allows it. A technician can setup and test the gear you will be using as well as train you on how to use it during your presentation. Hired techs can also stay on-site so if any problems arise they can jump in and take care of it without much delay. If you have multiple events at the same location, hiring the same technician every time helps to build a partnership in which you can rely on and trust.
  4. Make your presentations available ahead of time to your technician. This will make a technician’s job easier when preparing for your event. They can test the presentation on their gear as well as make sure their gear is up to the specs you need, and if not, make the adjustments to better serve you.
  5. Book your room in advance and have a floor plan ready to go. This will benefit making sure everything goes well the day of your presentation. Your production team can have all the gear ready and waiting for you when you arrive and if any adjustments need to be made it will only take a few minutes.
  6. Event planners all know the value of a good venue walkthrough. However, it can be just as important that you tour the venue with your AV provider whenever possible. Having an AV specialist walk through your venue with you can clue you in to elements that may not have made it onto your checklist like ceiling height & other architectural elements (which will determine equipment). Your AV provider will also be checking for structures that will allow for ease and efficiency of load in, storage & security issues.


Plan your event in Athens, Georgia! Call the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau for a site inspection and proposal. 706-357.4430,

A PDF of this document is available here.