“Hello! Can you hear me?”

Microphones have become so ingrained in our lives (Alexa, AirPods, car connectivity, fast food drive-throughs), it’s easy to forget about them. It’s not a wonder that so many event planners forget to focus on this most basic element of communication at an event!

Let’s talk about your event. You have a message that needs to be heard. You have ideas, values, and inspirational stories that need to reach far and wide. In fact, that’s the whole purpose of a live event: to share your message with an audience.

So if that’s the whole purpose, we had better make sure that hearing your message is a top priority! That’s where proper planning for your event audio equipment comes in.

When do we use microphones?

Your microphone needs are determined by three things: room size, remote viewers, and event recording.

First, consider your room size and the number of people. For any gathering with more than 30 people or a room bigger than 30×30 feet, you will want to have mics and a speaker system. At this size, most speakers cannot project their voices enough to be heard by everyone. Don’t allow your guests to have to strain to hear what’s being said. It dampens the experience. It causes people to lose interest quickly. You want the audience leaning forward in their seats because they are so interested, not because they can’t hear.

Second, consider whether or not your event has remote presenters or remote audiences. In our digital age, it’s easy to connect with people from around the nation and the world. Many event planners are using live streaming as a way to bring their events to people in multiple locations.

Finally, is your event being recorded? It’s the same principle as a remote audience or live streaming, except that you are recording this event to be replayed by possibly hundreds of people in the future! Again, microphones are the key to making sure your message is clearly captured and recorded.

What kind of microphones do I need?

You may be thinking, “Okay, this is all good, I definitely need people to hear me and my presenters. I need mics! But what kind do I need?”

There are two different kinds of microphones, wired and wireless, and both are useful in different situations. Your “Run of Show”, or the list of presentations during your event, will determine the type and number of microphones you need.

Wired Microphones

Wired microphones are used when there is one central location that people will speak from, such as a podium or stand on stage. There won’t be any moving around, and you won’t have multiple people speaking at once. Your presenters will be going to that predetermined speaking location, one at a time, to speak and share their stories. This is a very common setup for many nonprofit events.

Wired microphones are extremely stable. They sound very rich, full, and natural to the listening ear.

Wireless Microphones

Wireless microphones are very handy because they allow you to be mobile. You can also have multiple presenters at one time. These mics don’t have cables running directly from the mic to the audio system. This allows your presenters to walk freely around the stage, sit down on a couch for an interview, or engage with the audience during a live auction.

A nice bonus of wireless mics is that they come in three different styles: Handheld, Lavalier, or Headset. And I know what you’re thinking “Oh my! More options!” Not to worry, we can break this down very clearly.

Handheld, Lavalier, or Headset?

Of all three styles, wireless handheld mics are the most versatile. Anyone can come up and grab the handheld mic and begin talking. If you have a lot of quick transitions between presenters or a panel where several different people are speaking, it’s very easy to pass around a handheld microphone. Handheld microphones also give your presenter control over when they are heard. Additionally, handheld mics sound the richest and most natural.

Lavalier mics are little microphones clipped to the front of a shirt and attached by a thin wire to a pack that clips on at the back of the waist.

Headset mics are similar, except the headset clips around the ears and jut out toward the corner of the mouth.

Both these mics are really good to use in situations where you have someone speaking for ten minutes or more, and they want to be able to walk around the stage. It can become tiring to hold a handheld mic for that length of time, which is why lavaliers (“lavs”) and headset mics are wonderful, hands-free options.

There are some drawbacks to lavs and headsets. First, it does take time for your audio tech to clip on and remove these wireless mics before and after your presenter goes onstage. Second, because the mic is always close to the face, the presenter is always “live”, until they are muted by the tech when they leave the stage. Finally, lavalier and headset mics typically sound a little thinner. They aren’t as stable as their handheld cousins. Those high-pitched feedback sounds are harder for the audio tech to mitigate with this style of mic, but not impossible!

It’s Time to Be Heard.

There you have it! This is your biggest day of the year. Having the proper planning for your event audio equipment ensures that every word spoken, every award handed out, and every inspiring story shared at your event is heard clearly by your audience.

Your production partner should guide you through many of these microphone questions. Now you are also equipped with the knowledge to make sure your message is heard!

So when you ask, “Can you hear me?” The answer is a resounding, “YES!”

It’s 10 minutes until the start of your organization’s biggest event of the year. The pressure is on. You feel the rush of adrenaline knowing that months of planning and preparation have led up to this moment. Looking around, what is it that you want to see? You have planned and accounted for every detail – that’s what you want to see.. You want to feel confident in knowing your presenter(s) and show flow have been tested and that they are ready and prepared. The mics are working clearly, the lights are perfectly placed, the cameras are in their proper position and your AV production team is primed, organized, and in equal anticipation of the event kick-off.

The opposite side of that scenario doesn’t sound quite as sweet. It only adds to your nervousness if you see the AV team running around in distress trying to make last-minute improvements or adjustments. The mics squeal consistently with feedback. The lights are super bright in some places, and completely dark in other spots. The cameras recording your show are shaky and just barely out of focus. These impressions matter. They matter to everyone involved.

How did you choose your AV team? In-House? Budget? Quality? Reputation? Referral? Or did you Google “production company near me”? What matters in the moment your show begins is that your vision and your message is portrayed with detail-oriented precision for a flawless experience for both you, your team, and your participants.

Your primary criteria when vetting a production company should never be about proximity to your event. The best, most experienced production partners you can find are used to traveling their teams to wherever they need to be — and staying within budget.

The Top 3 Reasons Why Your Production Company Partner’s Location Does Not Matter

  1. Production Companies who travel are often more experienced. Your event will be top-notch, every time.
  2. It’s one of your team’s most important days, don’t hold back on partnering with an A.V. team that best fits your needs.
  3. It takes roughly the same amount of time to set up, tear down, and complete your event. Hiring the right team will ensure this process is effortless and efficient.

There is an immense amount of detail that goes into making an event flawless. If even a small portion of those technicalities go wrong, it negatively affects the participant’s experience. To get these details right, you need a production company with a proven track record of excellence. A team that pays close attention to detail and has experience navigating and preparing for every scenario. For example, let’s say your show is in a local arena. You don’t need a production team that knows that specific arena your event is in, you need a production team that has deep experience with arenas. This also takes an immense amount of pressure off you and your team.

Your show took a lot of effort to make happen. No element should be spared in creating a flawless event experience for your audience. Similar to a photographer on your wedding day, you’re not just going to hire one who is close to the venue. It’s your big day! You’re going to hire one that matches your vibe, one you trust, and one that knows what they’re doing so you don’t have to worry about a thing when it comes to capturing the moments you want to remember. Hiring your production company with this same mindset can enhance your event and ensure it’s everything you’ve dreamed it could be.

You took our advice on the first two points (Nice job!). You hired a production team, regardless of location, with the highest standards of excellence in service and skill for your event. When you hire a production team with additional experience, setting up and tearing down events becomes effortless. Time is money. Teams who consistently produce events of similar scope are able to keep costs manageable even if they have to travel. Having an experienced production team that can optimize their time and effort is a great advantage and extra insurance for an impeccable show.

Your event is your biggest day of the year. Treat it as such. Don’t hold back on hiring a production team that fits your needs. Search nationwide for the right team instead of one who is close to your venue.

If cost is a worry for your event, rest assured that our team at avad3 has a system in place to keep traveling for events extremely cost-effective. Our team runs an analysis nationally to keep our costs extremely competitive.

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