Four Important Details Required for Proper Event AV Selection

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Four Important Details Required for Proper Event AV Selection

Picture it. I’m attending a friend’s wedding, and her father is handed a microphone to say a few heartfelt words about his daughter and new son-in-law. Everyone is silent as they await the words to be spoken by the Father-of-the-Bride. He begins to speak…

Screeeeeeeeeeech!!!!! Feedback from the cheap microphone connected to the expensive audio/visual (AV) equipment. Touching. Moment. Ruined. Oh, Dad continued after the obnoxious noises, but I’m not sure I remember what he said.

You have a wide array of venues across Tampa Bay, but many do not provide AV equipment for weddings, receptions, parties, concerts, what have you. That’s when clients go in search of a DJ or AV provider to take care of their needs. However, like at my friend’s wedding, not all DJ’s and AV providers know what questions to ask or what equipment to have on hand. Imagine going to a party where there was no music, or a festival with no live band. Music is what makes an event groove, and the selection of DJ and AV gear can make or break the entire event.

 There are four important details required for proper event AV selection:

1. The Room:
What size is the room the client has reserved? Does it have wood floors, carpet, or tile? Is it a ballroom with great acoustics, or is it a metal fabricated building? Are the ceilings vaulted, or are they eight feet-tall? The answers to these questions can change the list of equipment required.

2. The Style of the Event:
Is this a standard wedding, with the typical music selections, slow-dance music, followed by a lively reception? Or is this a corporate event for business executives who would be mortified listening to the latest hip hop track? This knowledge is imperative and also ties back to the proper gear needed.

3. The Client’s Desired Outcome:
Does your client want a club-banger type of event where you’ll need more sub-cabinets than a Jay-Z concert? Or will all your playback tracks be off the “Best of George Straight” album? Choosing the right style of music to fit the event is paramount to make the event a success for your client.

4. Level of Power Available:
Say you need to bring in a full size concert rig, but they only have two open 20A circuits available. Big. Problem. Your client will never look this up for you, but will completely blame you if you’re not prepared.

The biggest piece of advice I can give anyone coming into the industry, looking to get gear for an event is, “Pay attention to the little things.”

Too many DJ and AV newbies are focusing on the big toys and neglecting everything else. The term “you’re only as strong as your weakest link,” is completely true in the AV world, and it requires focused attention when building a rig for a client’s event.

So, you bought four of the latest QSC tops with matching subwoofers, and you’re ready to go make some quality noise (hopefully). Why are you still using a $50 mixer with the cheapest cables you could get off of eBay? You utilize an expensive laptop and speakers, but you’re destroying the sound quality by passing it through cheap, thin pre-amps and cables. The signal loss is apparent and will make everything sound cheap.

Let’s revisit my friend’s wedding reception and the example of choosing the right mic. The feedback experienced by the Father-of-the-Bride occurred every time a speech or announcement was made throughout the entire night. The DJ had a top-of-the-line JBL system that was perfect for the room, but he bought the cheapest, off-brand wireless mic he could find. He ran that mic through a DJ mixer, with no EQ or compression to fix the feedback. He looked like a joke, and his poor equipment choices ruined great portions of an important event, which left guests discussing the sound issues instead of the beautiful tributes made by family and friends.

Pay attention to the finer details of your system and the event. Be prepared and proactive instead of attempting to make equipment work for a situation.

If you have questions about building a system for an event, or you could use some advice about a product, give us a call. We really want you to succeed and we’re here to make that happen!

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Beamworks is a true American Small Business that has been running strong in the Tampa Bay Area since 1999. With years of experience we are able to pull off incredible shows and events and supply other people to do the same. We work to make every event more enjoyable and stress free so you can spend more time doing what you do best.