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.

Helping clients determine, “to Rig or not to Rig” is always a key part in helping them in planning. As their event production partner we understand that production is often one of their largest budget items, and we take that very seriously.

Production plans can affect event planner budget line items outside of just A/V. Often, venues charge additional fees to allow production to rig, or hang items from the ceiling, in their ballrooms.

We do most of our production planning for our clients via Zoom as they are located all across the country. After hopping off a planning call explaining the venue’s rigging estimate, it made sense to grab a quick video sharing the same information on rigging with a larger audience.

Our hope is that information like this informs you, and ultimately makes you a better steward of your precious budget dollars. We’re honored to be a part of their event and after years of building trust play an active role in their team’s plans. We’d love to do the same for your event.

Event planners across the country consistently realize once they’re on-site that they’ve under-planned for their event needs. Does this sound like you? Are you stretching budget dollars by hiring bottom-dollar vendors? Bottom-dollar vendors are not motivated to help you think in advance, and consequently you may be paying double or triple for last-minute needs on-site from this lack of planning.

The best way to safeguard your budget is to actually plan on spending more.

I know, I know. It sounds crazy. Here’s what happens over and over again. The event planner is under pressure to decrease the budget. It’s understandable. Your responsibility is to make sure all the budget dollars are advancing the mission. So in the attempt to spend less, planners regularly leave necessary production equipment and support out of their event production process.

The problem is that that equipment and support is necessary. You have to have it. And that becomes clear on event day. Now, however, the equipment and AV support have increased in price and there’s nothing you can do about it. So instead of saving 5%, you’ve overspent 10%. The alternative is to plan for production that appropriately supports your event. This is where your production partner should be your best ally.

You can’t be an expert in everything. If you got into event planning for dÃcor, your weakness may be venue contracts. If you’re in it for the catering, chances are you’re not passionate about production. This is why you need vendors who are committed to mitigating waste in your budget. If your vendor isn’t anticipating your needs, you may have the wrong partner.

One Team, One Dream

Your event team has one mission: to make this event flawless. In a perfect world, everyone in the event industry would be on that team. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case in reality. Your event deserves to be spruced up, to look its best, to be better than last year. You can’t do that if your budget is tapped. And you can’t make any room in that budget when so many expenses are fixed. The solution is to increase the efficiency of each dollar by relentlessly eliminating last-minute premium expenses. Your vendor partners are your best resources here.

The Not-So Hidden Cost of Under-Planning

The old adage, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” is true. In the effort to decrease your event’s budget, you may inadvertently remove production equipment and support that are necessary. You’ve “saved” money before the event. But you end up spending more at the end. A trusted production partner will be transparent with you about what you need and what you don’t. Then you can make decisions with all of the information. Despite our best efforts, time and again, we see budget dollars wasted due to under-planning. Budget waste comes from:

  • Overnight shipping and rush fees
  • Overtime costs from inadequate labor
  • Premiums charged for same-day rentals by some production companies.

Overnight shipping costs more than Ground, but you get the same item delivered. Whether your production company brings you a printer on the truck or you spend two hours driving to a print shop and paying rush print fees, you’re getting the same thing printed.

The savvy event planner knows about the high cost of last minute fixes. She avoids them and serves her organization by appropriately planning for the needs of her event.

Knowing A/V and Production

Most event planners know dÃcor, catering, and how to maneuver venue contracts. The biggest mystery seems to be in A/V and Production. It makes sense! The AV geek at your high school was likely the opposite of the event planner type. But, the stakes are higher now. You’ve matured in your expertise. If production is going to be a major part of your budget, you have to become an expert or find one you can trust.

Peace is a byproduct of planning

The most stressful hours of your year are those hours onsite. This industry can burn people out. If you love what you do, lengthen your career by minimizing your stress. There are 365 days a year, but that one day, your biggest day, is extremely taxing. A huge portion of that anxiety can be wiped away simply by eliminating all the last-minute additions. Those pop-up needs and requests consume your day. If you ordered those items in planning, they may very well add up to a small percentage of your overall budget, but onsite, you’re going to pay double or triple. The cost of your time and worry is incalculable.

You can spend the event day frazzled and distracted. Or you can spend it calm and composed. You can be available to engage meaningfully with your stakeholders on the one day a year when they can really see all of your hard work. The choice is yours.

The Goal

Free-up your budget by cutting the waste. Your leadership is always going to be looking to cut your budget. Be proactive. Cut the waste from behind the scenes, not the features on stage. By cutting the waste, you repurpose that money towards your ultimate goal: a flawless event. Spruce up the room. Make this year special. Do something more unique as a stage backdrop. Really make this year shine. You can do so by recycling the waste. Just like a recycled water bottle, with the right production partner, you can take the garbage of overnight shipping and rush fees, and recycle it into a beautiful, flawless event.

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