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Why Event Audio is Important

April 30, 2024


Really, truly listen. The next time you’re at a large meeting or an event, notice how the  sound is delivered to you. How are the microphones and speakers? Can you hear static or are the voices distorted at all? Does everyone come across at about the same volume? At most events, sound is the primary method of information delivery. It also sets the mood, defines the energy, and whether you realize it or not, it communicates the professionalism and level of planning that has gone into the event.

Photo by: avad3 Event Production, A1 makes adjustments on Yamaha DM7 Console.

Reasons Why Audio is Crucial for Events

Engagement Regardless of the event type, every planner wants their participants to be engaged. Perhaps a CEO is presenting performance data at an annual meeting, or a gala host is recounting the impact recent donations have made on a nonprofit’s work. You want attendees to be able to remember, retain, and respond to what’s being presented. They can’t do that if they can’t hear clearly, or they’re distracted by poor sound.

Message Clarity Every word counts. If a microphone shorts out every once in a while, even if only a few seconds are lost, it matters. Not only can it knock a presenter off his or her rhythm, it can inadvertently omit or change crucial parts of a message. You don’t want people wondering if they heard “fifteen percent” or “fifty percent”. Clarity is essential, and it must be consistent.

Video Enhancement It’s such a letdown when a video begins to play for an audience and the audio fails to come on, or blares so loudly everyone covers their ears, or is on a 3 second lag. Video presentations at events are usually products of a lot of thoughtful work, and their impact can be significantly diminished if the audio isn’t flawless. Even if it’s fixed quickly, the impact of the moment is lost.

Emotional Impact If you’ve ever been to a large event when there was alot of audio feedback or a mic went out, you know that it changes everything even if it only lasts for a moment. The participants’ concentration is broken, and whatever emotional or mental place you are trying to lead your group to is suddenly derailed with the distraction. Quality event sound means you never notice it’s there, because it’s working consistently, and everyone is able to focus on the content and the feeling of the moment you’ve brought them to.

Photo by: avad3 Event Production, A2 prepares mic packs for 3,000 attendee conference.

Creating the Best Audio Experience

By now it should be clear that audio is a component of any event planning that should not only not be ignored, but deserves priority in planning and execution.
Here’s how you make it happen:

Investment in Quality Equipment Audio is an arena where quality really matters. Using in-house audio-visual equipment may seem like the way to go for simplicity’s sake, but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get the microphones, speakers, and recording equipment you actually need. You’ll want a production company that can provide newer equipment that is in excellent condition. You don’t want a wireless microphone that can’t hold a charge or a speaker system with fraying wires. Technology is constantly changing and improving, and you want to benefit from that rather than get by with outdated methods. Your sound will only be as good as the equipment it’s being sent through, so make sure the equipment you’re using is the best.
Sound Check This is a step that should never be skipped. A sound check achieves more than one goal. It ensures that all equipment is performing as it should, that speakers are located in the ideal locations and that you have enough of them. It allows you to determine ideal volume levels and microphone consistency. Most importantly, the event planner can leave a sound check feeling confident that participants will have a smooth audio experience.
Professional Setup Are you noticing that this is a lot to think about for sound? It is, and it’s all important. That’s why working with an experienced, professional production company is essential. A production company knows the answers to all the audio questions you have. They know what equipment will make the best use of your budget while making sure it meets all of your needs. They efficiently set up and run the audio components of your event to be flawless and invisible. No wires running across the floor, no mic battery changes in the middle of a presentation, no last minute panic that you forgot something. Your attendees will never know they were there, but you’ll be thankful every minute that they are.

Photo by: avad3 Event Production, avad3 team member makes adjustments on the audio console in a conference breakout room.

Considerations for Event Sound

Event Type & Size Obviously, a 30-person meeting has different needs than a 300-person gala or a conference with thousands of attendees. A production company will work with you to ensure that you have exactly the scope and range of equipment you need. Decisions like how many microphones to use for a panel discussion, exactly how loud you’ll need the sound to be, and what role music (either live or recorded) may play in your audio plans will be made with your production company. They’ll guide you to choices that maximize your budget without compromising quality.

Speaker & Music Quality Again, sound is only as good as what it’s coming out of. Your production company will know how many and what types of speakers will be best for your event, as well as where they should be placed. They’ll also confirm that any audio files, like prerecorded music or videos, are in the correct format and of sufficient quality to come through crystal clear. A sound check will confirm the right choices.

Room Acoustics No two rooms sound just the same. What provides great sound in one room may get swallowed up or create an echo in another. The setup will be unique to the space and dependent on multiple factors such as room size, acoustics, and layout. Again, a great production company will know exactly what to take into consideration and will be able to make informed decisions about how to proceed.

It’s natural for event planners to look for ways to cut costs, especially ways that won’t change the successful outcome of the event. Audio is one area, though, where the investment is always worth it. The most beautiful, well planned event in the world can’t overcome an audience not being able to hear the keynote address or speakers constantly glitching. Audio production deserves a priority spot in budgeting and planning, and a great production company can pull it all together so it integrates seamlessly into your event.