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The Difference Between an In-House A/V Team & a Production Company

January 25, 2024

What’s the difference between an in-house audio-visual team at a hotel conference venue property and an outside event production company? An in-house A/V team typically has a very straightforward setup – often basic projector screens and microphone setups all across a property. This is a team that focuses on quantity. They have many events in the building on any given day and have to deploy their limited team sparingly and sparsely, to best fit the needs of the day. They have gear that is able to be used every day. It often looks quite uniform in a way that may not be helpful if you’re looking for a creative, fresh look for your conference. Comparing in-house A/V to a production company, they’re both doing audio video, but the quality is quite different.

Lighting Makes a Difference

Production lighting is a primary difference to be considered when looking to use in house A/V team. There’s a third letter of that acronym missing: L (Audio/Video/Lighting). Most external production companies are specialists in either audio, video or lighting. Often, depending on which city you’re in, you can find production companies that only do lighting. You could choose them to be your production company, however, every event also needs video and audio. They would then have to subcontract the video and audio to other specialist teams. Choosing which of the departments is most important to you and having them subcontract the other departments is one way to do it. This is how most live music tours come to be. A production company out of one state gets the lighting contract. Another production company from another state gets the audio contract. They meet together for rehearsals and hit the road for the tour together.

Full-Service Keeps Things Simple

There are also some production companies that have a similar model to avad3, which is full-service audio, video, and lighting all under one roof. For us, we became this out of necessity. We heard from new clients early-on how refreshing it was to finally have one single point of contact for all departments of their production team. Their keynote speaker, CEO, or executive director when working on an opening presentation with video playback, audio, lighting cues for walk-in, and much more, it can feel overwhelming to coordinate these layers on your biggest day of the year.

You Deserve Full Attention

Often it’s difficult to get production people in the room during planning because they’re unavailable for a meeting or working on someone else’s show. So avad3 took a model that you can find in very few places around the country – all departments under one roof, a full-service audio-visual production company. Instead of having to coordinate meetings with three different audio, video, and lighting specialists, we have one person assigned to you during planning to coordinate all things audio-visual. You deserve to have a production planner working with you, taking more off of your plate, and serving the greater goal of your event.

You Don’t Have to Settle for Adequate

An in-house A/V team is going to set up a microphone, and a screen, it is functionally going to be adequate. But when you look back at attendee pictures on Instagram, Pinterest, & YouTube, from major conferences, these conferences attract larger audiences, higher ticket prices, and better attendee engagement, because they’re a full production experience. People have limited attention spans, and have grown accustomed to higher production value, especially in recent years. While your conference doesn’t need the flash and frills of a rock show, it is hard to deny the difference in an Instagram post from a bare-bones in-house A/V team compared to an annual national association conference that chose to invest in production.

We Get to Do This Every Day

You might notice if you are trying to push an in-house A/V team to get more polished, have more design, be more visually interesting, and put on more of a production, it’s just not something that those teams get to do every day. Experienced production companies, on the other hand, get to provide these services all the time. Shows like yours don’t happen in every city and every town everywhere constantly, but when they do happen, we suggest that you choose an experienced production partner to make your biggest day of the year unforgettable.

Receive the Benefit of a Higher Level of Production

We hope this sums up some of the differences you’ll find when you start to compare using an in-house A/V team versus an outside event production team.

  • Pay attention to the letter of the acronym that is missing, which is lighting.
  • Appreciate having a single point of contact in planning.
  • Receive the benefit of a higher level of production value and polish.

These key pieces ultimately make your conference or event look the way it deserves to look for the months of planning from you, your team, and the precious budget dollars of your organization.